TestimonyPosted by P.A. Draigh Sun, June 10, 2018 22:53:11
Today is a celebration of the day of my Birth, but it has become more than that ever since Tovah ‘Tokele’ Olshak became a part of my commitment to that life, its values and The Holocaust. It is safe to assume I have stumbled upon a path which has led me relentlessly on, meeting trauma, horror, catastrophe and the intentional hatred which drove one man to assure History of an atrocity Humanity will never recover from. For me! It is a matter of conscience to state that when so many lives were taken and so many other's could not muster the compelling demand to lift themselves from such apathetic indifference, I assured myself and other's, I would not let go of this journey until I had to. It is a remarkable truth too that while we recognise the darkness in people, we can begin to see the light pouring from many who judge the wrong that is not belonging to all people, when it is rightly attributed and owned by just some.
"..would never have thought that ..man ..given very inadequate nourishment ..insufficiently clothed ..slept little ..lived in ..worst possible hygienic circumstances ..exposed to all conditions of ..weather ..would have thought it impossible ..he would go on living. ..powers of adaptation ..endurance ..so great ..body is capable of efforts ..held to be impossible in normal life. ..many broke down ..perished ..but ..miracle is ..there are still Survivors." Elie A. Cohen.
It is in that degree of certainty that I always search fully knowing I will find, along the way, more answers that need those questions as yet to be asked. When I come across a figure, an assessment of the very detail of the atrocity, it is marked by a grave atrocity History has become aware of and it is recognised. That atrocity is then governed by the degree to which 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of Jewish Men, Women and Their Children were deliberately delivered to some killing space, be it a Death Camp or Killing Site and intentionally murdered. These 6,000,000 Jews of Europe too are the cause of my accusing words and the effort afforded a brutalised People so cruelly abandoned by us. So when it comes to researching the very degree and detail of a particular atrocity, it is important to know that within that degree of atrocity, we are discussing the mass Slaughter of Human Beings, simply because they were Jews.
"..When I stand before you ..to lead ..Prosecution of Adolf Eichmann ..I am not standing alone. With me are 6,000,000 accusers. ..they cannot rise ..and point an accusing finger. ..For their ashes are piled up on ..hills of Auschwitz and ..fields of Treblinka ..and are strewn in ..forests of Poland. Their graves are scattered throughout ..length and breadth of Europe. Their blood cries out ..but their voice is not heard. ..I will be their spokesman and in their name I will unfold ..awesome indictment." Gideon Hausner.
With the assessment then made, it can often be brought to my attention that I have under estimated, though never under valued my effort, and recognise there is a figure far greater than the one I arrived at. When that occurs, I go in search of the higher number to ensure to posterity, we have not failed in combining those who rightly are attributable to the most unprecedented and unparalleled atrocity in all History. Personally, I do not believe that we have come to a conclusive assessment of the full assessment to be attributable to The Holocaust. I do not accept that while 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, who are The Holocaust, has been settled upon, it is not correct that this will be any final assessment. While The Wannsee Conference sought out 11,293,300 Jews of Europe for Annihilation, the Survival of 5,000,000 European Jews would suggest that we are still in a search while looking for those 6,293,300 Murdered Jews.
"..Despite ..recent outpouring of popular and scholarly books on Hitler ..no work has yet been produced that satisfactorily explains Hitler's obsessive ideas about ..Jews ..readiness of ..German people to accept these ideas ..and Hitler's ability to harness an enormous apparatus of men ..institutions ..facilities just in order to murder ..Jews. Hitler has proved to be an elusive and unrewarding subject for conventional biography because ..explanations for ..baffling mystique he exercised ..for ..power he came to wield ..and for his unspeakable accomplishments are not to be found in ..facts of a banal life ..but in ..ideas and feelings that created ..symbiosis between him and ..German people. Their mutuality and interdependence thrived ..as Hitler first expressed and later gratified ..Germans' most arrogant and abominable ambitions. He relieved their deepest fears and anxieties and ..near ..end ..disburdened them both of guilt and responsibility for ..wickedness they had given him warrant to commit." Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz.
For these past few weeks my search has been in the very detail of those French Convoi transporting French and other Nation’s Jews to the Death Camps. These French transports alone have thrown up such anomalies as would depress the search for the fullness of that truth we search for. Clearly, we must persevere with the search in the hope that more of the numbers we wish to avail of, will release more names of those Jews still missing from this catalogue of shame. Figures are all too often transcribed wrongly and can hide the full value of loss we seek to Remember. Parents have been known to shield their youngest about their person so as not to attract the attention of those seeking to isolate the numbers into impersonal statistical analysis. So even given the meticulous nature of the German adherence to exacting numbers, and here they are presented with what French officialdom complied to provide, we can be missing some of those included in a transport from the distorted matriculation that has been entered into by competing bureaucracies.
"..I have struggled hard to overcome ..hatred of those who cruelly destroyed my early life ..my family and almost succeeded in exterminating my people. ..I have come to realise ..there are no basically evil nations or racial groups. ..There are only evil people ..seekers after wealth or power." Maja Abramowitch.
So on each and every occasion where there is a celebration of my own birth, there is also corresponding with that date an atrocity that will fundamentally fix us to that point in History we assign our research and responsibility toward. For me, this look back into History will forever belong to 6,000,000 Jewish People of Europe, be they Man, Woman or Their Child. It is important to always remember that alongside the fact that they were Human Beings, they were chosen because the were Jewish Human Beings who were murdered because they were Jews. For me, the accusation of many has often been made and it has been all too often centred on my choice to write. I have refuted so many times as to why I have chosen this well worn path from accusation of bias and even prejudice. I simply have no bias other than to ensure the truth delivers posthumously to 6,000,000 People what would not be given to them in life, and simply because they were Jews.
"..Nuremberg taught me that creating a world of tolerance and compassion would be a long and arduous task. And I also learned that if we did not devote ourselves to developing effective world law ..same cruel mentality that made ..Holocaust possible might one day destroy ..entire human race." Benjamin B. Ferencz.
That is also true of any attempt to confuse objectivity with a prejudice toward 6,000,000 Jews which is both ludicrous and wrong. Agreed, I have set out to write about 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, simply because of the enormous wrong this signifies for us all. My appreciation of the inherent and factual truth of all that happened is part of an integrity History must not be denied. Where truth resides, it becomes a distortion if we do not adopt its fullest detail as accurately as possible. So of course there is a slight connection to my past upbringing as a catholic, which ensured a moral and ethical grounding that would see purely the inherent wrong in the murder of a People based on anything, let alone Race of Creed. I have pursued this Holocaust course now for more than x20 years and I hope I have never deviated from that fundamental principle which defines what was wrong and what is wrong from any speculation over what is both eroding of that truth, if not strictly adhered to and illegitimate if not correct.
Wednesday June 10th. 1936 "..next generation will not belong to ..Party ..but I shall no longer be here to see ..reversal." Victor Klemperer.
I have heard it said of Victor that he somehow emerged from the endless darkness of Hitlerite slavery into a post apocalyptic Germany fearing that outlook. Here, upon resurrecting some correlation between past and present, and where he managed to survive with his Wife Eva, we read that attempt to make sense in his Survival in diary form. He trained his sights not into some fashioned resemblance to mythic lands of fairies and ghosts, but at a landscape that was devoid of such reasoning as had devoured 6,000,000’s of his People. The truth was so much more tragic and bleaker than that sought after escape, as his soul fought to redefine what remained of his own humanity. Here, recovering into the vista of a bombed out, levelled and destroyed Dresden, which marginally saved him from his own destruction, he sought to live his life renewed. While his own nearness to death, both at Allied hands which could rein down upon him and more tangibly at Hitler's behest, Victor still delivers for us a bibliographic landscape of words.
"..Government and with it ..great majority of ..German people ..are very conscious of ..appalling suffering brought to ..Jews in Germany and ..occupied territories. ..German people in their overwhelming majority ..disgusted by ..crimes perpetrated against ..Jews. ..in ..name of ..German people appalling crimes were committed ..that demand from us moral and material reparation ..not only as far as damages to ..individual ..but ..with regard to Jewish property." Konrad Adenauer.
In a diary form, which was punishable by death for a Jew under Hitler's yoke, Victor bears witness to the bitter end. We who share a gratitude in the words we select to ensure that his gift is forwarded on, do so with appreciation. At this time, and while Hitler is still in the ascendency, it is people like Victor Klemperer who view the pervasive scene of growing and mounting fear amongst the Germans and the German Jewish People in particular. While it is true at this time that the Germans have embraced fully the promises Hitler is keen to make, not everyone sees this in technicolour. Victor, though he converted to the Christian faith, was always considered as a Jew and thus, un-German. However, Victor’s own antecedent descent had ensured he fitted the Hitler agenda, which saw him in Germany not as a German but should be treated accordingly as a Jew. Victor witnessed first hand what for Jewry in the Reich amounted to, and the troubling status they were being denied, deprived of and then destroyed by. Germany would eventually grow afterwards to endorse that their own wrongs were done and make restitution in part for what was staged in its name.
Friday June 10th. 1938 "..Zurich ..Switzerland ..sanity ..civilisation." William L. Shirer.
Another diarist, William L. Shirer, gifts to the world his first hand evidence, in his Berlin Diary, of a journey through the rise to power of Hitler. We observe the growth of Nazi Germany and the infinite threat Hitler brings to the World stage. As War again certainly looms, Hitler is the orchestrater of all that is being proposed to the World. There is one telling point in Shirer’s assessment alone, which deals a withering blow to Polish morals of the time. All told, and while there is a burgeoning apathy that is spreading throughout Europe, Poland is prepared to deal in the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. While this precipitates a failing moral correctness, Poland has not even begun to recognise that Poland itself is in Hitler’s direct line of fire. As a correspondent for CBS, Shirer opens a door to an edifice which sees German's in Germany slipping from the civilised mantle it had once occupied. Ahead of them they plunge into an abyss of atrocity and hate with the annihilation of 6,000,000 of the Jewish People, who are the very reason we have The Holocaust term.
"..Auschwitz may be 100's of kilometres from Hungary but it is part of Hungarian history. ..This Death Camp was ..scene of ..inhumane suffering ..humiliation and death of nearly 500,000 of our compatriots." Janos Ader.
Amongst the many assessments to emerge from the period is also the catalogue of grief and suffering that has become witness to the 50/70 million dead of World War II. From the vantage point of Berlin and Zurich, and though Auschwitz and the assault upon the integrity of Hungarian Jewry is in the future, there is the brutal rise of Hitler's Reich which truly assured us of that premise of the annihilation of the Jewish People would be reached. Where Jewish existence is to be crushed and World indifference toward that growing atrocity is to be exposed, Europe settled into a malaise of appeasing apathy and disregard. While Germany and the Nazi Germans motioned forward exacting what Hitler fully proposed for the Jews of Europe, we see Switzerland begin to renege upon its own duty to offer solace and sufferance, and not just to the Jewish People. All the while the Jews of Austria, Germany and then the wider European Continent were becoming refugees ahead of the destruction which then followed them toward destruction.
Monday June 10th. 1940 "..German Army closes in on Paris. ..dark for ..Allies." William L. Shirer.
The very expression of another World War is an insanity that was so clearly evident and as the supposed German Teuton's brought havoc to bear toward Jews, and all those other’s who opposed the will of der Fuhrer, such mayhem caused would be monumentally deadly. By now Poland had fully succumbed to satellite status, which Hitler had required for it and 3,000,000 Polish Jews were under direct threat of destruction. Almost immediately, and upon the unprovoked Invasion of Poland on September 1st. 1939, Hitler’s formative der Einsatzgruppe began its work dissolving the Jewish hold on existence. That precarious life status too was to be true of some 3 million non-Jewish Poles who would perish in work details so severe, replenishment from human stock was a relentless abuse. While it was recognised that Poland had consoled itself in abusing Czech lands, its own government resigned to exile what authority it had laced together.
Monday June 10th. 1940 "..Italy is in ..War. ..stabbed France in ..back at ..moment ..Germans are at ..gates of Paris ..and France appears ..down." William L. Shirer.
In abandoning the Polish people to a device which Hitler fully exploited, any moral probity by a fleeing Polish administration was shelved upon the destruction, both intended and otherwise, of some 6 million Poles, 3,000,000 of those for being Poland’s Jews. Also, and as we are made fully aware of the very progress Hitler makes in his aggressor form, here from Shirer’s own entry as he has penned it into his Diary, we become aware that France is doomed. That very Monday June 10th. 1940, and by this time this has also now meant that both Denmark and Norway had been formerly defeated in another unprovoked aggression. As Hitler’s erstwhile ally, Mussolini’s Italy had declared war on both Britain and France, the stage was being set for a calamitous War that would become the vehicle by which the annihilation of the Jewish People would be sought. Impulsively, Mussolini was so quick so as to take full advantage of the swiftness of Hitler’s ‘blitzkrieg’ operations.
Tuesday June 10th. 1941 "..famous ..Igo Sym ..collaborated ..with ..Nazis ..executed recently. ..Nazis posted ..placards promising ..reward of 10,000 zlotys for ..delivery of ..traitors." Mary Berg.
Europe was being trodden underfoot by jackboot and Italian loafer. That such alliances would devour the weak and the strong in equal measure, would judge unfavourably the route taken by those who strode the same path Hitler had urged them to take. This was to be a coldly calculated assessment written in terms so bloody, a word such as Genocide needed to be invented to harness its fullest implications. Then, from a diary of a different persuasion, we learn that Polish collaboration or collusion is equally met with a deadly response. Karol Juliusz 'Igo' Sym was a Polish actor who had collaborated with Hitler's Nazi's. After having served his Country in the Polish Army for 3 years after World War I, it is not easily explained why an obvious patriot might abandon his Nation to collude with an aggressor country?
"..Auschwitz ..world’s largest cemetery ..without a single grave. I held tight to 3 dreams. ..first living through ..nightmare ..surviving ..camp. ..second was to tell ..even though it ..cannot be explained. There was no reason whatsoever for what was done. ..I knew I had to tell ..to as many people as possible. ..third was that ..if I managed to accomplish ..first two ..I would do anything and everything to bring about ..establishment of State of Israel. ..I realised all three dreams." Noah Klieger.
Sym was assassinated for assisting Hitler’s effort on March 7th. 1941 and this was right outside Mary Berg's back door of Warsaw. What perhaps is unusual in the aspect of this diarist's life, Miriam Wattenberg, better known as Mary Berg emerges from War torn Poland, a Survivor. She was a Polish Jew of Lodz who lived and then Survived in the Warsaw Ghetto. Clearly though, her status as the Child of Lena, an American Mother, is what afforded Mary what many will wrongly endorse as a privileged status. True, she was held aside from what she evidenced was the relentless tide of her fellow Jews being transported to Treblinka and destruction there, she was one lucky enough to have gained a chance against all the odds Hitler had placed before her. For 6 months in Pawiak jail this could not have been an easy comfort zone for anyone, let alone a 17 year old Jewish Child. With all that amounted to uncertainty for Polish Jewry, and while awaiting what might be the same fate of all of her fellow Jews, Mary marks her time with recalling words we still observe.
Wednesday June 10th. 1942 "..Kropotkin. ..reread his first reaction to ..prison cell in which he was to spend several years. ..that account can still teach us how to cope with ..measures by which our own freedom of movement is ..being restricted. to take what little space we are left with ..to fathom its possibilities and ..use them to ..full." Etty Hillesum.
For more than 3 years also, Mary had witnessed what she would describe as a 'Warsaw drowning in blood’ before being sent to a detention centre in France. I am not too sure if Etty was planning to utilise the anarchic lessons which Prince Peter Alexeievich Kropotkin enhanced in his workings though it is intriguing for me to be allowed to assess her words with hints of other’s influence. But while it is with an almost revealing sense of foreboding that she sought out such social philosophies, Etty harbours her own warmth and security in life and gifts us with certainty. However, Etty was always concerned with the inequality that life threw up for people and sought to equate those concerns in the words she used and I am keen to reread and relearn them. Meanwhile further East, Hitler’s Wehrmacht has commenced its hopeful offensive along the Don River Front as 13 Polish prisoners are shot while attempting to escape from Auschwitz.
Wednesday June 10th. 1942 "..Prague immediately after ..assassination attempt ..Heydrich ..always taken ..well known route. ..newspaper ..published ..names of ..many who had been put in front of ..firing squad with their families ..intellectuals ..professors ..doctors." Victor Klemperer.
Also, and while a further 9 prisoner’s remain at large, we cannot begin to imagine what faces those escapees who are then caught and brought back for execution. In France the Seine Prefecture issues regulations for all Jews to be assigned to only the last carriages of the Paris Metro system. Though the tide was relentlessly moving toward a more totalitarian Europe with Hitler as its charge, and a subjugated Continent all too willing to give up its Jewish Citizens, assaults upon Hitler’s designs were being made. While Jewish existence was under duress immediately and then threatened with extinction as time went by, the open secret of what was being executed was being concealed. Though with many reservations and non-compliance's from individuals and even Country’s, it is clear that with 1,000 Prague Jews who can be too readily murdered in the East, not enough was being done to prevent Hitler achieving his final resolve for the Jews of Europe.
"..I have mixed emotions because although ..Germans took everything from me ..my family and my home ..on ..other side of things they allowed me to survive ..war." Marie Supikova.
There was no concerted effort or a will by any of the League of Nations to stem the growing awareness of what Hitler was achieving against the Jewish People. Elsewhere the Germans destroyed the Town of Lidice and this complete and utter destruction of Lidice was in retaliation for the assassination of SS Oberguppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich in Prague six days earlier. Accomplished by member’s of the Czech resistance, retaliation was swift and brutal. Hitler had previously ordered the deaths of some 30,000 Czech’s, and while the German’s rampaged through some 5,000 Villages and Towns, the number of arrests and Murder’s did not finally tally with Hitler’s expectation’s. The previous day, on June 9th. a large contingent of Heydrich’s SD personnel arrived in Lidice and by noon on June 10th., some 173 of the Men of the Town had been murdered and 200 Women were shipped to the Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp.
"..That there has been and is being considered in Hitler’s headquarters a plan to exterminate all Jews from Germany and German controlled areas in Europe after they have been concentrated in ..East. ..numbers involved is said to be between 3,500,000 and 4,000,000 and ..object to permanently settle ..Jewish Question in Europe." Dr. Gerhart Riegner.
As more murder’s of those Jews who were saved the initial onslaught would follow in the coming days, Jewish sought to settle into some semblance of normality. Here though, with the Lidice Children removed to Lodz, their temporary reprieve was merely a delay and for their execution to take place in Chelmno along with those remaining Jews who had seen the steady progress toward destruction completely consume their entire World. For Lidice itself, which was effectively removed from the map, it is a monument now to a darker time in our human history. For some however, survival was still possible and those like Marie Supikova, puts much of this down to luck and her looks as a Blond haired Blue eyed Child. For many Children who could be stolen to order and made aryan and even German, many never regained their former identity. Meanwhile, the clean up operation was accomplished by a 30 strong contingent of Jewish forced labourer’s from Theresienstadt who had dug the graves to bury the Murdered.
Wednesday June 10th. 1942 "..noon ..circulars ..posted ..a special food allocation for working people. ..a positive effect on ..populace. ..all other topics ..cares receded. ..universal joy. ..supplemental ration ..2 kilograms ..potatoes ..50 grams ..margarine ..100 grams ..white sugar ..100 grams ..rye flakes ..100 grams ..coffee ..100 grams ..marmalade. ..ration costs 2 marks." S. Cygielman.
As a Lodz council member, Cygielman adds a dimension to the food rationing concern that takes place in a community being starved toward extinction, and this is the Ghetto of Lodz. As it all becomes clear that the gradual erosion of Jewish existence is taking place, life makes challenges events and events become reason to cheer or at least gain a positive few moments relief from the deeply impacting despair. With the arrival of those Children from Lidice, though well treated and cared for by the Jewish community and its leadership, the food rationing would not have stretched far enough to overcome or even sustain them from the obvious starvation of the Lodz Children. For the Lodz Jews as a whole, even when it was fully certain that these Czech Children would be removed further toward liquidation, words were present which might just ameliorate the immediate anxieties they must have felt. Removed from Family, removed from Community and removed from everything recognisable, we clearly hope they were removed from the knowledge of their final journey.
Thursday June 10th. 1943 "..Have ..last Jews not in mixed marriages been deported. What will happen to us. If I go to ..night shift ..will I ever come back." Victor Klemperer.
The whole of Europe resonated at times with the faintest echo which must surely have presented itself to all those in the darkest days as hope was held to tightly. On Thursday June 10th. 1943 20 prisoners are shot at Auschwitz and tragically this almost seems too routine when dealing with the spectre of the enormous catastrophe to confront us. As 1,000’s of Murdered Jews turned into 1,000,000’s of Murdered Jews, and as other’s faced the rigours of survival, how does one look at the figures of 20 prisoners being shot. It has always been written into the psyche of the overall atrophy of the Jewish People marching toward destruction, that what Eichmann asserts in that known fact which could present 1,000,000’s to become all too easily a statistical analysis, this must be guarded against. These 20 prisoner’s are people, as are the 6,000,000 Murdered Jewish People who are The Holocaust of individually presented Men, Women and Their Children. We must Remember them for they are Jewish People.
Saturday June 10th. 1944 "..advances in Normandy. Goebbels wrote ..he had greater fear of ..invasion not taking place than of its occurrence. ..Hitler ..day before landing ..most crushing defeat would be inflicted on it at ..decisive point. ..I am certain of German defeat ..certain ..since 1st. ..September 1939 ..but when." Victor Klemperer.
Seemingly, even as the tide is increasingly turning against Hitler’s Reich, on Saturday June 10th. 1944 642 inhabitants of Oradour-sur-Glane, Men, Women and Children, were Murdered by a Waffen SS der Fuhrer regiment from 2nd. SS Panzer Division (Das Reich). This is merely 4 days after it must have occurred to many in the Reich that the writing was on the wall, that defeat was coming and that Hitler’s judgement would be closely scrutinised and condemned. At Oradour though, the Community was forced into the local Catholic Church and incendiary devices were placed around the building! This had nothing to do with Hitler’s Final Solution, but clearly, the SS had become immune to the humanity they had dispensed with for more than 5 years and more of War and for 10 year prior to this. The Church itself was set alight and those who sought to escape were machine gunned. In total, 190 Men, 247 Women and 205 of Their Children, all Innocent Civilians, were murdered.
"..Hungary has been occupied by German troops. ..still a million Jews living there ..they too are doomed." Anne Frank.
Almost a universe away Hitler’s resolve to conclusively have his final solution was being met that same Saturday June 10th. 1944. In Hungary however, a deal which could not be done, was somehow concocted with Adolf Eichmann. This to release just 200 Jews from the Hungarian Ghetto of Kolozsvar (Cluj) as part of a blood for goods deal. Rapidly, as the haemorrhage of Hungarian Jewry was bleeding out in Auschwitz and Birkenau, huge numbers of Hungarian Jews were being continuously transported away from Hungary and were totally decimated in Birkenau in quick order. Having commenced the Hungarian detail of The Final Solution the previous month, the pace was extraordinarily swift. Deep within this massive rage against what was left of the remaining large pocket of European Jewry, a method of relief was approached. For to gain any sort of alleviation from the crescendo of these transports, one man, Rudolf (Reszo) Kasztner forged the Kasztner Transport. This accumulation of 1,300 Jews was to be headed eventually toward the Yishuv, Palestine through Switzerland.
"..Let me explain that even though I had been in Auschwitz I did not know about ..gas chambers. Can you imagine that. We thought ..when we were there ..that our parents and ..children were taken to camps which were much better. We assumed that they couldn't live through ..camp we were in. It was not until a large contingent from Auschwitz came to Belsen that I had to give up that idea that they were safe. I met 2 women in their 30's who spoke Hungarian and they asked if it was true that ..Hungarian transports were so severely selected people to ..camps and ..others to be gassed. I said ..What are you saying. ..And they looked at me as if I were foolish ..but they didn't want to destroy my hope and so didn't try to explain. I ran back to ..tent and collapsed. I think I cried for weeks. I finally realized that everybody was killed." Maria Frank Abrams.
After much manipulation, 388 of these Cluj Ghetto Jews were brought toward Budapest and a much hoped for reprieve from immediate destruction. Eventually, this was to be gained for them. Meanwhile, the detail for some 16,000 Jews in the Kolozsvar Ghetto, as the gates of Birkenau awaited them, was certainly a bleak one. Destructively so as it emerged, as they were to be part of the over 425,000 Jews from Hungary Murdered in such a short space of time. The emphasis on speed and efficiency in this final round of mass murder could be highlighted by the re-emergence of Rudolf Hoess onto the Auschwitz stage. Separately, the remainder of the Kolozsvar Ghetto had been liquidated over the course of a x2 week period. From May 25th. the entire Ghetto Jewish Population had been removed to Birkenau on x6 transports averaging 2,600 Jews in each of the x20 carriage transports. This final Eichmann effort was an accomplishment of all that Hitler demanded and Hoess assisted in achieving. With these 388 Cluj Jews spared this horror, and this was such a small prize, it is a significant deal to have been done with Eichmann, known for exacting every detail of Hitler’s command, to the very letter, that 1,300 more Hungarian Jews were saved.
"..I revisited Auschwitz. ..Our transport was among ..last ones ..from Hungary July 8th. 1944 ..and due to ..unusual number of arrivals ..SS were forced to change their customary procedures. ..gas chambers ..crematoria could not accommodate everyone judged unfit for work ..so 100's were piled along ..railroad tracks to be immolated. ..due to ..heartless haste ..clothed in rags ..marked with ..painted red cross ..hardly any food or water ..also due to this haste ..escaped tattooing." Judith Magyar Isaacson.
As we leave the complete, utter and devastating destruction of these 6,000,000 Jewish People, who are The Holocaust in the immediate past, with the commencing on November 20th. 1945 of The Nuremberg War Crimes of The Major German War Criminals, there is a significant hope that Justice will deliver for these failed Jews of Europe. On Monday June 10th. 1946 Arthur Seyss-Inquart testifies at his Nuremberg Trial. It might have escaped many peoples attention but Seyss-Inquart had many titles, chief of which was head of Southern Poland's Civil Administration, Deputy to the Governor General of Occupied Poland and Holland's Reich Commissioner. He was indicted for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity. Clearly, the defence of following order’s, which permeates the awful tragedy that is to deny 6,000,000 Murdered Jews any form of Justice, is reprehensible, tawdry a lie. But in the stakes in which so many Jewish lives were taken from us, another lie to conceal the emerging truth is a further nail in the coffin of humanity and its ineffective response to the Catastrophe for 6,000,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children.
"..of ..1,300,000 deported to ..Camp ..from amongst 20 nationalities ..these nations gave up their Jews also. Of that total ..some 400,000 were registered and kept as Slave Labour and 900,000 were immediately Gassed. While Jews constituted 85% of all those deported here ..they represented more than 90% of all those who were murdered. ..400,000 Slave Labourers were gradually degraded till they could persist no longer and added finally to ..total number of those Jews and others Gassed or otherwise Murdered. That stated ..we assess that of ..1,100,000 who were Murdered from all 1,300,000 deported to ..Camp ..some 900,000 Jews were Gassed immediately or otherwise murdered in ..camp. Of ..400,000 of those registered for Slave Labour ..200,000 died or were otherwise Murdered. These included some 100,000 Jews ..64,000 Poles ..21,000 Gypsies ..14,000 Russian POW's and a further 10,000 other nationals." Auschwitz State Museum.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Fri, May 25, 2018 19:26:12
One of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews.
"..You ..my only one ..dearest ..in isolation we are waiting for darkness. We considered ..possibility of hiding but decided not to do it since we felt it would be hopeless. ..famous trucks are already here and we are waiting for it to begin. I am completely calm." Vilma Grunwald.
From a piece of paper, the love and resilience of a Wife, a Mother, a concerned human being who was awaiting her Destruction with her older Son John, recognises that their final end approaches. While it is inconceivable to us that humanity could have sunk so desperately low, it has become so real for Vilma and 6,000,000 other Jews from the whole of Europe. Tragically, we are left to reflect upon what could have been for Vilma and all too many of these 6,000,000 Jews, if we in the World had simply intervened. As we now know, Vilma is taken toward Birkenau, and away from her Husband and younger Son and her destruction and John’s is certain there. From the remoteness of time we become all too well aware that she chose rationally in the best interests of her Son. In those final moments before any choice eluded her, to fully console and care for the one Son who had been chosen to die due to a pronounced limp, Vilma accepted death as the only course open to her.
"..Ultimately ..we have just one moral duty ..to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves ..more and more ..peace ..and reflect it toward others. ..more peace there is in us ..more peace there will be in our troubled World." Etty Hillesum.
Here, this scene final which fully captivates us, does not reflect even the start of the tragedy for the Jewish People. It signifies the struggle Parents, their Children, their Family’s must have continually and consistently been forced to make. Nor does this individual episode suggest the end of the atrocity for the Jews of Europe is anywhere nearing its final toll. From the very start and somewhere in Germany or even in Austria, and certainly prior to Hitler's rise toward power in 1932, a Jewish Man, Woman or even Jewish Children was somehow Murdered. This relevant though unrecorded fact was administered as a consequence of either Hitler's hatred for the Jewish People, or as an example of the vehemence of Hitler’s clearly pronounced and often stated bigotry. At the end of all that has been recorded in relation to what the Jewish People and here Vilma was due to suffer, of everything we have since assessed and accumulated on the atrocity that is The Holocaust, we are absolutely certain that 6,000,000 Jewish People are no more.
"..My Mother was a great reader of personalities. ..She must have sensed this guard had some compassion. He was older; he was 50 or 60." Frank 'Misa' Grunwald.
Vilma Grunwald alone does not give us a full view of the terror brought to such a horrible place as Auschwitz nor more certainly Birkenau, but what majesty represents for us, is exemplified here by Vilma. Vilma Grunwald gifts her Son John what will remain a final few moments that will be filled with such Love and Devotion, we are bereft of any chosen words to assess the Love she delivers, let alone the Sacrifice she made. That love and devotion is inherent in Mother’s the World over and this selfless devotion will be recognised wherever Children and Parental bonds are in evidence. While we accept broadly, that these 6,000,000 Jews were Murdered and while much of the World stood aside, Vilma Grunwald stands as an example of how humanity should operate, should concern and must behave. As our human race did little to alleviate much of the Jewish pain, or even condoned much of the treatment vented against these Jews, a Mother and her Son faced oblivion amongst those of her People.
"..Thinking gets you nowhere. It may be a fine and noble aid in academic studies ..but you cannot think your way out of emotional difficulties. That takes something altogether different. You have to make yourself passive then ..and just listen. Re-establish contact with a slice of eternity." Etty Hillesum.
The Jews under duress and immediate threat, for whom at the time we simply refused to recognise was imminent, recognised our inaction as intolerable, indifferent and immoral. Due to Misa’s decision later in life, the World has a space filled in with a letter of such courage and is such an extraordinary detailed view of compassion, this one single episode shames us even further. Of course, there are many such instances of this bravery of resistance, and many have gone unrecognised in the initial stages of Hitler’s own rage. While history terms The Final Solution of The Jewish Question as The Holocaust, the Jewish suffering under the directing banner of die Endlosung der Judenfrage is more than a symbol of hatred, it is a club wielding exercise in debauched savagery. What was an unresolved issue for the Jews in Germany, the Jews of Austria, or the Jewish People of the Czech lands, grew with escalating force to a systematic resolve which consumed all 6,000,000 of these Jewish People in a mechanised slaughter upon an industrial scale.
"..You my only and dearest one ..do not blame yourself for what happened ..it was our destiny. We did what we could." Vilma Grunwald.
European Jews, who were forced to repress their anxiety, were still waiting as the conflagration in the World consumed so many other’s and still we watched blindly and then abandoned the Jews to an unprecedented and unparalleled atrocity. Admittedly, we were as unaware of the full extent to which Hitler would raise the stakes in dealing with European Jewry. But the signalling could not have been so more obvious if Hitler had written it himself into his tacky tale of Mein Kampf. However, and even without consideration of such a book, it became quite clear that Hitler would not simply stop at disenfranchising the Jews of Germany or Austria, nor of removing their human rights, nor of stripping them of any worldly value. Here though the supposed ideological impertinence of the act was laid bare and wasted no time ensuring it also delivered a financial and profitable gain. It was an enormous gain for the furnishing of a regime which history will never be able to deny.
"..I want to tell those deniers ..I have seen ..gas chambers ..I have seen ..crematoria ..I have seen ..burning pits. ..these atrocities happened. I was there." Oscar Groening.
With the stench of atrocity, which was permeating Hitler’s whole effort toward the Jewish People, his outspoken words could not be written more demonstrably. These declarations of intent, the pronouncements of a murderous exercise to be conducted against all Jews was not simply orated and not just within his immediate sphere of influence. The World listened to the rancid detail spouted by the Austrian corporal and simply glanced and looked the other way. Here though, and with Hitler’s wider resolve to conduct his affairs against all of World Jewry, his move against the Jewish People was out in the open while being honed into an enormous and murderous confrontation. All too readily the World was eager to denounce as merely rhetoric or simply bluster what the Jewish People faced on a daily basis. It is a sad fact too however, that all too many Jews of The Holocaust struck this as a resigned tone for themselves in not accepting that the vehemence of Hitler stated aims hid a more despicable clause.
"..Destruction of Hungarian Jewry constitutes ..last phase in Nazis war against ..Jews." Randolph L. Braham.
Those Jews who were immediately confronted, and whether from some religious conviction, or being so rigidly berated by the hatred which surrounded them, they all too often looked to what clearly appeared real to them, but as some form of an aberration. How else could innocent Jewish People view a supposedly civilised, cultured and moral German people? However, what caught the Jews off guard was such an aberration that history recalls, it moved swiftly to devour all the best of European Jewry and from many other’s beyond that Jewish Question. As for our own inaction? The Jews who clearly learned first hand and saw their abandonment was evidently clear, and from our vantage point, it might appear that so many of these Jewish People acceded to the capricious nature of what was to become their assigned fate.
"..I have told ..story of ..arrival to people ..when I can see exactly how it happens through this photo ..I relive it. Every emotion. It takes me right back." Irene Weiss.
Simply put, because of our lack of any human compassion for them, their march toward an uncertain fate for all so many of them, was marked by our indifference toward them. Also, and while it was true that many of these same Jews did all they could to alleviate their own and fellow Jews suffering, even when they purchased much of their safety or even sought to enhance their despicable position, this was no guarantee of their eventual nor final security. Where was a Jew to go when it had already been proven that nation’s the World over did not want them. Here though, that simple effort of a Mother’s care and relief cannot but accuse an intolerant effort being watched over by an idle World. It will be so often said of such an indifferent World, which did not do enough of what it should have done, time was wasted in the delivery of care carelessly.
"..Because my hatred towards ..Jews is too great. ..I admit my thinking on this point is unjust ..I admit this. But what I experienced from my earliest youth ..what ..Jews were doing to us ..well that will never change. That is my unshakeable conviction." Hans Friedrich.
The unbridled nature of shooting operations had seeped into the consciousness of the ‘intelligence’ services of the allied nations. Continually too, as Hitler maligned all of World Jewry on a wholly atrocious and unbridled level, Jewish fears were not augmented by much from a World of concern so omitting of compassion or care. Through the lens of hindsight, we see now what must have presented itself to Vilma as she stood amongst her own, and it seems, knowing her fate was to be so destructive, her choice was Motherly and compassionate. Then, once we had reached the end of a Second World War, any such human despair was over written by lost pages and missing People’s reports for these 6,000,000 Jews of Europe. Here, we know they were Murdered in the most horrific of ways ever envisaged or enacted.
