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.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Thu, October 05, 2017 20:31:08
It is Thursday September 28th. 2017 and I am aiming for Treblinka. It is hard not to remonstrate with someone’s god when what awaits me is the hollowed out call from a dark place, Treblinka. I know the Jewish Murdered are there. I do not know how many we seek. I do not know their names even if that is quite Wrong! I do have an idea of the vast number of those Jews of Treblinka who await me! In excess of 700,000 and as many as 1,200,000. All Murdered because they were Jews. There are many others interred here, but these are the subject of an other's quest, and though they have been intolerably treated, I involve myself in a search for 6,000,000 Murdered Jews.
They are not part of my endeavour in finding why we allowed this all to happen and for the Jews of Treblinka and even though I know the names of some of Treblinka’s Jews, all of whom were forcibly transported there, I cannot ever know all who remain here, lost to all practicable efforts to locate and name them. However, I will still follow their route towards an abominable place and will be certain Always to Remember, Never to Forget that for me, I will be on the return train from Malkinia Station to Warsaw. So now, I have walked my customary 4 miles and I have to travel a further 6 miles and I have not even have got any further than Warsaw.
Today I will have walked 10 miles and travelled about another 134 Miles, once I get started. As with Chelmno, my walk on such hallowed ground will not be measured in time nor distance. That would violate the cause I have established for myself. So I will let you in on what seemed farcical, but caused me delay and moments of confusion. My walk to Warsawa Centralna Train Station takes 30 minutes so I set out in good time. But before that eventual journey begins, allow me to take you to the ticket desk at Warsawa Centralna Railway Station. My Polish being what it is, non-existant, I had written where it was I wished to go! TREBLINKA!
Now bearing in mind that this site of reverence to Polish Jewry, World Jewry and the State of Israel, and lest we forget History we too have a stake in acknowledging the awful crimes here, a State official looked blankly at my piece of paper. Anyway, we move forward and I had arrived at Centralna and asked for my ticket and was informed they do not have trains to where I wished to go. I even showed how it was spelled but I was then sent to another rail official. I was eventually pointed to a Bus Company which would supposedly facilitate my journey to Warsawa Western Railway Station. The Bus Company was certain I had been sent to them purely because they spoke English and the Train people didn't??
So now I was in a queue for Bus service I did not want? Ah! Polish buses. I am reminded of a previous venture on Polish buses heading to Belzec. As I trudged through knee high snow, and as the Bus which deposited me, the wrong side of Belzec, I was forced to trudge for ever just to reach the Belzec Gates. I actually saw the Bus veer into the distance along the Lvov road and straight past the Death Camp at Belzec, the Camp he obviously had never heard of? Or had he? I needed to get to Treblinka and the Bus Company furnished me with a ticket to get me to Western Station? I paid for the Bus ticket but decided against journeying across Warsaw in a Bus. I was eager to put Warsaw behind me.
I caught a Taxi which would be quicker. The Taxi Driver takes me to the Westin Hotel? The concierge had to explain to the Taxi driver I wanted the Western Train Station. Eventually, duly set down at said Station, queued in a relentless line of other would be traveller’s and got my Tickets and then set off for the platform. Amazingly. In the distanced I my route toward the Centralna station stood before me in the distance. The train even stopped at Warsawa Centralna to pick up passengers on my way now toward Malkinia! Aggghhhh! I wrote a piece for a Magazine a good while back, and on this day, it appears to appropriate a space in time that has already been consumed.
"..My quest for comprehension of ..events within The Holocaust commenced with ..Murder of a 4 year old Jewish Girl, Tokele. She resided in Sokoly, Poland. Now for a failed catholic like myself ..it is an abhorrence that anyone should be Murdered because of a Faith ..a Belief system ..ethnicity or antecedence. Troubling too that a Child's life can be so callously destroyed. I am sure that anti-Semitism played a key role in this particular atrocity as it does in ..whole of The Holocaust. It also concerns me that those who have profited within Poland from ..Destruction of 3,000,000 Polish Jews can maintain their supposed christian or even catholic status." Patrick Dempsey.
But if all that this sounds like idiocy, I was making My way toward Malkinia and as we all are to be made aware of, Malkinia is the staging post for Warsaw’s Jews to be Destroyed in Treblinka. So in some way I did not mind the mild farce which had got me here, before a sign which reads MALKINIA. The journey itself was time to listen to and talk to Kasia and her Son Patrick which took my attention away from this apprehension and sinking feeling which was gripping me. I arrived after a rather pleasant journey and there before me was that sign, MALKINIA! MALKINIA was not just a place I had heard of, it was a torrent of issues and concerns for the past few years as I tried to add to what I knew of Treblinka, a synonymous resonance with a dark space in our revulsion of what could and was achieved here.
To say I was exhausted is an under statement. But to know I had achieved what I had set out to undertake, and more, has eased a burden I have felt since I began this odyssey, 20 years ago. A promise made has been fulfilled now and I have met with a deeper seated concern that Memory is not fading into a forgotten state. There was a greeting too of sorts, with a Child from a place whose Community name SOKOLY is on a stone here in Treblinka. This is my ultimate reward. I have gone full circle in my search to when Tokele was introduced to me and her Community, many of whom have been laid before us, here in amongst the other 700,000 or 1,200,000 Jews of Treblinka.
That communal place, Sokoly has signalled for all, a time when hatred ruled over life and human decency was eradicated. But while lives have been taken from us, and 6,000,000 constitutes a lot of names now missing from us, we have words, acts and deeds to permanently defend their memory. Is it enough that mention is made of the tragedy they faced? NO! It will never deliver in essence what is lost, what was taken and how all too easily we abandoned so many Human lives. All we can do now is add a measure of remorse to a degree of empathy and know how wrong this World had been in the Catastrophe for 6,000,000 Jews. I will rewrite this, and add to a piece on Treblinka itself, as I will with Chelmno, as they are stand alone atrocity’s in need of a marker beyond a travelogue of sorts.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Wed, October 04, 2017 21:27:38
It is Wednesday September 27th and it is 2017. I simply forgot I hadn't altered my Phones time, so I had crept into Wednesday thinking I was working on what remained of Tuesday. It is late, I am tired but I have things on my mind. So while I can, I write! I never quite appreciated the magnitude of grief that can be brought to People. But now I have ventured upon a realisation. I have been to Chelmno and now know that nothing compares to that loss of life which has been interrupted by the intervention of others. Hitler interrupted the lives of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe and absolutely nothing will ever compare to the sense of grief this evokes.
The Irish are known for their melancholy nature but I am always upbeat, the glass is Always half full in my neck of the woods. For me too, no one has a monopoly over grief and this was brought to the fore a while ago as I managed an office staff. I listened as a Woman informed a fellow Female colleague that she had no need to grieve, she had only lost an Aunt, or someone not so immediate? Her reasoning being? She had lost her Mom the previous year and her Uncles Brother's Cousin, or whoever, the year before that. I felt quite aggrieved that anyone can impose their own sense of loss upon another so as to simply dismiss the fundamental grieving process owned by all and any People.
I clearly spelled out to her, that grief belongs to the individual concerned and she had no right to deny anyone the right to grieve in whatever capacity they chose and for whomever they had a grief over. I pointed out also that my own Mom's loss was, and until I began this journey, incomparable and no one else's could surely compare to my Moms. As I am never giving of what remains private to me, I will share this fact that in the space of x2 years my Mom had lost a Sister, her Dad, x2 Daughters and a Husband. Of course, these were my Aunt, my Granddad, both my Sisters and my Dad. But I had not been comparing my own grief then and until now was not prepared to compare anyone's sense of grief. How could I suggest grief, when there are Jews who know the meaning of this enormous grief we seek to add to the memory of The Holocaust. Each to their own!
However, that the magnitude of grief is felt now as I sit here wondering what can ever compare to the experience of those Jews left to reflect and grieve over The Holocaust, I am uneasy. I feel perturbed that while Simon Wiesenthal insists we should not look on The Holocaust merely statistically, how do I compare such an immense horror without recourse to numbers so devoid of all names. I have met and been introduced to so many People whose sense of grief bears no comparison to anything I could ever feel nor measure, even in all of History. But it appears it is incumbent upon those who seek, Always to Remember, Never to Forget, that such numbers as those which have been taken from us in The Holocaust, somehow insist on the calculation being made.
The overall assessment, which extrapolates such a criteria as is measured 6,000,000 times over with loss, grief and the horrible realisation of a terrible wrong, bears no comparison. That these Jews were taken from us and systematically interrupted from their own vibrant life, is an accusation of all that Humanity should stand for. I will get some rest now as Lodz awaits and I am supposed to be up in about 4 hours to breakfast before I begin journeying again. It appears my journey is endless. It also seems like sleep and rest have been removed from any equation I wish to make. Monday, I was travelling and awake for some 22 hours. It appears I have been on the go for 20 hours, and this was Tuesday??