"..I see it as my task ..to face up to these things that I experienced and to oppose ..Holocaust deniers who claim that Auschwitz never happened." Oskar Groening.
The many photographs, some of which form an album of this procession, now known to have been of the soon to be Murdered Hungarian Jews, is a shocking and revealing insight. Of these lines of innocence, there are 6,000,000 Murdered Jews who formed the back drop to a World history that would forever be mired in the destruction of the Jewish People. Today we sit less comfortably than we should because of the deliberately brutalising experience suffered by the Jewish People, all because we moved too tardily to prevent the atrocity itself. The emergence of such photographic examples, added here to a more rounded acknowledgement of what the World refused to act against. Of the overall atrocity that is The Holocaust however, the seeming indifference to the Jewish struggle would set an almost cynical precedent for other’s to follow. Ever since then, there are now many examples of the conduct of other atrocity’s raged throughout the World and these are enacted against their own fellow human beings.
"..Kropotkin. ..reread his first reaction to ..prison cell in which he was to spend several years. that account can still teach us how to cope with ..measures by which our own freedom of movement is ..being restricted. to take what little space we are left with ..to fathom its possibilities and ..use them to ..full." Etty Hillesum.
Peter Alekseyevich Kropotkin touched an anarchistic note with Etty and perhaps from within his own Mutual Aid, she resigned her own fate to other’s. From the text of what turned out to be an accurate assessment of what Hitler always intended, Mein Kampf has pasted the narrative of aggressive realisation that we simply chose to ignore throughout the course of this War. In these grubby Hitler pages, it must be remembered, that for the Jews and Hitler’s world view, Hitler’s dystopian view, die Weltanschauung, there would be a factor of complete dominion over the Jewish People, an aggression of intolerable indifference to their suffering and a destructive capacity that would Slaughter Men, Women and Their Children simply for being Jews. As to the World, it looked on with complete ignorance toward what Humanity fully demanded, compassion, concern and the alleviation of the suffering of that Jewish individual.
Monday June 29th. 1942 "..They want to exterminate us to ..last ..this is a new certainty which I accept ..but an acquired certainty should not be eroded by another. I work and live with ..same conviction and I find life meaningful anyway ..even if I hardly daresay so in society." Etty Hillesum
Here, on June 29th. 1942 Etty Hillesum wrote to her diary what she had just learned on the British Broad Casting radio. It is barely credible that we are here acknowledging that 700 000 Jews had already been exterminated by the Hitler and his Nazis within Poland. This is practically 3 years before the ending of World War II and a significant amount of time for Hitler to press ahead with his overriding agenda, to pursue the liquidation of the Jewish People. It is incredulous from all that has been omitted by time that such was the stark reality facing the Jews of Europe and for the next 34 months. What must have shook those like Etty at this time, who now knew with little doubt that the annihilation of the Jews was at the forefront of Hitler’s demand, could not have envisaged the total inactivity of the World in the fight against this annihilatory process.
"..It was not long before I was assigned to supervise ..luggage collection of an incoming transport. When this was over ..it was just like a fairground ..there was lots of rubbish left and amongst this rubbish were ill people ..those unable to walk. And ..way these people were treated really horrified me. For example ..a child who was lying there naked was simply pulled by ..legs and chucked into a lorry to be driven away ..and when it screamed like a sick chicken ..then they bashed it against ..edge of ..lorry ..so it shut up. We were convinced by our world view that we had been betrayed by ..entire world ..and that there was a great conspiracy of ..Jews against us." Oskar Groening.
Back then, Etty was seized by a double conviction that will never leave her, and she wrote till her enforced transportation toward that destruction stilled the pen which has inspired so many of us to this day. Also, there is no certainty that Vilma, nor Etty came up against these murderous individuals we mention, whose prevailing attitude at the time was obedience to a criminal act which they enacted and witnessed on a daily basis. What can be certain is, and in both Etty’s and Vilma’s case, there were vicious signs of the atrocity before them that were so terrible, that neither one of them could dispute they had arrived at the way station before hell. For Vilma in particular, such a scene as Groening describes could not allow her to leave her Child to the vagaries of a brutal and brutalising system which would all too readily devour her Son and leave him consumed by fear right up to the very moment he would be consumed wholly.
"..In ..ghetto there was an order given out one day for girls under 16 to have their hair cut or their father would be punished. I didn’t even tell my mother. I just ran to this place and sat down. They cut my hair. I had long braids at ..time. They had a way of having people comply." Irene Weiss.
Compliance was a barked at response and here I can only begin to reconstruct what must have been both terrifying and unimaginable. To honest, decent human beings being faced with such savagery, there must have appeared a strange madness before them that confronted their former awareness. How else does one retreat from the ability to describe what remains in Remembrance, for those who have no other conduit of expression before they are catapulted into oblivion. Far more than that which is afforded them, must be reconstructed for them after they have been destroyed. Tragically, and while 6,000,000 Jews were systematically sought out for such Slaughter, both Vilma and Etty coped with the vagaries of their shrinking position and within those measures which sought to restrict them ever further. This is not simply an indictment of Hitler’s policy toward all the Jewish People in isolation, but it is also an accusation of our complete indifference to the Jewish People.
"..You ..my only one ..dearest ..in isolation we are waiting for darkness. We considered ..possibility of hiding but decided ..it would be hopeless. ..famous trucks are already here and we are waiting for it to begin." Vilma Grunwald.
As proof and evidence of the escalating brutality and murderous treatment was made aware, and this was clearly known almost immediately the destructive process was commenced, we moved with a languid approach both reckless and careless. Until the Jewish People had to finally come to terms with the Catastrophe not of their making, we deliberately muffled the inadequacy of response. With a resounding acquiescence that allows for a complicit nature to emerge duplicit in all that 6,000,000 Murdered Jewish lives suffered and endured, humanity has been somewhat immune to concern. Here, and from the overall assessment of too many lost lives, I will borrow the words from both Vilma Grunwald, an extraordinary Mother and from Etty Hillesum, whose Letter’s of an extraordinary Writer, we mark that descent toward the abyss so many were forced to take. Also, and with a long standing sorrow for Tovah ‘Tokele’ Olshak, I will create the words needed to leave an added legacy of Remembrance for her, that Etty and Vilma have left for us in their own words.
"..Children ..they are not ..enemy at ..moment. ..enemy is ..blood inside them. ..enemy is ..growing up to be a Jew that could become dangerous. And because of that ..children were included as well. ..So many people died in ..war ..not only Jews. So many things happened ..so many were shot ..so many snuffed it. People burnt to death ..so many were burnt ..if I thought about all of that I wouldn't be able to live one minute longer." Oskar Groening.
For me in particular it is essential that the Children are forever at the forefront of this degradation of human concern, as they are the least able to understand, appreciate or avoid the coming tragedy. That all of these x3 individual Jews fully deserve their appropriate space in that recall, that is also my wished for promise to more than 1,500,000 Murdered Jewish Children. It is becoming more and more obvious that we simply cannot ever look at History the same way ever again. There are 6,000,000 Jewish Murdered reasons why that will always be the case. Morally unjustifiable, the assault upon the integrity of the Jewish People was unprecedented, sustained and calamitous. For me, as I look at photographs of Tokele, Etty and now Vilma, and I know the sadness of loss which many in this Human Race have yet to recognise, I find it astonishing still that the suffering of 6,000,000 People, their total Destruction can still be overlooked simply because they are Jews.
"..Stay healthy and remember my words that time will heal if not completely then at least partially. Take care of ..little golden boy and don't spoil him too much with your love." Vilma Grunwald.
Israel knows this tragic detailed assessment all too well and so must The Holocaust Survivors, and as do the Jewish People recognise this a tragedy for all humanity, so must we. For me it is a matter of principle that People should never be used as political pawns or obliterated from our conscious mind with little concern. While I know too that it is the Catastrophe for the Jewish People which can never be calculated in numerical terms, we must correlate our human concern with figurative assessment. For me too, if but just 1 Jew from the sum total of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, who are The Holocaust, is to be recognised from amongst the entirety of the atrocity, then that one Jewish life lost to our humanity must affront us on every conceivable level. The protection which was never fully afforded them during their period of assault, must be clearly recognised and protected during our period of recollection.
"..We should be willing to act as a balm for all wounds." Etty Hillesum
Etty seeks to heal our wounds, and with the certain knowledge of what was done to her and 6,000,000 of her own People, who are we not to look for the answers which will encourage us to seek to heal the wounds of their betrayal. We can look simply to the resolve of knowledge, and where we are allowed to know the shortcomings that exist in The Holocaust narrative, assign only truth to fix that fact. Fully aware that knowledge of the individual is scant indeed and we have a detailed assessment of the 6,000,000 Jews Murdered, who are The Holocaust, to make, we cannot ever forget we are dealing in the lives of People. So while we know not who all of them are, we are aware that all of those removed from existence were brutally treated and in all too many ways. Now, as we look to the evidence from those places now missing their Jewish Community’s, we search through the debris and records of their former existence to structure their presence in any conceivable way.
"..Both of you stay healthy ..my dear ones. I will be thinking of you and Misa. Have a fabulous life ..we must board ..trucks." Vilma Grunwald.
We also must recognise that in a supposed secrecy we know could not exist, all too many of these Jews were aware of what now lay in front of them. Sadly too, that while we have only named a few more than 4,500,000 of these Jewish People, and what we do know of them is perhaps sketchy at best, it is lacking the fuller detail of their presence and existence. When we are clearly well aware that they have all been taken from amongst us, we can begin to see the enormity of the task remaining to add a newer dimension to their lost identity. Clearly, a Child who enters this life has no expectation of the Love and Nurturing that awaits them. That the Jewish Child of The Holocaust was no different and received both care and affection in abundance, this was not to be denied prior to or after Hitler sought to destroy them.
"..As soon as Mengele saw my brother limping he directed him to ..left with a group of young kids." Frank 'Misa' Grunwald.
With the clearest Hitler intention for All Jews altered that premise of care and compassion, as Jewish Children were forced to depart our concern with all manner of hatred drowning out the warmth and Love they had previously encountered was still met with Maternal love and Paternal care. In so many cases that very strength of compassionate enrichment was secure, and though barely of any extensive duration, it might even have been momentarily afforded but it was surely felt. Thus, forced toward oblivion, the Jewish Child is coerced and uncertain as to why the hatred imposed itself into their short lived lives. For the Survivor who has lost a Child, how much more deeply must the trauma run as the Catastrophe consumed so much Love and Affection. Eventually too, what caught up with the Jewish willingness to nurture their own, it became undone by a fellow human being who must also have nurtured the thought that care and concern were sacred values.
"..We have to fight them daily ..like fleas ..those many small worries about ..morrow ..for they sap our energies." Etty Hillesum.
Surely here in the midst of the carnage, the depth of human emotion struck the very limits of human despair. The immeasurable grief is pinned here with words unable to fathom the recesses of human minds that are shredded by grief, fear and the obvious threat of annihilation. Can we not now mourn this incurable loss without resort to mere blame? Any accusation, which cannot fully exhume what is now missing, must still deliver the Justice necessary to confront this grave wrong. While we seek any tangible link to a specific time or place, we recognise further still the losses incurred as those empty spaces show up their ghostly past. All too often when a Jew has been Murdered, and we know not when or where these occurred in all too many instances, the Jewish Child has also been Murdered, and the Jewish Child is also condemned toward oblivion in the midst of this apparent void.
"..Seeing John alone ..too much for Vilma to bear. She couldn’t let John go into ..gas chamber by himself ..so she chose to go in with him." Frank 'Misa' Grunwald.
The distance, let alone the duration of the killing spree which persisted even outside the gas chambers, and stretching the length and breadth of that very human excess, has all too few markers. These markers to the memory of all too many now remains focused upon that void where once 6,000,000 Jews once resided. There is all too often little remaining of their presence and beside them, locked in the turmoil of conscience over regret, 1,500,000 of their remarkable Children, unproven in the deeds of future possibilities, are a humbling exercise in human awareness. Jewish Children we have to remember, were extinguished from existence over a birth mark they cannot resist. We now reach into that nothingness and continually seek to know their last resting place. That which remains for far too many of these 1,500,000 Jewish Children and the 6,000,000 Jews, who are The Holocaust, is an unknown resting place for far too many of them.
"..Polish antisemites say ..a good thing ..Jews sit behind their walls. At last Poland will be Jewless." Mary Berg.
On September 7th. 1943 Esther ‘Etty’ Hillesum boarded a transport that contained 987 Jews from the Westerbork internment Camp in Holland. This transport then arrived at Auschwitz on September 9th. 1943 and Etty is amongst the 105 Jewish Women admitted to the Auschwitz main Camp, alongside 187 Jewish Men. It is uncertain as to the fate of her Parents, Dr. Louis Hillesum or her Mother Rebecca ‘Riva’ Hillesum, formerly Bernstein. While we know that both Parents did not Survive the selection process. Though we can barely be certain that Etty’s parents died on September 10th. 1943, as prevailing records show, we remain uncertain as to whether they died in transit or were gassed immediately upon their arrival.
"..It’s ..only artefact that they have that expresses a prisoner's feelings right before they were killed." Frank 'Misa' Grunwald.
Etty’s Brother Michael ‘Mischa’ Hillesum remained in Auschwitz until October 1943, when he was moved to the Warsaw Ghetto, where, according to the International Red Cross, he died sometime before March 31st. 1944. As will be noted by those who emerged from with the Warsaw Ghetto itself, there was to be no hiding place for any Jew, let alone a Jew extracted from the West. Of this Westerbork transport, all remaining 695 other Jews are taken forward toward immediate gassing at the Birkenau Death Camp facility.
"..That I should die next week ..I would still be able to sit at my desk all week and study with perfect equanimity ..for I know now that life and death make a meaningful whole." Etty Hillesum.
Amongst these Gassed too are the 170 Jewish Children on board. Etty’s two younger brothers, Jacob ‘Jaap’ Hillesum and Michael ‘Mischa’ Hillesum suffered differing fates. Though Etty only mentions Mischa and her Parents on the postcard, we know with uncertainty too of Jacob ‘Jaap’ Hillesum’s deadly end. It has to be remembered too that while all hope of escape was disappearing, the further Western Jews got from their former Home, and specifically for these Jews who ended up in Poland, the hostility there was twofold. Immediate capture of foreign Jews was almost certain and destruction awaited whatever their intention to save themselves might have been. Here though, and while Etty does not mention Jaap, we are aware that he had not been brought to Westerbork prior to the Family’s dispersal to Auschwitz.
"..Aryan side. ..a number of Jews hiding there ..live in constant terror. Many ..blackmailed by ..Poles with whom they are staying. After ..money ..jewels ..are ..gone ..hosts deliver them to ..Germans. ..in spite of ..fact Polish population ..is bitterly persecuted by ..invaders." Mary Berg.
Jaap Hillesum did finally arrive in Westerbork though, but after his Family’s transport had long since departed. He did not make any awaiting transport toward Auschwitz neither, but in February 1944 he was removed to the holding camp at Belsen as somewhat of a privileged prisoner. Here, as a bartering commodity for Hitler, Jews from all over Europe, from his Death Camps he was demolishing in Poland, they were concentrated in an area and left to their own devices to perish. It is believed that Jaap died some time after the Camp was handed over to the British Army and liberation was then secured on April 15th. 1945. Before Etty departed Westerbork, she composed herself and wrote to her friend Christine back in Deventer a postcard, and before the journey that would take her toward Auschwitz and consign her to a destruction there we are given her insight:
Opening the Bible at random I find this: ‘The Lord is my high tower’. I am sitting on my rucksack in the middle of a full freight car. Father, Mother and Mischa are a few cars away. In the end, the departure came without warning. On sudden special orders from The Hague. We left the camp singing, Father and Mother firmly and calmly, Mischa too. We shall be travelling for three days. Thank you for all your kindness and care. Friends left behind will still be writing to Amsterdam; perhaps you will hear something from them. Or from my last letter from camp.
Goodbye for now from the four of us.
On November 30th. 1943, Etty died in the Gas Chambers at Birkenau, amongst the now numbered 1,100,000 other Jews who shared the same Zyklon ‘B’ gassing, or the other murderous fatality’s that awaited them. Here at the Birkenau Death Camp, merely a short distance from the arrival station at Auschwitz, Jewish existence was being decimated. For Etty, as she had shared her fate with her fellow Jewish People, we are left with a remarkable imprint which will forever allow us to retrieve her memory from the words we are made aware of. These words allow us to link her to the tragedy for so many other Jewish People who have left little or no trace as to their being. For more than 1,500,000 of these Jews they remain but a blemish upon the parchment of words set aside to recall their passage in and amongst us. To add further perspective as to the chances of Survival for any Jew who could escape the confines of these Death Camps, Mary Berg is quite adamant.
"..ocean of blood in which ..Jewish population of Poland is being drowned still has not washed away ..existing antisemitic poison." Mary Berg.
While estimates might vary as to the chances of Survival in and around the Death Camp system, or from deep within the Ghetto complexes of Polish Towns or Cities, history will lend us an assessment which does suggest the possible outcomes. In Warsaw alone there were nearly 30,000 Jews in hiding and barely 11,500 of these Jews Survived. These were mostly Polish Jews who could for the time being escape the attention of all but the intentional betrayer. For Western Jews that possibility was less than uncertain. For varying reasons also, we cannot know why such is this fact but perhaps Mary Berg had lent us her insight. Of course this subjective view might suggest some 18,000 hidden Warsaw Jews alone were betrayed, but it is not a proven fact. When, on July 11th. 1944 Vilma Grunwald, formerly Eisenstein, wrote her note to her husband, in the vain hope that something more lasting than their fading from sight would reach them and inform them of her final moments.
"..Sometimes ..most important thing in a whole day is ..rest we take between 2 deep breaths ..or ..turning inwards ..for 5 short minutes." Etty Hillesum.
Vilma must have judged her captor well, for the note made its way to Kurt and Misa, and as a result, History has a further piece of that evidential puzzle which has entrapped 6,000,000 Murdered Jews in The Holocaust. Kurt Grunwald had lovingly imparted the knowledge of the fact of the letter to his Son, and this was sometime in 1946. Allowing for space and time, and when Kurt felt that his Son had sufficiently recovered, at least physically from the trauma, Misa was not quite ready for the ordeal. The sheer weight of their loss, which could have so easily submerged them both, still managed to direct them toward a future that could be filled with hope and promise. With the War still fresh in the minds of Kurt and Misa and their loss was not blurred by such heightened a well of despair, Misa, soon to become Frank, was as an 11 year old without his Mother and Brother.
"..I was curious about ..letter ..but at ..same time afraid ..I think ..for its sadness." Frank 'Misa' Grunwald.
Tragically however, there are 6,000,000 Murdered Jews with no place to hold onto their own Memory as they have been vanquished from existence. So we simply have to assume that within a 3 million square mile area, 6,000,000 Jews of Europe were brutally Destroyed. For them, mostly, no stone can be placed on all the sites were they were shot, gassed, destroyed, annihilated, killed and murdered. So with words and sometimes deeds, we add a newer stone to any such site where we can assert as close as possible that enough is known of them to recall and remember them specifically there.
"..Dr. Grunwald F Lager.
You, my only one, dearest, in isolation we are waiting for darkness. We considered the possibility of hiding but decided not to do it since we felt it would be hopeless. The famous trucks are already here and we are waiting for it to begin. I am completely calm. You my only and dearest one, do not blame yourself for what happened, it was our destiny. We did what we could. Stay healthy and remember my words that time will heal if not completely then at least partially. Take care of the little golden boy and don’t spoil him too much with your love. Both of you stay healthy, my dear ones. I will be thinking of you and Misa. Have a fabulous life, we must board the trucks.
Into eternity, Vilma."
I have been using words to describe the incomprehensible nature of The Holocaust for so long and I have yet to feel I have afforded memory an adequate response. There are however, 6,000,000 very real reasons why the effort to do so, and the effort must continue for the sake of a world looking to strengthen the present with lesson’s from the past. It is all an essential need to ensure that the future is no longer failed by what should have been adequately and truthfully learned. So while we simply cannot know all that we need to know, I point to Tokele and one who was from the last Murdered Jews of The Holocaust. But for now we allow from a short note delivered to posterity, from a Murdered Jewish Wife and Mother of The Holocaust, the last word.
"..Into eternity. ..Vilma." Vilma Grunwald.
ReflectionsPosted by P.A. Draigh Wed, April 11, 2018 23:33:54
If we just consider what Yom HaShoah is all about, and Remember in the very detail of the gravest atrocity to assail all of Humanity, we will recognise that some 1,500,00 Jewish names are still missing, unknown now to all of History. On April 12th. April 2018, as the World should come to realise what is meant by what is in fact missing, and Israel will know what was taken more than 6,000,000 times over, the Jewish World will recognise our willingness to accept our great wrong. So on the day itself please place ALL the names of those Jews which The Holocaust has interred and make their memory known to us all. YadVashem has made it clear, the day will be about Remembrance so list your names and we can all be made aware of Your loss.
Such loss, now amounting to our loss also will never be understood as other than a Jewish atrocity, given the terms which has been applied to The Final Solution of The Jewish Question. There will be those of you who will seek out a fuller audience to remark the absence of those now lost, and I would suggest you contact YadVashem on this page, and make your feelings known. For those, like myself, who will wish to Remember the names of those we have come to reflect upon here together, if you wish to place the names on My Post and I will add them all to what I have always sought. As you read their names they are being Remembered and they will not be forgotten as these mainly Jewish Children who were not allowed to reach their full potential, confront ours.
While many of these names have been presented to you all in words I have already blended alongside them, it is for us, here and now Always to Remember, Never to Forget.
Israel Knaster, Jacques Bronfman, Cywja Borowski, Raymond Brunschwig, Guy Cytrynowiez, Maurice Cytrynowiez, Renee Goldberg, Avivah Gorkin, Lucien Grudman, Henri Hillig, Bernard Jedwab, Henriette Kierszenblat, Joseph Lander, Dan Levinsky, Georges Lion, Ela Srebro, Sylvaine Steinbock, and Jeannine Stickgold.
Avroum Beirach, Francine Beirach, Malka Beirach, Michel Edelstein, Simon Edelstein, Maja Frydman, Laja Frydman, Blima Grosman, Eva Grosman, Simon Grosman, Henri Hirsz, Jacques Hirsz, Rachel Hirsz, Joseph Jinn, Isidor Jungfer, Joseph Lerner, Myriam Lerner, Rosa Lerner, Abraham Wajc, Ajzyk Wajc and Maurice Zysman
George Biglaizer, Laja Biglaizer, Madeleine Biglaizer, Rachel Biglaizer, Albert Cala, Suzanne Cala, Albert Ejchler, Henri Flamenbaum, Annette Fligelman, Odette Fligelman, Claudine Grajcar, Maurice Grajcar, Therese Grajcar, Bernard Gutmajndster, Huguette Gutmajndster, Sywia Gutmajndster, Jean Iglicki, Isaac Jubiler, Jeannette Jubiler, Leon Jubiler, Rachel Jubiler, Rose Jubiler, Rosa Maber, Micheline Perl, Suzanne Perl, Berthe Pojnanski, Esther Poznanski, Helen Ruta, Nicole Turtleband, Dora Wigdor, Ida Woski, Claire Zloty, Paulette Zloty, Suzanne Zloty, Kira Zylberszac, Serge Zylberszac, Jeannette Zylberszporn, Marcel Zylberszporn and Pauline Zyschole.
Jeanine Adler, Gabriel Ascher, Dora Bergman, Helene Bergman, Sylvie Bergman, Jeannette Blatt, Marie Blatt, Simone Blatt, Charlotte Brams, Jacques Brand, Jeanne Brand, Madeleine Brand, Fanny Cukier, Ginette Cukier, Irene Cukier, Fanny Fikman, Ita Fikman, Sabina Goldman, Peter Hackel, Saloman Jonas, Simon Jonas, Helia Kac, Salomon Kac, Suzanne Kac, Zina Kac, Feliz Krajka, Ruth Kraut, Suzanne Kraut, Wolf Kraut, Jenny Lejzerowicz, Marcel Lejzerowicz, Anne Lew, Lucienne Lili Miszkinski, Bernard Najman, Lucien Najman, Myriam Najman, Therese Najman, Desider Schvartz, Joseph Schvartz, Louise Schvartz, Rachel Schvartz, Paul Spiegelman, Berthe Zlotnik, Jacques Zlotnik, Jeanine Zlotnik, Sarah Zlotnik and Yvette Zlotnik.
Abzac, Max Adler, Frida Albaum, Rolande Albaum, Anna Bock, Jeanne Bock, Rosette Bulva, Andre Doskel, David Doskel, Lucienne Doskel, Anna Fisz, Helene Fisz, Berthe Fryer, Bernard Landau, Hedwige Landau, Maurice Lina, Adele Nitka, Paulette Nitka, Armant Rozenblum, Charles Rozenblum, Jacques Rozenblum, Regine Rozenblum, Simon Rozenblum, Bella Rubin, Mata Rubin, Micheline Rubin, Adam Vogler and Hans Werner.
Eva Bufler, Josette Chichman, Michel Chichman, Fleurette Davidowitch, Jacki Davidowitch, Jeanne Miliband, Liliane Miliband, Simone Miliband, Blanche Dziura, Gerson Dziura, Zlata Dziura, Ida Grouman, Isaac Grouman, Marie Grouman, Anna Kapler, Bernard Kapler, Cecile Kapler, Maurice Kaplar, Max Kapler, Florine Loeb, Theodore Motyl, Michel Pelikan, Helene Sokol, Germaine Szejn, Odette Szejn, Salomon Szejn, Claudine Torn, Leon Walter, Lea Zelechowski, Madeleine Zelechowski and Simon Zelechowski.
Albert Adler, Marcus Adler, Bernard Blawat, Blanche Blawat, Clara Blawat, David Bulwa, Paul Bulwa, Andre Epelbaum, Arlette Epelbaum, Henri Epelbaum, Jacqueline Epelbaum, Jacques Epelbaum, Renee Epelbaum, Suzanne Epelbaum, Albert Gober, Claudine Gober,Charles Gerszt, Abram Gorlicki, Marcel Gryn, Jacques Klager, Bernard Laks, Berthe Lederman, Joseph Lederman, Roger Lederman, Suzanne Lederman, Lucienne Lubin, Nathan Lubin, Berthe Orlik, Simon Orlik, Solange Pick, Georges Radomski, Helene Radomski, Lucien Slomka, Violette Slomka, Francine Szapiro, Annette Zeig, Laja Zylberman, Rachel Zylberman and Sura Zylberman.
Sarah Adler, Anna, Charles, Joseph, Robert and Simone Baum, Jacques Fitzig, Chaja-Berth Goldewicht, Leon Goldewicht, Esther Klos, Masha Klos, Jacob Lunde, Madeleine Musk, Roger Najman, Rose Najman, Edouard Schiff, Daniel Sukier, Helene Sukier, Simon Sukier, Marcelle Toporek, Serge Toporek, Eve Wakzul, Nathan Wakzul, Sarah Wakzul, Cecile Zak, Georgette Zylberman and Robert Zylberman.
Adele Arm, Andre Arm, Therese Arm, Monique Ciolek, Charlotte Dancyger, Ella Dancyger, Jacques Dancyger, Emile Fersztendyk, Abram Gelbart, Brandla Gelbart, Regine Gelbart, Bernard Lenczner, Fanny Lenczner, Marie Lenczner, Regine Lenczner, Sarah Lenczner, Henri Sevelivici, Henri Garnek, Jean Garnek, Henriette Hacker, Edith Jonap, Gerla Jonap, Paula Jonap, Ruth Leiner, Henri Nudelman, Rachel Nudelman, Sarah Nudelman, Fanny Rosenfeld, Henri Transport, Marguerite Transport, Raymond Transport, Yvette Transport and Chaya Zylberg.
Simon Gasmir, Solange Gasmir, Brandla Kozubski, Esther Kozubski, Jankiel Kozubski, Sylvain Kozubski, Franciszka, Weindling, Floride Weindling, Jozef Weindling, Daniel Belchatowski, Denise Buch, Helene Buch, Elise Eskenazi, Marie Eskenazi, Rachel Eskenazi, Richard Frenkel, Claude Gross, Jacques Gross, Annabellea Kamil, Ilse Maus, Ruth Maus, Anna Offen, Berthe Payouk, Clara Payouk, Joseph Payouk, Therese Payouk, Rolf Rothschild, Esther Rubel, Sarah Rubel, Feliz Spira, Egon Stocki, Herbert Stocki, Berthe Waks, Reine Waks, Manfred Weil, Marianne Wohl and Jacques Zommerstern.
Adele Abish, Maria Abish, Maurice Abish, Gisele Blech, Anna Goldstein, Bay-Micha Goldstein, David Goldstein, Fajga Goldstein, Renee Goldstein Sonia Goldstein, Esther Herskovic, Germaine Herskovic, Gisele Herskovic, Willian Herskovic, Michel Lederman, Serge Lederman, Henri Magier, Madeleine Magier, Simon Magier, Ernest Niwes, Felice Reiter, Helene Reiter, Jacqueline Reiter, Marcel Reiter, Bernard Saim, Lea Stern, Ruth Taffet, Norbert Vogler, Lipse Zellerkraut and Renee Zellerkraut.
Alix Grynspan, Cecile Grynszpan, Frajdla Grynszpan, Henriette-Regine Grynszpan, Elise Panigel, Monique Panigel, Robert Panigel, Rachel Rubinstein, Jean Baranchouk, Isaac Galinski, Joseph Galinski, Sylvia Kon, Benjamin Konopkis, Rachel Konopkis, Ethel Levy, Leon Levy, Alice May, Malvine Nadel, Hugette Rydel, Israel Rydel, Sima Scharf, Marcel Winzer, Helene Zacas, Jean Zacas, Helene Zeligfeld, Henri Zeligfeld, Simone Zeligfeld, Edwin Zwirn and Simone Zwirn.
Benjamin Beer, Jacques Beer, Evelyne Blywak, Bella Freireich, Lola Freireich, Simon Freireich, Georges Grynspan, Rolande Judkiewicz, Simon Judkiewicz, Germaine Lewin, Dora Mintz, Philippe Mintz, Berthe Poliakoff, Marguerite Rotbart, Riva Rotbart, Therese Rotbart, Margot Spira, Helene Tysz, Leon Tysz, Maurice Viktoovitch, Charlotte Wajntreter, David Wajntreter, Denise Wajntreter, Rebecca Wajntreter, Marcel Yelen, Juliette Zick and Paula Zygelman.
Achile Abramovici, Claude Bloch, Samuel Frydman, Sarah Frydman, Sella Frydman, Suzanne Gelber, Felicie Gumpel, Thomas Gumpel, Anne Judelson, Isaac Judelson, Pauline Judelson, Ariane Kristellar, Jacques Legard, Regine Legard, Jacques Levy, Monique Levy, Nicole Mantel, Liliane Roth, Michel Roth, Paul Stern, Esther Wenger, Maurice Wenger, Estelle Zomersztajn, Joseph Zomersztajn, Maurice Zomersztajn, Paulette Zomersztajn and Paul Zylberberg.
Esther Aizenman, Fernand Bercovici, Henriette Bercovici, Jean Bercovici, Joseph Bercovici, Lili Bercovici, Michel Glezer, Aron Itkis, Esther Itkis, Joseph Itkis, Lisette Itkis, Sarah Itkis, Ruchia Kogan, Georges Malamout, Helene Malamout, Lucien Malamout, Micheline Malamout, Salomon Malamout, Suzanne Sloim, Berthe Slomowics, Carlotta Slomowics, Ernest Slomowics, Gisele Slomowics, Maurice Slomowics, Serge Smilevitch, Georgette Weiner, Simon Weiner and Bernard Zylberberg.
Mira Adler, Henry Adoner, Lisette Adoner, Samuel Adoner, Zizi Adoner, Michel Buk, Annette Buk, Paulette Chouman, Rosette Chouman, Malka Kerner, Paulette Kerner, Armand Kohn, Georges Kohn, Alexandre Roth, Enea Sirota, David Work, Freina Work, Marcel Work, Solda Work, Advierre Wolodorsky, Berthe Zilbermanall and Viviane Zilbermanall.
Jeannette Aboave, Marthe Alion, Henri, Henriette, Jacqueline Benmoya, Maurice Benmoya, Edgard Cattan, David Estroumza, Jacqueline Estroumza, Josette Estroumza, Michel Haim, Anny Leibovitz, Maurice Leibovitz, Beatrice Mand, Isaac Mordoh, Josepth Mordoh, Leon Mordoh, Lucie Mordoh, Luna Mordoh, Myriam Mordoh, Rose Mordoh, Victorine Mordoh, Henri Pilo, Rachel Safan, Eliane Safan, Elie Safan, Jeanne Saltiel, Liliane Scioel, Nicole Scioel, Samuel Scioel, Henri Torres, Pauline Yenni, Robert Yenni and Dora Yoel.
Ermine Alter, Henri Alter, Joel Bron, Daisy Eskenazi, Chaja Falnsznajder, Renee Falnsznajder, Robert Glasman, Bernard Gonsiorek, Georges Gonsiorek, Henri Gonsiorek, Maurice Katz, Dora Kawa, Ginette Midowicz, Henri Midowicz, Ludovic Midowicz, Julien Pollack, Andre Rab, Isaac Rab, Maurice Rab, Georges Streicher, Alain Wolenberg, Anny Wolenberg, Lina Zandberg, Alain Zausnica, Anna Zausnica, Bruna Zausnica, Fajga Zausnica, Malka Zausnica, Salomon Zausnica, and Bernard Zilberberg.
Annie-Rose Erdelyi, Betty Erdelyi, Mesea Erdelyi, Michelle Erdelyi, Helen Alster, Malvine Alster, Paulette Amanentowicz, Albert Bereha, Michele Bereha, Monique Beraha, Esther Don, Albert Eskenazi, Allegra Eskenazi, Leon Eskenazi, Nissim Eskenazi, Raymond Eskenazi, Rose Eskenazi, Leib Kuzka, Claudine Malach, Celine Pinkus, Eliasz Pinkus, Fernande Pinkus, Colette Salmona, Elise Salmona, Charles Steinloff, Kitty Veffer, Leon Yahiel, Leon Zalma, Suzanne Zalma, Albert Zylberbergier and Jeanne Zylberbergier.
Jacques Abergil, Suzanne Aizic, Anna Chryzanowski, Berthe Chryzanowski, Louise Guterman, Ginette Lichtenstein, Myriam Lichtenstein, Phillippe Lichtenstein, Leon Nagelkop, Salomon Nagelkop, Odette Perper, Paul Perper, Rose Perper, Jean-Pierre Smolenski, Odette Starck, Edith Stern, Hugette Weil, Lily Weil, Claude Weill, Nicole Weill, Claude Wisniak, Jacques Wisniak, Robert Wisniak, Rose Wisniak, Gilbert Worms, Evelyne Yasterbelski, Anna Zipine and Fanny Zylberszporn.
Georges Akselrad, Anna Bannet, Dina Bannet, Jonny Bannet, Jacques Bialer, Marcelle Bialer, Sarah Bialer, Israel Cybulski, Rosette Cybulski, Adolphe Frydman, Berthe Frydman, Paul Frydman, Szyfra Frydman, Irene Gezerski, Adolphe Guigui, Andre Guigui, Djobar Guigui, Helene Guigui, Hugette Ben Guigui, Jacqueline Guigui, Marie Guigui,Yahia Guigui, Yvonne Guigui, Bernard Kornberg, Maurice Kornberg, Claire Orloff, Ethel Orloff, Youra Riskine, Jean Schlesinger, Rene Schlesinger, Berthe Sturm, Abraham Sztarkman, Berthe Sztarkman, Maurice Sztarkman, Daniel Vigderhau, Jacques Vigderhau, Jacqueline Wachs, Jeanine Wachs and Elizabeth Zeckendorf.
Claude Benichou, Colette Benichou, Menahem Benichou, Jeanine Benichou, Juliette Benichou, Lucienne Benichou, Simone Benichou, Yvette Benichou, Zavi Benichou, Nicole Bloch, Odette Bloch, Roger Bloch, Marcel Ber, Jeanine Drefuss, Chana Finkielsztajn, Francince Finkielsztajn, Anna Kaufman, Berthe Lando, Jean Levy, Raymond Levy, Betty Nahmias, Ernest Rausch, Julius Rausch, Francoise Sukno, Helene Sukno, Suzanne Sukno, Suzanne Ulman, Andre Wachtel, Jean-Rene Wachtel, Jacques Watman, Raymond Watman, Daniel Weber, Fanny Zonand, Celine Zylberberg and Sarah Zylberberg.
Esther Abosch, Lucy Albeck, Abram Adjibel, Hans Adler, Joseph Apel, David Atijas, Henri Ayzenberg.
Avraham Yosef Backenroth, Anny Baranczyk, Shloyme Bartenstein, Izak Baruch, Arnold Basch, Harry Bauer, Herbert Baum, Marianne Baum, Ignatz Baum, Max Becker, Maurice Behar, Helene Berger, Kurt Bernhard, Dr. Yisroel Biber, Liliane Birenbaum, Heinz Birnbaum, Grete Bloch, Renee Blum, Maxine Borenheim, Siegmund Bosel, Bernard Bounan, Francoise Brabanar, Jacques Brabanar, Lavoslav Buchsbaum, Herbert Budzislausky, Khayim Yankl Brzostowski.
Anna Checinski, Eluse Checinski, Simon Checinski, Wolf Checinski, Jeanine Cheress, Israil Chlebowski, Motus Chmura.
Berta Demner, Regina Demner, Ziwie Abosch Demner, Sara Selma Golda Spindel Joshua Dicker, Isidor Dolf, Ruth Dorfman, Justyna Davidson Draenger, Simon Dubnow, Yitzhak Dugin.
Henry Eckstein, Esther Edelman, Isaac Edelman, Joseph Edelman, Moshe Edelman, Etl Eisenstadt, Dr. Elchanan Elkes, Leon Eskenazi, Mordecai Ewzerow.
Sara Fermeinska, Gisi Fleischmann, Edith Fraenkel, Rosette Frankel, Miroslav Freiberger, Izak Freides, Adolfine Freud, Marie Freud, Pauline Freud, Rosa Freud, Paul Froelich.
Alla Gaertner, Inna Galay, Mordechai Gebirtig, Josip Gilman, Dr. Asscher Gitter, Jacqueline Gladkevizer, Adolf Gliot, Alice Gliot, Charles Gliot, Louise Gliot, Michelle Glowinski, Daniel Goldstein, Simon Goldstein, Lies Goossens, Simone Gotlib, Yakov Grojanowski, Mendel Grossman, Elia Gruenwald, Hinks Gruenwald, Jean Grumberger, Renee Grumberger, Rolande Grumberger, Gabi Gryn, Samy Gryn, Dr. Rudolf Guech, Isidor Guren, Hugette Gutmajnster.
Joseph Haber, Rabbi Ben-Zion Halberstam, Dr. M. Heisz, Izidor Hersmovic, Ludwig Hertz, Felix Heymann, Hardel Heymann, Fred Hirsch, Hella Hirsch, Marguerite Hirscher, Chaim Hirschman, David Holz, Emmanuel Holz, Jacques Holz, Joseph Holz, Marianne Holz, Paul Holz.
Samuel Jacob, Hilde Jadamowitz, Hans Joachim, Marianne Joachim, Ruth Joachimsman, Jeanette Jubiler, Margaritte Jukobovitch, Alain Jurkovitsch.
Czula Kafka, Elli Kafka, Valli Kafka, Lavislav Kahn, Max Karpensztrig, Leon Katan, Fyge Katz, Leopold Katz, Mine Katz, Tsevi Katznelson, Yitzhak Katznelson, Berthe Kerszbaum, Arno Klarsfeld, Gideon Klein, Jakov Klinkovstein, Martin Kochmann, Sola Kochmann, Denise Kohl, Gaston Kohn, Jacob Kohn, Dr. N. Kohn, Janusz Korczak, Rabbi Zevi Koretz, Hennette Korman, Jacqueline Korman, Mireille Korman, David Kostshevski, Dr. Ernst Koren, Genette Krieger, Nina Krieger, Odette Krieger, Elly Kulka.
Claire Leibel, Nelly Leibel, Pauline Leibel, Gaston Leibovicz, Marcel Leibovicz, Rudolf Levy, Paula Lewkowitz, Leon Lindenberger, Berthe Lipman, Erna Lipman, Georg Lipman, Hermann Lusmann, Chaim Litwak, Shaikele Litwak, Shammai Litwak, Yankele Litwak, M. Loewy, Hilde Lowy.
Eugen Mandel, Tchechia Mandel, Vyoslav Mandel, Franceska Mann, Cecile Mayer, Emanuel Mayer, Eva Mayer, Frieda Mayer, Johanna Mayer, Joseph Mayer, Julius Mayer, Julius Mayer, Julius Mayer, Laura Mayer, Lehman Maywr, Maier Mayer, Marie Mayer, Max Mayer, Meta Mayer, Michel Mayer, Mina Mayer, Rosalie Mayer, Salo Mayer, Selma Mayer, Jacqueline Meichel, David Meisel, Gerd Meyer, Hanni Meyer, Herbert Meyer, Serna Morgenstern, Ginette Moszkowicz.
Arnold Nadel, Leon Nadel, Allegra Nahmias, Betty Nahmias, Dolly Nahmias, Nina Nahmias, Jacques Nahmias, Abraham Naumann, Helmut Neumann.
Tovah 'Tokele' Olshak,
Micheline Perl, Milena Jesenka-Pollak, Freida Popelaner, Leister Popelaner, Nechama Popelaner, Sarah Popelaner, Albert Poznanski, Mijo Propper.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Mon, March 26, 2018 16:28:48
"..Thursday March 28th. 1940 ..Polish youth ..armed with clubs ..sticks ..make pogroms against ..Jews. ..Jews ..beaten and wounded. ..Jewish quarter ..abandoned to toughs and killers." Chaim A. Kaplan.
While there are many Polish non-Jews seeking the exact same answers also that we all are looking for in the detail of The Holocaust. With that in mind, we need to be aware that the Poles are not all guilty in the exacting circumstance of The Holocaust of the Jews of Europe. Many Poles are clearly reminded that some of their own did not act as all good human beings should have done. Some Poles are clearly concerned that the dialogue entered into is tempered by an anger directed toward them and this is wrong. Not one of the 3,000,000 or More Polish Jews would want any condemnation of anyone who did not participate, perpetrate or by omission, impose any penalty upon any Polish Jews during this time. For those Poles who became the betrayers of their neighbours and friends, all History is urged to name them. The World must still allow for Justice to detain them and we must authorise all accusation to rightly blame them.
"..no room for racism and anti-Semitism." Polish President Lech Kaczynski.
Lech Kaczynski presided between 2005 till 2010 and as he remarked in 2006, to commemorate the Kielce Mass Murders, which was to be the final straw for the Jewish presence in Poland, President Kaczynski knew the depth of hatred racism bred from antisemitism. For all other Polish citizens, we simply cannot discredit all of them for the deeds of some of them, no matter how many the some might be. We can see that the political will to stem the flow of Jewish blood was not in much evidence during the period 1939 till 1946 or even 1947, and many would suggest it continues today. Here too, the Polish church could have played a massive role in the prevention of 3,000,000 Polish Jews being Murdered in The Holocaust. That the 3 million other Poles who were killed and otherwise dead through Hitler's invention should have elicited a more robust form of disapproval. For Cardinal August Hlond, the primate of Poland of the time, he neither instilled the form of tolerance ‘christianity’ preached to all nor did he invoke the sympathy necessary to those for whom the attacks continually perpetrated were upon the Jews of Poland, christ’s People. In fact, this representative of christ even suggested the Jewish treatment was self inflicted, given the supposed and unproven Jewish attempts to convert Poland into a communist state. The bishop of Kielce for instance, Czeslaw Kaczmarek, went even further still and he then suggested that those of Kielce's Surviving Jews had sought out such a pogrom in order to force Britain's hand in turning over the mandated territory of Palestine to them.
"..Half a century after ..tragic Kielce events ..have left a bloody imprint on Polish-Jewish relations ..we owe ourselves words of truth and moral evaluation." Polish Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.
Between 1996 until 1997 the seeds of reform were being firmly planted and admissions of guilt resounded like no other apology before it. Perhaps here it is an appropriately suitable time too to remind ourselves that reprisal actions against Poles for harbouring Jews might mean their death, the death of their Families and or the destruction of their entire communities. So for balance, for truth and toward the integrity of The Holocaust, we must stop blaming all nationals for the deeds of those few nationals who did not act with any moral compass. No one should ever doubt that Poles, and in quite large numbers, gave their effort, diminished their lives and lost their limbs to secure a living space for Polish Jewry. However, that so many acted against these fine standards of humanity, and while their Jewish cousins were being obliterated, this will stand more accusingly as time goes by. We should not then diminish what was achieved by those gentle Poles who stuck their heads well and truly above the parapet and threw themselves so far down and into the lions mouth. Throughout The Holocaust term, there was significant protest and even rebellion amongst some Poles against what Hitler sought to achieve here against Polish Jewry, and the whole of Poland in its entirety.
PROTEST. August 11th. 1942.
"..The world looks at this atrocity, more horrible than anything ever seen in the annals – and stays silent. The slaughter of millions of unarmed individuals is committed in the midst of a widespread, ominous silence. The deathsmen remain silent, they do not gloat over what they have committed. Neither England nor America speak aloud, even the influential international community of Jews remains silent, yet so recently sensitive to each iota of harm to their own. The Poles also stay silent. The Polish political allies of Jews limit themselves to press releases; the Polish opponents of Jews demonstrate a lack of interest in a matter, which is foreign to them. The dying Jews are solely surrounded by Pilate’s washing their hands of any fault. This silence cannot be tolerated any longer. Whatever its motives they are despicable. In the face of crime, one cannot remain passive. Who remains silent in the face of slaughter becomes an enabler of the murderer. Who does not condemn then consents. Therefore, we gather our voices, we Catholic Poles. Our feelings towards Jews have not changed. We have not stopped considering them the political, economic and conceptual enemies of Poland. Additionally, we realise that they hate us more than the Germans, that they fault us for their demise. Why and on what basis remains the secret of the Jewish soul, nonetheless it is a fact and continuously confirmed. The consciousness of these feelings does not free us of the responsibility of condemning the crime. We do not wish to be Pilate’s. We do not have the ability to actively forestall the German slaughters, we cannot change anything, and save anyone, yet we protest from the depths of our hearts, which are encompassed with pity, indignation and anger. God requires this protest from us, God who does not allow murder. It is required of a Catholic conscience. Each being, calling itself human, has a right to brotherly love. The blood of the innocent calls for vengeance to the heavens. He, who does not support this protest is not Catholic. We also protest as Poles. We do not believe that Poles could take profit in the brutality of the Germans. Conversely. In the stubborn silence of international Jewry, in the efforts of German propaganda already attempting to discard the odium for the murder of Jews onto the Lithuanians and the Poles, we discern the seeds of an enemy action against us. We also know how poisonous the seeds of crime are. The compulsory participation of the Polish nation as observers of the bloody spectacle occurring on the lands of Poland, can cultivate an apathy to evil, sadism, and above all to the dangerous conviction that those who are close to us can be murdered with no retribution. He who does not understand this, who would wish to link a proud and sovereign future for Poland with this base glee in the misfortune of his brother is neither a Catholic, nor a Pole!" Zofia Kossak-Szczucka.
Do not forget also that Zofia Kossak-Szczucka was a mentor to Jan Karski and a close confidante of the this Polish person clearly identifiable as one who also sought to inform the World of what Hitler was achieving in Poland. While much has been written about der Einsatzgruppe following in after Hitler and the Wehrmacht assault on Russia, Poland endured these formative Einsatz kommandos, Operation ‘Tannenberg’ immediately upon the collapse of Poland September 28th. 1939. We cannot ever be ambiguous in search of the truth, it is either whole or it remains partly told, hidden or downright wrong. We cannot allow a lie to then lay dormant for its resurrection to seek to usurp the veracity of the truth that has been laid down by meticulous adherence to evidence, testimony and the statements of all those who can attribute a detail to the truth. We must never allow for the passage of time to conceal the truth and we should be ever vigilant against the seeds of suspicion and doubt, all of which breed a captive consciousness.
"..destruction of Poland is in ..foreground ..aim is ..elimination of living forces ..not ..arrival at a certain line. I shall give a propagandist cause for starting ..war ..never mind if it is plausible or not. ..victor will not be asked later on whether he told ..truth or not." Adolf Hitler.
We simply cannot allow ourselves to become complicit in the accusations to be aimed at those who were neither guilty nor negligent in their conduct toward the Jews of The Holocaust. To do so would be to deliver a posthumous travesty of Justice toward a body of People already denied each and every aspect of a Justice excluding them and we must not now misuse its namesake. To mete out Justice we must first be just and we must ensure that its delivery is aimed correctly at those deserving of our righteous indignation. Of course we can run out of superlatives for those who risked ALL for their Jewish counterpart in Poland and these are specifically the ones who saved Polish Jewish lives. So while we must never allow for our accusation to be swayed by distance nor time, it must be relayed accurately and only against those deserving of it. However, while I aim never to let anyone mistake the clear intention of Hitler was to systematically seek out the Jewish People, wherever they were, and have them slaughtered, he did not operate this intention in a vacuum or upon a landscape without all too many willing to assist.
"..first and foremost perpetrator was Adolf Hitler. ..without him it would have been inconceivable." Raul Hilberg.
With this well adjudged accusation standing before the mantle of The Holocaust, we then look toward all those either equally guilty or so deprived of human emotion, they ventured nothing to assist, aid or even save a single Jew. While it is evident that so many could have managed to save more of their neighbours who were Jews, it could have amounted to a few Jews or even Community’s of Jews. Now we direct our denunciation so as to deliver an appropriate charge against those we know are the guilty ones. However, for those who offered aid, and with an assured perpetration of the most horrendous crimes in all of History confronting every sense they had, these words of my remembrance are also accusatory. I share these words because I found them and have no wish to deny them venting the silence that would remain if they were not stated. Here, with this despoiling of Jewish antecedence, that was to be all too true even in Poland, more than 90% of Polish Judaism practically ceased to exist. It is clear that almost immediately after Hitler invaded Poland's sovereign status, on September 1st. 1939 3,000,000 Polish Jews would soon forfeit their very existence.
".. I ..like all ..Jews ..refused human rights ..doomed to ..a tragic end. At ..critical moment ..at Brody ..Walter Ukalo ..representing Wladyslawa Choms. ..offering us help ..false papers ..money. ..Some ..found accommodations at Mrs. Choms friends." Zygmunt Chotiner.
On December 4th. 1942, with the Jewish Aid Council 'Zegota' established, all manner of preparations should have commenced which would relieve all Jews from the terrible atrocity which continually confronted them. From this vantage point, Poland must never forget those who stood tallest in Polish society and did their utmost to relieve the strain of a battered Polish Jewry and managed to save a not insubstantial amount of them. To undermine the efforts of those who sought to achieve this moral righteousness is, in any attempt to bleach over the attempts by other’s to act with less charitable compassion, is to undermine such a moral effort. And while we recognise the efforts of Wladyslawa Choms to act with such devotion and humanity, it is clear other’s of her friends acted with similar accord. Pogroms of assault, and in excess of 1,800 Murders were invested in these, and the returning Jewish Survivor was scourged once more. Even we can never be certain that the figure arrived at is ever going to accurately articulate the tragedy for the Surviving Jews for what awaited them upon that Survival and with a hoped for return to their former homes.
"..apologies ..for 42 victims of ..1946 Kielce pogrom." Polish Foreign Minister Professor Dariusz Rosati.
A servant of the Polish people from 1995 till 1997 Professor Rosati was certain that an apology was so necessary, as the vested interest of greed and avarice, the perpetuating larceny from a traumatised ridden Jewish People persists. Those whose ownership of property’s and possessions was so widely coveted, came to the forefront of all and any consideration against them. Property’s and possessions which had not belonged to other than these Surviving Jews, or more likely those Jews who had not Survived, was converted into those ages old hatred’s of antisemitism. The fact too though, which still remains, is that when Polish community’s sought their own rage against the Surviving Jewish People, those Jews purely wishing to return to their home localities, and lick their wounds, this further atrocity occurred on a broader sweep of the Polish landscape than has been recognised. While this was all to be confronted by an assailing hatred that was to be so shocking to an almost terminally wounded Polish Jewish presence within Poland, the only recourse to the integrity of any Jew who had Survived was to see their future Survival elsewhere, and away from their Polish homeland.
"..From 1945 to 1946 ..more than 1,000 Jews were killed in various places by Poles ..taken off trains ..hunted down in small towns ..killed. ..I was one of those Jews on a train from Kielce to Ostrowiec when ..train stopped and hooligans entered to hunt for Jews. ..I hid my face ..so ..I speak ..and ..remember ..I was frightened to death." Kalman Sultanik.
Sultanik, as the President of Federation of Polish Jews in America and Vice President of the World Jewish Congress clearly identifies with his people and in places such as Biala-Podlaska, Bialystok, Bielawa, Boleslawiec, Bytom, Chelm, in Cracow where the district of Kaziemierz was under siege and the Kupa Synagogue burned, in Czestochowa, Dabrowa-Tarnowska, Diosgyor, Gniewoszow, Gniewczyna-Lancucka, Grodno and Groject, the Jewish Survivor was attacked and Murdered by those they had previously known. In Jedwabne, Kielce, Klementow, Kunmadaras, Lednica, Lodz, Losice, Lublin, Mordy, Opatow and Otwock, the picture for the Jewish Survivor was dark and bleak. In Parczew, Piaski, Polaniec, Przemysl, Pzeszow, Raciaz, Radom, Rava-Ruska, Rzeszow, Sanok, Skarzysko-Kamienna and Sompolno, the Jewish Survivor fared no better than under Hitler’s tutelage of a conclusive resolve to The Final Solution. In Sokoly, Sosnowiec, Szczecin, Tarnow, Turek, Warsaw and Wlodawa, the Jewish Survivor faced so much further assault so as to compound their near broken state, injury was inflicted deeper into their wounds and as they were Murdered by their former neighbours, a further chapter was being added to Hitler’s all encompassing demands raised against the Jews of Europe.
"..Mrs. Choms had to be careful not only of ..Gestapo but ..her neighbours of whom she could never be certain." Zygmunt Chotiner.
None of these former neighbours of course could be considered in any degree at all like Wladyslawa Choms or her Zegota representative to Brody, Walter Ukalo. There is sadly a proviso to this acknowledgement of Wladyslawa’s great charitableness, and it was her concern that she too might be betrayed, and by those who supposedly served nation first and Hitler, Never. Here is where a Polish President’s apology can prove essential in combating the forms of negation that the Polish influenced in the many cases that raged against the Jewish People. The Nazi presence in these Polish community’s had actually retreated in many instances, and as it was precipitously replaced by a millennia of old resurgent hatred’s, Jews were singled out for having Survived what Hitler fully intended for them, which included for them not to have Survived. In some of these Community’s identified here, these Murdered Jews had already Survived what Hitler had fully resolved for them and in spaces clearly within earshot of those same Poles who strode along and bypassed all human concern for their Jewish neighbours, soon turned their own intentions toward and against the homecoming Jewish Survivor.
"..This was a particularly cruel crime. It was justified by nothing. ..victims were helpless and defenceless. For this crime ..we should beg ..souls of ..dead and their families for forgiveness. This is why today ..as a citizen and as president of ..Republic of Poland ..I apologise." Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski.
From 1995 till 2005 Aleksander Kwasniewski served Poland as its President and recognised clearly the essential need to apologise not only for the loss of 3,000,000 intentionally Murdered Jews, but for the complicit connivance of those Poles who assisted in the overall resolve to achieve Hitler’s Final Solution. While it is important to Remember what happened to the Jews who managed to Survive, it is doubly important to lay the blame for their destruction upon those specifically guilty of doing so. This does not allow for any blanket accusation against anyone who did not, would not nor could not have competed with the terms for annihilation Hitler presented them with. While this President of the Polish Republic apologises for what was committed during Hitler’s onslaught against the Jewish People, it is also essential we conduct ourselves with integrity related to those crimes committed by Polish people against their fellow Jewish Poles. As these Polish Survivor Jews returned to their former homes, in the hope of healing their bitter memories and the inflicted wounds of hatred, all they felt from their former neighbours or even friends was that same resentment. Surely the hatred from those who did not wish to return what had previously belonged to the returning Jewish owner seared the hearts of those Jews.
"..All of Poland was rife with anti-Semitism." Rubin Offenbach.
For all too many of the non-Jewish Poles, who could not quite understand how any Jews had Survived, the reality of Jewish Survival was a shock to their now formed ownership of what did not belong to them. Here in that place called Jedwabne for instance, it was apparent that where more than 340 Jews of the Town and were driven into a barn and burned alive. Such was this case for which Hitler had left an indelible mark upon the non-Jewish Pole, and it heightened and reverberated with the Polish often seen and brutally offensive antisemitic resonance. The blame for any atrocity against the Polish Jews, which had formerly fallen upon those Nazi’s of the occupation, and for years, this was the accepted account, can no longer remain unequivocally so. While it is true that the main protagonist’s to the Jedwabne Massacre in particular were compiled of the local people, and while the instigators were indefatigably German, such an orchestration of hatred was fully a Polish expression. This expression would seethe through Polish nationality for the next few years, undaunted and murderous in its detail.
"..Polish public was rife with elements that exposed Jews and turned them in to ..Nazi’s ..gangs of ‘szmalcownik’ ..Polish blackmailers ..bane of Jews in hiding." Israel Gutman.
So those who immersed themselves in this particular Jedwabne atrocity were not exclusively German or even Nazi, though cut from the same cloth. Even a man like Jan Karski, whose presence in the midst of the Polish Jewish atrocity and on the fringes of Polish resistance to The Holocaust, he will clearly inform us of Poles who are forced to deal in the retribution of their own people. For those Polish traitors and informers who acted even toward their own Polish non-Jewish community, there was a constant and continuous confrontation. Here too though, Professor Gutman had to qualify the fact that while some betrayed their own conscience in delivering Jews to Hitler’s intention for them, the many Jews who in fact Survived owe that reality to some very courageous Polish non-Jews who did not act without conscience or moral probity. Many such Poles, and their names are well known to us, leave behind a legacy which includes many unknown who acted likewise. However, this does not accuse anybody who should not be charged with collaboration. For those specific Poles who colluded alongside the efforts of the Nazi's, these are as guilty as if they had adorned the very Nazi regalia of Hitler’s forward echelons or rear guard phalanx.
"..Germans could not tell ..Jews apart from ..other Polish soldiers. ..depended on ..Poles to tell them that." Shep Zitler.
Such was the interconnecting theme of cooperation, it was often the case that the Jewish Community might have escaped German attention had it not been for Polish identification of them. Many of these Poles who colluded with Hitler’s aim for The Final Solution and who were on hand to ensure that any information which was gained to benefit any of Hitler's wants from the errant Polish State, these are the Poles we are roundly accusing. In viewing the very landscape of The Holocaust, there can be no discoloration of the very truth which has painted it. As there can be no History which is not truthful, any form of distortion cannot be allowed to prevail which would shade that truth. There is erected in Jedwabne now, a newly erected Monument which seeks to memorialise those Jews of the Community who were Murdered. It is there also to remember the very fact of what occurred there and also to express a regret for what surely happened. None of this can then be denied or absolved from the accusation of all History, and should be remembered so that those credited with Righteous status are recognised for so doing the right thing it too becomes an accusation of what is wrong.
"..In memory of ..Jews of Jedwabne and surrounding areas ..men ..women ..children ..fellow dwellers of this land ..murdered and burned alive at this site on 10 July 1941."
Throughout The Holocaust realm, as we move from such sites as Jedwabne and Sokoly, and we visit not just places and community’s where atrocities were piled high upon the Jews who once resided there, we have a system of these 6 Death Camps that Hitler had built in German Occupied Poland to ensure atrocity was piled ever higher upon atrocity. As we know for certain that there were numerous other Camps dotted around all Poland, in which all manner of assistance was delivered by many Poles, History expects a regret as to what local Poles also achieved in and around The Death Camps. All cooperation, which finally led toward Hitler’s final resolve to Murder all the Jews of Europe, must not be exempting of an atrocity exerted or attributed to local Polish citizenry. Specifically though, and in these particularly Camps designated as Death Camps, and there were only 6 such locations in the whole of Hitler’s Reich, these were placed firmly in Poland and have become entrenched in the psyche of both the Polish Jewish and Polish non-Jewish Peoples.
"..We are all obliged to remember these heroic people ..Righteous Among Nations but we must not allow their heroism to cover ..crimes and wickedness of a much larger group of Poles. Antisemitism was and remains endemic in our country." Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.
As a Prime Minister 1996 till 1997, Cimoszewicz recognised the plaudits which fell upon those who were Righteous and as they served to reflect what is best in any society, the issue of those who were not so diligent in their moral probity must be exposed. It must be a considered fact here that a distinction must be made in which, a system which Hitler created, is delivered away from the immediate Reich and was done within Poland for obvious reasons. Where these 6 Death Camps dealt exclusively in the destructive capacity to annihilate the Jews sent there, the Final Solution which had put them in place had its final resolve in Poland largely, and in many other nations also. But these 6 Death Camps were Hitler’s Death Camps. They were erected by organs of Hitler’s Reich for the eventual resolve and resolution of Hitler’s Final Solution. The shift of emphasis here, and taking the Jewish European People away from Reich territory was a deliberate attempt to not only contaminate the lands of Poland with the blood of Polish Jewry ostensibly, but with the combined weight of all of European Jewry finally being resettled, also to be evacuated and to be finally confined there.
"..My parents just walked out of our apartment ..and that was it. ..Since then ..I've thought material possessions don't mean anything." Bianca Lerner.
History has clearly acknowledged that there is no such thing as a Polish Death Camp and so the term, Polish ‘death camps’ has to be seen as an attempt by apologist’s for Hitler’s Jewish blood letting. I have revisited many times the origins of this assertion concerning these Death Camps and know that Gerard Reitlinger made it a statement with a geographical face. But they have always been conceived of in History, and indeed were always Hitler’s Death Camps, so we have no need to confuse this fact. The effort though, to clearly shift the intention away from Hitler, who actually sought to fully effect the spoiling of Polish lands with the blood of the European Jews, has been the right of the Polish Government to respond to. For this contamination of The Holocaust intention cannot therefore allow for anything other than the affirmation of Hitler’s guilt. Clearly, in both Auschwitz and Majdanek, while some of these Jewish People were afforded a temporary reprieve and given forced labour, at least until they could work no longer, the term applied to all 6 of these Death Camp’s still speaks specifically of Hitler’s final intention.
"..flames could be seen from 15 or 20 kilometres ..people knew ..human beings were being burned there." Adolf Bartelmes.
At Auschwitz, those Jews who were transferred to nearby Birkenau, and who had reached the end of the line, the final moments of their existence was treated both methodically and mechanically. Those Jews remaining behind however and within Auschwitz were left to face a debilitating existence which would severely limit their ability to survive. Given the short distance from Auschwitz itself, the efforts at Birkenau would be clearly visible as a local Polish rail worker has clearly noted. But the clear intention always was to create an uncertainty related to Hitler’s so cruelly chosen place for Poland in being the Jewish Cemetery of the World. That is what is at stake and it is necessary to confront that clearest of intentions here. Once the term of Polish ‘death camps’ had been constructed however, and it must be recognised that it is an illegitimate attempt to shift the emphasis of Hitler’s clear policy for The Final Solution, the term must be stricken from the conscious assurance that is given over to the veracity of all Holocaust literature, statements and their intentions.
"..I saw them shooting people. ..transport children and parents ..knock a child against ..wall. ..What ..Germans ..did was not right ..I revolted. I tried to help everyone in whatever way I could." Walter Ukalo.
The attempt to move any and all accusation away from Hitler, Germany and those Nazi’s who were obsessed and predicated on delivering for Hitler all that he demanded of them, must be returned to its rightful owner, the originator of The Final Solution, Hitler. Of course the term of Polish ‘death camp’ itself has vented its way into The Holocaust term, its description however incorrectly states an error and needs to be replaced by a more tangible meaning! We can never allow for the deliberately orchestrated attempt to negate the fundamental severity by which Hitler sought to destroy all of European Jewry, and mainly within Poland to escape him. That said, and given the clear cut statements of so many who witnessed first hand the close liaison between some in Polish society, it is clear Hitler had chosen Poland for the specific purpose of destroying all of European Jewry, and with as much assistance as the awareness of Polish antisemitism could avail of and was to be obtained.
"..attitude of ..non–Jewish population ..almost all Poles ..was hateful. They rejoiced at our misfortune ..enriched themselves with Jewish property." Betzalel Papial.
As the usage of ‘polish’ Death Camp as a term lends itself as such incorrectly to what Auschwitz and Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka must insist, we take back its fullest meaning in the context of Hitler’s proper intention. And that is a simple fact that while these Camps were indeed on Polish soil, they were the initial construct of Hitler, the development of Hitler’s invasive and murderous regime and established purely to Murder the Jews of Poland and the rest of Europe. Previously, I have clearly been at fault in this use of the term, but never in asserting other than these Death Camps were Hitler owned though geographically placed within Poland. The distinction has been so obviously made, that in the level of mechanised and systematic destruction of the Jewish People, for which these Death Camps were raised in Poland, they are of an entirely Hitlerian construct with no ambiguity. While the Polish Government has every right to be affronted by anyone who might insist that, with other than their geographical placement, The Death Camps are in Poland, and there were 6 of these, they were other than an organ of Hitler’s criminal Reich. That fundamentally means that these Death Camps had their genesis with Hitler and none other than Hitler.
"..Jewish population ..living under ..impact of news from London. ..world has been stirred by ..reports of ..slaughter in Poland ..aroused ..deepest emotions in all of us. For many ..many months ..endured ..most terrible sufferings ..asking ourselves ..Does ..world know about our sufferings ..if it knows ..why is it silent. Why was ..world not outraged 10's of 1,000's of Jews ..shot ..at Ponary. ..10's of 1,000's of Jews poisoned in Chelmno. 100's of 1,000's of Jews ..slaughtered in Galicia. ..slaughter in Vilna ..180,000 ..in Rostov ..Jews ..murdered ..in Kiev. ..blood is flowing in rivers. Is ..blood of ..Jews more precious. ..Only now have we come to understand ..cause of this silence. ..Polish government ..its own radio station .knew nothing about it. ..if London knew ..next day 100 people ..shot ..Pawiak prison ..why ..did it take many months before they learned of ..100's of 1,000's murdered Jews. ..a question which cannot be turned away by excuses!" Emanuel Ringelblum.
That these Death Camps were manufactured under Hitler’s approval, and as they were conducted for the mass Slaughter of Human Beings, because they were Jewish, they were clearly ordained and demanded by Hitler. This is not to say either that Jews alone were Murdered within these Camps and Death Camps, or indeed were alone in being assailed by Hitler’s legions. As Hitler and his Wehrmacht, SS, Gestapo, Waffen SS, der Einsatzgruppe and all other arms of Hitler’s Reich traversed the length and breadth of Europe, any presence of Jews was quarterised from their local community’s, and those other’s for whom Hitler might have the slightest annoyance for, they too suffered greatly. The Jews of Europe were then force fed toward Poland and their eventual decapitation from the body of existence was made final. Here, evidence of that Fact has been reduced to an irreducible truth, Hitler is the cause, the motivating force and was enveloped in the conclusive hatred that led 6,000,000 Jews toward destruction. Within that capacity to Slaughter human beings, without human concern, it is understood that:
"..While not all ..victims of ..Nazi's were Jews ..all Jews were victims." Elie Wiesel.
When that is all said and done, the Jews of Europe became the victims of everyone’s fears, prejudices and hatred’s. History cannot then ever deny that it was expressly for Hitler a priority so as to destroy the entire antecedence of all Jewish existence. That some of these hatred’s and fears, and the bias of prejudice was engaged by many of the nationalities whose Jews were expelled and totally destroyed, there can be no denying that the Slaughter was meant to be a final stroke. That any Jewish presence from amongst the Jewish People might escape Hitler’s final goal is clearly out of the question. It is with the Jewish Faith which Hitler determined must be singularly sought out, and for all those who participated or proscribed any form of Judaism, and that they were all to be destroyed. That statement of fact too is proven, for as many converts who chose to move away from their Judaism and Jewish antecedence were dragged back into the conflagration simply on the pretext and certainty of their Jewish descent.
"..As a child of ..Jewish people who ..by ..grace of God ..for ..past 11 years has also been a child of ..Catholic Church ..I dare to speak to ..Father of Christianity about that which oppresses 1,000,000's of Germans. For weeks we have seen deeds perpetrated in Germany which mock any sense of justice and humanity ..not to mention love of neighbour. For years ..leaders of National Socialism have been preaching hatred of ..Jews. But ..responsibility must fall ..after all ..on those who brought them to this point and it also falls on those who keep silent in ..face of such happenings. Everything that happened and continues to happen on a daily basis originates with a government that calls itself 'Christian.' For weeks not only Jews but also 1,000's of faithful Catholics in Germany ..and ..I believe ..all over ..world ..have been waiting and hoping for ..Church of Christ to raise its voice to put a stop to this abuse of Christ's name." Edith Stein,
As a some what lapsed catholic, I am all too well aware that the sainthood imposed upon a person is both reverential and special within the Catholic Church. But for me, it is incumbent upon those denoting saintliness and warranting the sainthood of anyone, that the importance attributed to them is in stressing the reason of that ordaining position. For me, Edith Stein, while she was a remarkably reverent and theological Christian, her Murder at the hands of Hitler and his Reich was due in no uncertain to her status as a Jew. This certainty for her Murder was not for her former status as a Jew, but for that very proclivity under Hitler which sought the fullest identification of a Jew as a Jew and which belonged to a Jew. This ordination of identity would remain with the Jewish People until the Jewish People had been fully destroyed by Hitler. Here, and what I have often found in the denial lobby is a very inarticulate distortion to claim what just is not so. Even when, in Edith’s case, the denier clearly sees her Jewish status first and foremost, they will still deny or attribute her destruction to Hitler and before acknowledging his antisemitic hatred.
"..Everything was taken away from me ..even my name." Rubin Offenbach.