I am fully awake? And I have taken my stroll to Centralna and I will have walked about 11 miles today and travelled 175 other Miles or so. As I am fully cognisant that while not all Jews suffered the same fate, all too few Jews of the 11,293,300 intended for destruction escaped the trawl of 6,000,000 innocent lives that were totally Destroyed. But of those who did Survive, they do not have the same regard or even disregard for their former neighbours as many would seem to hold. Each tale of Survival is different. Each story of those Survivors informs us of a familiar tale of intolerance from some of their neighbours and the warming sense of human dignity reaching out to save too few.
Brutality and atrocity was met by a Jew wherever they were bounded by the intolerance or indeed, the seeming indifference of all too many. However, what can be hidden in the terms of reference connected to the contribution 6,000,000 terrorised and destroyed Jews must bring to memory, is the attempts by many to save the few. In proportion though, the many 26,000 amongst all Nations, are far too few while the few Survivors are the remnant of far too many, 6,000,000 of whom were Destroyed. I am certain that perspective will be considered as I reach the Marek Edelman Dialogue Centre in Lodz though will be more amply exposed when I reach the Death Camp at Treblinka tomorrow. I am more certain of that exposure of grief which not only creeps up on me, unawares, it is a presence I feel constantly.
Lodz, it is clear, was fundamentally chosen as a centre of Jewish presence for the Ghettoisation, containment and eventual removal toward the Death Camps of the Warthegau's Jews. If we need to be pedantic in terms of Hitler's establishment of all x6 Death Camps, then they were established in German Occupied Poland. There is a play on words still, and while semantics have no responsible space to procure ownership of any part of The Holocaust, the word 'collaboration' shares a presence. Why is it then that we are prepared to accept a seeming collaborative effort with Hitler's germanising attempt to rename the City of Lodz and indeed its Ghetto.
We should in no way allow for the altering of the obvious Polish nature of a City so as to conform to a German insinuating accent. The Lodz Jews, and others who had lived in Lodz or were transported to Lodz, were Ghettoised in the Lodz Ghetto and died there, were Murdered there or were transported to their deaths elsewhere as Lodz Jews. The very nature of Hitler's attempt to eradicate Lodz Jewry should not reflect other than the very Jewish nature of Hitler's attempt to annihilate all of them as the Jewish inhabitants of the City of Lodz and then the Lodz Ghetto. Meanwhile, thoughts raging, it is essential for me that I focus on this day, seizing this moment and sizing the Marek Edelman Centre's ability to afford a dialogue to what was taken from Lodz Jewry.
To be more precise, the coming to terms with the murderous loss to Lodz Jewry. I am sitting here at the Marek Edelman Centre and I am looking across a Park which remembers the loss and the efforts of the some. The statue of Jan Karski is omnipresent gazing over the Park itself. The apparent mission here and vision that those who planned and instigated this worthy enterprise, an array of displays and focal points set before me, is well constructed and it has a resonance with the past that sweeps into our present! The attempt to add diversity to what lessons must be learned from The Holocaust past, is sure to shape the future for any organisation seeking to confront an unease with which Poland perceives The Holocaust.
The Dialogue Center
is an open, secular cultural institution acting beyond any political divisions, the primary purpose of which is to undertake educational, research and cultural activity including but not limited to:
1) Popularizing the heritage of different cultures,
2) Promoting multicultural and multiethnic legacy of Lodz, with the emphasis put on the Jewish culture,
3) Propagating the idea of tolerance and counteracting any signs of racism, xenophobia and lack of respect for people of different outlooks on the world, different backgrounds and cultures,
4) Undertaking educational activity in the scope of multiculturality for Polish and foreign communities,
5) Undertaking training and educational activity for children, the youth and the grown-up as well as organizing international exchange,
6) Running a library and an archive as well as building up various collections, especially those related to the Lodz Jewish community and the history of the Lodz Ghetto,
7) Carrying out projects commemorating the Lodz Jewish community,
8) Activities aiming at commemorating the Survivors and the Righteous and their families,
9) Popularising art works promoting the idea of multiculturality and multiethnicity,
10) Obtaining non-budgetary funds from national and foreign sources and using them for the purposes of statutory tasks.
The Marek Edelman Dialogue Center is the public cultural institution and education center, created on the basis of the multicultural and multiethnic past of Lodz, to discuss the history and its influence on today's life, with the emphasis on the Jewish culture, history and Polish-Jewish relations. An institution open towards the future, attractive for the local, national and international audience.