Nor is it possible from this particular time span to future proof an atrocity because of the hatred for a Jewish People. In the case of The Holocaust, 6,000,000 Jews of Europe were destroyed and it appears to be a continuous issue for all manner of haters, antisemites and various other miscreants. As they look to present day Israel to seek a past justification, we recognise the colour of their denial. For all the wrongly inarticulate reasons, and so that deniers can state the cause of their extremist hatred, from within the Palestinian issue for instance, they do so to justify their own antisemitism. Where the lands of the State of Israel and its People are to be fought over, an irreverence to the factual truth that these 6,000,000 Jews were Murdered is to be so causally denied. Not withstanding this form of negation, there is a link with anything that gives rise to those who will seek any doubt to issue a blanket rebuttal of the entire truth. It is apparent to me, in the attempt by this present Polish Government to redirect historical attention away from the not insufficient Polish collaboration in the midst of The Holocaust, more can be gained by the denier than it would seem the veracity of History has to surely gain.
"..When ..Poles saw how ..soldiers were victimising us they piled on ..too. ..a German guard was marching me ..some other men to ..nail factory. ..a Polish boy ran up ..stabbed me in ..hand." William Schiff.
What no one can refute is the truth and what no one debates is The Holocaust. That factual truth of the Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews in The Holocaust is no more debatable than the very fact of our own existence. For the Polish position, which should clearly point to cases where Poles were instrumental in the identification of Jews for abuse, atrocity and their eventual destruction, the academic World cannot simply accept an attempt which might conspire to corrupt our past any further. The Polish position does warrant a response and as they have made the case in defence of their forebears, it should be stressed that 3,000,000 Polish Jews do not have this luxury of response. Nor do any of those Jews who were transported into Poland, to be resettled by Hitler’s own hate filled volition, so as to face complete annihilation, they have been denied to any future hearing. It is without doubt the whole assertion, and that any attempt to then obliterate these Polish Jews and the Jews of Europe from all existence, this is all Hitler’s doing. The Polish position though is thus:
"..It wasn’t our mothers ..nor our fathers ..who are responsible for ..crimes of ..Holocaust ..which were committed by German and Nazi criminals on occupied Polish territory. Our responsibility is to defend ..truth and dignity of ..Polish State and ..Polish Nation ..as well as our Fathers ..our Mothers ..our Grandparents." Polish Justice Minister Zbignew Ziobro.
Zbignew Ziobro, who does not seek to distinguish his Country’s record in upholding the truth in its entirety. Should the need to recall what is Remembered, that it is never to be Forgotten and what we will not Forget, all History will Remember what was done in achieving 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of Europe. These Jews, who are The Holocaust, expect nothing less than that fullest commitment. While it is most certainly true that many of the parents of Poland, and even the grandparents of Poland were of the Jewish Faith, these were not offered the full and requisite protection of the Polish State. Nor, from all of those Poles, within the Polish Nation of the time, who could not ensure the capacity of life to the Jews, Polish Jews knew all too well there were many non-Jewish Poles who could not be counted upon either.
"..Ladies ..Gentlemen ..on ..basis of accurate investigation ..we have determined ..truth about your Semitic origins. In view of ..above ..we request that you deliver to ..bearer of this note ..sum of 2,000 zlotys in a sealed envelope. ..In return ..we will destroy ..incriminating evidence that is in our possession. Otherwise ..we will immediately hand over ..evidence to ..German authorities." Ewald Reiman.
Truth and dignity must be bestowed where Truth and Dignity belongs, and as with those Poles who assisted and aided, and for those Poles who helped and hid those Jews they either knew or did not know, theirs was a matter of moral and human conscience. It is fair to state, that while those who are proven Righteous before the World, there are those who have been proven culpable and complicit in the Crimes of The Holocaust. These must be clearly identified, even if they are Polish. However, I fully agree with the Polish position which sees rightly that within Hitler’s orchestrated assault and the subsequent Nazi occupation of Poland, it was Hitler who drove the frenzy of annihilation forward.
"..For all I knew ..I could be out ..back door ..they out ..front ..running to ..police ..to tell them ..Jews had returned to Buczacz. You never knew if a neighbour was about to turn on you ..plenty had." Alicia Appleman-Jurman.
That said we cannot then deny the use made of Polish informants, Polish Police, Railroad workers and others who were instrumental in the containment and distribution of Polish Jewry toward these Killing Centres. While it is necessary to ensure that former Nazi's are not allowed to deflect their substantial perpetration and participation in the annihilation of the Jews on Polish soil, it should not be considered that Poles had no part in the tragedy at all. To observe the truth one must know what it is one is looking for. So while German knowledge of Polish Jewry had a reliance upon the well established antisemitic and fraught and difficult inter relationship between Poles and Jews, and the somewhat intuitive recognition of Polish Jews, this effort was collaborative. That antisemitism within Poland had existed between Poles and Jews for millennia, it must be made clear that Poles identified Jews and Poles were certainly paid to do so. Poles have since plundered the possessions of the Jewish Slaughter and to this day they retain what ostensibly remains stolen. In any religious context, no established religious basis can be given to the continued gain from any previous theft
"..no way out ..Gestapo was making ready to deport ..Jews. I had to return to ..labour camp. At ..railway station I presented my travel pass ..but ..Polish policeman ignored it and took me to ..gathering area in Rabka. I saw my family there ..along with ..others we were divided up by Rosenbaum. I found myself in a special group of 4 ..a man named Shaut a tinsmith ..Yehiel Tirk a mechanic ..Finkelstein a locksmith ..I ..an electrician ..fourth. We were put to work on maintenance of ..target practice range. On Yom Kippur Eve 1942 ..four of us were taken to a spot where 30 Jews were to be executed for failing to report for ..deportation. ..Germans shot them. Next to ..pit stood a barrel of lime. ..four of us were ordered to pour lime on ..corpses and cover ..pit with earth. All ..possessions of ..Jews were taken to a large warehouse for sorting and refurbishing." Hirsch Schiffeldrin.
Clearly, Poles hid Jews and understandably, those Poles who took an enormous risk in denying Hitler any assistance in claiming even more Jewish lives, these Poles are commendable. But the one altruistic position only adds as a counter weight to the atrocious enabling of Hitler’s murderer’s to achieve their end goal. What cannot be denied either is that some Polish priests led this charge with their vitriole and assisted in a more acute and enabling way toward Jewish destruction. A Polish ministry that was steeped in any form of antisemitism, that is in contravention of the priesthood’s ethical, moral and Christian duty, cannot escape the accusation of complicity in a duplicitous manner. In Christ’s name the Christian commandment is to 'Love thy Neighbour as thy self' and with this requirement, all too many of these priests failed to do so.
"..killing was perpetuated by hoodlums. ..what about ..soldiers who ..took part. ..what about ..others ..onlookers ..bystanders. ..history of ..Polish people is filled with suffering and glory ..Be worthy of that history ..citizens of Poland. ..face ..recent past which is also yours. To forget is to choose dishonour." Elie Wiesel.
The collaborative, antisemitic remonstrations are the scenes which are repeated the length and breadth of Hitler’s Final Solution in Poland. In so many sites, camps and Death Camps the evidence of a systematic hatred is brought to bear. The depiction’s of what has emanated from within Poland, this also share’s the concerted nature of that widespread atrocity that Hitler had sought. By 1943, some 16,000 Polish police officers, some of them armed, served under the Germans authority. While this is not in dispute, there are many who point to Vichy collaboration as defining what does not allow for this to be Polish collusion in any way.
"..before ..uprising in Sobibor I and three other SS men and a larger group of Ukrainians auxiliaries were again ordered to go to Belzec. We were doing forestation work there. We had to prevent ..Poles from turning ..whole area upside down in their searches for gold." Heinrich Unverhau.
It has to be commented upon, that whatever some Poles did in not assisting the Jews, there are many more Poles who are to be commended for doing so much to assist their Jewish neighbours. These Jewish neighbours were under direct threat and under the direst intimidation to their own lives and the lives of their Family’s along with those Jews they might have assisted. Of course, Poland was first nation to feel the effects of World War II as Hitler's invading Armies crushed all Polish Resistance and within a matter of days. As the assault rang out on September 1st. 1939, for the Jews of Cities, Towns, Villages and Shtetl's, they were now forced to live through those initial days, alarmed and even terrified by the threats Hitler had already testified to. Sporadic attacks on Jewish community's were widespread and on September 2nd. 1939 there were some 30 Jews of Piotrkow who were Murdered. But this was only the very beginning as the plunder of Jewish existence and all other value was orchestrated on a massive and co-ordinated scale.
"..I remember ..visit of Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler in Sobibor. All ..SS men ..members of ..police ..Ukrainian volunteers ..lined up in a parade. ..reported my platoon to Himmler for inspection. ..on ..day when Himmler was in Sobibor a certain number of Jews was gassed. I can tell for sure that Himmler visited Camp lll ..extermination area. I saw Himmler with ..whole group going in ..direction of Camp III." SS Oberscharfuhrer Hubert Gomerski.
The following day, September 3rd. 1939 some 180 of Czestochowa's Jews were murdered as were 17 of Wieruszow's Jews, 4 of Lelow’s Jews and 3 of Zdunska Wola's Jews. All murdered as a consequence of birth, antecedence and progeny and even before we enlist the terms of Hitler’s Final Solution to understand the fate set aside for the Jews of Poland, Europe and World Jewry. Meanwhile the tempo of the atrocity increased with such intensity that when Russia enjoined the conflict on September 17th. 1939, and as 20 of Laskarzew's Jews are murdered, Jewish hope had all but dwindled and died. As Russia moves to occupy most of Eastern Poland, with this Hitler pact and without any formal declaration of War, Jewish life East of the divide settled into a bearable routine. Towns then enjoyed a relative quiet as the population gradually adjusted to a less volatile Russian influence in this Eastern sector of Poland. It was a different story under Nazi control though as pogroms and assaults upon the integrity of the Jewish Community continued, and in the Western sector of Poland, it was a continual threat to be a Polish Jew.
"..war with ..Soviet Union has ..created ..possibility of disposing of other territories for ..Final Solution. ..Fuhrer has decided ..Jews should be evacuated ..East. ..Madagascar ..no longer ..considered in connection with Final Solution." Franz Rademacher.
The German Reich Foreign Office Department Chief was equal to any task related to the Jewish People during the period of The Holocaust, in all manner of creative ways so as to please his fuhrer. As the tempo once again altered though, and all of this pretext for Lebensraum changed again, when on June 22nd. 1941 Hitler turned against his erstwhile ally and Barbarossa was launched against Russia, any geographical aim became an annihilatory one for the Jews. The military forces of Stalin and close on 12,000,000 Jews were under immediate threat. Of course the move into Eastern Poland was rapid, German killing agents sucked into the void and what descended upon those Jewish Communities was unbridled hatred. These Jews, who had so far suffered fewer ill effects from the partition of Poland, up to that point, it all now went toward the unimaginable cruelties that had been systematic for the Jewish People West of that divide. The impoverished Jews of Eastern Poland now became the decimated Jews of all of Poland.
"..heroism of those who risked their lives to hide Jews from ..Nazis .and did so despite ..pressure exerted on them from their relatives and neighbours." Jan Grabowski.
The dying Jews all over Poland, who had suffered the iniquities of an abandonment unprecedented in its nature and deadly in its execution, languished in certain knowledge that their time had been clearly fixed. There was an agenda of destruction that had now commenced, it had been rehearsed ever since Hitler took power and without subtlety and with a forceful direction, 10’s of Murdered Jews became 1,000’s of Murdered Jews and increasingly, 10’s of 1,000’s of Jews on a daily basis. Immediately, as an avalanche of anti Jewish assault fell upon all of these Jewish Community’s, any opportunity for escape, which formerly had not existed for the 1,000,000’s of Polish and East European Jewry, was completely cut off from them. Whether Jews felt attacks randomly, or with a sense that some form of collective aggression had breached all civilised restraint, the assault against them stretched across all the Jews of Poland and now Western Russia.
"..arrived ..report to Camp Kommandant ..SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Bothmann. ..addressed us in his living quarters ..in ..presence of SS Untersturmfuhrer Albert Plate. ..explained ..we had been dedicated to ..Kulmhof extermination camp as guards and added that in this camp ..plague boils of humanity ..Jews ..were exterminated. We were to keep quiet about everything we saw or heard ..otherwise we would have to reckon with our families' imprisonment and ..death penalty. ..extermination camp was made up of ..'castle' and ..camp in ..woods. ..castle was a fairly large stone building at ..edge of ..village of Kulmhof. ..Jews ..transported by lorry or railway were first brought. ..lorry arrived ..following members of ..SS Sonderkommando addressed ..Jews ..Camp Kommandant Bothmann ..Untersturmfuhrer Albert Plate ..Polizei Meister Willy Lenz ..Polizei Meister Alois Haeberle. ..explained to ..Jews ..would ..all be given a bath ..deloused in Kulmhof ..then sent to Germany to work. ..Jews then went inside ..castle. ..to get undressed. ..sent through a passage ..to ..ramp to ..castle yard where 'gas van' ..parked. ..back door of ..van would be open. ..Jews ..made to get inside ..van. ..done by three Poles. ..Poles hit ..Jews with whips if they did not get into ..gas vans fast enough. When all ..Jews were inside ..door was bolted. ..driver then switched on ..engine ..crawled under ..van ..connected ..pipe from ..exhaust to ..inside of ..van. ..exhaust fumes ..poured into ..truck so that ..people ..suffocated." Polizei Theodor Malzmueller.
However, much of this newer assault was driven by the local Polish population who had taken over the administrative power from the fleeing Russian's in the East of Poland. The Policing of these areas now continued as before, with supervised and even independently acting Polish police forces enforcing German anti-Jewish legislation. These Eastern regions began their own torture and brutal repression of their now former Jewish neighbours, and in concert with an all consuming and long held detestation for the Jewish People, further motivated by Hitler’s own hatred the assault became an unhinged factor in Polish Jewish relations. The story has been told and it has been well written and documented, but with such a systematic reign of violence against frightened, innocent and seemingly helpless Jewish People, the attacks became an unrelenting prelude toward the total destruction of all Jewry. Entire Jewish Community’s in the entire Polish Country, more than 3,000,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children now fell under this catastrophic yoke of oppression. While it was fixed by Hitler's influence, it fed through all too often to some in the Polish administration, and to community’s who took refuge in this detailed assault for them to deliver their own injustices and against their own Polish Jewish neighbours. The accusation of History therefore does not stop at just a few local antisemitic, though ignorant Poles either. It signifies a connivance with the tenets of Hitler’s resolve to destroy all Jews wherever they were found, even if the programme had not been filtered down to Polish militia or Polish police forces.
"..How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause." Sophie Scholl.
Before Hitler's move toward the programme for his Final Solution in Poland, almost any murder of the Polish Jews could be attributed to Polish excess. Even from amongst the local priest's and the so called intelligentsia, pogroms unleashed against the Jews had less of an unintelligent lead. Many Jews were ritually abused and were forced to shave off their beards and remove all identifying artefacts of their Jewish Faith. Those who barely clung onto life were forced to endure unspeakable torments, merciless torture, physical restraint and an immoral degradation of their basic humanitarian rights. Polish Council's too took liberty to daily harangue and expropriate what was not theirs. Many Poles took stock of what Jewish Citizens would now forfeit, began to enrich their own existence. Until a time came when Hitler's control loosened the slip knot, and the Jewish People assumed their Survival, a stillness went before the newer storm that soon arrived. With a well vented fury recognises and that history still reels from The Holocaust, more deliberate destruction is piled high upon Jewish expectancy.
"..Polish militia police began to expel Jews from their apartments. ..shop owners and craftsmen were not far behind them. Farmers forcefully entered Jewish shops ..homes ..restaurants ..and cafes. After they drove out ..owners ..they stole ..equipment and possessions." Michael Maik.
What Hitler perpetrated here in Europe, though largely within Poland, has been fundamentally shown to have exposed the latent genocidal tendencies of human beings who sought to excel where atrocity leads. With that in mind, Poland owes to its own History that certainty which composes a rightful telling of the truth. For the fact of its veracity, Poland needs to ensure History is correct. Poland has to lead the way forward for the Jews of the World to ensure memory of the catastrophe is never to be forgotten. In places like the Death Camps, Polish soil is running deep with the blood, and not only of innocent European and Polish Jewry but of many other’s, Polish non-Jews included. While that fact remains, it is important that Poland seeks to identify the blood of those interred there on their soil and also, that the attributing accusation for all of those who ensured the blood which saturated the Polish ground, was Jewish blood, that clear fact is to be recognised. What do we suppose the Polish conscripts assaults amounted to as they raged against the many Polish Jews, assailed during the Easter of 1940's Warsaw.
"..We were warned by ..gentile friends that ..Polish underground was coming to kill Jewish Survivors. They did not want to return ..houses ..businesses ..Jews left behind. We had to leave town again." Rubin Offenbach.
Rubin Offenbach, who hailed from Sompolno, Poland where on February 4th. 1942 the Jewish existence in the Town was liquidated, was further abandoned by his former community upon his brief return. So by the time the Polish Jews emerged from The Death Camps, from the hiding spaces they had languished in after escaping the Killing Sites, or emerging from the back of cupboards and wells afforded them by Polish gentiles, nothing prepared these Survivor's for what some of their former Neighbours would then inflict upon them. As returning Polish Jews encountered such a wave of violence, they feared what had been left behind, with the defeat of Hitler, had returned to finish what Hitler had commenced. This was not the end of the Jewish nightmare, but the beginning of the end for a very strong Jewish presence wishing to stay, or having Survived what no human being should have been forced to endure, sought to heal their wounds in their homes within Poland.
"..For many parts of ..Polish society it is very difficult ..since for decades they were victims themselves ..of ..Nazis. ..countries around Poland ..Ukraine ..Baltic States ..same level of public debate about their relationship with their own Jewish minority." Jan Grabowski.
It will be clearly seen that with 30 or so Polish Jews leaving Poland daily in the immediate aftermath of The Holocaust, this rather conservative figure soon escalated to a complete erosion of all Jewish presence. After Pogroms began to beset those Surviving Jews attempting to return to their former lives, Survival appeared such a callous friend. Perhaps as late as 1946, even after many of the sustained attacks upon these Jews seeking normality, hatred all too easily raised its ugly head again. For these Jews, who had survived so much in order to relay to the rest of us the detail of an atrocity few could ever have imagined, these Surviving Jews were placed under constant threat once again. Between July and September 1946 alone, with a total of some 65,000 Jewish Survivors who felt compelled to leave, fled Poland for good.
"..Nazis were responsible for this tragedy it is they who murdered most of 3,000,000 Jews who lived in Poland before World War II. ..Germans were able to mobilise segments of ..Polish society to take part in their plan to hunt down ..Jews and help them carry out their Final Solution." Jan Grabowski.
We know from here, the catalyst for this Survivoral exodus was the mass murder of 42 Jews of Kielce by their own Polish neighbours. What had distinguished this particular atrocity from the random and even sustained attacks throughout the Country, had a very strong German flavour, and almost influenced methodology. All told, the pogroms, which fully led to the amassed murder of some 1,800 Polish Surviving Jews, with what was the sheer scale of the atrocity and the attachment to it of a once more reiterated 'blood libel' accusation, few Jews felt they could remain alive within Poland. But before we reach this climax in Polish hatred for the Surviving Jew, we have to recognise that the survival of the Polish Jewish Community had not been guaranteed, even as Hitler's flawed legions were being expelled from Polish district after Polish district all the way back to Germany.
Atrocity assailed Jews in every corner of Poland, returning Jews in Biala-Podlaska, with 2 Jews Murdered, could not have suffered so much that they faced once more the neighbourly antisemitism of rural Poland. In Boleslawiec where 8 Jews were Killed and in Chelm, where the first such blood libel was regurgitated during the spring of 1945, was orchestrated by the Polish militia who tortured Jews for not having behaved as the terms of the blood libel had suggested they had. In Dabrowa-Tarnowska, Cracow, Diosgyor, Gniewoszow, Gniewczyna-Lancucka, Grodno and Grojec, the assaults and brutalisation continued. In Jedwabne, and the issue over the slaughter here is a hotly contested one, with all too many seeking to discriminate in favour of those who were the real antagonists and perpetrators in this Murder
"..burning alive of ..Jewish population, forcibly herded by Poles into a barn ..is indisputable." Cardinal Josef Glemp.
On March 4th. 2001 Glemp clearly acknowledged that it had been the Poles who had ‘forcibly herded’ their Jewish neighbours into the barn and set it alight. In Kielce, which has clearly been distinguished as a centre of Jewish Culture, where some 24,000 Jews had been resident there as Hitler’s invading Armies struck Poland, became even more notorious. The vast majority of these Kielce Jews were deported to Treblinka and consigned to their Murderous fate there. Barely 212 Jews returned to Kielce to reclaim their former lives. But even these Jews, who had emerged from hell, could not resume what had been their past lives. As the Jews sought to escape, and they made their way to the Rail station, some of the Jews were cornered by locals and beaten so savagely, reminiscent of the scenes in Kovno, Lithuania, and these distraught Jews did not Survive either.
"..I saw a policeman catch 2 young Jewish boys. He did not shut them in a wagon. ..I was on ..platform ..letting a military transport go through. I asked him to let them go. ..assassin did not even budge. He ordered ..bigger boy to sit down on ..ground and take ..smaller one on his knee ..then he shot them both with one bullet. Turning to me ..You’re lucky ..that was .last bullet. Round ..huge stomach of ..murderer ..a belt ..a clasp ..inscription ..God with us." Franciszeic Zabecki,
Here the Treblinka Station Master writes into Polish history what he recognised was a Polish official acting in accord with Hitler’s demands for the Jewish People. As such, his collaboration confirms what History fully knows, there was indeed collaboration within Poland. In the early afternoon of July 4th. 1946 Regina Fisz was shot, her new born Baby Boy was shot also and though Abram Moszkowicz, who had been taken with them escaped, his body was later found. He had been beaten to death. Included in this catalogue of brutal hatred, a pregnant Jewish Woman, a Jewish Infant, a small Jewish Child, and a number of 16 to 17 year olds shot. The local police too got in on the atrocity by hurling Young Jewish Girls out of the upstairs apartment windows. If they than managed to Survive the fall, they were beaten to death by the non-Jewish Polish crowd below. The lessons from Biblical times too came into stoning to death of a Young Jewish Man.
All in all, some 42 Jews in Kielce were Murdered and more than 100 Jews in Kielce were injured during this rampaging pogrom. In Klementow, 5 Jews were Murdered as Sala Ungerman, who wanted to return Klementow, was counselled by people she knew who informed her not to go back and the resulting Murders by non-Jewish Poles of 5 fellow Surviving Jews there after liberation proved her salvation. She went instead to Lodz, which proved little better for some Surviving Jews. In Kunmadaras, 3 Jews were Murdered and in Lodz, the picture was no better for many Jews who had already Survived so much, and 11 Jews were Murdered.
"..Two Polish women ..raked us with hostile gazes. ..Look ..look ..how many dirty Jews are still alive. And they told us that Hitler had managed to exterminate all of them." Sara Plager Zyskind.
In Losice, on October 27th. 1944, as Surviving Jews settled into a renewed life in Losice a hand grenade was thrown into the property they were occupying. In Lublin, 2 Jews were Murdered and in Mordy, 7 Jews were also Murdered Attacks on Jews returning to Opatow were carried out and in Parczew, 4 Jews were Murdered. In Piaski, 6 Jews were Murdered and in Polaniec, a further 5 Jews were Murdered. In Przemysl, at the beginning of August 1945, leaflets appeared in both Radom and in Przemysl demanding that Jews leave the town before the middle of the month. In Raciaz continued assaults upon the Jews there saw a resolve for many Jews to leave. The story in Radom, was a repetition of what threatened the Jews of Przemysl.
In Rzeszow during June 1945, Polish militia searched Jewish survivors and took them to the police station beating them severely along the way. In Sanok, assaults against Jews were escalating and Skarzysko-Kamienna, 5 Jews were Murdered. In Sokoly, and here this odyssey of mine, in Remembrance of all that was inflicted upon 6,000,000 Murdered Jews has its genesis with the Murder’s of Tokele, included amongst the 9 Survivor’s not allowed to Survive by Polish Murderer’s:
1) Tovah (Tokele, Tolkele, Tulkale, Tulka) Olshak,
2) Shaine (Shaina, Sheine) Olshak,
3) David Zholti (Zholty),
4) Yankele Litwak,
5) Shaikele (Sheike, Yehoshua, Shaikeleh) Litwak,
6) Chaim (Tuvia) Litwak,
7) Shammai Litwak,
8) Batya Weinstein,
9) David Kostshevski (Koschevsky, Koschavsky).
In Sompolno Jews were attacked as they were in Tarnow, and in Turek, 1 Jew was Murdered. In Warsaw the Jewish Survivor could not Survive Polish attempts to deprive them of life. And not even Wlodawa, which knew the extent of Sobibor’s operational remit, escaped the attention of hatred toward the returning Jews. In August, 1945, one thousand elite members of the Polish Peasant Party who gathered at a theatre in Bochnia for a political meeting reacted with thunderous applause to a resolution that proposed to thank Hitler for destroying the Jews and to expel from Poland all those who were still alive. As early as August 11th. 1944, with the establishment of a Polish Central Committee for Surviving Jews, it was clearly recognised the threat the Jewish Survivor was put under.
As Auschwitz and Birkenau raged on in its deliberate offensive against Jewish existence, and the decimation of Hungarian Jewry had all but been completed, attacks upon these Jews grew more frequently deadly. Close to where Sobibor Survivors had sought to resume their lives, in Wlodawa, local Poles began attacking these Jews, incensed at their Survival in the first place and the certain requirement for these Jews to have back what had been their Jewish possessions and property's.
"..purpose ..was to discover ..condition of ..Jews who managed to avoid being sent to death camps and chose to live in hiding. ..individual cases of people who chose to hide. I tried to understand how only very few of those Jews who decided to hide were able to stay alive until 1945," Jan Grabowski.
On August 13th. 1944 The Polish Jewish Central Committee meets to discuss a strategy for relieving the symptoms of antisemitic abuse. Messages were proffered which stated that Jews on their return were to be treated sympathetically, with respect and with the clearest understanding of what they had previously endured.
"..During ..war these relationships became even more hostile. A large segment of ..Polish population was displeased with their neighbours’ help to ..Jews during ..war ..and for many it seemed even as an unpatriotic step. Therefore ..some segments of ..Polish population took an active part in ..hunt for ..Jews." Jan Grabowski.
On September 1st. 1944 A newly created Aid Bureau for the Relief of Polish Jewish Survivors in Poland recognises its challenge. Surviving Jews are both collectively traumatised by their own experience and knowledge of what little remains of their 3,000,000 Murdered Jewish Community, but they now have to deal with threats and violence, theft and murder from the Poles who must have known Hitler’s clear intention.
"..I think that when you look at ..international community ..then ..Polish society seems to have done ..most in terms of attempting to reconcile with ..Polish-Jewish past. ..Polish intellectuals are ready to re-examine ..past." Jan Grabowski.
As a matter of routine, Jewish bodies are found where they were killed on a weekly basis all through the months of 1945 and no amount of denial has been entered into any plea to show this did not happen. For any Surviving Jew faced with such scenes it is hard to argue with them that Poland was not a welcoming land for the Surviving Jew. Seeing scenes like this must have confirmed for the Survivor that Poland indeed was a land filled with hatred standing aloft the bodies, the ash, the cremated remains of in excess of 4,500,000 Jews from all over Europe.
"..I was grateful for them ..but I was afraid of them because they were constantly demeaning me ..and threatening me ..and telling me what a terrible thing I did to come there to cause them that kind of problem. ..That's what she constantly said to us ..My sister and I.
'If ..Germans catch you ..you are going to say who helped you and they are going to kill us.'
So it was a dichotomy of things. ..She wanted to help but she wanted rid of us ..she couldn't get rid of us." Aaron Elster.
Aaron Elster points toward Sokolow-Podlaski and history cannot detain a lie and as Poland has passed a law(sic), which seeks to ascribe to those who subscribe to an accusation that the Polish people or the Polish state shared some responsibility for any form of collaboration in the terms of The Holocaust, this will besought out an unlawful act. This is wholly egregious. Surely Historical evidence has provided enough to show what the Polish state as much as the Polish people know, that they all must be fully aware of, that not all Poles fully resisted Hitler's efforts. Both Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz who established The Council for Aid to Polish Jews, better known as Zegota, were all too well aware of the lack of uniformity in how Poles sought to salvage some form of respect as their Jewish neighbours were being abandoned to the annihilation they had fully recognised was being enacted.
"..plague of extortion developed into a public evil endangering every Jew on ..Aryan side. ..extortionists stripped their victims of their every last possession and forced them to flee for their lives." Emanuel Ringelblum.
Why would history then seek to judiciously accuse some Poles for colluding with Hitler and the Nazi's over the savagery and brutalising destruction of their Jewish Neighbours. We truly need to grasp that Hitler fully implemented all that Hitler's Reich sought to accomplish with regards The Final Solution, in Poland and in the wider Europe. To suggest as unlawful the fact that some Poles acted wilfully to detain and assign Jews to their fate is a deceit which further compounds a grave wrong. My work does not allow for the mealy mouthed attempts by any government, let alone a Polish one which should know better, to sully the integral effort of History to define the truth.
"..born November 15th. 1925 ..a ..10 year old little girl. I recall on Easter how ..Poles were coming out of ..Church full of scorn and anger at us ..cursed Jews ..for killing Jesus their God and Saviour. We stayed indoors till Easter was over. ..Marszalek Pilsudskl died in 1935 ..start of our gehenna (hell)." Natalie Scharf.
Fault is where fault lies and while there are people painstakingly trying to balance Hitler's grave wrong against the Jews of Poland, with the certainty that some Poles collaborated that effort, the truth will not be denied. History does not admonish Poland and the Polish people for establishing a collaborative pact with Hitler against the Jewish People. That is an untruth and as such would be wrong. But please do not allow for the Righteous nature of some Poles to cloud the issue that other Poles did not serve Humanity well. The Polish government of the time absconded from responsibility for its people, 6 million of whom lost their lives, 3,000,000 of which were Polish Jews systematically Slaughtered. The Righteous Few within Poland are a recorded few. All those other Poles who acted morally, did so as a response to their own ethically engendered and compassionate nature. Also, we will find that more righteous Poles go unrecorded as a consequence of their fellow neighbours personal objection to them having saved their Jewish neighbours.
"..I didn't want to go back to Poland. Poles were killing a lot of Jews who returned to claim property ..homes ..other possessions. My Parents were dead. There was nothing to go back to." Bianca Lerner.
Both Bianca Lerner's Parents were Murdered, with her Mother taken to Treblinka and no miscarriage of justice will ever serve the Righteous Memory for the 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, who are The Holocaust. I get the righteous indignation. I guess I can somehow appreciate the anger and even understand the hatred, though it should be pointed at those clearly responsible. For me it is easy to be objective from outside the close quartered affront and outrage to Jewish persistence The Holocaust presents. It is rather more difficult for the Survivor seeking to accuse, or the descendent seeking to blame those, Estonians, French, Latvian's, Lithuanians, Poles or Ukrainians or any other national grouping who even slightly assisted in any way toward delivering Hitler's prime objective toward The Final Solution. Betrayal was a common theme in each and every Country occupied by Hitler's legions and each Country's Jewish Community became a commodity to be bartered over and handed to the German occupiers.
"..Poles ..who despite ..negative image of Jews and ..enormous pressure from their relatives took a huge risk in hiding them. It is undeniable that certain things have happened but you must understand ..atmosphere in which it happened." Jan Grabowski.
But lest we forget, The Righteous Amongst Nations accords an enormous debt to so many Poles who, despite the threat to themselves and even their own Family's and Community’s, they rose above personal interest in many cases to act with honour. That Poles acted with integrity, compassion and the moral appreciation for the sanctity of all life, has been fully recorded. Right at this moment though, Poland is seeking to abolish the accusation of collaboration from its own History, when History in fact knows all too well the established Fact that some Poles did collude with their Nazi master's. But let me also suggest that it was only in Poland where the ability to assist a Jew was equipped with a reprisal action that would devour them and then their entire Family and whole Community’s. So we have to measure the accusation correctly, and level it with certainty and toward those who are guilty.
"..On ..one hand there were extraordinarily brave Poles who risked their lives to save Jews ..and on ..other hand there was no great love between Poles and Jews before World War II." Jan Grabowski.
No one should doubt the achievement of the Righteous, either here in Poland or wherever we meet them. Theirs is an exemplary orchestration of human courage and moral probity. But for those who seek to pave the way toward seeing all in the same light, while diffusing what must be shone upon those darker deeds, such an effort lessens the impact righteous effort must have upon us all. History does not calibrate itself in a broader spectrum than what is truth and what can be proved to be truthful. To elect to add a correction which opens truth to interpretation is a denial of the fundamental integrity we must all seek. The Holocaust is an incredible array of Truths, Facts, Testimonies and Evidences. None of these are open to conjecture. They stand alone as pillars upon which society must build bridges with the past to form the consequences we seek for our future. I struggled hard with the inclusion of this last statement as it was made by a very fine, dogged and committed researcher, Gerald Reitlinger. He taught me the way forward on my journey to The Holocaust and in many ways still does. But if I was to read these words of his again, I would know the Historical error in what he states would be as mine was, a geographical assessment which placed all x6 Death Camps established by Hitler in German occupied Poland, as just that, a geographical Fact that does not allude to anything other than what it is.
"..Apart from ..gassings in Auschwitz and ..Polish death camps ..more than 1,000,000 Jews must have died by ..firing squads or during round ups in ..ghettos. Auschwitz ..in spite of its immense symbolic significance ..probably contributed less that 1/5th. of ..victims." Gerald Reitlinger.
We are always going to get those with noxious views, hate filled agendas and discriminatory beliefs to give their rowdy point of view in order to get to the front of the pack. They usually are the most loud and certainly have the biggest wrongs to issue. But we have a factor which counters all such irrelevance’s. We have Truth, the integrity of it and the Fact that Tolerance is more worthy of humanity than not! The greater part of why I choose to Remember that 6,000,000 Jews were brutally Murdered is to recall and preserve their memory and to also know those we accuse of their systematic slaughter. In that, we attribute all accusations against only those the 6,000,000 would condemn and damn for their deeds in enacting such an atrocity. This accusation cannot ever be applied to any of those whose innocence in the crimes we know as The Holocaust is recognised and this Fact cannot ever be denied. Let the Polish government know what was accomplished on its soil. How and where this was achieved has been catalogued and when x2 escapees from Auschwitz detailed to the World what Birkenau meant, the World prepared itself to do nothing, for which this Polish government seeks to further disclaim. How then can we know the fuller Truth when we can dispute the evidence of some who know. The Auschwitz Report carries a stark warning and all that any previous inactivity allowed for:
"..Cautious estimate of ..number of Jews gassed in Birkenau ..April 1942 and April 1944 ..by Country of origin:
by truck 300,000
by train 600,000
Camps for Foreign Jews in Poland 300,000
Total 1,765,000." Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler.
What these 1,765,000 Gassed and Murdered Jews suggest, an achievement in this short space of time reflects that we just might have underestimated the total Jewish cost at Birkenau. If that is equally true, where ever poison gas or a bullet, brutality or atrocity met with the Jews of Europe, History cannot reliably settle upon a figure we give as a representative fact for 6,000,000 Jewish losses alone. Thus, when we face up to the consequences of at least some Polish collaboration, perhaps an infamous and well known Nazi report has so much more to state about the undeniable fact that some Poles did collaborate, collude or give assistance to the Reich against Poland. What SS Brigadefuhrer Stroops stresses in The Warsaw Jewish Quarter is no more on May 16th. 1943 more than suggests close co-ordination and collaboration existed between Reich and the administers of the Slaughter to strike the Jews here in Poland.