The Marek Edelman Dialogue Center is an institution that preserves the multicultural and historical heritage of Lodz through education, publishing, art projects and commemorative events, cooperating with many other institutions and organizations in Poland and abroad, recognized locally and internationally.
I commend the sterling efforts undertaken here as I would agree, those at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews measures with intricacy, the fate of 3,000,000 Polish Jews. Again though! I am visiting places in reverse order. Having visited Chelmno yesterday, I now visit the place so many of them were transported from, for their last time. Lodz itself, which expelled its Jewish Community to Chelmno, is close at hand. I will be amazed if any hint of a former Jewish presence greets me as I am amazed at Warsaw's almost complete lack of acknowledgement of its former resident Jews. The idea though that a dialogue, in part to Remember Marek Edelman and his Jewishness, is to be found here in Lodz is surprising. I am reminded now of a quote from Elie Wiesel and what is set before me confirms that Memory will be sustained by the efforts of more than those who write it.
"..Holocaust defies literature. ..describing an event ..we transmit ..its reflection. ..No one has ..right to speak for ..dead. ..story had to be told. In spite of all risks ..misunderstandings ..for ..sake of our children." Elie Wiesel.
What is more enlivening in this building is the careful tread of visitors whose efforts sift across an emotive space for those Survivors who venture here. All too many now no longer able to impart their truths for us. The concept of the space, which seeks to put in the lessons from the past so as to ensure our future, actually appears like an idealistic reality. I am aware of the ownership given to both Lodz and the Death Camps in Hitler's scheme of things. But I will now manage to alter course and change the definition I have often used to one which places ownership of Hitler's Death Camps, with him as it was he who established these Death Camps in occupied Poland, and I fully restore their ownership to Hitler and at his front door.
"..Letters From ..Ghetto is not just a love story ..but also history to which ..world remained indifferent. It is my personal ..internal protest ..closed in ..convention of motion theater." Kariny Gory.
I meet with Kariny Gory (Karina Gora) at the Centre and I find there are those looking for more ways to add toward the memory we all seek to add to. The Holocaust impressed upon Karina, who had utilised the love letters from Aljuche Izrael Orenbach (Lutek) to a Jewish girl he had met before Hitler's invasion of Poland, and this was Edith Blau. Their love story became a series of pen pal letters once the x2 became separated by Hitler's war. Lutek, a native of Tomaszow-Mazowiecki came from the same Town as does Karina, so her interest in producing this work was more than coincidental. The two, whose separation lasted without them meeting again, as Lutek was murdered in Treblinka and Edith was murdered in the Riga Ghetto, is as compelling as it is tragic.
"..yearning locked in ..words ..hope giving breath to say goodnight ..to greet ..morning ..monotonous days filled with fear ..where life and death are mixed in unity." Kariny Gory.
But love transcends all, and when literature has been deprived of an answer, Movement and Expression, which is what Karina's group brought to the Theatre, has ensured that memory is not alone and has another grasp at holding on. Here too, I am drawn to the statue of Jan Karski as it stares out over an obliteration process that physically left more Jews intact, within Lodz itself and more than Hitler would have demanded. Jan Karski himself evokes a reminder in us that too few like him persisted with letting the World know of a burgeoning route toward The Holocaust. The Catastrophe for all of European Jewry unfolded before his eyes and as it continued its rampage through our Historical consciousness, it remains as damnable, reprehensible and certainly accusatory for knowing it was known to the World of the time.
"..Lutek Orenbach and Edith Blau became ..pretext for my creative work on structuring their characters. ..to close ..time ..place and circumstances ..in ..Tomaszow space." Kariny Gory.
I wonder though, how would the impact upon this Centers efforts be, if it is to acknowledge the integrity of the past which could all too easily be affected by the arbitrary efforts to prevent the use of the word 'Collaboration'? This is a position which exposes the Centres efforts to re-ignite Polish Jewish relations even when collaborative efforts to add to Hitler's final resolve, and though only aimed at by some in Polish circles, it is widely known that some Poles were greatly involved in collaborating against their Jewish Community. Jewish Survivors know, for their part that luck in avoiding those who would collaborate against them is very pronounced and true. When there is an emphasis which appears to run counter to what certain elements of this Polish government wishes to alter, bleach or even deny, these would seem to impede your efforts:
"..to discuss the history and its influence on today's life, with the emphasis on the Jewish culture, history and Polish-Jewish relations."
and can there remain an independent view, free from the governments seeming 'revisionist' words and those fully amplified and untruthful implications. The Polish governments insinuation would surely alter those Polish efforts which sought to both save Jews from The Holocaust and also perhaps exonerate those who perpetrated many of the excesses History clearly acknowledges? I am keen to discuss this, and should it make any difference to the way History is written, it should be tackled everywhere. I have a wish to gain from the Center, and I will look more deeply to gain the insight into my search for further comprehension.