"..For ..Fuhrer and ..Country. ..following killed in action during destruction of Jews ..in ..former Jewish quarter ..Warsaw. ..Polish Police Sergeant Julian Zielinski ..carrying out his duties. ..Units used ..Polish Police 4 officers 363 men. Polish Fire Brigade 166 men. ..Officers ..men of ..Police ..proved themselves. ..Polish police ..authorised to turn over to any Polish policeman ..one third of ..Jews cash ..property. ..Polish population ..welcomed ..measures taken against ..Jews." SS Brigadefuhrer Jurgen Stroop.
ReflectionsPosted by P.A. Draigh Tue, February 20, 2018 21:11:40
The question has been raised so I guess it validates the reason for an answer. It is true many of you do not know me, in Person. Some do! Many of you have yet to discover me through the Books I have placed upon The Holocaust shelf, since 2002. My monthly Blog, since 2014 has been with many of you, who followed me through the strains of a 'youtube' irreverence toward The Holocaust, and yet, there is a question which suggests I might not be who I say I am.
For that question, and My Publisher allows me his Server to communicate My Blog to those interested in understanding my meaning, I will respond. I answer the many questions to My Books in Private to avoid the Copyright infringements this would occasion. Then there are those who communicate through the my Publisher to the Blog, which I gladly answer.
Now there is a very good reason why I do not give anymore information about who I am than I thought was necessary. Tonight! I will take what I have just written, and mix it with the last post on
'The level of abuse'
and connect them together to deliver a sample of what goes into My Blog. My integrity must not be doubted if I am to deliver a clear and honest representation of what The Holocaust means to me, and my on-going relationship with those 6,000,000 Jews, who are The Holocaust.
I will finish this later, post it here and then, to My Blog so that at least My Books, My Blog and My Person are connected here in Remembering Always to Remember, Never to Forget. In so many respects Testimony and Fading Memory in The Holocaust delivers us toward an understanding of how der Einsatzgruppe and The Destruction of European Jewry could be so enormous as seen in Babi Yar A Jewish Catastrophe. But Hitler moved The Final Solution along toward an industrialised killing machine exemplified in his Death Camps of which Hitler's Belzec was indeed a deadly space for Galician Jewry.
Here though, the level of abuse which seeks to attract itself to the Memory of 6,000,000 Jews, wrongly Murdered by an ostensibly 'christian' community of peoples no longer shocks nor surprises me. Nor does it facilitate my observance of other than the effort I manage to consider worthy of 6,000,000 Jews, Murdered because we were too complacent with their lives and indifferent to their suffering.
I completely get, and very well appreciate the reason why so many would wish to conceal this truth. How could it have happened? Why did it happen? How was it we allowed it to happen. These questions highlight the savage nature of mankind's inhumanity toward those considered different, whose observance of other ideals or who pronounce a Faith we have no appreciation of, should be allowed to do so!
So for all of who seek to detract me from my effort. Your vitriol allows me the thought processes to enter words which counter the revulsion I feel for anyone who would trample upon the graves of 6,000,000 wholly innocent Jews. These Jews were destroyed under foot and interred wherever Hitler's foot soldiers traipsed.
But for those of You who Survived the already brutal attempt to deliver The Final Solution, I apologise on behalf of these ignorant, racist and irrelevant people who have no fundamental right to their hatred. My task has always made it difficult reading for those of you who search, as I do for Comprehension. This understanding is clearly known by the Survivor, for who my Books continue to add to their efforts in reminding us!
ReflectionsPosted by P.A. Draigh Sat, February 10, 2018 13:33:59
Empathy in Holocaust terms.
Words are so often misused and the art of the Historian, who is considered expert when, in the delivery of the science of History, presents his words empathetically and is sympathetic to the relationship of delivery. Empathy is one such word which when delivered with truth, honesty and with its integrity intact will deliver posthumously for 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, a remembrance they deserve. That said, the historian is at times dispassionate and also somewhat aloof from the turmoil that has to be presented. A student of their chosen field which they have sought to be recognised historically, and one which is related to an observance of the very parameters and the essential constructs to be searched and researched, is a sort after disciple. The vital ingredient of that scholarly effort is for me the blending of the period of my concern, through which but a tiny fragment of a time, in which the most immense crime ever staged and committed against any within Humanity has been titled The Holocaust. This is both a murderous theme and shocking.
The term, The Holocaust has in itself an immense and emotional propensity to shock and make anxious those whose steely determination remains proportionate to the demands fencing in the promoting of the bare facts. The honest truth and knowledge that is to be gained from the broadest spectrum of testimony and evidential awareness, is sacrosanct. The duration of this tragedy, where murder was commonplace, where destruction was a daily occurrence and the Jews of Europe were treated terminally, is now eternal in our recollection. The chronological order terrorising Jews, and others, ranged the entire period of Hitler's rise to power and his demise, barely 13 years. We therefore place on record all evidences which ensure the integrity of that very testimony as it verifies and confirms the account explored. Almost complete analysis of the period has delivered an essential archive of intimate accounts which all feature in accusing the most horrendous criminals of the most appalling crimes ever committed against innocent People for being Jewish. An old saying that measures the capacity to disenfranchise people in the legislative procedure, and that would:
'drive a Horse and Carriage'
through its effort to act judicially, do so as it fails its People. In Poland, such is the sheer lack of empathy toward its own Murdered Jewish Community that the government of Poland is representing its own feelings too ably and has enacted this:
"..Whoever publicly and untruthfully assigns responsibility or co-responsibility to ..Polish nation or ..Polish state for Nazi crimes committed by ..Third German Reich or for other crimes constituting crimes against peace ..crimes against humanity ..or war crimes ..or in some other way markedly diminishes ..responsibility of ..true perpetrators of these crimes is subject to a fine or imprisonment for up to 3 years."
Firstly! The Holocaust Murder of 6,000,000 Jewish People is a wholly constructed Hitlerite rage and plan. However, whoever participated, perpetrated or otherwise assisted Hitler's efforts, are also guilty in the most heinous series of crimes ever imaginable in All of History. That Hitler's intention for The Final Solution to the Jewish Question cannot disavow anyone of their moral responsibility to object to such tenets as are criminally reprehensible, is accountable to Human civilisation. Those coerced to act unlawfully are fully complicit in the crimes they undertake. In Poland that is equally true. Where once the refrain of Judaism was an acculturated, learned and essential Literature of words and tales, and all through the Century’s, the echoes once absorbing the Hassidim was poetic with religious propensity, while lyrical and well versed in its content. This has all but disappeared. The essence of Jewish learning was practically eliminated as Hitler’s legions drove a disgruntled discourse through all the civilising influences of both Judaism and Western culture.
Where once the Poem and the Poet were equally matched, the subsiding influence of poetry has not been awakened to any large degree by 6,000,000 Jewish losses. Though invariably, there are those whose proponent parts are both featured lyrically and empathetically and equally versed and directed toward all that has been lost to us, we are still absent of so much. Both in the Literal and Literary sense, the World has come to recognise much of what is now missing. From the lines and stanzas of words that have a now distant and hollow echo from lives taken, lives discarded and oh too many of them destroyed as we look to the detail and scraps of evidence of a past that lay destroyed. Yet in our midst the discord is largely unrecorded. Perhaps the poem which shaped my interest, which brought down borders in Jewish Literary matters, as they clearly relate to The Holocaust, is Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s phenomenal work on Babi Yar.
No monument stands over Babi-Yar. It seems to me that I am Anna Frank,
A steep cliff only, like the rudest headstone. Transparent, as the thinnest branch in April,
I am afraid. And I'm in love, and have no need of phrases,
Today, I am as old But only that we gaze into each other's eyes.
As the entire Jewish race itself. How little one can see, or even sense!
Leaves are forbidden, so is sky,
I see myself an ancient Israelite. But much is still allowed -very gently
I wander o'er the roads of ancient Egypt In darkened rooms each other to embrace.
And here, upon the cross, I perish, tortured
And even now, I bear the marks of nails. They come!
No, fear not those are sounds
It seems to me that Dreyfus is myself. Of spring itself.
The Philistines betrayed me - and now judge. She's coming soon.
I'm in a cage. Surrounded and trapped, Quickly, your lips!
I'm persecuted, spat on, slandered, and They break the door!
The dainty dollies in their Brussels frills No, river ice is breaking.
Squeal, as they stab umbrellas at my face.
Wild grasses rustle over Babi-Yar,
I see myself a boy in Belostok The trees look sternly, as if passing judgement.
Blood spills, and runs upon the floors, Here, silently, all screams, and, hat in hand,
The chiefs of bar and pub rage unimpeded I feel my hair changing shade to gray.
And reek of vodka and of onion, half and half.
And I myself, like one long soundless scream
I'm thrown back by a boot, I have no strength left, Above the thousands of thousands interred,
In vain I beg the rabble of pogrom, I'm every old man executed here,
To jeers of "Kill the Jews, and save our Russia! As I am every child murdered here.
My mother's being beaten by a clerk.
No fiber of my body will forget this.
O, Russia of my heart, I know that you May Internationale thunder and ring
Are international, by inner nature. When, for all time, is buried and forgotten
But often those whose hands are steeped in filth The last of antisemites on this earth.
Abused your purest name, in name of hatred.
There is no Jewish blood that's blood of mine,
I know the kindness of my native land. But, hated with a passion that's corrosive
How vile, that without the slightest quiver Am I by antisemites like a Jew.
The antisemites have proclaimed themselves And that is why I call myself a Russian!
The Union of the Russian People!" Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
(Yevgeny Yevtushenk, if we are to Remember him best is a Russian who witnessed the iniquity in the failed acknowledgement that Babi-Yar was, then we recognise with him THE most single and barbarous atrocity for the Jewish People within their Holocaust. This will be reflected and it should be with his words that: "..Poetry is like a bird ..it ignores all frontiers." Yevgeny Yevtushenko.)
I also included this entire Poem in my Book Babi Yar - A Jewish Catastrophe in an effort to share with the reader the distance we have travelled from Yevgeny’s acknowledgement of the catastrophe. When we first sought to ignore, when we thought to forget or when there was an emerging attempt to dismiss the Jewish presence in The Holocaust, few chose to adjust the overall imbalance. As to where acknowledgement is grudgingly given, and still to this day that is so, we look for many ways to heighten the concern we all must have for what 6,000,000 should not have been forced to endure. That said, there are enough people in this world who would not credit the Jews with anything, let alone a life worthy of living. For Jews, filled with fear, sheltering from the threat of abuse or assigned a fate they will not choose, we must come to the fore to resist the tide of an historical hatred that has been rendered illegitimate. Any categorical excuse to rail against the individual must be seen for its inadequacy, and on out part, an intolerable indictment of our past indifference.
Shipment to Maidanek. (Majdanek)
Arrived from scattered cities, several lands,
intact from sea land, mountain land, and plain,
Item: six surgeons, slightly mangled hands,
Item: three poets, hopelessly insane,
Item: a Russian mother and her child,
the former with five gold teeth and usable shoes,
the latter with seven dresses, peasant-styled.
Item: another hundred thousand Jews.
Item: a crippled Czech with a handmade crutch.
Item: a Spaniard with a subversive laugh;
seventeen dozen Danes, nine gross of Dutch.
Total: precisely a million and a half.
They are sorted and marked – the method is up to you.
The books must be balanced, the disposition stated.
Take care that all accounts are neat and true.
Make sure that they are thoroughly cremated." Ephraim Fogel.
(Ephraim Fogel Escaped from Russia in the 1920’s and has been assigned a literary attribute shared here. He served in US Army from 1942 - 1946)
For me though, and I tire endlessly at the concept of a Jew judging incorrectly a fellow Jew who had but x2 choices in the midst of Hitler’s Holocaust, to die or to live long enough to die later. I will not denigrate the memory of anyone who saved a single Jew, let alone anyone who saved Jews residing in their darkest hours and so saving 100’s or even 1,000’s. I do not understand, when there are already so many non-Jews wishing to curse the memory of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, why should any Jew allow for some personal enmity to gift further the rancid nature of antisemitic hatred. The purveyor’s of such a hatred do not need any assistance from anyone else, least of all from any Jews who do not see the Universe that was saved, and in its entirety. And as it was saved from certain annihilation, we must explore the reaches of those lost to us who have but a simple message added to our cause Always to Remember, Never to Forget.
in the garden
and fear walked
in the cool
of the day." Itamar Yaoz-Kest.
(Itmar Yaoz-Kest is a Hungarian Survivor and his amble through Belsen is a reminder that so much Smoke consumed so much Jewish Humanity, that we are ill advised to forget.)
It is essential we recognise that while Ephraim Fogel was one such Poet who managed to offer us an insight into one of Hitler’s x6 Death Camps, established by Hitler in German occupied Poland, many other’s are exploring the reaches just outside the Destructive process. Then when we think of the range of emotion which might encompass shame, guilt and grief, and I have before me more than 500,000 pages filled with words which exemplify all of these monuments to inhumanity, I search for other’s who will qualify their meaning. I have no idea what it must be to be a Jew, but I can imagine it takes an extraordinary Human Being to see much in Humanity that still exists after what we allowed to happen to 6,000,000 of their People. Now I might just have you consider why I feel guilt at all about something which happened decades before I was born. But Humanity does not allow for us to ignore what was done to a People simply because we were not born, or we were actually alive though remote from the perpetration. Perhaps even, we remained absent and outside of the very detail of the atrocity seeking to look in to expand our knowledge of such hatred. We each have Parents, Grandparents and some lucky enough to have Great Grandparents, and their past actions have so shaped and influenced how we adjust and perceive our own life, continually attached to the rest of all Humanity. For many German’s, they have but an inkling of what their own lineage achieved in adopting Hitler’s principle to Mass Murder the Jews, and any other’s he might have taken a dislike to.
It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Nearer. Farther off.
It happened, but not to you.
You were saved because you were the first.
You were saved because you were the last.
Alone. With others.
On the right. The left.
Because it was raining. Because of the shade.
Because the day was sunny.
You were in luck -- there was a forest.
You were in luck -- there were no trees.
You were in luck -- a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . . .
So you're here? Still dizzy from
another dodge, close shave, reprieve?
One hole in the net and you slipped through?
I couldn't be more shocked or
how your heart pounds inside me." Wislawa Szymborska.
(Wislawa Szymborska was born in Poland in 1923 and is a Nobel Prize winner for her Literature.)
Hitler was not an empathetic person, had no sympathy for Humanity and raged against common decency on every level. That said, the Jew knows what happened to 6,000,000 of their People. The Jew knows what we allowed to happen to 6,000,000 of their People. The collective guilt of a so called ‘christian’ founded resentment, a deep seated hatred and an eventual willingness to Slaughter these 6,000,000 Jews, throws up far too many questions than those answers which are both necessary to comprehension and acknowledgement. The human World threw its allegiance behind a series of hatred’s that have permeated the Historical arena for more than 2,000 years and has allowed states to disrupt, disregard and destroy the Jewish People at no seeming cost to their own moral nor ethical countenance. Here, and while we deal in huge numbers, statistics can never be a correct format for what is a very Human loss of People, and is a loss too to the rest of Humanity. Nor can such mathematical statements or formulae become the arbiter of a human atrocity so enormous, we have difficulty imagining its terrifying ordeal.
No one kneads us again from earth and loam,
no one evokes our dust.
Praised be you, no one.
Because of you we wish
were we, are we, will
we be, blossoming:
the nothing's-, the no ones rose.
its pistil soul bright,
its stamen heaven crazed,
its crown red
from the purple word that we sang
over, o over
its thorn. Paul Celan.
(Paul Celan was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina in 1920. In 1942 Paul saw his parents deported to Auschwitz. He survived The Holocaust confined to many camps but Paul never truly recovered from the losses. He committed suicide in 1970.)
Significantly, The Holocaust term has been borne on the mantle of Historical account to not only contain this emphasis for loss but to curtail a devastation which would damn all too much of human civilisation. 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of Europe are such an atrocity, which must audibly resonate with accusation and a measure of empathetic sympathy for a beleaguered and brutally destroyed community, that we should all we hear its call from the distance and pain so many People were forced to endure. The atrocity itself cannot be judged with such terms as would allow for the human enormity of the annihilation of a People. Moreover, and simply because they were Jewish People, we cannot allow for this to become deflecting from the fullest human dimension of loss. Indeed, how can any mathematical dissertation convey the terror and horror fully experienced by 6,000,000 Murdered Human Beings. How then can we redefine our own humanity on the basis of this severing of any cultural, ethical or moral probity which had supposedly established our former civilisation. Had we too been given no manner of choice would we too have been guillotined from existence. Perhaps, just perhaps, as non-Jews we would have been more favourably treated and then eternally rewarded in more favourable terms as to how we are to be remembered.
"..Had I died when I had no choice it would not have allowed others freely to cease my existence. No one has ..right to select inappropriate timing for me to leave my life behind. Perhaps this is childish foolishness but now I will not be allowed to progress beyond ..not yet Adult fool I might have planned to be." Anonymous.
(Anonymous and from the depths of The Holocaust).
Remembering that with such a measured and constructed intolerance, 6,000,000 Jews were allowed to be Slaughtered with little protest from the World standing along the ridges of total indifference. I look constantly for what might inspire those others of us to begin their own recollection and connection with these, the Jews who are The Holocaust. We gaze either willingly or not on a past we have yet to comprehend fully. From that period there was a poetry which has become an undernourished medium as it presents itself to us today. But in the midst of an approaching doom, and as the terms of The Holocaust escalated, adding words to those messages we were to inherit, this has motivated so many conflicted and endangered Jews to add in prose, the lessons we have yet to fully contend with. We have been given all too many graven images and these attack our conscience and conscious reckoning. With words which once flourished, mighty tomes have been consigned to the same abandoned ash which was a formerly a representative body of 6,000,000 Jewish People. But we have many examples of the style and emphasis placed in words to come from beyond their grave to consult our impression of the deepest rift ever to refute humanity itself.
"..We have to be tolerant. I don't care if you're Catholic ..Muslim or something else ..as long as you're a decent human being. That's really what it is." Alexander Kimel.
(Alexander Kimel was born in Podhaje, Galicia and lived in Ghetto of Rohatyn, where some 9,900 of the 10,000 Ghetto Jews were Murdered. Alexander escaped May 1943 and is a Survivor.)
In essence, the usage of words to promote tolerance has been largely conducted through Books, forgotten statements and simple pamphlets wishing to inform us. With poems that are so well measured and offering such a depth perception, we have largely failed to study them. They have become the lexicon of abbreviated cries, shrieks of despair all detailing the abandonment of a People on the cusp of a faltering society unwilling to protect them. Meanwhile, it is essential to identify the ownership of a work quoted so we know who delivers them to us. It is also important for me to recognise that in the depths of The Holocaust, identity was meant to be shredded alongside those Jews to be physically destroyed. Usually, and in the midst of societies all too willing to look the other way, words were constructed in defiance to such an intolerable indifference. Here, in this use of words to describe the atrocity, and I am not an advocate of Poetry as such, but merely as their usage of the words used to convey the factual truth we have sought, we come to recognise an epoch altering atrocity. The carefully scaled words, while they balance our appreciation of the lengths to which so many went to, to deliver us the example we clearly have not awoken to, we grasp an urgency which was limiting in the context of time that was being denied to all these Jewish People.
There is a Last, Solitary Coach.
There is a last, solitary coach about to leave.
Let us get in and go.
For it won't wait.
I have seen young girls going softly
With sad faces
That looked ashamed and sorry
Like purple sunsets.
And chubby, pink children
Who went simply
Because they were called.
And I've seen men
Who stepped proud and straight through the world's streets,
Whose large eyes went ranging
Far and wide,
They too got in calmly
And we are the last.
Day is declining.
The last, solitary coach is about to leave.
Let us too get in quietly
For it won't wait. David Vogel.
(David Vogel was a Russian Jew taken in 1944 and Murdered somewhere?)
One of my all time favourite songs, and music is both a simple pleasure and a much needed resort in the midst of the turmoil, has to be Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones. But, it is with the words which engaged me so many years before I lasted onto The Holocaust, that I learned from sympathy that empathy escalates us toward awakenings as better beings of human stature. I learned candidly from lyrics that we can make bold statements and when we state the things that matter, we can articulate all manner of concerns. At the time of my awakening to the loss of 6,000,000 People, and as I so often digested words to find their meaning, I did not realise I would find World War II and The Holocaust as a refrain that entered my head with this song. But, and my resolution to affix some form of literary concern to such an enormous Tragedy, Catastrophe and Atrocity did emerge. Those initial struggles with words allowed for an empathy that was guided toward an annihilated Jewish People. I found a solid grounding and from which I have layered this platform of mine with the words that would devour so meanings, 6,000,000 reasons await some form of resonance with the horrible details still to emerge.
"..I rode a tank
Held a General's rank
When ..Blitzkrieg raged
And ..bodies stank." The Rolling Stones.
However, there is a truth to be had in that all Roads do lead in the one direction and nominally, this is to the place we wish to be. Again, and while this might sound like an opportunity to direct myself toward those words which have become meaningful to me, and they are and they do, they just might inspire the definitive direction for others. This route, which I have traversed now for more than x20 years does not letup as I seek future comprehension from an immeasurable conflict with an immensely detailed narrative view. Pleased to meet you (was said), (with a) Hope that you guess my name. But what's puzzling you, is the nature of my game and that particular game has more than 1,500,000 Jewish Children’s souls amongst these 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of Europe, who are literally far too anonymous to History. In these first few words are the lyrics to a song I have devoured time and time again and long before I knew much of The Holocaust term, let alone the very detail aspects of its atrocity, Music so consoled my soul and filled my heart with measures of meaning. I have had my senses so warmed, they remain my release from the troublesome detail of atrocity which spared not one single Jews, but consumed 6,000,000 of them anyway.
When I returned to my home town
believing that no one would care
who I was and what I thought
it was as if the people caught
an echo of me everywhere
they knew my story by my face
and I who am always alone
became a symbol of my race
Like every living Jew I have
in imagination seen
the gas-chamber the mass-grave
the unknown body which was mine
and found in every German face
behind the mask the mark of Cain
I will not make their thoughts my own
by hating people for their race. Karen Gershon.
(Karen Gershon escaped The Holocaust on the Kindertransport while her Parents, deported to Riga did not.)
The strains of riffs and themes of music so touched my heart like so much poetry and as poetry still resonates with literary minded people, its eloquence has so ensnared me. For their effort, I can use words lyrically to share my concerns and with a passion for their usage. Here, poetry is far too often all we have left of so many, wholly consumed within the atrocity. Now that I seek their words to define, and it is their absence from us which needs defining, I reconnect somehow with their past. In words which might not seem like they factually accumulate the despairing horror that is every day encountered, a poet can so often give their finer words to share a scene which could all too easily pass us by. What words may choose to devastate us must be sought out of the carnage of hate we now wish to confront. But we escape the language of confrontation and know their indelible process has been weighed down with such an immense horror, how are we to describe what we consider must have been truly terrifying. Life does not offer us too many glimpses into a past so riven with despair, that the sheer atrocity would seek to consume us too if we did not have historical distance to qualify us for our present day travails.
"..driving of women ..children into ..marshes did not have ..expected success ..marshes ..not so deep ..one could sink. After ..meter ..solid ground. ..Ukrainian clergy ..very co-operative and ..available for every Aktion. ..population ..on good terms with ..Jewish sector of ..population. Nevertheless ..helped energetically in rounding up ..Jews. ..locally recruited guards ..Polish police ..former Polish soldiers ..made a good impression. ..total number ..shot by ..Mounted Units ..6,526." SS Sturmbannfuhrer Franz Magill.
(Franz Magill led a troop of the Dirlewanger brigade)
We cannot look upon accounts of such atrocity without the feeling of shame which must have been so missing from those whose empathy was kept secreted deeper inside them than should be humanly possible. But here, we merely dip our toe into the swelter of words whose poisoning influence must become adapted to ensure the positive lessons which tolerance must give. This is the essence in which empathy strikes at the core of all belief systems and clearly manifests itself in the detail which has grown to shock, frighten and scare humanity. But clearly the world is not shocked enough as there are many who will now defend the indifferent attitude of their nations during the most horrendous period in all history. The Holocaust Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe has no humanitarian borders but exists within the psyche of who we are and who we wish to be. Worryingly too, especially in a country like Poland, where 3,000,000 of its own Citizens were butchered because they were Jews, some seek to shift responsibility and apportion blame onto some others. Though notably guilty of many crimes, these others, be they Estonian, French, Latvian, Lithuanian or Ukrainian, all are equally as guilty as any Pole who divested themselves of any moral probity in their conduct toward their fellows, who just happened to have been Jews.
"..Reminiscences make a sad ..depressing literature." Januscz Korczak.
(Januscz Korczak was born in Warsaw. Renowned the World over for his refusal to abandon His 200 charges, the Children from the orphanage to Treblinka. On August 6th. 1942 Korczak, with Stefania Wilczynska, Broniatowska and Sternfeld leading x4 Columns of Children left their sanctuary at 16 Sienna Street, their fate sealed.)
This sought out effort to ensure the light of reminiscence by some is cast aside in order to ensure the deeds of some former nationals do not shine brightly upon the truth of the many forms of collaboration, does not abrogate any responsibility. This process of shifting blame is seemingly their sought after deflection in order to negate the obvious collusion and collaboration by some of their own nations with these deeds of Hitler and his cronies. It is possible, with recalling here what Januscz Korczak reflects upon, and in fully reminiscing their loss, we have too detailed an atrocity to make it at all palatable to accept when far too many had a responsibility for the constituting effects of the overall atrocity. This means also that any form of denial by any who might have constituted a guilt for the atrocity’s perpetration, must be questionable. Those aligned with the gravest intolerance’s toward their Jewish Neighbours, or were merely effortless in the seeming indifference they had shown to the destruction of the Jews, cannot be tolerable. All of these effects, which was so obviously being undertaken, belongs to those nations and their nationals who assisted, aided, abetted or helped in destroying a fully fledged humanity designed in Jewish attire.
Their shouts do not greet us.
We stare at long lost moments
Shuffle forth to meet despair.
There the angry crowd awaits
A doom ridden line of hope.
Their shouts do not greet us
No welcome echoes forth.
I see many amongst us
From vast times gone by.
Adhering to shrieking demands
We settle to a controlled sway.
Edging further from all we knew
Children so much closer to an unknown e.." Anonymous.
(Anonymous and unfinished from the depths of The Holocaust)
Here, as the political emphasis after this, a Second World War sought to assuage so much guilt and secrete all too much of the atrocity, the 'general's of rank', the politicians of measure and the people of consequence all emerged unscathed from what they knew of the more than 1,250,000 shot Jewish bodies, which must have stank as they sank into shallow holes and hideaways. This does not even meet the criteria to be attached to those who continued daily life outside the gates of Auschwitz, Belzec, Birkenau, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka. For me, as I stood in each of these Death Camps, fully established by Hitler in German occupied Poland, I too wonder, who could not know, who could not hear, who could not see and who could not have smelled the atrocity of so much burning flesh. In these x6 Death Camps alone, there were in excess of 4,000,000 Jews Murdered, interred, disinterred and cremated. The approved essential to disinter and then cremate what remained of such an atrocity must have appeared before countless German general's who had been witnesses to the imaginable destruction they endorsed with their culpable silence. This truth does not belong to the integrity of a song either, but to the failings of History to stand squarely in favour of a justice for 6,000,000 Murdered Jews.
"..My mother survives in hiding and ..4 months before liberation she is turned over to ..Germans by a local Polish farmer. She is tied to a wagon and brought into town to ..German Gestapo ..and is shot in ..town cemetery." Aaron E.
So as not to be lost in translation I copied both versions of Pavel's Butterfly. The synthesis of the work is hardly disturbed and it is little consolation knowing the outcome of what awaited Pavel, whose Butterfly might easily have translated equally plausibly within Birkenau. What continually confronts us today is not just in the search of so missing a sympathy for what approached, what emerged and what destroyed 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, but the enormous shortage of empathy left reeling in its terrifying wake. Not that all concerned have failed to acknowledge The Holocaust is all a part of all human responsibility. But the distancing from its occurrence has a gained momentum and a blame culture which seeks to somehow exorcise certain national guilt’s. We are aware that for so long Germans placed their own guilt and its onus, on those fringe elements of German society, Gestapo and all too many rogue SS units.
He was the last. Truly the last.
Such yellowness was bitter and blinding
Like the sun’s tear shattered on stone.
That was his true colour.
And how easily he climbed, and how high,
Certainly, climbing, he wanted
To kiss the last of my world.
I have been here seven weeks,
Who loved me have found me,
Daisies call to me,
And the branches also of the white chestnut in the yard.
But I haven’t seen a butterfly here.
That last one was the last one.
There are no butterflies, here, in the ghetto. Pavel Friedmann.
(Pavel Friedman was a 19 year old taken from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on September 29th. 1944 and Murdered there.)
From here there is a process forward to where we attempt to link the atrocity to those who perpetrated the deed, but also to those whose presence, observance and knowledge permeate the perimeter of this destructive process. Those like the Dirlewanger or Kaminski brigade are what criminal elements can become for the excuse of nations to hide behind. Hitler of course, so intractable and convinced all criminals would deliver him his end result, the Destruction of all Jewry. We also have come to realise that the crimes of the supposed ‘elite’ Waffen SS and even Wehrmacht troops were more deeply embedded in the atrocity than has been fairly acknowledged. Now we hear more from all too many nationals who insist it was other nations who committed the crimes and not their. Be they Polish, Latvian or Ukrainians denials, each contributed a share to the overall guilt. Truth is! While some nations were more heavily involved and colluded or were collaborative, all collusion is collaboratively wrong. Any level of cooperation given to Hitler defames the name of any societal norms which include morality and ethics. With all things considered, there has been such an inconsistent sympathy for 6,000,000 Jewish losses, and as such, their memorials appear insincere.
The Action in the Ghetto of Rohatyn. (March 1942)
Do I want to remember?
The peaceful ghetto, before the raid:
Children shaking like leaves in the wind.
Mothers searching for a piece of bread.
Shadows, on swollen legs, moving with fear.
No, I don't want to remember, but how can I forget?
Do I want to remember, the creation of hell?
The shouts of the Raiders, enjoying the hunt.
Cries of the wounded, begging for life.
Faces of mothers carved with pain.
Hiding Children, dripping with fear.
No, I don't want to remember, but how can I forget?
Do I want to remember, my fearful return?
Families vanished in the midst of the day.
The mass grave steaming with vapor of blood.
Mothers searching for children in vain.
The pain of the ghetto, cuts like a knife.
No, I don't want to remember, but how can I forget?
Do I want to remember, the wailing of the night?
The doors kicked ajar, ripped feathers floating the air.
The night scented with snow-melting blood.
While the compassionate moon, is showing the way.
For the faceless shadows, searching for kin.
No, I don't want to remember, but I cannot forget.
Do I want to remember this world upside down?
Where the departed are blessed with an instant death.
While the living condemned to a short wretched life,
And a long tortuous journey into unnamed place,
Converting Living Souls, into ashes and gas.
No. I Have to Remember and Never Let You Forget. Alexander Kimel.
(Alexander Kimel was born in Podhaje, Galicia, lived in Ghetto of Rohatyn, where some 9,900 of the 10,000 Ghetto Jews were Murdered. Escaped May 1943 and is a Survivor.)
The moral dimensions of empathy on the whole too has been inadequate in replacing the negative effects of indifference permeating the very atrocity. Far too many today now seek to dilute, dispute and downright refute the terms of reference which seek to enclose the Jews in The Holocaust. The psychological emphasis, to design a string of quotients so as to assess whether one is empathetic or not forces an emotional trait into the hands of a science which cannot fully establish the fundamental and discerning voice of Human concern. We can iterate concern. We can suggest concern but it cannot be given a number and become acceptable to the Human condition. We each display a level of sympathy, or empathy, given our own understanding of what that entails. We may well propose to engage in a remembrance of the 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of The Holocaust, seeking a sympathy to empathise with their loss.
No blade of grass
No blade of grass
That tastes so sweet.
No patch of earth more bare.
To stave off pain to our hunger
No blade of grass so filling
In the cool cold air.
As we eat our fill
The dead fill our naked space
We live if we dare. Anonymous.
(Anonymous and from the depths of The Holocaust)
In the hands of Science, a cognitive tool will discern whether we have the correct methodology required to move away from what is our own reality. The memory for The Holocaust will immerse us in a place where we attempt to connect with those who stroll a different path. There are far too many confined to shedding responsibility and attempting to disown their guilt, there is a danger of unleashing a revisionist view of all History that cannot sustain any truthful narrative. As any christian who might call this the walking in the footsteps of the fisherman, and while utilising the lessons to be learned to benefit those other than oneself, humanity flourishes. Others would simply call this religious emphasis a moral grounding, an ethical understanding and even a charitable approach! For me though, empathy comes with having a sympathetic soul and allowing that sympathy to connect with those whose feelings have been touched by trauma. Also, and for those who are disconnected from Society or just need a calming influence, we have to reach out a hand!
First They Came For The Jews
"..First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me." Martin Niemoeller.
(Martin Niemoller was a German theological Minister and originally supported Hitler’s views, especially against the Jews. He served time in Both Dachau and Sachsenhausen and Dachau Concentration Camps.)
One can empathise out of concern and afford moral support for someone's wounded feelings without even knowing the impact those feelings can have upon oneself. Emotional support rendered to those at the Death of a Parent is a way toward empathising! We can certainly sympathise with those losses and then empathise for what we too will know what that loss means to fellow Human Beings. We struck a systematic chord when I knew about such losses, and it was empathetic in as much as I could imagine the loss, feel the grief and was aware of the depth of the despair. All of that was fully visited upon me, so empathy came in advance of that knowledge and I am able to reflect the horror for you is the disgust I feel for those who could do this to so many People, and simply because they were Jews. I have therefore empathised before hand, due to that appreciation of what your loss certainly is and I recognise clearly the Jewish essence of it, and as loss comes to us all, it wasn't long before my sympathy for your losses became an empathetic relevance!
How Can I see You, Love.
How can I see you, love,
Amid storms of grief
Without feeling my heart shake?
A deep night
Blacker than the blackness of your eyes,
Has fallen silently
On the world.
And is touching your curls.
My hand will clasp your dreaming
And I shall lead you between the nights.
Through the pales mists of childhood,
As my father once guided me
To the house of prayer. David Vogel.
(David Vogel was a Russian Jew taken in 1944 and Murdered somewhere?)
That is why I stressed placing an emotional arm around the Survivor and the Jewish People as a whole! It was done as an understanding of what your communal need might be and as empathy is a sense of that feeling, it is in that chosen want to appreciate your overall sorrow. With 6,000,000 losses to mourn, my usage of non statistical terms, which is an understanding of the feelings you are faced with, can never replace the Human loss you face! We have a clearly defined empathy reached at as the understanding of an other's situation, placing oneself in their 'shoes'. While support is indeed a shoulder to cry on, that assist to shoulder a burden is as empathetic as it is genuine. One might not understand how a person feels but with any attempt to reach an understanding or imagine how sad or distraught a person might be is all part of an empathetic process.
"..Reformers come to a bad end. Only after their death do people see that they were right and erect monuments in their memory." Janusz Korczak.
(Januscz Korczak was born in Warsaw. Renowned the World over for his refusal to abandon His 200 charges, the Children from the orphanage to Treblinka. On August 6th. 1942 Korczak, with Stefania Wilczynska, Broniatowska and Sternfeld leading x4 Columns of Children left their sanctuary at 16 Sienna Street, their fate sealed.)
Somewhat prophetically, Janusz a reformer could not as yet foresee his role in distinguishing himself before Humanity and while it is too simplistic also to measure the effort in terms of the size of the task, 6,000,000 times over, Janusz Korczak has a measure beyond that. We might seek to follow in the steps of a giant amongst mankind, recognising that Janusz Korczak attains such an accolade. Some might consider Martin Luther King a giant amongst humanity and any attempt to appreciate what he sought to achieve or what he meant to people would stretch the emphasis of our empathetic understanding to find a relevance to The Holocaust. But great people do great things and to empathise with their failings makes the effort an ever more grandiose appreciation of the frailty we each secure in this life. Make no bones about it! We come this way but once. We touch Humanity in the blink of an eye and leave a footprint which shows us empathetic, sympathetic or one of life's drifters through the banality of existence. What you each must choose to understand becomes the effort to reach an empathy with a fellow human being!
I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love,
even when there's no one there.
And I believe in God,
even when he is silent.
I believe through any trial,
there is always a way
But sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair
My heart cries for shelter,
to know someone's there
But a voice rises within me, saying hold on
my child, I'll give you strength,
I'll give you hope. Just stay a little while.
I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love
even when there's no one there
But I believe in God
even when he is silent
I believe through any trial
there is always a way.
May there someday be sunshine
May there someday be happiness
May there someday be love
May there someday be peace.." Anonymous.
(Anonymous and from the depths of The Holocaust. Possibly a French Jew? taken from a place of hiding in Cologne.)
We don't need cliches or terms derived from science to appreciate that the delivery of some form of sympathy ensures an empathy towards another’s struggle, and this is a given! We sympathise and express a desire to simply understand, and hence we empathise! In the grand scheme of things we are negligible unless we reach an understanding of who we are, what we are and why we are who we have become! If we take the time to understand ourselves, we can dictate that understanding so that it resonates with those around us! We have such a short time to fashion anything other than a postscript to life. I am at a cross roads in my study of The Holocaust as to whether the World just did not care enough about the Jewish People, or did not care at all that 6,000,000 of them were being ritually Slaughtered. Now I am tired of those platitudes of concern, the vagaries of which even seek to diminish the term of The Holocaust. For me, and even from those who see in some religious connotation a missing protocol for Annihilation which Hitler fully presented to the World, we should hold firmly to the term which has hosted such a deep loss, its narrative is 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, Men, Women and Their Children who are The Holocaust.
The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing
against a white stone...
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ‘way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it wished
to kiss the world goodbye.
For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto
But I have found my people here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut candles in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live in here,
In the ghetto. Pavel Friedmann.
(Pavel Friedman was a 19 year old taken from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on September 29th. 1944 and Murdered there.)
6,000,000 Murdered Jews have lived under the genocidal term given to them for much of what remained of Jewish Survival, and their Survival from The Holocaust regards us and that it is incumbent upon us all to retain that principle guidance in order, Always to Remember, Never to Forget. The fundamental fact of all life is surely, We arrived, We laid siege to what life offered us, We stayed a while and then We departed. We might have understood that underlying principle far better if we showed an empathy for some of those 6,000,000 Murdered Jews whose journey proved more troubled than our own! Clearly! As we are obliged to pay our own respects to those we have Loved and Lost, the Worlds Humanity must look past all pretexts to share a concern for 6,000,000 Murdered Jews. Where these Jews, who are The Holocaust, are interred, matters so often in terms of all personal and any intimate connection. Otherwise, Poland as the largest grave site for Holocaust remembrance is not merely a pilgrimage, it is a privilege to make certain the World is awake to why We must visit. Forget the territory and ignore the demeaning images of collaboration that have been presented to us. The essential in this is the memory for 6,000,000 Jews who are much lost to all who survey the carnage struck by such an intolerable hatred.
You who live secure
In your warm houses,
Who return at evening to find
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider whether this is a man,
Who labors in the mud
Who knows no peace
Who fights for a crust of bread
Who dies at a yes or a no.
Consider whether this is a woman,
Without hair or name
With no more strength to remember
Eyes empty and womb cold
As a frog in winter.
Consider that this has been:
I commend these words to you.
Engrave them on your hearts
When you are in your house, when you walk on your way,
When you go to bed, when you rise.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your house crumble,
Disease render you powerless,
Your offspring avert their faces from you." Primo Levi
(Primo Levi’s Shema is one of the finest poems to emerge from The Holocaust and from one of The Holocaust’s finest Writer’s. Born in Turin in 1919 he worked as an industrial Chemist prior to WWII and was detained and transported to Auschwitz. Having Survived this experience and being tormented by Survivoral guilt, he died in 1987. I do not see in what happened to him a suicide.)
Leaving aside all personal enmity, our journey from France through Poland to Russia and from Norway through Poland to Greece, 6,000,000 Murdered Jews do not expect other than our confirmation that we have made the effort to visit and Remember them. Jewish tradition holds with a simple stone as a marker that informs all others that we have been, we have acknowledged and we know the debt we owe 6,000,000 lost lives. There is ample room for 6,000,000 such stones, the achievement of which ensures, Reverence is not dealt with in any remote way. It demands effort and personal attachment, regardless of personal wishes or intentions. I visited x6 of these mass Graveyards, at Auschwitz and Birkenau, 1,100,000 or so markers required; Belzec, with 884,700 markers required; Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka and there is not enough to leave a marker sufficient in grief for 6,000,000 expectant souls. It is simple marker of respect to the memory of those who still passed this way, tortured, brutalised and murdered but in need of our Remembrance in order that they are nor Forgotten.
The Creed of a Holocaust Survivor
I do believe, with all my heart,
In the natural Goodness of Man. Despite the blood and destruction,
Brought by one man, trying to be God,
In the Goodness of Man, I do believe.
I do believe, with all my heart,
That God gave man the blessing and the curse.
Man can select the curse of envy, hatred and prejudices,
Or the blessing of love, harmony and beauty.
Despite the painful curses of the past,
In the blessing of the Creator, I do believe.
I do believe, with all my heart,
That God created a beautiful world,
The sun and the trees, the flowers and the bees.
And the best way to serve God, is
To enjoy the fruits of His labour of love.
Despite the painful memories from the past, In the joyful celebration of life,
I do believe. I do believe with all my heart,
That God has created man in image of His own.
And killing of man, is like killing of God.
Despite the massacres in Rwanda, the cleansing in Bosnia,
The folly of Muslim fanatics, and the cruelty of Pol Pot.
In the love and compassion of the Creator, I do believe.
I believe with all my heart,
That the Messiah and the Kingdom of Heaven will come;
When man will conquer his destructive urge,
And learn how to live in harmony with nature and himself.
When all the preachers of hate will be silenced,
And man will become his brother's keeper.
When man will stop killing man, in the name of God,
And nation will not lift weapons against nation.
When it will be, I do not know, but
Despite all the signs to the contrary.
In the dawn of a Better World, I do believe. Alexander Kimel.
(Born in Podhaje, Galicia, lived in Ghetto of Rohatyn, where some 9,900 of the 10,000 Ghetto Jews were Murdered. Escaped May 1943 and is a Survivor.)
Their wait calls upon us to visit, restore a balance, make amends in some minute way and make an apology that rings out in Never Forgetting what we allowed for them to endure. The travelogue reads 6,000,000 times over, Remember me here as I wait for your coming. Remember. These Are Not Polish spaces as they belong to a displaced Humanity. They retain the last vestiges and integrity of a numbered People, their number being 6,000,000 and this is so vast we have Forgotten all of their Names. The shame too is that we can allow the World to Forget if we do not honour those spaces and allow for the hate filled continuance of:
"..they're only Jews who still do not matter,"
to assign 6,000,000 murdered Jews to their past alone. For me, I know there are 6,000,000 People who do matter, and because they are Jews, we Remember them. And here all empathy turns toward a sympathy for a lost People, ritually devoured by a maddening hatred that is forever irrelevant. We can too easily accept that any form of hatred feasts off of our own humanity and devours it unless we counter its necrotizing influence. We no longer share the space once occupied by these Jewish People, so we honour their memory with a stone, left over to carry the weight of accusation forever forward.
Black milk of morning we drink you at dusktime
we drink you at noontime and dawntime we drink you at night
we drink and drink
we scoop out a grave in the sky where it’s roomy to lie
There’s a man in this house who cultivates snakes and who writes
who writes when it’s nightfall nach Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
he writes it and walks from the house and the stars all start flashing he whistles his
dogs to draw near
whistles his Jews to appear starts us scooping a grave out of sand
he commands us to play for the dance
Black milk of morning we drink you at night
we drink you at dawntime and noontime we drink you at dusktime
we drink and drink
There’s a man in this house who cultivates snakes and who writes
who writes when it’s nightfall nach Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
your ashen hair Shulamite we scoop out a grave in the sky where it’s roomy to lie
He calls jab it deep in the soil you lot there you other men sing and play
he tugs at the sword in his belt he swings it his eyes are blue
jab your spades deeper you men you other men you others play up again for the dance
Black milk of morning we drink you at night
we drink you at noontime and dawntime we drink you at dusktime
we drink and drink
there’s a man in this house your golden hair Margareta
your ashen hair Shulamite he cultivates snakes
He calls play that death thing more sweetly Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland
he calls scrape that fiddle more darkly then hover like smoke in the air
then scoop out a grave in the clouds where it’s roomy to lie
Black milk of morning we drink you at night
we drink you at noontime Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland
we drink you at dusktime and dawntime we drink and drink
Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland his eye is blue
he shoots you with leaden bullets his aim is true
there’s a man in this house your golden hair Margareta
he sets his dogs on our trail he gives us a grave in the sky
he cultivates snakes and he dreams Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland
your golden hair Margareta
your ashen hair Shulamite." Paul Celan.
(Paul Celan (Paul Antschel) was born in Czernovitz, Romania and was in Forced Labour for 18 months before escaping to Bucharest and eventual Survival.)
Essentially, and more especially for Jews everywhere, these are your People and you have much more reason than I to recognise what the World owes them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but in the case of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, why do we not do everything to Remember them, even when it means standing at their last resting place. Their Remembrance counters all and everything we might bring to the fore amidst personal considerations. Our wishes must remain secondary to what is left of what was demanded of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, and that has been their complete obliteration. Until you stand upon a place on Earth designating that this is their final resting place, who will know your concern and who will know you have been to Remember them. How else do we propose to Remember them in these coming days?
The Little Smuggler.
Over the wall, through holes, and past the guard,
Through the wires, ruins, and fences,
Plucky, hungry, and determined
I sneak through, dart like a cat.
At noon, at night, at dawn,
In snowstorm, cold or heat,
A hundred times I risk my life
And put my head on the line.
Under my arm a gunny sack,
Tatters on my back,
On nimble young feet,
With endless fear in my heart.
But one must endure it all,
One must bear it all,
So that tomorrow morning
The fine folk can eat their fill.
Over the wall, through holes and bricks,
At night, at dawn, at noon,
Plucky, hungry, artful,
I move silently like a shadow.
And only one request
Will stiffen on my lips:
Who, mother mine, who
Will bring your bread tomorrow? Henryka Lazawert.
(Henryka Lazawert was taken from Warsaw to Treblinka during July 1942 and Murdered there, her memory is preserved and though:
"..I move silently like a shadow."
her destruction has not ensured her passage through our time is a forgotten detail. Not just merely in the words expressed, but her person is recalled.)
Treblinka had sought to accomplish a Hitlerian detail for more than 800,000 Jews or could it be more than 1,000,000 but obliteration comes to those forgotten and History records her name, her passing and her being. There in the gene sequence of the Survivor is the essential need for Justice which all but eliminates the terms of anger we would be raging with. All so many of these Human Beings, whose lives have been inundated with terror, horror and the grief of far too much loss, have a differing view to all of us where vengeance is replaced by what 6,000,000 Murdered Jews never received, Justice. The call to this day, for any form of Justice which meets the criterion which should be applied to the systematic nature of the Slaughter of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of Europe, would make the most placid of us rage with anger, our blood boiling over for revenge.
But, and apart from the fact that the Survivor considers luck to have been on their side, it is no coincidence that Justice has swerved their infinite need. It is in knowing the lengths to which we all must go to deliver to each and everyone a small portion of who we aim to be. In the depths of a despair that is The Holocaust, I have found these the Children to be the hardest to deal with. All Children condemned to a life unworthy of life, because they were Jews and so cruelly taken from them. Humanity has taught me much, but if we do not see in the individual a semblance of us, we are doomed to negate all that we should stand for. I have no belief system. I have only a compassion that I deliver on behalf of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews who were denied everything. For us all, we should seek to demand every piece of the life, and that opportunity to live it in peace with each other.
In words recorded for 6,000,000 Jews who can no longer utter sentences of meaning for us, we recall their having been here, in angry terms! However, the seeming way the Survivor purges their own anger, while there could be a lust for vengeance is a remarkable feat of their human capacity to raise themselves up above the rage. The telling of tales from within a Killing Site, the escape from under the pressure of an entire Humanity weighing heavily upon them, calculates our own ability to seek an empathy with such losses as comprehension will not tally. So as I read on, journey forth and deliver even more words of Remembrance, ours is the gift of listening to what the Survivor must be suffering in informing us, and that is empathetic enough to deliver for posterity, The Holocaust History that emerged in our time.
In the Steps of the CondemnedPosted by P.A. Draigh Sat, January 27, 2018 11:22:49
The Auschwitz Album.
Lili Jacob was an 18 year old young Woman ripped from her home in Bilke, near Beregszasz, in the region of Transcarpathia. The Beregszasz District had been formerly Czechoslovakian in 1919 immediately after World War I had finished and then it was reclaimed as part of Hungary in 1939. Then almost immediately after Hitler Invaded Russian, in Operation Barbarossa, June 22nd. 1941, many of these same Jews from the Carpathian region were rounded up and taken to Kamanets-Podolski for execution. Eventually, and in late April 1944, the foreboding came closer to Bilke and the home of Lili and her Family. Lili was forcibly taken, with her entire Family to the town's synagogue, detained in the courtyard and then soon after, they were transferred to the Beregszasz Ghetto.
"..Everyone thought Hitler was some kind of maniac." Lili Jacob.
Here, in an area comprising of the Kont and Valy brick factory’s and the barns and outbuildings of the Weisz Farmland, the Jewish Population here in the Ghetto swelled to an astonishing level of some 10,000. All of these Jews, and from many outlying Districts, local Towns, Villages and Shtetl’s, were all crowded and compacted together, uncertain of their fate. Lili’s life up to that point had been somewhat idyllic, and no one should have denied her, her right to continue with the life she had been given. For Lili, if this is not to say she was relatively comfortable, it is also to admit that she had never been so ritually abused. The right to pursue ones life in peace and unhindered was to acquaint Lili with the many trials and privations, but luck which still managed to save her presented itself to her.
"..Something just pulled me toward it right away." Lili Jacob.
Lili’s unease with the World raging across the border was summed up as she listened to radio broadcasts of what Hitler was charging and what the World was seemingly then stepping forth to contain. As rumours always abounded that Hitler had in his feted mind an assault upon all Jewish integrity, this was fairly and constantly seen as merely an attempt to force them to work for the Reich. Between May 16th and May 29th. 1944, in 4 transports, the Jews of the Beregszasz Ghetto were cleared in many ways brutal and methodical, and toward Auschwitz. Lili was eventually deported with her family to Auschwitz on May 24th. 1944 and they arrived on May 26th. 1944.
"..I never look at it alone ..Never." Lili Jacob.
The German guards appear tense after the previous days attempt by 40 to 50 Hungarian Jews to make their escape from an arriving transport. So here we have Lili, finally arrived at the gates of a Hell she would not comprehend but what we know, in photo graphical and evidential terms, of the process and progress of an arriving transport here at Auschwitz toward destruction. In fact, this evidence is the only visible testimony for any of the x6 Death Camps established by Hitler in occupied Poland. What History now gains is Lili Jacob’s gift to us all, a reminder of a terrible place littered with terrifying details and posterity is obligated with its specific charge. The Downfall of the Jews from Hungary, Um Siedlung der Juden aus Ungarn, and this detail is 'The Auschwitz Album' and we cannot simply skim through its pages without acknowledging the terrible shame it accuses Humanity of.
"..These are two of my brothers. ..Zrilu is 8 1/2 and Selig is 10." Lili Jacob.
The Album itself was probably created by former Kommandant of Auschwitz, SS Sturmbannfuhrer Richard Baer for what he considered would be his memorial to a deed he willingly undertook. Baer probably left the Album at the Dora Concentration Camp, which he too had commanded, for safe keeping or for fear of been caught with it on his person. After her enforced evacuation, a forced march toward a forced labour detail in the midst of the Winter of December 1944 and toward Dora, where she was liberated by the Americans, Lili herself stumbled upon the Album here. Lili was not more than 600 kilometres from the place that ‘The Album’ itself depicted, she was severely debilitated, extremeyl sickly and starved of her health and weighing less than 36 kilos.
"..my mother marched away ..and my father ..and my 5 brothers. I never saw them again." Lili Jacob.
Here however, while becoming recuperated to what she was still unaware would be her total loss, what Lili not only found in reference to the destruction she had managed to escape was something quite emotionally draining but somehow spiritually enriching. These photographs of her Family, Neighbours, Friends, Religious leaders would become a memento to all that had transpired, all that had been taken from her and all that she had lost. Lili also found herself in an image looking back at her and presenting her with a view from the Hell that she has managed to Survive. She found her Paternal Grandparents too, Abraham and Sheindele no doubt weary and worn as they too were staring back at her. Then there was the vision of her Aunt with her x4 Children, Lili’s Cousin’s.
"..Every day I would go to ..train to see if somebody came back from my family. ..Nobody came back." Lili Jacob.
Lili was also confronted too with the image of x2 of her Younger Brothers, Zrilu (Israel) and Selig (Zebig), though there were x5 in total, but here were both Zrilu and Selig alone. Also presented to her was the image of her Cousin Mendel. Neither these Paternal Grandparents, Aunt, her x4 Children, x2 Brothers, that are pictured here, nor her Cousin Survived, along with all other Family Members. Lili is alone in her Survival of those days, not wanting to look on separately from them but compelled to do so, so that we now will know what she has lost. That we have such a document is also a chilling reminder of what life looked like for the Jewish People right up to their destruction in the Gas Chambers.
"..I was wide awake when they tatooed it. I want to be wide awake to see that it's out." Lili Jacob.
These are photographs of a living and vibrant community of Jews, some scared, some uncertain but all told, together as a community and kept alive in an instant in time. We can look at the Children as they consider what was next in their latest adventure. I am certain too that the realists amongst the crowds knew specifically what awaited them. What not to do was apparent. No room for panic and so keep peace with themselves and not allow for the terror to rise above and beyond what the Germans were inflicting upon them. When Lili finally emerged from her recovery and her status as a refugee, she returned to Bilke to discover for herself what remnants of a Family still remained. She could not then transition back to a space in Bilke that was empty for her.
"..Without that Album ..you wouldn't have a visual sense of ..selection process ..of ..separation of families ..of ..way to ..gas chambers." Serge Klarsfeld.
Her wait for someone to return was constantly met with emptiness and a growing awareness, that she alone of her Family had Survived to be without those she had dearly loved all their lives. These images, which it must be stressed, are the only known photographs of the progressing transports toward the procession of annihilation. Heading toward a certain destruction has not been seen of any transport into Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor nor Treblinka so these images are beyond unique. They have become a symbol of what had been saved when so much life was lost. For Lili, who spent about 6 months in Auschwitz and had a number etched onto her skin, A10862 which was her tattoo’s number, never etched itself into her want to life. The number never quite defined her, as she found other tribulations would confront her memory’s of the past in her future.
"..You must understand ..miracle. ..One day a man took his photographs and he photographed ..woman who would one day find ..Album. It is very extraordinary. She understands that she had to give it to YadVashem. It's too important for a private person." Serge Klarsfeld.
She eventually met and married and brought the Album with her to America where she gave photo's to those who could lay claim to the evidence of their Family in them. Needless to say. There were none too many Survivors who had Survived to recognise their Family members. For that matter, there were none too many Survivors who could recognise anyone amidst these images. In 1958 Lili finally had the Tattoo surgically removed. As these photographs were also introduced into evidence, as Lili testified at the Auschwitz Trial in Frankfurt, between December 1963 and August 1965, newer emphasis as to the very Catastrophe could be delivered to the World by Lili. This trial, which was the second Auschwitz trial, as the first Auschwitz Trial had been conducted in 1947, in Cracow, Poland, never gave Justice to any Surviving Jew let alone 6,000,000 Murdered Jews.
"..I have lived with this for so many years. It's been weighing so heavily on my heart. Now I want Album to be shown to ..world. I don't want it hidden anymore." Lili Jacob.
Serge Klarsfeld believes the photographs to be the work of Ernest Hoffmann, a teacher and deputy to the chief of the camp's identification service and the spread of his effort was possibly over the transports of May 25th. and 26th. 1944. In 1980, convinced by Serge Klarsfeld, who had visited her in her home in Miami, Lili was convinced of the true worth of such a document to us all. So as to ensure for posterity its unique and visual tribute to an annihilated Hungarian Jewry, Lili eventually delivered ‘The Album’ to YadVashem in 1983. Lili Jacob donated the album of photographs of her transport's arrival in Auschwitz and we can now look at the massive loss of life, as Hungarian Jews are marking their final steps toward eternity.
"..Here is ..train ..watchtower ..and ..smoke ..constant. ..Right away we started inhaling it from ..crematoriums. Everybody got nauseous." Lili Jacob.
On December 17th 1999 Lilly Jacob Zelmanovic Meier passed away and if Lili didn't quite appreciate the Albums future Historical evidence, she certainly knew on a personal and social level, its immense worth to her, Hungarian and World Jewry. Her 2 daughters share conflicting views of ‘The Album’ which for me, as I look at the degrading of Humanity by those who stole the lives of these Jews we now encounter here, is a measure of such depravity, we cannot even imagine nor comprehend. These photographs, every time we view them it is in knowing that these images are of an innocent People struggling with what was brought upon them by sheer hatred. The world can call this what it wants but I would look to those in the images, and as they progress past Lili, and for me they will remain for us Always to Remember, Never to Forget them as they were, Human Beings standing before the inhuman detail of such despicably inhuman and indefensible crimes.
The atrocity will linger far into our future and constantly looking back at the loss to the whole of Humanity, Civilisation, Culture and to 6,000,000 individual People Murdered on the basis of their Jewish antecedence. I look at Lili at times as she was, stood there silent and alone, in the midst of so many other Jews and I feel her concerned and traumatised demeanour. Lili faced an ordeal, she was yet to grasp, that no one should have been presented with. Lili’s entire composure must have wondered where else her Family might be as she stood shorn before the world. I have no certainty in any of this, and this is purely conjecture, but a Sonderkommando might well have informed Lili of just what Auschwitz meant.
How then could the human consciousness accept that such atrocity was immediately ahead of her, and within earshot as the sight of billowing smoke wafted a confirming smell of what had been uncertain up until that point. Then when I look at Lili in her later life, a Wife, Mother, Mentor, I can fully sense the enormous victory, though at an immensely horrendous cost to 6,000,000 others of her People, that Lili was now enabled to Remember. I recognise too that Hitler nor hatred was the victor here with Lili and her Survival is the true victory of Hitler, naztism, bigotry and hatred. Lili Jacob marks the steps we take toward toleration and acceptance of all and she is the very reason to Remember The Holocaust. This Holocaust Memorial Day is Lili’s, as much as it belongs to the 6,000,000 other Jews like her, but who did not Survive. Our Memory should not Rest while Lili’s now should. Lili has saved more than a World Entire, she has saved the images of a Universe inflamed toward eternity. Respect Lili Jacob.
In the Steps of the CondemnedPosted by P.A. Draigh Sun, December 24, 2017 02:52:04
I am 91 years old ..a faded old beauty ..born in Jaworzno ..Poland. I came from a family of 8. My father and Mother Ichak and Rosalia Mehlman. Kind law abiding people along with my three sisters Eva 29 ..Regina 28 ..Salusia 12 years old ..my nephew Willy 6 ..my niece Frieda 6 months old ..that I never saw. ..In 1942 was slaving ..starving ..infested with lice ..eaten by bedbugs in a Concentration Camp in Czehoslovakia ..for 3 years until ..blessed day when we 350 very lucky young innocent girls ..were liberated by ..raggedy tired but victorious Red Army. ..God bless all liberators of this time in history." Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, there can be no excuse nor reasoning for what you, nor all your Jewish Neighbours in Jewish Jaworzno now mourn. The Jewish People of Europe, who were forced to suffer and endure because of the apparent hatred led by one man are all part of the memory you hold preciously. For your pain, the world stood by and now must endure a posterity filled with the guilt of the many. But firstly, I wish to provide some basic facts about this Town called Jaworzno which afforded you your early comfort only for it to be so brutally taken from you. The Town lies in a Silesian Province of Southern Poland. It is some 22 kilometres Southeast of Katowice and about 301 kilometres Southwest of the Polish Capital, Warsaw. It has been in existence as a cross roads to the East since the 13th Century and has prospered since it opened its first Coal Mine in 1767. By 1795 Austria had gained sovereignty of the region after annexing it from Poland. By the end of the 18th. Century there were close on 100 Jews residing within Jaworzno's Township and this steadily increased to close on 1,000 Jews. All the while mining was still to prove the stable and productive enterprise throughout the 19th. and early 20th. Century. By the turn of the 20th. Century, by which time the Town had become a City, Jewish persistence was growing. Patrick.
"..Natalie Mehlman Scharf Survivor of Concentration Camp Gabersdorf part of Camp Gross Rosen now part of Poland. To ..deniers I tell you deny as much as you want. ..only thing that will ever set you free from ..hatred that you have for my Jewish People is not ..shameless lies that you spread about us. This the Truth! For Truth Shall Make You Free." Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, the Jews were steadily being absorbed into the community and by the outbreak of the First World War, of the 13,000 residents of Jaworzno there were more than 1,300 Jewish Citizens and 12 of their members were on the City Council. Tragedy however was about to bite and by the time Hitler Invaded Poland September 1st. 1939, there were more than 1,800 Jews who lived in the City and could then be targeted for such unprecedented suffering, the unparalleled hatred against them, purged their number. Here, with the German occupation history saw the Ghettoisation of local Jews and so many other Jews from the surrounding areas. These Jews came from Chorzkow, Katowice and Siemianowice and were eventually moved into the Jaworzno Ghetto. Hitler's carefully phrased Jewish isolation and their segregation’s came into focus, and in the latter part of 1940 the Jews were met with restrictions. Focus upon the Jews, and with their ability to interact with their local neighbours curtailed, the move toward annihilation commenced. This brutality began with sporadic assaults and the confiscation’s of all manner of goods and Jewish property's were pilfered. As well as all of these assaults, the Murders of the burgeoning growth of these contained Jews became far too regular an occurrence. Patrick.
"..Monday August 28th. 2017 07:00am. Dear Patrick ..In june 1942 my whole family was still alive. In march 1943 most of them were gassed and burned in Auschwitz a town a walking distance from Jaworzno near Krakow were I was born." Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, and it does me no service to have to point out that on the night of July 12th. 1942 more than 2,092 of Jaworzno’s Jews were rounded up and transported towards the Auschwitz and Birkenau complex and their Destruction there. Fewer than 12 of these Jews from this transport were admitted to the Auschwitz Camp, the remainder were Murdered in the Birkenau factory of death. Here too the fate of the last Jews of Jaworzno is intertwined with what remained of the Jews of Silesia, as these were amongst the last Ghetto's still to be liquidated, those Ghetto’s in Bedzin and Sosnowitz. Tragically, far too few Jews from Jaworzno or the surroundings areas had Survived the early onslaught against their personal integrity. If these Jews were not Murdered by der Einsatzgruppe, who operated their aktionen in the vicinity of the City, transports to Ghetto's awaited the Jews of Jaworzno and they were removed further afield and the end result was never going to alter their fate as death and destruction was never far from them. Patrick.
"..I was grabbed by ..SS April 17th. 1942. And never saw my dear kinfolk again ..and now ..deniers ..marching Nazis with arms and permits and trump defending them ..they had permits there were nice people amongst he said. Americans not just ..media ..fair Americans ..good folks in our land speak up." Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, the following year after much of Jaworzno had been devastated by this Hitlerite ritual, and now along with the Bedzin (Bendin) Transport of August 1st. 1943, this transport contained the last x2 remaining Jewish Family's of Jaworzno. These Jaworzno Family’s were amongst 2,000 Jews drawn from the Bedzin Ghetto itself, from Gleitwitz and Kattowice and the surrounding regions. All are transported toward Auschwitz and the Birkenau Death Camp, where certain death for all too many of them could not be prevented. Of these x5 transports of 2,000 Jews each, that is in excess of 10,000 Jews, there were 1, 689 Jewish People who were not immediately directed toward Birkenau and were saved from being gassed. Whereas the remaining 8,400 of these Jews, including the last Jewish Families of Jaworzno, the Jews from Bedzin, Gleiwitz and Kattowice as well as the remnants of Silesian Jewry, here they were all to be extinguished at Hitler's bestial behest. Other's who also suffered, now seek to offer to posterity a small piece of the History that is now missing from those who were the Jews of Jaworzno. Patrick.
"..I will tell you how Hitler exterminated our entire family. ..March 1940 ..they arrested Mendele and took him to Berlin. ..2 years in jail ..released ..sent ..to Fiaski near Lublin and after 6 months to Majdanek and from then on there was no sign from him." Aron Krakauer.
Dearest Natalie, I have no need to point out to you what you already know, but Hitler had clearly identified with the raw materials to be gained in pursuance of his twin aims, the War and The Final Solution. He saw in its promise a sustained war effort that would allow him his final resolve of that very Jewish Question which was to proceed at all costs, and would annihilate all too many of your People, 6,000,000 of them. Unhindered and unhampered by any other concerns, the youth of Germany was squandered in obligatory defence of a failed ideology, and make no mistake, they were in awe of the idea of supremacy over other’s and the feted idiocy that was Hitler. Hitler of course had established many layers of perversion to gain his ultimate aim, the Destruction of the Jews of Europe. Here at Auschwitz and more especially Birkenau, and even amongst its many sub-Camp, the destruction of your People was managed and achieved. One of these sub-Camps as you know was here at Jaworzno and Hitler could clearly exploit the already brutalised and starving Jewish labour force, but could also achieve a further financial gain on top of that. Patrick.
"..I have suffered a lot. I ..don't know how I survived." Aron Krakauer.
Dearest Natalie, as there are those who do not know how they Survived Jaworzno, which was so near to the Jewish embattled population which arrived at the very doorsteps to their own destruction in the Gas Chambers at Auschwitz/Birkenau, I guess you must often wonder how You Survived. Well be thankful that you did so that in your presence you can relay what it is we are in need of knowing. Life of course became an even more temporary reprieve for those Jews Hitler could exploit further, but ultimately all Jews would be assigned the same fate, annihilation. Here though, on June 15th. 1943 the labour camp at Jaworzno was doing just that fixed aim of Hitler and his Reich where the Camp was opened to exploit the Coal reserves in the area. Production of this Coal, which stoked the very furnaces of the destructive processes at Auschwitz/Birkenau, has no consolation for anyone who now reads of this. In the person of Aron Krakauer, a former resident of Jaworzno and Survivor of Auschwitz, who informs us of the very fate of his own Parents, Wolf and Lieba, and his siblings Mendele and Mentze who did not Survive, the similarity’s to your own story must seem an acute and deeply cutting reminder. Patrick.
"..Our Dear Mother Lieba was sent ..July 1942 to Auschwitz ..our Dear Father Wolf ..August 1943 to Auschwitz and Dear Mentze also ..same at ..end of 1943. ..In January 1945 she was still there ..when ..Russians came closer they evacuated ..camp deep into Germany and on ..way ..shot ..90% of ..survivors." Aron Krakauer.
Dearest Natalie, while I don't EVER claim to know all the answers, which is why I have no wish to create the impression I am any authority on The Holocaust, I have learned so much that is wrong with Humanity, and this has been learned in 20 years of studying The Holocaust. How can it be for a People, knowing that so many were saved, and yet, they were not allowed to Survive the approaching liberation they felt was their only escape. For me then, I merely put words to an acknowledgement that those, like Yitzhak Arad, Professor Bauer, Yisrael Gutman and Lucy Dawidowicz, all of these who are clearly the enlightenment I have sought and the resolve of the questions I have yet to ask. There have always been 6,000,000 reasons why this odyssey of mine has been important for me and questions keep pouring out from within, and from those willing to ask of me, What do I know? But I cannot know what it is those I mention here must know and with certainty that with their own surety and with a front row seat to all the inexplicable horrors I flick through on a daily basis, I beseech their authorship and plough through their words to offer me my own wordings. It is with You, and their understanding of what I seek to comprehend, which is set in a Memorial to 6,000,000 of their fellow Human Beings, all Murdered because they too were Jews that I place my trust in what research must look like and the evidence it thus far provides. Patrick.
"..My family was gassed and burned in Auschwitz Poland. My dear late husband Bernard Benny Scharf ..only survivor of his family and I met in 1946 Fell in love and came to our blessed land in 1947. We have 2 children ..Jeffrey I. Scharf M.D. Andrea R. Scharf Gal ..3 Grandsons." Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, I had struggled with my 4th. Book on The Holocaust of the Jews of Europe as I have endeavoured to ask various questions all the way through the writing process. Many of these questions still cannot be asked as I survey the vista that opened up for you as you Survived. Certainly for those, like Yourself, who have guided my awareness of the terrible dilemma of retelling, I cannot deliver words that would amply compensate you for your loss, let alone for those whose 6,000,000 fellow Jews represents an entire Human Community. However, while communicating with Elie Wiesel I was struck by his determined approach and his suggestion that I should seek to not deliver a version of The Holocaust that was anything but an historical account. This has left me struggling to proceed with what would have been my 4th. Book, containing an attempt at a literary endeavour. This sought too to revisit Babi Yar, the most devastating single event within this destruction of the Jewish People, so as to deliver a narrative full of the sense of pain and abject despair for those Jews forced to endure and die in horrendous circumstances. There are many like me who also seek to acknowledge that the guilt of so many in what transpired, that they too must feel as I do, the lesson's to be learned cannot be gained without Justice attributed to your suffering, and that is before we can approach the entire atrocity of the 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, who alone are The Holocaust. Patrick.
"..persistent commemoration of 6,000,000 Polish victims of genocide ..a figure which includes ..3,000,000 Polish Jews ..testifies to ..ease of appropriating ..Jewish dead as one's own." Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, this cause of mine is seemingly supposed to retrieve the Murdered Jews from the absence of any concern or compassion for their obvious status as the Chosen People to be totally annihilated. Iwona is correct in her evaluation that in seeking to merit Polish losses there is an attempt to abrogate the Jewish loss. That said, how could anyone let alone I ever come close, ever, to understanding the magnitude of feeling each word wrenched from the deep seated experience of the Jews who suffered, endured and then Survived, how can we ever begin to appreciate the lessons they willingly deliver for us all. I can merely borrow the words of the Survivor and attempt to ensure that I do share my concern with a form of care for them they will recognise. I will lend back to all of those who wish to experience what History has yet to learn from. My journey to the x6 Death Camps Hitler had established in German Occupied Poland will not end my search. Until my understanding of the complexities of The Holocaust is fully understood it continues. If it allows me to comprehend why one man can so direct his hatred onto so many other's and how his results are now to be measured in the Destruction of 6,000,000 Jewish People, then I will know a little more of what yo know. Patrick.