We must involve all those who know The Holocaust and from whichever perspective, and accept that in acknowledging the terrible wrongs done. To do so, we do a service to all in History and in Remembrance for the 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, we choose to remember them correctly. I know now I am tired as I have been travelling today for more than 14 hours. The train arriving at, and I forget the platform, is running 12, 17, 25, and then 57 minutes late. In my confusion, there is a Swiss guy, and in my tiredness I forgot to ask his name? While he lends me his support, as his Polish is perfect. At least I know the Train will arrive, eventually.
I am back at the Hotel, the walk is beginning to feel more wearisome and I have yet to prepare for what will be a most difficult day, Treblinka. Before I go though, I heard someone say it was a Jewish Festival around this time. I found this greeting and wish to share it with you all, even if it is against all principles held within agnosticism? So Chag Sameach! I know the Jewish People celebrate Sukkot and that this is meant to be a celebratory acceptance of God providing for his chosen People, the Israelites! This then to me is my concern, and it as if it was written in my deference to my own religious background. It is not meant to cause any offence to anyone whatsoever.
So when the Holocaust launched the Jews of Europe into a wilderness and all Jewish faith focused on their God's faithfulness to keep his promises to secure them, it is also to make them aware of the power of his presence. However, we saw 6,000,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children abandoned and brutally Murdered. This, I am afraid is what strikes me as I still see that stone to the memory of the Jews of Sokoly. It evokes a great anger in me that is rightly directed at a World standing on the sidelines as the trail of despair stretches 6,000,000 People long. And it is not just that what happened in Sokoly that frustrates my, but what happened to Tokele threatens my very understanding.
Then as we look to 6,000,000 Jewish innocents, at the brutality, because of the vile and indiscriminate hatred, and with the knowledge of knowing that those in power were accepting of all of this atrocity, and we realise the intolerable depth of despair inflicted upon these People and the scornful indifference observed by all 6,000,000 Jews as they are strewn through a wasteland. Forgive me if I am at pains to share what is not a condemnation of any faith, but it is a reason for me not to have one, and I am very tired?????
"..In spite of ..vast accumulating literature ..an abyss still lies between those who endured ..unimaginable and those who did not. ..Survivors themselves remain pendant between ..living ..and ..dead ..searching ..to pierce ..realms of each." Nora Levin.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Tue, October 03, 2017 20:28:03
It is Tuesday September 26th. 2017 and for me, Chelmno awaits and it is weighing heavily. I have taken my leisurely 4 miles stroll to the Centralna train station and I will have walked my usual 8 miles by my return. Any walking in pursuit of Memory, which will involve today's walk around Chelmno, cannot ever be counted. Also, and this might seem ironic to many, but my walk into Warsaw Centralna for my visit to the Death Camp throws up a strange anomaly. This will see me on a Train bound for Berlin. I can hardly believe it.
Admittedly, I will get off at Kutno to journey on toward Kolo and then to Chelmno. But this Train heads direct to Berlin, the heart of where Hitler's plan to Destroy all of European Jewry was conceived of and largely conducted. Direct from Hitler, the plan to murder the ill and the infirm of Germany and Austria, had its genesis in Berlin too and then, so as to alleviate the symptoms of der Einsatzgruppe's psychological well being, a more mechanised approach was conceived. Chelmno was the first Death Camp established by Hitler in German Occupied Poland.
As such, the terrible lessons to be learned would be experienced by Lodz Jews. Whatever else, a target was set for The Jewish People, a marker was agreed that 11,293,300 Jews, as adjudged by The Wannsee Conference, would be sought out and The Holocaust Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews would be realised. Hitler moved no further than his desk to share details in voiced undertones of all he had planned. So here, on these platforms in the Centralna station, every Train has a significance.
Each destination has a meaning in our reach for comprehending the entirety of The Holocaust. Bydgoszcz, Cracow, Czestichowa, Katowice, Kielce, Kutno, Lodz, Lowicz-Glowny, Piotrkow-Trybalinski, Tychy and especially Warsaw, all flash up recalcitrant images of everything I have been steeped in for more than 20 years now. The shock I am feeling is quite palpable. There is a whirring sense that I am in the midst of a cauldron which was deadly for the Jewish People, and this was merely 70 to 80 years ago.