"..figure of 6,000,000. ..grants ..dead Jew ..status of a Pole ..in a post-mortem acceptance of ..Jews' membership in ..Polish family. ..this renders a reading of ..past which makes that past unrecognisable." Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, this status for the Polish Jew was not an entitlement to anything other than death under the vagaries of all of Hitler's directives to ensure their brutal destruction. This however, should not be applied to the position of the Pole, and though Poles were also murdered, but is seconded to an erstwhile position which would allow for them to Survive at the cost to ALL Polish Jews. We cannot simply reconstruct the past by inferring differing scenarios to suit the claims of falsified details we have no wish to recognise. For that reason also, I stand for the integrity of the past which must steel the present to ensure the future is both honest and true. I am left bereft too of any understanding as to how this World stood so idly by without acknowledging the knowledge of it all. Lamely, and while ensuring that they kept that knowledge in house and away from a World that would damn them for doing so, 6,000,000 Jews were progressed along the conveyor belt toward a mechanised and industrial level of destruction! Patrick.
"..Jew not only appears to be mourned on a par with others ..which he was not ..he also appears to have always belonged ..which he did not." Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, for me therefore, if the Slaughter of The Jews of Europe is to be the defining expression which is, The Holocaust, then we need to guard against all efforts to impose other’s into the position totally reserved for these Jewish People. Take BabiYar for instance, which pronounces that expression more fully in its isolation of that very terror to be visited upon Kiev's Jews. Over a x2 day period, between September 29th. and September 30th. 1941, and the evidence all points to the acknowledged brutality aimed at 33,771 Jews, it does not state any other’s were included? Once we begin to accept that the totality of The Holocaust was always intended to be the total destruction of all Jews, how can we ever mark such memory with distortion of that fact. Of course, beyond that time period we know as these x2 days, other’s became victims of Hitler’s outrage. These other’s though, they exist in terms that state World War Two’s analysis, but we know these 50 to 70 million were not part of a coordinated effort to ritually slaughter them all. Patrick.
"..destruction of ..Jewish Community ..when reclaimed as ..loss of Polish lives ..acquires a sense of trauma which it did not have." Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, also, and surely those like you Natalie, the 'Survivor' is not only the Jew who emerged from within the ravine at Babi Yar, but is the Jew who emerged from within Hitler's immediate grasp also? I know full well that many nationals from many states were under the Hitler cosh, but it was for the Jews that Hitler reserved the most serious blow! With that level of unequivocal certainty, I cannot begin to know, nor would I propose to know the despair of any Jew who faced this terrible, on going ordeal and 'genocide'. But for me there is this tangible link with which my humanity stretches to meet the overall trauma and I know of and share that desperation and feeling of abandon through my far reaching study. My research has not gilded any soft comparison’s of atrocity which was levelled at the Jewish People and a human empathy which feels shame for those who stood so idly by is part and parcel of my deliberate effort to Remember what was done and why it was allowed to be achieved. I carefully calculate from all of this, that any Jew who came out of the Death and Concentration Camps, who emerged from the Ghetto or who crawled away from the Killing Sites that were BabiYar, Rumbuli, Tuchinka or Ponary, that Survivor Jew is the bearer of an extraordinary insight into an intolerable evil and we must surely learn from them. These Survivor’s too are also the accuser’s of our indifference to their plight. Patrick.
"..sharing in suffering ..together with assigning all ..blame to ..Nazi's ..helps eliminate questions about ..Poles' action and inaction towards ..Jews." Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, what is intelligent in having such knowledge, when the lives of 6,000,000 Jews have been wilfully destroyed, and at the behest of a simple tyrant. Can it be that such intelligence is greater than the sum total of abandoned lives, because simply, these were Jewish lives. The obvious answer is written in the vaults of government buildings throughout the World which carefully restrained its objections and criticism’s of Hitler’s regime and the unfolding catastrophe for the Jewish People. For me, this is an ever spiralling curve of learning, and I have yet to catch the tail end of what is known, by those who knew, know and were made aware of what The Holocaust is! So if we then accept, for argument sake, that Hitler's intention was indeed to destroy all of World Jewry, and as The Wannsee Conference clearly insists, then from inception of Hitler’s very own Final Solution to an almost complete accomplishment of that fundamental demand, some 6,000,000 Jews paid too heavy a price with their lives. Patrick.
"..lives of ..Poles went on like before. ..They ate ..worked ..loved ..had children ..cows were grazing in ..fields ..Polish children ..My former friends were playing evenings in ..snow ..while we Jews at 4:00 pm had to be in our homes ..waiting in dread for ..morning." Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, we must also accept within that remit to Destroy 11,293,300 Jews of Europe, and with that to be resolved, and while Hitler gained such impetus from a World's indifference to the Jewish plight, then we too are historically blighted with an acquiescence in the gravest crime ever to be inflicted upon the Jewish People! What we thus gain from the perspective of Hitler's hold on power, as when the function was initially perceived that the Jews could indeed be destroyed, and all the way until 1945 when that intention was applied, Jewish choice was removed from the Jewish People. What choice there was, to die with some form of dignity or search through the searing pain and anguish watching the bludgeoning horror to be inflicted upon those they loved, is not a choice to be made. In everything I have sought to achieve therefore, and it is hoped I have not drained The Holocaust of its substance as Wiesel might contend, but I hope I have delivered my own eulogy that is substantial enough to administer toward 6,000,000 losses. Patrick.
"..In ..beginning there was silence ..no words. ..word itself is a breaking out. ..reacquired consciousness of having been diminished." Elie Wiesel.
Dearest Natalie, a question which has struck me ever since I first constructed My own conscious words for Remembering the Jews of The Holocaust has always seemed to enquire as to what or how the Jews will read my words, and will they be considered differently? The contention is certain, and that no one should doubt my effort is a concern, I choose my words with reverence for a memory that is largely lost, as not all Survivor's are able to recall all 6,000,000 of their fellow Murdered Jews. My own sense of the tragedy allows for use of those contorted words and articulations brought to the fore and alongside a Jewish tradition I have sought to import words which are then exported to add a measure of shamed condolence for what Humanity must now acknowledge. Despite Elie Wiesel's surety that, even though the narrative of fiction can shatter the silence and deliver information, there is little by way of the integrity of such horror that evidential knowledge must require. But for others, who are so enabled to add a choice, which for any Jew within reach of Hitler’s murderous grasp, did not exist. So as we look to Sophie’s Choice are we the:
"..jaded reader surfeited with our Century's perturbable feast of atrocities will be spared here a detailed chronicle of ..killings ..gassings ..beatings ..tortures ..criminal medical experiments ..deprivations ..entries into ..historical account." William C. Styron.
and whereas, there is this seeming choice over one Child or the Other, the Jews at the doors of the gas chambers had no such choice. The same inexorable lack of choice persists through The Holocaust. Did the Jews attack a guard and hope that if they survived would they still leave their Child, their Spouse, their Family or other’s to the vagaries of a more vengeful retaliation. Or does the Parent, Son, Daughter, Relative or Friend console their charge knowing that their last moments are to be filled with a fraction of hope, a certain element of joy and even a brief happiness from a loving knowledge shared amongst themselves. So while I offer no apology for the often times graphic depiction’s to be given so much space, my words truly are a consequence of a very aware and acute accusation of those acts which deliver up the very graphic detail set to confront us. Those who watched and those who saw amidst the cacophony of grief to be heard, must not lack the integrity sought to deliver us their own testimony to such events! Patrick.
"..you were saved not ..to live ..you must give testimony ..be courageous when ..mind deceives you be courageous in ..final account only this is important." Zbigniew Herbert.
Dearest Natalie, herein lies the antithesis of everything the Holocaust should mean for me and for everyone. The blending of brutal narrative with emotional reconstructs of those words omitted from 6,000,000 mouths, must give testimony above and beyond what recollection truly recalls. Yet, there are those far more capable than I to render my efforts speechless, wordless and without the fuller perspective to be gained from those knowledgeable enough to truly know. For me, without more than a little emphasis placed upon the true tragedy, the wholesale Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children, my effort would appear perfunctory. My own comprehension alone, of the very detailed facts I seek to describe, would clearly present and prevent my ability to write with the capability of transforming those words into a meaningful text that has the efficacy of what confronted the Jews of Europe fully installed within them. Patrick.
"..I want to tell ..story ..of .little girl ..crying deep ..inside me who is still afraid. ..you ..Grandmother ..I'll have to write about you. I'll have to let you die ..again. ..forgive me." Roma Ligocka.
Dearest Natalie, for those listening to what was heard and of those who ignored the evidence of such experience which stands as the accusation of time, I ask for forgiveness for bearing down on you all with words piercing in atrocity and vehement in horror. Such horror as does shine its atrocious light in so many works of words by Survivor's, whose own accusation is replete with that knowledge gained from personal experience, and while my words are seconded to theirs, I have every wish that they are both complimentary and reverential. Their own experience therefore is a knowledge I choose to use the words from so as to admonish further those who did so little to prevent such atrocity being played out in and amongst far too many Jewish Community's in far too many Nations and States. Here, I remember what Nelly Sachs recounts:
"..My mother held me by my hand. Then someone raised ..knife of parting ..So that it should not strike me ..My mother loosed her hand from mine. ..she lightly touched my thighs once more ..her hand ..bleeding ..As I was led to death I still felt in ..last moment ..unsheathing of ..great knife of parting." Nelly Sachs.
Dearest Natalie, for those Jews within Hitler's reach, who looked to us, as 'christians' or even as Catholics, they saw such a fall from grace for what should have been deemed a civilised humanity, whatever faith was had, fell short of what it was intended to convey. The Holocaust is a catastrophe that is unequalled in all of history, and we learn to accept that in order to pay attention to what transpired that might be repeated. Not just that, our failure to stand against this pernicious evil, which runs concurrent as it does alongside this greatest genocide ever inflicted upon a single People, is as criminal an act as it is morally reprehensible. So for the Jewish People who would emerge from within the dragnet of Hitler's clear goal to destroy them all, these all must be included amongst the list of Survivor's, and of an intention to murder them which did not mean only those Jews restrained in the Ghetto’s, contained within the Camp system or those Jews lined up alongside the pits and ravines of extinction. Patrick.
"..While I am writing I become ever more infused with ..greatness of ..idea for which I am ready to devote my whole life. ..work is complicated ..demanding extraordinary efforts of ..mind. ..physical exhaustion is nothing against ..intellectual pleasure it provides. You forget all ..troubles ..of life ..rise to ..heights of sublime ideas." Simon Dubnow.
Dearest Natalie, that was stated by a man clearly identifying with the legacy of such destruction, he rose to the challenge to document the magnitude of the atrocity. The late arrival to the search clearly remains outside that term which held the Jews within The Holocaust's reach. Though we remain as outsiders, such invested ideas so caked in horror, all adding to the sheer volume of the atrocity which so overwhelms and exhausts in measures unequal to the human soul, must always relay its terrible message. Like I have said, I cannot know what The Jew of The Holocaust knows, but I can know of their experiences from a moral perspective. For me, I am certain that any Christian and moral duty should have sought to deliver all Jews away from harm. We, who remain the accused by dint of our wish to understand, have set about accepting that responsibility so that our future generations do not have to? I think it is argued in Yehuda Bauer’s worthy book, Jews for Sale, that The Final Solution to a Jewish Question was Hitler's responsibility alone, and it should be given over to him in all manner of exercises in which we seek the truth. Patrick.
"..Were I not a Jew ..I would not be an artist at all. ..I know quite well what this small people can accomplish. ..When it wished ..it brought forth Christ and Christianity. When it wanted ..it produced Marx and Socialism. Can it be ..that it would not show ..world ..art." Marc Chagall.
Dearest Natalie, Marc Chagall can reminisce here about what the World has been given by your small race of People. But I constantly digress to a period where such is your loss, and our great impoverishment, that 6,000,000 Murdered 'small people' has masked the developer, hidden the science, thrown away the researcher, not known those that could cure and failed to recognise in the individuality so liberally destroyed, that the saving grace of all humanity was also destroyed. Tragically, the outcome for the Jews of Europe must become the responsibility of all those who seek to ensure that we clearly acknowledge the wrong done to these Jewish People. In doing so, we must not alter the interpretation this places on the part which the World played in allowing this all to happen. Whether the World now seeks to attribute the destruction of 6,000,000 Jews to some unintended functioning is immaterial to the fact that the World lost 6,000,000 Jews to a terrible accounting. At Deaths door the fate of the Jewish Community should not have been aligned to its national identity. These Jewish People should have been allowed to amble on through History as a member of the Human Race, with all those guarantees to life as their fundamental right. Patrick.
"..historical consciousness was ..basis of ..Jewish national idea ..with ..loss of ..physical characteristics of nationhood ..we are held together ..by ..community of historical fate." Simon Dubnow.
Dearest Natalie, there are those who might suggest antisemitism had a hand in this final accounting and costing in Jewish lives? Well we should at least render antisemitism a deliberate fabrication and lest we completely forget, God sent His only Son to die for us. So God is culpable in the Crucifixion, not the Jewish People and as such, the Jewish People cannot be blamed for what a relied upon Christian God demanded. But who ever has a God who remains to be believed, as the Smoke rose over Birkenau, as the pyres raged in all other Death Camps, in the Killing Sites and those places constantly being eradicated of its Jewish People, fear walked amongst all Jews and filled them all with trepidation. Think then how any Man can conjure with a title for a Book that has Jews for Sale as its header, and reason that humanity can be too easily sold. With such an idea firmly fixed we might then approach a small detail of what Professor Bauer wishes to share with me, with You, with this World and with History and it is an understanding of why we must never forget! Patrick.
"..Smoke rose. ..God watched and fear walked in ..cool of ..day." Itamar Yaov-Kest.
Dearest Natalie, quite often I find myself repeating a sentiment or choosing from the words of those who walked in fear. I have held dear for quite sometime, and it is difficult not to allow this to become overly sanitised, when in fact it is a sentimental reflection upon what is lost that so touches my inner being. I have no problem with allowing sentiment to enter this arena of words, for how else is one meant to approach the ravages of a People without an urgent surety written in emotional feeling. It is for that reason that I restate, The Holocaust has NEVER just been a part of History for me, and has ALWAYS been an affront to my person, as a Human Being. I have been entrusted with certain memories, gained from this research, which I pass along in Remembrance of those Jews lost to us but recalled. From Jewish Community's completely extinguished, and in order that we never forget them, names have been extracted from oblivion! I wonder too should the recorded accounting become limited to those languages only allowed to the Jews. Should we temper our approach, or by reversing the illegal obligation to speak outside the national discourse, limit the recollections to those languages not tarnished by such intolerance’s as we see in detailing Polish experiences. Patrick.
"..Speaking Polish was prohibited. ..One day my mathematics teacher caught me in ..very act of ..crime ..during his class. ..What he said ..in ..final analysis one could forgive Poles ..speaking Polish ..but not a Jew." Bronislaw Grosser.
Dearest Natalie, it has always been my understanding that a Teacher teaches and does not deny the ability to learn to anyone. So while I have been given an opportunity, which seeks to take back from those who refuse to teach what it is essential for all to learn, and that is an obligation to teach the meaning of toleration for all. Within this search for toleration I managed also to promise to a Survivor, and before I introduced myself to you Natalie, that I would at least visit all x6 Death Camps which Hitler had established in German occupied Poland. I completed the last leg of that journey recently and as the time approached and Chelmno and Treblinka come fully into view, I knew I had much more to share and achieve. Then, depending upon the acceptable assessment to be fully made, on my journey to Chelmno and Treblinka, in Auschwitz and in Birkenau, at Majdanek, in Sobibor and within Belzec I knew I would be in the presence of 1,000,000's of Jewish souls plucked from existence. It is these who inspire my need to further expose the World to intolerable indifference’s which have become annihilatory. Patrick.
"..How can I see you ..standing alone ..amid storms of grief ..without feeling my heart shake." David Vogel.
Dearest Natalie, Clearly, the grasp on life for 6,000,000 Jews was an eradication ensured by the rhetorical hatred of one man whose vented rage contorted to a final resolve which was eventually accomplished by many who aspired toward similar held hatreds as Hitler associated himself with. I have also, and always, clearly stated that I am not a complete authority on The Holocaust of The Jews of Europe. Surely Natalie such distinction belongs to the many fine Writers who experienced what it is I seek to know. It is an experience you too have endured on behalf of somehow saving humanity from further disgrace! In that, I have never equated anything that I have personally experienced with anything I have adapted from The Holocaust. Any such detail that so tormented a People, which so brutalised all too many of them and then radically dealt in the Destruction of 6,000,000 of them for being Jews, how could I possibly know a fraction of what that was like. However, from any sense of perspective I can gain, then that is where my work begins and my words end. Patrick.
"..suffering and ..testimonies when told by Holocaust Survivor's ..are a song ..a hymn of praise ..a testimony to ..eternity of ..Jewish People and ..greatness of their spirit." Israel Spira.
Dearest Natalie, by April 1943, more than 340,000 Jews, along with 20,000 Poles, Gypsies and Czechs are murdered at the Chelmno Death Camp with Gas vans used for their destruction. Some estimates, as low as 152,000 Jews, suggest was all that were Murdered there. But estimates though, as high as 360,000 Jews having been murdered here have also been made. Estimates however, cannot form the basis of any relevant account that will afford an finite response. The Humanity of that Jewish presence that has destroyed here at Chelmno, that was so abruptly brought to an end elsewhere in The Death Camp System or at The Killing Sites, cannot ever be allowed to give way to what cannot and must not be forgotten. There is this bond between us and those 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, which must remain convinced of the growing lessons that are to be learned positively from the example that this vengeful atrocity has set. Patrick.
"..I learned about friendship in Auschwitz. When I was cold ..strangers shielded me with their bodies from ..blowing winds ..they had nothing else to offer but themselves." Arnost Lustig.
Dearest Natalie, that has always been the premise of my study, research and writing for as long as the image of Tokele has been set before me. Actually, that is wrong! I studied WWII History and came across a picture of coffins designating the Slaughter of the Jews of Europe, so my empathy for these Jewish People, who are The Holocaust, has been simmering since that time. At some stage in the future I will refine the words of kinship and add to the meaning I wish to engage in with Remembrance for those, like You Natalie, whose suffering was perpetuated by the completely inadequate response to that very suffering we cannot ever comprehend. For now Natalie, please allow me to extend the hand of friendship to the words which inspire me to recall, Always to Remember, Never to Forget and the last words for the time being Natalie are to be your words! Patrick.
"..taking of my brother and my brother in-law ..March 42 ..left my Mother ..Father my 4 Sisters and my self completely broken ..minimal rations constant wailing ..fear ..who will be next of us to be taken. ..Taken where. ..To be beaten ..cut ..raped ..we were like dirt in ..street to be swept away." Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Wed, November 22, 2017 21:25:21
In over 20 years of writing on The Holocaust it is impossible to remain dispassionate as I continually survey the landscape of atrocity, brutality and betrayal. Here, this post is meant to give a concern to the Jews who faced a treachery they could not see coming, even though they had faced the extremes of antisemitic hatred for over x2 millennia. But for me, as I read and reread books and works of importance in the narrative seeking to comprehend, how on this Earth will I ever understand why people turned on their Jewish Neighbours, simply because they were Jews. I first met that betrayal at the commencement of this journey with the image of Tokele, 4 years old and Murdered too amongst her closest relatives, because she was a Jew. The torrent of revulsion sweeps over me and I am constantly shocked that this is the model of atrocity presented by an ostensibly ‘christian’ fraternity, one which I gladly renounce.
But I know I have been here before, writing of an experience so hugely tragic, and in whatever dimension we wish to draw upon, and that there is always a repeat urgency when we see how neo-nazism seeks to claim a foothold across Europe once again. For Poland, I cannot begin to imagine why it should allow for some of its citizens to seek an alliance with a Hitler regime that totally decimated Poland and its People. I am not even talking here about their 3,000,000 Jews of The Holocaust either. Here in time is a differing space, a certain Polish place but with separating names and antisemitism runs rife amongst them. For me, the first sight of Malkinia had informed me that Treblinka was at hand and the torture of humanity still hung in the air. I felt the strong hand of fate drawing me forward and it gains further confusion when the reality is, nazism remains focused on denying the Jews of Treblinka, Poland and elsewhere in Europe a resting place that should give them peace! Malkinia’s staging post was almost like it had been ordained for my visit. The steps up to that point, that had guided me to where Polish rail officials had no idea of such a place as Treblinka, and I spelled it TREBLINKA, it awaited me!
There were images and impressions drawing me forward and in a strange sense, I felt an almost spiritual upheaval that appeared inexplicable to me. It was almost the call of some Biblical cataclysm that had been waiting to dump me in a place as close to another Hell as all x5 other Death Camps had impressed upon me. If ever a picture could add to what Dante envisioned, and if our Children could become frightened by names such as these, Auschwitz/Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and then Treblinka, no rehearsal could ever prepare me for what I encountered. Again those words,
‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’,
which were clearly not intended for me, swept over me. For those Jews detained in Chelmno and Treblinka, and all the Death Camps I had visited, they were contained beneath a soil turned over, looted, excavated and cremated there are remnants which remain still to record the most mechanised destruction of a People ever.
Hitler though, who knew the lessons to be gained from history and he used them in reference to Jenghis Khan, The Armenian Tragedy and other’s, to mark his path of such degeneracy, history has afforded a name, The Holocaust to single out his hatred for an innocent Jewish People. Also, and as Napoleon's experience in Russia suggested, Winter would destroy any of Hitler's clear Lebensraum intentions and his connivance with other’s who collaborated his wishes would show him up for the contempt he showed for People as well as History. Those lessons in history then finally convinced Hitler, with the first set back during the Winter offensive in Russia of 1941, that stepping up the resolve to fully accomplish his Final Solution required an escalating term. This was found with The Wannsee Conference, which Hitler established to ensure the entire administration of Reich would be collaborative and complicit in The Holocaust.
Here, the early 1942 Winter still raging in Russia, saw all arms of the Reich now employed away from total War and in the mass Murder of the Jews of Europe. Here also, we must be very explicit and while we cannot be allowed an opinion in such a History, we strive toward any relevant comprehension with the factual truth of what happened to 6,000,000 Jews. What is based on this factual depiction of events involving so many Human Beings is an open wound in the psyche of all Humanity. Of course, what we do not do, we do not interpret what has been laid before History and the legacy of that period to lend to the posterity from which we must learn, cannot be abridged by any dilution of the truth. As SA thugs marched, and as they sang of their hatred, and as they were cajoled by Hitler, who imposed further upon the Jewish People in Germany, they wreaked Hitler's hatred and their own.
"..When Jewish blood splatters from ..knife."
Here, a direct threat which was felt immediately and was escalating toward terms Hitler encompassed in die Endlosung der Judenfrage. The Final Solution of the Jewish Question then, once Hitler sought and then achieved power was to be translated into a direct and frontal assault upon all Jewish presence and existence. It is not then such an enormous leap in any sense, let alone a rhetorical one, when German Jewry felt under imminent threat to seek out emigration. In fact, before Hitler acted out his physical threat, the imminent threat had been postured to a more than suggested death sentence. But who would take in Jews as refugees. So if we have now made the leap for some German Jews to get abroad, it is certain for German Jews left behind there is a physical abuse to deal with even prior to their physical destruction. Evian had already alerted Hitler that the World considered the Jewish Question of little consideration and the Jewish People were then expendable.
Dachau approached and Jewish incarceration signalled Hitler's resolve to confront the issue of his own hatred for the Jews. Once Kristallnacht was augmented with violence, Jewish lives were put under SA and SS knives. Here, some people acted in violation of all the precepts of human decency against an already beleaguered Jewish People! If these were Germans, we see them as collaborative in Hitler’s wishes for the destruction of Jewish business, Synagogue’s and even Jewish life. So when Hitler invaded Poland and Poles acted without regard for their Jewish neighbours, then Poland must accept the judgement in History that some Poles collaborated with Hitler's efforts. If we are to accept that this was not against Poland, then certainly in condemning the Jews they sought out for Destruction, they acted against the Peoples of that state.
There can be no denial of the evidence of the testimonies given. I am not here to add to the study of Polish collaborating efforts but with estimates of as many as 1,000's who collaborated, rising to more than 1,000,000 collaborators, Poland needs to address the frenetic move to either chasten the past or infer an alternative truth for our future. It is troublesome in this that the Polish government of the time chose to abandon its own People to the wiles of an assailant who would abuse and Destroy 6 million of its own People. We can recognise clearly that Hitler’s intention saw to it that 3,000,000 of them were systematically Murdered and because they were Jewish. Did that Polish government collaborate with Hitler's demands by giving its people over to German chagrin? The Polish government had abandoned the state and were short on the ground to afford any leadership. These mandated leaders of Polish society, as they resided well away from what was to befall the entire Polish countryside, Jews within that Country and many non-Jews besides were left to the merciless German occupation.
Firstly, to secure power and then to convert it into the most radical annihilatory expressed hatred to encroach upon humanity, it became endemic in German politics of the time and was readily adopted in many sovereign states, and here, within Poland I wish to see how widespread it became. Anti Jewish feeling settled into a rhetoric of exclusion at first and then, fully exemplified as it spread widely into aktionen in Killing Sites and the Death Camps, it was evident for all other's to see, hear and know, that mass Murder had been fully intended and then orchestrated. Of course, it was evident for all to know but not to become acknowledged by those who refused to see, hear or relate. There is no comparison to be made either with those who chose this Hitlerian example and trampled all moral values into a Murderous exercise, what ever Country we witnessed it expressed.
Here in Poland, there were 3,000,000 expressions which single out the Country for a more pernicious involvement in what would be exercised against their own Jewish population. Unparalleled and Unprecedented are words which utter the intolerable consequences which have a resonance to this day. As this same hatred continually draws upon such a devastating example, the World moves first to disguise the truth in order to cover the traces of indifference so evident all through the period. Until the entire World wakes up to the relevant lesson of genocide’s gravest wrong, The Holocaust will remain the bench mark for the continuing cycle of all future atrocity. Elsewhere we encounter this expression of hatred appearing, and in 1938, the Italian government passed a law banning Jews from teaching in public schools. A few months later, Italian leader Benito Mussolini formed an axis with Adolf Hitler and we wonder which came first the assault upon the integrity of the Jews or the kindred spirit which sees these two readers duplicating their effort against the Jews. Discrimination continued against 1,000’s of Italian Jews, and in 1943 many were deported to German camps. Fortunately, 80% of Jews in Italy were spared during the war, having been interned in small camps in Italy or rescued by righteous non-Jews, unlike the example we are to encounter once Poland is overrun.
It is true to say that when prejudice is voiced by leader's of Men, people suffer no matter their race, creed or other persuasion. This is the insipid nature of intolerance. It invokes in the masses a belief that others are lesser beings or inferior in some way. This was a mantra which emanated from Hitler as the Jewish People became the target of intolerable abuse. When an entire nation can then act in one accord with this Hitler branding of an ancient originated and newly interpreted hatred, it can be exported and 6,000,000 Jews are then set to be Annihilated. When such immoral norms are clearly advocated by authoritative political or even religious figures, intolerance becomes an institution of that state. The rule of governance is in promoting all moral probity and tolerance. But once the guiding principle of correctness has been distorted, direction becomes deviant and atrocity engulfs those no longer protected by moral certainty and this is more so within a violated state like Poland with 3,000,000 Jews to be targeted.
For now, I have finished my journey back toward those x6 Death Camps which Hitler had established in German Occupied Poland. However, I arrived back home with more questions than answers and all relating to both my continuing effort to achieve comprehension and in confronting a barrier which seemingly persists in Jewish Polish relations. I have finally stood before Chelmno and Treblinka and walked through Warsaw Streets and those same Streets which had seen the vibrancy of so much that was Jewish life was not only devoid of a Jewish presence, but it was also omitting any sense that once, Jewish People had once lived here. Here, in the Jewish Capitol of the European Continent, more than 8% of all Murdered Jews of The Holocaust had been driven toward extinction from their former homes here.
For me there is a finite and certain Polish complicity with Hitler’s efforts in Poland, and against the Jews in particular. What was nothing short of duplicitous for those Poles who obligingly and willingly collaborated is engraved into History and cannot alter the path of truth and integrity. Of course this does not accuse all, or even most of the Polish people, but it most certainly damns and recognises those few Poles who did collude in all manner of ways. For those Poles who would identify a Jew when a German couldn't, this was collaboration. If the fleeing government of Poland had issued instructions for the safety and security of all its citizens, history cannot now know how many of their 3,000,000 Jews had been awarded such a sanctuary by governance which would surely have saved many more Polish Jews from Hitler's intentions.
Of course we know all too well the actions of the Balt’s against their own Jews, and elsewhere where hatred or monetary gain gifted Hitler with further victims, collaborator’s stood to ensure a more rapid approach to the final solution was more speedy. So is history to now have any sense of outrage that Polish collaboration could be bleached from history’s pages or even denied? Collaboration indeed is an ugly word. But when it is used in conjunction with efforts against the good of any People, it is reprehensible, immoral and wrong. The Jews of Poland were collaborated against, individually and in wanton acts of betrayal of entire Jewish Community’s and by neighbours who sought to financially gain from and against their Jewish community. When we then visit the Jewish Survivor, with their attempt to return to their former lives, what they met with was a serious effort to continue with what Hitler had commenced. All over Poland, and elsewhere in Europe, Jews were either badly treated, brutalised or Murdered upon their return. In many Towns and Villages the Jewish Survivor was tortured not only by memories of loss and betrayal but there was a betrayal still which greeted them with renewed vigour.
Jews were randomly Murdered and within Poland, as a crescendo of violence descended upon these returning Survivor Jews, more than 100,000 of these bewildered, abandoned and frightened Jewish People finally sought refuge away from their former Polish homes. And this is where Poland has largely gained from a Jewish absence and Murderous rampage which had already cost 3,000,000 Polish Jewish lives. For various reasons, the spoils of that collaboration is held to this day as a theft of confiscated goods, lands, properties, valuables and moneys. I recognised as I stood in Treblinka, at the stone representing Sokoly, I stood at the point of what is an accusation of all of Poland. This nation owes much to those Jews, not just lost to us all but surely given away, wholesale and as a sordid gain was made which has stained the Polish past with the expropriation gained. From the extirpation of the vanquished Polish Jewish identity those Poles who were involved in the murders must be considered collaborative in the destruction of the Jews of Europe, Hitler’s supreme demand.
"..making it a crime to imply any Polish culpability for Nazi crimes denies ..historical record ..and sets a dangerous precedent for denying ..full scope of The Holocaust." Dr. Yvette Alt Miller.
As we search though the relevant documentation to unearth Polish collaboration, and it was a well advanced phenomena, we find Jozef Cukier. This individual was one of the leaders of the ‘Goralenvolk’, an early separatist movement located in the Podhale Highland region of southern Poland, along the Slovakian border. Here, during the Nazi occupation, Cukier attempted to set up a regional assembly with fellow activist Waclaw Krzeptowski. The establishment of an independent state, in collaboration with the occupying Germans did not gain any widespread support. However, the measure of support afforded the German’s, who accepted the region as part of an ethnic alliance, did secure an amelioration of treatment for the regions people. That said, the level of hostility towards the German occupation did not allow for any fully fledged separatist or collaborationist movement to gain its hold.
The fact of Jedwabne is well known to History and cannot be distorted by any Polish attempt to subdue the terms of collaboration to random assaults. Here, and for this assessment of Collaboration we will look to Jedwabne specifically. It had a population of some 3,000 people with more than 2,000 of these their Jewish neighbours. The Polin Museum itself clearly acknowledges the collaboration here, and elsewhere the collaboration by certain Poles remains a significant corruption of the moral integrity of Poland during the period of The Holocaust. Here, on July 10th. 1941 Marian Karolak, the local Mayor, fully collaborated his efforts with the murderous German occupation to have some 340 the town’s Jews herded into a local barn and they were to be Murdered there, burned to death. The detail of this shocking event is well documented and does not require my continued accusation.
However, this was a Polish town which had turned on its Jewish Community and must be considered for its collaborative and Murderous action. Now while not all Poles were participants in the atrocity, those many not involved are still complicit, due to their failure to assist their own Jewish neighbours out of harms way. The responsibility for History is clear and it must ensure the integrity of this Murderous rampage, which is clearly verified, and does not get washed away with any attempt to dilute the fullest terms of the atrocity. Where doubt lingers, the truth must be restored. Those with a responsibility to contribute knowledge to what we must learn have a more prescient demand placed upon them to ensure what is known is not lost to interpretation. I reckon there are those who are sickened by what The Holocaust presents to us but we must be mindful of what The Holocaust is to the Jewish People and more so the Survivor. The Survivor of this ostensibly 'christian' led atrocity against all the Jews of Europe, and I recognise fully that Jews were not the only victims of Hitler and any collaborative effort, but Jews were the only victims of The Holocaust.
Why then should it amaze anyone that there is a commercial side to Writing? Even while I choose to write in Remembrance of 6,000,000 Jews, who are The Holocaust, that is also true? No Publisher is going to give free rein to any Writer to write what will not sell and no one who does not appreciate what I state and why I state it will not wish to read from the pages of those Books, now placed before the mantle of The Holocaust Remembrance, that we are here to share. Also, and I have never suggested other than that requirement is to read what one chooses to read. In essence I have the bones of 30 other Books already conceived of and they await each agreement based upon the achievement of the last effort. That means I am not searching here, or any other media platform, to gather for any of the Books I have already sketched an impression of.
"..This was a particularly cruel crime. It was justified by nothing. ..victims were helpless and defenceless. For this crime ..we should beg ..souls of ..dead and their families for forgiveness. This is why today ..as a citizen and as president of ..Republic of Poland ..I apologise." President Aleksander Kwasniewski.
Agreed! I clearly attribute certain concerns to what I state here, such as collaboration, but this will not qualify as a Book unless it is proven substantial to do so. Part of what collaboration in The Holocaust encompasses is a clearer accusation that many states are unwilling to admit to. A work on Jedwabne clearly forms such an accusation which has been painstakingly worked on and this single atrocity against the some 340 Jews Burned to Death leads more accusingly toward the 1,600 Jews of Jedwabne, and those from the nearby communities of Radzilova and Vizna, Men, Women and Their Children who have vanished from History. Those being memorialised though, which has credit beyond what I could here add to speaks of such grave losses we could never contemplate. For me, there is a simple resolve to such positions as to what collaboration represents. I will explore Jedwabne but within a narrative that clearly identifies with Kielce and Sokoly. All of which provides a legacy to add collaboration to any attempt by Hitler to ensure the destruction of as many Jews as he could. The newly established Memorial Monument at Jedwabne states:
"..In memory of the Jews of Jedwabne and surrounding areas, men, women, and children, fellow-dwellers of this land, murdered and burned alive at this site on 10 July 1941."
But this clearly does not go far enough in admonishing those who wronged their neighbours, Murdered them because they were Jews and even today, watch as the resistance to admission is being ameliorated toward denial. States should not then ever be ambiguous in any detail of their History, despite the terrible detail it has inflicted upon History. For the Jews from these individual atrocities, no nation will stand the test of scrutiny who wishes to distance itself from what was inflicted upon the Polish Jewish People by their own Polish neighbours. Any distortion of the truth will only lead to a corruption of the veracity of all of History. This need to conceal any element and particle of the truth cannot but doubt the honesty of any nation. Any Country whose moral founding has been ethically constituted, must uphold with integrity what it wishes to deliver forth.