But for Warsaw, as I leave it slowly behind, this was the largest contained, brutalised and Destroyed Jewish Community in all of Europe. It pauses me to consider how many of The Holocaust's Jews had merged with their Polish neighbours to board trains for far away places. Here, where a place like Treblinka beckoned, how we now wish the Jews could have gotten onto trains bound elsewhere. But with Treblinka, it functioned fully upon the transportation of Jews from Warsaw, and while other Jews had been expelled from other communities, Treblinka was Warsaw's nemesis.
So while I speed in the opposite direction, and toward Kutno, my mind looks out upon a landscape drenched with the blood of Jewish lives. It is troubling, knowing Chelmno approaches, and I will once again stand on the very space, where the epitome of all hatreds was conducted. Chelmno, which still secretes to the mind the missing presence of more than 152,000 to 400,000 Jews, taken and transported from the Countryside this Train is travelling through.
I am troubled as we travel and as I see order, with life continuing without a flicker of recognition for what must have been so obvious during those times. If it is to be said then it is going to be a pleasure to walk amongst those I can feel close to. In some strange and uniquely personal way, these Murdered Jews have given me cause to accuse, reflect and look far more deeper into humanity's gravest wrongs, for an answer.
I will not measure such reverence in other that the consumption of concerns for the passing of Human Beings, and regardless of the Fact that their Jewish designation ensured their destruction, my concern is a purely human response to an awful atrocity. Today, I will have travelled some 388 more Miles and will have looked across open Countryside, purged of all Jewish presence. But, to reach this Death Camp on the Ner River, it is an accomplishment I have neared for 12 years.
Chelmno itself is a sterile ground transformed into a visitor center, a form of museum. It has nothing really to suggest that murders took place here. Hitler established this Death Camp on German Occupied Polish land and this too is a strange anomaly. Different from all other Death Camps, though in a similar way to Treblinka, in that Murder and interring were achieved in situ and removed elsewhere for interring. Chelmno's Death Camp is x2 distinct sites and the Murders were largely achieved en-route from one site to the other.
The site of the killing is separated by a journey through hell for those Jews encased in Gassing Vans augmented purely for killing those who entered. I perhaps journey here the wrong way round, visiting the containment site first and then the transporting and loading area, as it was, secondly. But along that road from one place to another space, Jews were gassed and their lifeless bodies removed to where they awaited, no final resting space.
The feverish attempts to finally disinter and destroy the evidence of their detailed mass Murder would seek to dislodge from Memory the place were these Jews were laid to no rest. I have walked and walked. I have been from every corner of this containment centre and feel deeply that some force beckons which is intangible, yet still, it calls to those who seek the place where so many have failed to escape.
I am displeased with the loading area. Reconstructed and with no resemblance to what was the former place of such horror for the Jewish People, and others, brought there. My day is done. My head is done. I have nearly 200 miles to make a resolution with myself to add further to what needs to be said. I am weary. Tired. Not quite worn out and a walk back to my hotel, through night time Warsaw to confront the confusion. I am struck by the awe struck realisation of what humankind can accomplish against Humanity. I have Eugen Kogon’s The Theory and Practice of Hell to while away the coming hours, knowing full well, I have just visited a hellish place, and I have walked freely amongst lost but not Forgotten souls, and I manage to emerge.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Mon, October 02, 2017 21:12:19
It is Monday September 25th. and I have landed in Poland's Capitol, Warsaw, or as I am hearing it, Varshava!! An injustice to linguists. My taxi takes me the 8 Miles to my Hotel, where the Logos stands alongside The Vistula River just across from their National Stadium. I am prepared, he says, for an avalanche of emotions. So many things sweep across me as I prepare to meet with the itinerary I had set before I set off. There is this deepening feeling that loss might just overtake me as I try once more, to make sense of the illogical theatre of Genocide Hitler brought to the ramparts of the x6 Death Camps he had established in German Occupied Poland.
The feeling of loss is, in itself, inexplicable as much as it is incomprehensible to any human being and I feel it, as wounding as any pain of grief. Grief, bound by humanity to add a memorial to a posterity we have been delivered, a sharply reminding stigma upon the very psyche of our humanity. Here, as I look back on the route from Warsawa Centralna Rail Station, I am guided by the missing Jewish presence which seems inextricably to draw me forward. Today I have travelled about 1,500 Miles. So I now submit to that feeling which suggests I am on the last leg of a journey, an odyssey of sorts which has accompanied me for so long. Or is this a pilgrimage and is that a correct term for what I must now accomplish.
Perhaps it is more honourable a visit I make because it is my choice to do so. What I consider correct however, is the truth and only the truth can truly inform History. I tread a fine line between what belongs to the Jewish World and what is owned by a Humanity which chose to abandon its responsibility to the Jewish People, who are The Holocaust. Sometimes, there are thoughts of a personal nature which transfer perfectly to how I feel, and it is deeply felt over a huge loss which should never have been delivered to History, let alone to 6,000,000 innocent Jewish People, all Men, Women and Their Children, for being Jews.
This World we occupy was thrown into a moral abyss along with 6,000,000 Jews, who were so immorally regarded, they were allowed to be destroyed without much protest or even the semblance of World concern. There are x6 very important reasons why Remembrance is centred in and around Poland. The establishment of Hitler’s Death Camps in German Occupied Poland has left a repository for memory in the most immense graveyard for the Jewish People ever devised. Thrown headlong into an abyss, and into which our own Humanity tumbled alongside these innocent Jews, the atrocity confronts us to this day.
What occurs to me in my search has been the shocking realisation that of these x6 Death Camps, there are x4 which remain almost forgotten when placed alongside Auschwitz/Birkenau, Treblinka or in fact, the Warsaw Ghetto. I realised this visiting Sobibor and more especially Belzec, where their status lay in out of the way community’s not readily as approachable as Auschwitz/Birkenau or Treblinka. For those of us seeking a time and place in time, they will be more easily forgotten if they are not reached. Wherever the Jews were slain, there is a need to approach these places with the same intensity of shock and horror, which not be reserved solely for the more infamous and known of the Death Camps.
Without any laudable concern forming over the negligible intervention we are witness to, and to this day, will we allow for these less visited Death Camps to simply fade from the landscape of The Holocaust. Then as we reach the reality of it all, that there was an imperative adopted by the few, who in order to save lives managed to save too few, what place can there be for sites of such depravity. We have secured for all posterity a precedent that was so depraved, the wrong lessons have been since learned, and all too often. I have learned from personal experience that the choices made can be wrong for the right reasons and can hurt, can cause pain and can ensure to make distance less fonder from what is known.
I had a feeling all 6,000,000 of these Jews, who are The Holocaust were joined together at the same time in this carnage and we have been left with a very difficult prospect of finding them in the detail that has been hidden from us. I was making plans to visit the Polin Museum and I wish I had just sat down and let the entire feeling for the Catastrophe, an experience I felt deeply, could it just wash over me and give me the answers I sought. I was time constrained by other official timetables and then again, one can have too much time to mull over pasts and as they confuse the present give a differing meaning to all of our futures. I guess ones soul lays exposed and thoughts impose their own agenda. You have to choose your direction for whatever reason, only for it to then smack you straight in the face.
You remember all you forgot to say or do! You give up everything you are and have Nothing left only to find it is not enough that time has taken everything with it!! I took a x4 hour walk around this City to take in a flavour of a Jewish Past which was not here anymore. I met a hint of a Jewish past in both Cracow and Lublin. It was not here in Warsaw. If you share x2 pictures to illustrate this, there is a plaque on a building, singularly pointing to when Jews once walked freely. What then struck me, the Umschlagplatz Memorial, so desolate and tucked away so out of sight as to be a forgotten reminder of what it is meant to add in memory for us. Also, and clearly the Polish People, and their government, have an awareness problem with the word 'collaboration'.
They do not see the word in isolation and that those who 'collaborated' are being accused of what they did. Yet there is this position where they choose to feel the term accuses all of Poland for what some Poles did, and to far too many of their Jewish neighbours. Of course many forms of collaboration existed without Poles dealing directly with German occupying forces. Informing on a Jewish neighbour was collaborating in their very destruction. But Jews too have to accept the Fact, while not all Poles were Bad, some clearly were. I have much to unravel in these thought processes, but the unfortunate aspect in this, given that Poland is for the Jews their Largest graveyard, and as such, Jews need to visit these Graves. This is more of an imperative than for Poles to have any need to alter their relative position toward accepting some responsibility for what was done by certain Poles in their own backyard.