As for the collaborating efforts so often mentioned, imagine the added horror for the Jewish People in knowing the fact of a neighbour turning upon their neighbour because they are Jews. The enactment itself is of unbridled hatred and the amassed Murder to be witnessed against those Jews, while it is expressly, bears no relation to what their religious, moral or ethical teachings commanded of them and that they 'love thy neighbour as thy self.' This negation of the obligation to a duty each human being holds with the other must be confronted brought into question. It must be constituted in the way it was intended and honoured by all of humanity engaged in a living space shared equally by all peoples everywhere. And remember too that I didn't state that original text about loving your neighbour, a Christian god did.
"..Jesus said unto him ..Thou shalt love ..Lord thy God with all thy heart ..and with all thy soul ..and with all thy mind. This is ..first and great commandment. And ..second is like unto it ..Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all ..law and ..prophets."
It is evident that The Holocaust is riven with so many atrocities we have been obliged to lend it this single term and any such accusation which Jedwabne, Kielce and Sokoly delivers, provides us with a hideous example of this vile, vicious and murderous display. Here, collaboration becomes the ugliest of words set against the back drop of the most virulent hatred ever devised by humankind. So what is presented at Sokoly, Kielce and Jedwabne is either the ignorance of human Morality and the failing obligation to obey gods Commandments or it is the complete abrogation of what their God’s law must hold for them. The subject then of collaboration is an emotive one but must not be confined to seeking ways of extracting the truth and enabling those who collaborated to simply divest themselves of their cruel, wicked and murderous affray against those they knew where their own People. In terms which must make us shudder, we recognise not only Jedwabne, Kielce and Sokoly but we must look to those individual assaults upon the Jews of Europe by those privileged enough to have escaped the wrath of Hitler’s resolve for ALL Jews.
"..Normally I can talk about ..Holocaust ..no problem. When you are talking to boys and girls at schools you want to hide your emotions. But sometimes ..suddenly ..when I am speaking ..whole thing becomes very real. Memories come back. And when I go to Jedwabne ..it doesn’t matter that it was Jews or any other people. To think what these people did to their neighbours. They were their neighbours from ..1600s. Their burial places indicate that they lived there from that time. It was not enough that they killed them. They slaughtered them. They cut them to pieces." Tomi Reichental.
I cannot begin to imagine what a Jew, let alone a Survivor considers as they survey the wreckage of humanity wrought by human beings against their fellow Man, Woman and Their Children because they were Jews. The 10's of 1,000's of those Jews who have had the fortune to Survived, and those Jews forced to escape further still the hatred from neighbours, they know especially harshly what words uttered here cannot deliver. Collaboration however, is written clearly in the destruction of these Polish Jews and those other Jews who found a contemptible people, wherever they were, disabling all moral probity to deliver further toward Hitler’s Final Solution. Honestly, I have no axe to grind against the Polish People, or any other national grouping, but I object to what amounts to the denial of the Truth by anyone who would seek to shelter from the integrity History demands, the ability of so many to collaborate with Hitler’s efforts or against their own communities, for whatever reason. 6,000,000 Jews of The Holocaust deserve the truth, and when they have been denied all too much in their stricken lives, that is expressly demanded.
"..In their minds ..murderers and accomplices of Germany ..and Poland ..and Hungary ..and so many ..many other places didn’t do something evil. They convinced themselves it was ..right thing to do ..thing they had to do." James Comey.
When we look to individuals like Ludwik Kalkstein who was an agent for the Gestapo, he worked tirelessly to undo the Jewish effort to remain alive. With Waclaw Krzeptowski, one of the leaders of the Goralenvolk, collaboration can be assessed. Krzeptowski sought a breakaway region, the Podhale to remove them from Poland and closer ties with Hitler and Germany. Throughout Poland, almost immediately upon the defeat of the Germans, unrest in Poland centred around the Jewish Survivors, those seeking to return to some form of normality. Pogroms were constituted in several Cities and Towns, two of which, Sokoly decided the path I have taken for the past 20 years and Kielce, which defined the course of any future Jewish presence within Poland. Pogroms against returning Jews were not restricted to Poland alone, but I wish to draw to the attention of those Polish officials who would seek to draw a line in the sand. Tragically for the Jews of Poland, this line had been severely crossed, and so ignobly amongst the various Polish communities who led these anti-Jewish Pogroms, and some of these were the Jews who had returned to:
Biala-Podlaska, and x2 Jews were Murdered upon their return. In Bialystok and Bielawa there was no welcome for the Survivor Jews. In Boleslawiec x8 returning Jews were Murdered and in Bytom and Cracow , the same sickening story of hatred awaited the Jews. In Czestochowa, Kielce and Legnica, and as if the Jews had no suffered enough, their return was met with scorn, fury and nonacceptance. In Lublin x2 returning Jews were Murdered whereas in Mordy x7 Jewish Survivors were Murdered. The story repeats itself in Otwock and the emergence of the Jews from the Camps, the Killing Sites, the Death Camps was greeted with amazement that these Jews managed to Survive at all. In Parczew x4 returning Jews were Murdered and that same fate was met in Piaski when x6 Surviving Jewish residents assumed to Return Home. In Polaniec x5 returning Jews were not allowed to Survive and this sorry tale was met by Jews returning home to Rzeszow.
In Skarzysko-Kamienna x5 Jews too assumed they could return Home and regale their neighbours of their terrible ordeal. Truth is, their neighbours had known what had awaited the Jews. The telegraph system of informant and travelling whispers acquainted all of what had been the planned annihilation of the Jews of Poland. In Sokoly x9 Surviving Jews had staged a Home welcome for themselves and were Murdered for doing so. In Sosnowiec, Szczecin and Tarnow the Jews of these Towns who had known such levels of hatred no human being should experience suffered the gravest evil, Murder at the hands of their former neighbours. In Turek and I saw the signs for this Town on my way toward Lodz, x1 Survivor was confronted by the same element of hatred exercised by the now former German occupiers and was Murdered. For the larger of these Pogroms, we will look to their composition and with the Kielce Pogrom, a swing shift in Polish Jewish relations was reached.
The Jewish Community gathered in the Jewish Community Centre's to organise a welcome for those Survivor’s who had been lucky enough to Survive. On July 4th. 1946 an armed gang of thugs, Polish Soldiers, Polish Police and Kielce’s Polish community killed 42 of those Jews who were gathered and more than a further 50 Jews were beaten and wounded. Though Justice here was as unequivocal as could be, and as the Polish Courts indicted and convicted many of the perpetrator’s, and even 9 of the culprits were executed, this signalled the final straw for more than 100,000 Surviving Jews of Poland who felt they had been betrayed by Poland and gradually left the Country. World opinion was not incensed enough though to look inward at how it had previously treated the Jews of Europe, 6,000,000 of who were laid to waste, and mostly in Poland.
We arrive now at Sokoly, a Town to the East of Bialystok where my search for some form of understanding or comprehension of the very tenets of The Holocaust became my choice Always to Remember, Never to Forget. Here on 17th. February 1945, x9 Surviving Jews of the Town were sought out and Murdered. Amongst them:
1) Tokele, my little 4 year old Jewish Girl who has fixed the trajectory of my life for more than 20 years now. These Jewish Survivors I have sought always to remember are Tovah ‘Tokele’ Olshak;
2) Shaina Olshak,
3) David Zholti,
4) Shaikele Litwak,
5) Chaim Litwak,
6) Shammai Litwak,
7) Batya Weinstein, and
8) David Kostshevski though he died from his wounds in Hospital, he is a part of the tragedy for Survivor Jews who could not be allowed to return and stay. Also,
9) Yankele Litwak was shot by a Polish soldier while in Bialystok and was the 15 year old Brother of Shaikele, Shammai and Shainie Litwak. In Death none are exempt and so these x9 Jews whose lives were taken from them for being Jews should not be parted here as Jews of Sokoly.
"..We dipped our pen into the valley of tears
To record an immortalization for the holy martyrs of Sokoly
Every page of the book is a scroll of fear
About our dear ones, who were cut off with a sharp sword.
We lived in the community, we spent time together
We drank gladness and poison from the same cup
The dynasty of his grandfather – the grandson the blacksmith
A continuation of the generations of the Nation of Israel.
We sat on the same bench of learning
In the same ‘cheder’ we expounded Torah
We had the same study hall, rules and procedures
The same cemetery and the same graves.
We walked the same roads and streets
Young girls and youths, grandfathers and grandmothers
Under the wedding canopies we heard, with rhythm,
Notes of a Jewish melody of joy and sadness.
We were transported to those Treblinkas in multitudes
We were squeezed into cattle cars like sheep
Our destination was massacre, we turned into dust
The story of our people is written here in the book.
Where are you, Sokoly, you were our cradle
You were eroded like dust and broken like clay
Where are your Jews, infants and fathers
Old people, grooms and beautiful brides?
Where are the pulpits of gemara, and around them the sounds of commentary
Of the yeshiva students explaining portions of the Midrash
Prayers and hopes lifted up to God on high
Were choked off, were silenced with the smoke of destruction." Reuven Lev.
I never appreciated that anyone would approach the sense of personal grief I felt with other than an acknowledgement of a fellow sufferer’s sympathy and human empathetic concern. I saw my Dad Dead and knew an immense loss. I knew my Sister's had died and had no time to adjust to this before the life of a Child was urged to move on. I was not well prepared for the image of Tokele, so young, so vibrant and taken from this World because of a hatred that Jews like her had Survived and realised a personal attachment which caught me unawares? People have asked me why I have become so attached to Tokele and I can only use the missing grief over the loss of my own x2 very Young Sister’s to give that grief to one I felt now able to grieve over!
"..10 days after ..war started ..German soldiers burst into our town ..Sokoly ..and immediately began a mad rampage. Guided by young Poles ..they passed through ..homes of ..Jews and abducted ..leaders of ..community." Michael Maik.
It is unimaginable to the unaccustomed mind the full sense of horror that I have surveyed and I have felt its potency in all that I have researched and studied. On the very explicit detail of The Holocaust, there has been no parallel in all of History to draw upon and the very unprecedented nature of the assault upon the Jewish People has gouged a path through our times which is an accusation against all of humanity. So I have written about the horror explicitly and sought to articulate the terror with a sense of shame that humanity could have sunk to such depths of human depravity. I have remonstrated verbally with a World which stood by and allowed all of this to happen with a shudder of indifference to a very pronounced intolerance. But, it with my use of words that I have been compelled to recognise that 6,000,000 other People could be so ruthlessly condemned and murdered and simply because they were Jews. Are we not all Jews amongst those who believe in Jewish ways and a Jewish God while we have adapted the godliness to act ungodly like?
"..Germans rounded up 1,000's of Jews from Warsaw and its surroundings and sent them in boxcars to Treblinka ..a place where ..Germans had built a giant slaughterhouse for killing Jews by ..strangulation with gas. Exact details as to how they killed ..Jews were not yet known ..but it was known that every day dozens of boxcars loaded with Jews arrived at Treblinka. ..shoved onto special platforms ..supposedly taken to a bathhouse ..ordered to undress ..given a piece of soap ..a towel. ..doors were opened to an empty room into which ..victims were driven. ..room was filled with people and so crowded that there was no more space ..doors were locked ..and in a few minutes they suffocated. ..new transports of Jews were sent to this death camp ..and ..immediately ..turned into dust. ..Jews from Poland ..Lithuania ..Ukraine ..White Russia ..France ..Belgium ..Holland and other European countries also arrived in full trains at Treblinka ..where they were murdered." Michael Maik.
For me, I had never heard of Sokoly, but I was now confronted with a measure of evil which rampaged through a home were Survivor's of the worst calamity to strike at humanity's core were resting and recovering from their ordeal. Where previously some 2,500 Jews had once lived, apparently in peaceful coexistence, the Jews had enjoined their neighbours in a communal effort to secure a better future for both? However, and at a given moment Polish robbers entered a House where these Survivor's were and in the a frenzy of atrocity hear what the words of Michael Maik, who describes what I read, more than 20 years ago and has gripped me ever since:
"..Tova (Tokele) (Tulka) Olshak ..4 year-old orphan ..was a cheerful and sweet little girl. She clung lovingly to any person who took her into his arms to spoil her and play with her. She filled every Jewish heart with pleasure and everyone took comfort in her. ..beautiful little girl ..innocent of any sin ..an actual little angel ..lay dead with open eyes. Her eyes expressed deep protest against ..bestial murderers." Michael Maik.
So the horror of an image can capture fully the tenets of The Holocaust, but the very detail of the Slaughter has just got so much worse for me. In betrayal's darkest moments I have discovered that a 4 year old Child can be such a threat to humanity that she can be ruthlessly Murdered because she is a Jew. For these Jews of Sokoly, having Survived all that the Catastrophe brought to them, these Jews of Sokoly emerged from places like Auschwitz, Majdanek and Treblinka to be Murdered in the own Home and within their own community. For the all too few Jews who had managed to Survive, they must have wondered how come their luck had managed to bring them home. But their luck soon changed as soon as they had reached the apparent safety of their former homes. For me, this defines not only the most heinous of crimes but also the Collaboration of certain Poles in Hitler's efforts to Murder as many Jews as possible. And so I leave the final words of Sokoly’s damning evidence to one who knew:
"..Bialystok ..a gathering point for all ..Jews of ..surrounding area ..including ..Jews from Sokoly who had previously been expelled. From Bialystok ..groups of Jews were sent to Treblinka ..to ..gas chambers." Michael Maik.
The Schutzmannschaft Battalion 107 was composed of as many as 450 local Poles and worked extensively in the Volhynia region. They were under the German command and formed a guard duty to ensure the free running of the Railways. They were not a commissioned police force as such, unlike Schutzmannschaft Battalion 202 which was an auxiliary and collaborating Polish police force established in Cracow. More than 300 were forcibly signed up to deliver for the occupying forces varying degrees of cooperation. However, the level of voluntary collaboration was small, and eventually more than half the group abandoned its position to join free Polish forces. Jan Emil Skiwski was a Polish writer, journalist, literary critic, an outspoken extremist supporter of the far right, and an advocate of National Democracy. That he was a collaborator with Hitler’s world view is clearly expressed in his publishing of newspapers supporting Nazi and Polish cohesion, even when his own Country was occupied by an aggressor nation.
Eugeniusz Swierczewski too was a Polish journalist, a drama critic and a Gestapo agent. Karol Juliusz Sym, who was widely known as Igo Sym, was a Polish actor who collaborated with Hitler’s plans for Poland and against what Poland had once been, a sovereign state. Clearly, we cannot enter the realm of Polish collaboration without mention of The Blue Police, made up of Polish police officers. We are aware that these Polish Granatowa policja, more correctly interpreted as 'Navy Blue Police' were a 20,000 strong force of Poles. They were either conscripted and volunteered almost immediately upon German entry into Poland on September 1st. 1939. Not only responsible for the enforcement of German demands, with regard Jews and Poles alike, they policed the Ghetto areas and ensured Jewish compliance to German demands.
Their mark has left an indelible stain on Polish nationhood, but it is largely denied in the most onerous ways and can never be assessed or accepted in any meaningful way due to these constraints. That such moral certainty was abandoned by some Poles, and it has to be stressed that most Polish people did not enter into any cohesive action with any Germans, but as Hitler's rhetoric of hatred blossomed, some Poles succumbed to a motive of reprehensible proportions. What underscores those political efforts to this day, for those still seeking to deny that any form of Polish collaboration ever existed, will allow for the fomentation of denial to give future rise to the same or similar hatreds. Under such an atmosphere of self interest and personal promotion, victimisation against Polish Jewry clearly flourished. While no one can insist Hitler created antisemitism, we can be certain that he made it his own weapon of choice and delivered it to the Poles who took up the gauntlet to act with impunity at times against their own Jewish Citizens.
When all is said and done, Poland's 'blue police' not only assisted the Nazi effort to consume 3,000,000 Jews but wilfully participated and perpetrated Crimes against Humanity. Their presence against the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was a clear collaboration against the Jewish People and Poland's sovereignty. These Blue Police units, formed on October 30th. 1939, with the German’s allocating the worst type of policing to these eager recruits, so as to ensure the more deadly deeds had a Polish footprint all through! The strength of this organisation was present within Poland until August 27th. 1944 when it was appropriately decommissioned. It is essential to realise that Hitler knew the lessons to be gained from history and he used them widely.
Whether in mentioning Jenghis Khan, The Armenian Tragedy or the knowledge he surely gained of Napoleon's experience in Russia has suggested, Hitler was well briefed on History. However, what is missing is Hitler’s ability to understand History fully and his arrogance in not appreciating that Winter would destroy any of Hitler's clear Lebensraum intentions, is well documented. What had been clearly in operation since his arrival in power, this then convinced Hitler, with the first set back during the Russian Winter offensive of 1941, that the stepping up of his resolve to fully accomplish his Final Solution was in need of a more focused approach. This newer emphasis required a more fuller and escalating response, even when we have become aware that since Kristallnacht, Jewish life was an expendable commodity in Hitler’s pocket.
Here too, when The Wannsee Conference was established to ensure that the entire Reich would be fully complicit in every detail of The Holocaust. The escalating terms must be considered alongside what BabiYar presents, what Both the SD killing experts would relay and what Hitler then expected from his legions. Few here presented any arguments against what could be accomplished, and the duplicity of Germany and the Germans was complete. It is to be seen that as this Conference convened, the relevant experience gained by the mass Murderer’s of the time, SS Obersturmbannfhrer Dr. Rudolf Lange, der Einsatzkommando 2 Commander and SS Brigadefuhrer Dr. Georg Karl Eberhard Schongarth, the Commander of the Security Police & Security Service in the Generalgouvernment, pushed the emphasis of the atrocity away from Shootings and toward the emerging Death Camps. Now, all arms of the Reich was aware, implicitly engaged and fully employed in the mass Murder of the Jews of Europe.
The Warsaw Ghetto
Here, between April 19th. and May 16th. 1943, and by now not only had the majority of the Jews who had once been held in the Warsaw Ghetto been annihilated, the remaining 50,000 Jews were awaiting the same fate. Held to ransom, the remnant of Jewry here could do no more than pay the extortionate price expected for weapons. This criminal act, which would only hasten the Jewish demise stands before a history which now balks at calling this deliberate and calculated extortion what it was Collaboration. Here, as the approach of the final days of Hitler’s 1,000 year reich was looming, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto seized their moment and struck back at Hitler’s intention to destroy every single one of them. But here again, amidst the crumbling ramparts of Poland’s Capitol City the Jews once more stood alone!
I have no wish here though to single out only Warsaw as alone in those Ghetto’s taking back control from Hitler’s oppression and annihilation. But, as we must be explicit and specific, and while we can still be allowed an opinion in such a History, we strive toward relevance with the factual truth of what faced the remnants of the largest Jewish Ghetto in all of Europe, Jewish Warsaw. Not only do I wish to point out what happened here, but as I see here a similar collaboration which 6,000,000 Jews faced, the facts of this truth accuses. Here too, the Warsaw Ghetto sets forth the worst excesses of abuse, hatred and most definitely collaboration against these Jews, and the ultimate destruction of the Jews of all of Poland had been well orchestrated and mirrored here in the ruins of Warsaw.
But, was there some collaborative effort in ensuring that the 'transports' from Warsaw, which were taken to the gates of Treblinka, and as with all the Death Camps, managed with Polish escorts, it is certain what these Polish attendants had delivered their Jewish transportees toward. So taken in isolation though, and as we are introduced to the Jewish Resistance during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising these Jews fought an extraordinarily gallant Fight. It might have proved futile to do so but is it not credible now to allow them their immense, singularly isolated and Herculean effort. It would appear that while some are resorting to the revised annotation that certain in History would deliver for them and escalate an interference from outside bodies which did not assist. The example here, with the urgent need for Guns played a major part in the overall failure of the Jewish Combatants to assail further the German assault.
Though the end was an inevitable end for Jewish lives here, the Jewish capacity to defend itself against the weight of Hitler’s proposed elite, Criminals and mercenary killers severely increased the cost to the overwhelming military superiority the Jewish Fighter’s had to engage, due to a tenacity borne from a certainty they were alone and on a collision course with annihilation. Let us deal with the extortion for a moment. For instance, a gun to the Jewish Resisters could cost US $1,000 - US $2,500, and when the going rate at the time for say a revolver was US $20.00 to US $25.00. Here, for the Jews fighting Hitler’s Nazi’s was the margin for exploitation that was clearly and substantially enhanced! This was a clear exploitation and it was mixed with a collaborative effort that saw Hitler's clearer intention to deny any final life to these isolated Warsaw Jews brought closer. Did not the failure of the Polish resistance to assist their Jewish counterparts not merely pander to Hitler’s wishes but fully render to Hitler an extended ability to enure that the Jews could not defend themselves against such a resolve??
"..Assassinations were carried out ..of ..Gestapo collaborators seeking to save their own lives at ..expense of ..Jews." Abraham Geppner.
So the truth emerges that Polish collaboration, which existed in its most pernicious forms is based on this factual depiction of events involving so many desolate Jews. These Jewish Human Beings were abandoned by such a device as we see that their fellow humans being collaborative? This surely is an open wound in the psyche of all Humanity. Of course, what we do not do, we do not interpret what has been laid before the posterity from which we must learn. What is pertinent here though, is the sheer lack of cooperation from those outside the Ghetto's who either chose to ignore the Jewish plight or sought to profit from the Jewish situation. It is essential to understand and appreciate that for some Poles who ventured into the midst of this largely Jewish conflict, but within Polish Warsaw and only saw along with the Nazi protagonists, only a common enemy.
Of course some Poles died alongside their Jewish counterparts doing what they were obliged to commit to against the same Nazi aggressor, but the overall indifference shown by an apathetic or unconcerned Polish people abandoned the remaining Warsaw Jews to the murderous efforts of Jurgen Stroop. For me the question begs the unquestioning answer! Weren't the Polish Jews fighting to rid Poland of the exact same German aggressor enemy? Was not the Jewish Fight a Polish fight? Why then should a Jew have to pay for a weapon used to fight a common enemy? The Jews proved expendable even in the fight to rid The Warsaw Ghetto and Poland of Hitler's Murderer's!
As I summarise my own perspective as to what collaboration against the Jews in Poland represents what for me is so startling, nothing, absolutely Nothing prepares you for this realising betrayal of their fellow Country Men, Women and Their Children and all because they were Jews. Seeing the images as I have compiled them to survey the devastated landscape of a Polish territory, it is certainly true that it was largely abandoned by Poland! When nothing will prove more horrifying than what greets you as you stand before open fields here at Chelmno and Treblinka I get the sense that what was a missed opportunity to assist in Warsaw dissolved a mutual collaboration with these Jews of Warsaw and their Polish neighbours was a confrontation with a common enemy, Hitler’s invading forces. That same feeling of shock and shame confronted me as I stood in Auschwitz and Birkenau, Belzec, Majdanek and Sobibor.
Nothing has prepared me sufficiently for what is just as terrible, vile and monstrous in terms of a human failure to alleviate, assist or aid the Jewish fight in Poland against Poland’s enemy. However, the knowledge that more than 3,000,000 Jewish People, and possibly as many as 5,484,700 Jewish People were laid to waste in just these x6 places of ignominy, all adds a clearer more alarming perspective to what should have been expected from a knowledgeable non-Jewish Poland. Human Beings did this to Men, Women and Babies, Infants and Children and simply because they were JEWS while Poles in the main stood aside. Anger rages more deeply as I stood amidst rows of stones and boulders in Treblinka, and these standing memorials to lost Jewish Communities confront your senses knowing all too well what could have been achieved. If only Poland had acted as one with their own People, their own People, those suffering as Jews, but Polish all the same.
But then again, there are those who Survived the clear intention by Hitler to Murder them only for Poles to finish the task for him. I cannot begin to know the horror I stand in the shadows of but I can acknowledge their terror was far reaching. For some of these Jews, who even managed to crawl away from such spaces, Ghetto’s, Killing Sites and Death Camps how can I pretend not to be remotely horrified enough and angered more sufficiently when I hear that there was this lack of aid delivered to their own. The awareness or knowledge from those who resided next door to the encampments of destruction is a deceit which cannot camouflage the truth to be denied. For me there is a flood of emotions at all the Death Camps but it is here at Treblinka, where a Stone confronts me which floors me. Emblazoned across its surface I read SOKOLY.
This Town, where my poor little Tokele was so savagely Murdered, just 4 years old and butchered in a senseless hatred that no human being should possess. I felt frail and lost. I was merely humbled before stones which can devour ones mind of thoughts, well thoughts other than disgust. Here, my Camera lens becomes the tool of accusation and sharply brings to focus the most heinous crimes perpetuated by mankind. All too many of these crimes remain Unpunished. There are far too many Unconcerned enough to admit the exact detail of their collaborations, their intolerance’s or the indifference’s shown to fellow Human Beings. However, the weight of knowledge is burdensome enough without having History so exposed to duplicity and complicity in The Holocaust that some can deny all of its effects. So I will end here with an accusation as I encounter the very images I have posted to say I have been, I have marked my presence and I still choose to Remember that in
Belzec from 500,000 Jews to what amounts to 884,700 Jews were Murdered. In Birkenau, Auschwitz II from 1,100,000 Jews to a theoretically possible Slaughter of 2,500,000 Jews having been Murdered. At Chelmno where between 152,000 Jews toward 400,000 Jews having been Murdered there. For Majdanek we must assess that from 120,000 Jews to 200,000 Jews were Murdered there and at Sobibor some 225,000 Jews to 300,000 Jews were Murdered in this place of annihilation. The same is also true for Treblinka where as many as 700,000 Jews to 1,200,000 Jews were Murdered. This all gives rise to an overall assessment, unbridled in atrocity, unparalleled in brutality, unprecedented in all of History and unwarranted in all of humanity.
The staggering figures that we are talking about here within The Death Camp system would amount to some 2,797,000 Murdered Jews or some 5,484,700 Murdered Jews, depending upon all the gauged documentation and evidence, having been Murdered in The Death Camps alone! Remember too that while we seemingly acquiesce toward the lower estimates, we must fully consider the overall capacity that is The Death Camps. Plus be mindful also that while I make assessments based upon what Hitler’s legions fully accomplished, 33,771 Murdered Jews of Kiev in x2 days for instance, this would have ensured der Einsatzgruppe could have shot to death The Holocaust total of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews in about 355 days. We are reminded also of Hoess's own assessment, and this would suggest the entirety of those Murdered Jews of The Holocaust, these 6,000,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children would have been Destroyed in the space of 600 days at Auschwitz and Birkenau alone.
"..highest number of gassings in one day was 10,000. ..most that could be carried out in a day with ..available facilities." SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Rudolf Hoess.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Fri, October 06, 2017 21:04:50
It is Friday September 29th. 2017 and this part of my journey has come to an end. I have experienced some deeply moving experiences. I saw wholesale grief from many who so obviously had returned to pay their respects to the memory of those Jews now lost. The Jews of The Holocaust are always Remembered and in the placing of a stone, which I did, individually, and also for those who required one and for the many I know would appreciate it, I placed many stones. The symbolism shows the Jewish People today that the Jews of yesterday are never to be forgotten. I depart Warsaw from Chopin Airport so unless we measure the distance of the Concourse, I will have walked little today but travelled about 8 miles to get here.
The onward journey will make a total for today, of about 1,514 miles or so and to be honest, I doubt I could have been here another day and sought out any other place to visit, I am so weary. I stood in Centralna though, and there was a Train which would have taken me to Sokoly. I would have arrived at the same time I was supposed to be landing back on home soil? There is always that pull, there is always an unfinished recognition, and unsolved quest and an unrestrained commitment which persists in enabling me to take another step. A part of me though is quite relieved I have concluded this part of my journey, and I head back from the 'wasteland', a term I borrow from Karina Gora whose insight into taking Memory forward is refreshingly thoughtful and relevant.
I am only sorry I never saw her interpretative work while I was there, so as to appreciate it in close proximity to the Community of Tomazow-Mazowiecki's own Catastrophe. I am thankful the interest in keeping memory alive is pertinent to others who share a mutual human concern. I have travelled, all told more than 3,500 miles, 4,200 kilometres in new money over these past x5 days with 1,500 miles of that just to get to Warsaw. Warsaw has greatly disappointed though as there seems to be some errant or collective amnesia in Poland when it comes to asking about the Death Camps. And when it comes to those searching for answers and looking to the past for them, why do officials in Poland not at least know the names, Belzec or even Treblinka?
I have come a long way to visit places in Poland that the Poles do not know the names of? Is it Me? Did I look like I really did not wish to visit such places? Or could the answer be, there is a wish by far too many to forget their past History? Despite the fact that this detail in History was imposed upon them by Hitler, I would not expect the Polish people Not to know places which gorged on 4,000,000 Jewish People from all over Europe! Also, in each of these x6 Death Camps established by Hitler in German Occupied Poland, the remnants of Polish dead and Murdered is also to be found alongside their Jewish neighbours.
The Holocaust for me should be clear and unequivocal and certainly unique in terms of those 6,000,000 Jews of Europe who were intentionally Murdered by Adolf Hitler. In the most systematic, brutal, unprecedented, mechanised, industrialised and unparalleled Slaughter of Human Beings in ALL of History, requires that uniquely Jewish term History has recognised is, The Holocaust. That is The Holocaust Slaughter of 6,000,000 Human Beings for being Jewish. If ever my aim has been Always to Remember, Never to Forget then I will continue to inform, write and learn. How could I not? I know for certain the attempt by all to many to either minimise the impact the Jewish presence holds for us all, and I would suggest this accounts for an additional antisemitic response to an antisemitic act.
World War II saw 50/70 Million Dead, but not as Hitler's intention for the Jewish People has been exposed as so systematically sought. When some of those who offer up their recognition for The Holocaust, they are being disingenuous if they forget the very fact of the Jewish presence, or even choose to ignore that The Holocaust is 6,000,000 Murdered Jews. trump, now trudeaux have proved either stupid or ignorant of that fact, and a politician cannot have our mandate to be stupid. A politician here, who will remain gormless, when I questioned him about The Holocaust replied to me that he knew about the Holocaust because he had been to Auschwitz. This terse reply displayed an irrelevance I would not consider in any way empathetic.
My visit to Warsaw has suggested itself to me that there is a seeming and underlying attempt to either blur the line which connects 6,000,000 Jews to this Catastrophe, or dismiss it altogether. Either that or there is a simple attempt to deny these Jews of Europe their presence in THE most orchestrated and Murderous hatred meted out in supposed enlightened and civilised times. I am a bit low! My soul weakened by what I witnessed, and a little by what I have encountered. It does not fix itself when I witnessed a Lady crying as she observes the outside display at the Polin Museum. What could I say to her but Sorry! Here too, the dilution of the terms of reference which fixes the Jewish People within The Holocaust, is oh so a major cause for concern.
I appreciate that some Jews find it questionable for the religious overtones of The Holocaust term being used to Remember such an awful atrocity, and yet. Surely, The Holocaust term is the standard bearer of a truth which is Always to Remember, Never to Forget but it also vilifies those who watched as The Holocaust unfolded and is a blatant accusation of all of those who either profited from The Holocaust Jewish ordeal or participated in the very detail of the overall atrocity which is The Holocaust. For those who perpetrated these crimes in The Holocaust, either on behalf of Hitler or for their own sick and twisted idea, The Holocaust is our accusation.
How could it ever be otherwise, that Murdering Jewish People because they were Jews could be ever considered acceptable. How could such terms as The Holocaust presents become the accepted practice amongst all too few of these who have actually been tried for their Crimes. As I say! I am weary of the experience, but I will not forsake my commitment. Tokele stands alongside me. The Stone of Sokoly weighs heavily and 6,000,000 Jewish souls call out for a voice that wishes nothing other than to Remember them all. As I see it, the dead of War are a blight on Humanity whereas The Holocaust blights Humankind.
I know I have been here before, in terms of writing of an experience so hugely tragic and in whatever dimension we wish to draw upon. Here though was a differing space, a certain place but with separating names. The first sight of Malkinia had informed me Treblinka was at hand. I felt drawn forward. It was like it had been ordained and the steps that had guided me to where Polish rail officials had no idea of such a place as Treblinka, spelled TREBLINKA, I reached another awful space in the Destruction of the Jewish People! There were images and impressions drawing me forward and in a strange sense, I felt an almost spiritual upheaval. Again I have no wish to draw any religious connotations in this. I do not want to bring anyone's god into an equation which deals with such a massive loss. It had been remarked however that the god of Israel would sanctify and preserve the Jewish People, his Chosen People. Well for me, such was the absence of any god that the Jews fully felt a wrath and for what. To prove the presence of some god who cares more about the freedom to commit atrocity than to prevent it? As far as I am aware! The Jews obeyed their god's laws as they delivered to the World a monotheist way to believe adopted by a diverse multi-faith group of people. So where was god?
Even if the call came from some Biblical cataclysm which had been waiting to dump me in a place as close to another Hell as x5 other Death Camps had impressed upon me, I have yet to find the traces of any god. Instead, if ever a picture could add to what Dante envisioned, then our Children could become frightened by names such as these, Auschwitz/Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor or even there at Treblinka. Again those words, "Abandon hope all ye who enter here," was clearly not intended for me. For those Jews detained in Chelmno and Treblinka, contained beneath a soil turned over, finally excavated and the remnants cremated, much remains still of the most mechanised destruction of a People ever.
I remember as I set foot on Malkinia Station that I was retracing the steps that as many as 1,200,000 Jews heading toward that place Treblinka had made. I take no satisfaction knowing a few hours after arriving at Malkinia that a train from Bialystok would arrive and it would take me back to Warsaw. That is exactly what happened and I felt a deepening sadness knowing that those Jews deposited at Treblinka were given no choice whatsoever. Thoughts flicker and I am concerned that while I leave behind 6,000,000 lives worthy of Remembering, I do not feel they are in good hands. I feel the negative connotations of fixing words before the deeds of wronged and Murdered Jewish People, has not lent itself to the reverence 6,000,000 Murdered Jews require.
If a nation has become so fixed on requiring reparations from Germany for what was done by the Hitlerite hordes on Polish soil, they must regard the debt that is owed to 3,000,000 of their own Jews who did not return, who did not renew their ownership of all they once owned and who have been left without any legacy owned by their descendants. All of which is being denied to their relatives and heirs on the basis of a non returning ownership that had been totally obliterated! I have many thoughts going through me at this time and I find with an historical assessment, it is entirely conceivable that as Hitler surveyed the Polish terrain, from a military perspective, he saw in the Vistula, Bug and the Ner Rivers a way to further distribute his final resolve for the Jewish People.
The Vistula River is 1047 kilometres long and The Bug River is 772 kilometres long while The Ner River flows for 134 kilometres. The practice run with T4 brought together the ability to gas people. Cremate their remains and dispose of their ashes in the nearest River. In Poland, these x3 Rivers lay at the Centre of all that Hitler envisaged would obliterate all traces of those ill and infirm he had set his eugenics team on. For the Jews of Europe, who could be all too easily transported to their Deaths in the Camps built and established by Hitler for that purpose, the ash of Krematoria and Funeral Pyre was never too distant from the flow of a River which would distribute the ash as far away from the scene of the atrocity as was possible.