There is a conflicting synergy between the two positions of Grief and a supposed refusal to accept the fuller responsibility. But there are places like the Polin Museum and the Marek Edelman Centre which just might afford some solution. I deal in those words which seek to add meaning to a dialogue and both these places are constituted in affording dialogue their welcoming space. Dialogue too is about listening and if the concerns around a term such as 'collaboration' is focused upon, in a negative way, it will seek to dismiss an integrity that speaks of all rights for all and the wrongs which run counter to them adapted by the few. I could catalogue an accumulation of corroborative evidence that places Poles at German doors giving away Jewish neighbours.
But that is not my remit yet it is the purpose in History to state the factual integrity in all matters and if they are True, they will benefit all of History. I guess I am approaching some form of vindication for doubting the evidence I have become a witness to in which everyone accepts the responsibility that has been assigned to them. I cannot seem to get my thoughts in order at the moment. They are running away with the prospect that tomorrow, Chelmno will crush the formed opinion I had already gained and that there will be a coming together of what was not resolved in solving a solution for Hitler’s radical view in delivering The Holocaust. But, I doubt there will be any change other than a shift of emphasis in knowing Jews need to find their lost People and Poland, holding the soil of that search somehow captive have an interest in only securing .
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Fri, February 24, 2017 02:47:03
Chaim Zalmen Gradowski was born in Suwalki in 1910 and was only allowed to live as a part of a Jewish Sonderkommando at the Birkenau Death Camp. He was transported to Auschwitz from Kelbasin and was selected for this gruesome work in Birkenau. But his description of the events within the Death Camp commenced along the journey which took him, his Wife Sarah and their Family from Kelbasin to certain death. On December 5th. 1942, Chaim Zalmen Gradowski and his Wife Sarah, formerly Zlotoyabko, were assembled amongst the Jews of Lunna-Wola. Together with Jews from the environs around their Town they were assembled and directed toward Kelbasin for future transport to Auschwitz. A convoy, Transport 3 consisting of 20 freight train carriages awaited them, and all told some 2,500 Jews were sealed inside. The journey took about 3 days from Kelbasin to Auschwitz, and typically of these resettlement trains, both Food and Water ran out for so many of the enclosed Jews.
Hygiene levels were minimal and sanitation plummeted them toward a debilitation ahead of their eventual destruction. Remember too, that there were those Elderly and the Children who could not be considered able to manage the survival expected of those purportedly still in their prime. These Jews then, as was the case for many such transports, and it was probably reasoned well by these Jews to be resettled that their fate would not be as the Nazis had had them imagine. Of course, the uncertainty, the need for hope and the essential of their protective arm for the most vulnerable of their Community’s, suggested that the Germans could not be other than civilised. Rumour had of course suggested there were places like Treblinka and that they were indeed Death Camps. It is somewhat of an irony that the final journey for the majority of these 2,500 Jews took them past the Bialystok Ghetto and on toward the station at Malkinia.
Here, the junction which serviced all of Warsaw Jewry, merged the Jews from all over Europe toward Treblinka and into a catastrophe we recognise as The Holocaust. As Chaim and his Family journeyed forth he wrote of the travels toward a hope for labour and this account, along with the detail I will present to you was subsequently discovered, buried beside the Birkenau Krematoria that he had been forced to work in. On the morning of December 8th. 1942, the transport arrived for selection at the Auschwitz Birkenau Death Camp and of those who had managed to Survive, 231 Jewish Men were selected for the work kommando and more than 2,000 Jewish Women and Their Children were immediately Gassed and Destroyed. The following day, December 9th. 1942 the SS made a selection of those arrivals for the Sonderkommando of the Death Detail, of about 120 Jewish Kommando per Krematoria.
These, some 80 new arrivals were brought to replenish the ritually liquidated Sonderkommando who had outlived their usefulness. Amongst these selected from Transport 3 were:
1) Berl Becker, (Krema IV)
2) Moshe Chernyawski, (Krema II)
3) Yosef Derewianski, (Krema II)
4) Eliezer Eisenshmidt, (Krema IV)
5) Shneur-Zalman Friedman, (Krema II)
6) Kalman Furman, (Krema IV)
7) Yehoshua Furman, (Did not Survive the Selection process)
8) Tewel Gisser, (Krema IV)
9) David Goland, (Krema II)
10) Zalman Gradowski, (Krema II)
11) Aron Leibowicz, (Krema IV)
12) Nissel Lewin, (Krema IV)
13) Aizik Nowik, (Krema IV)
14) Chaim Rochkin, (Did not Survive the Selection process)
15) Zalman Rochkin, (Krema IV)
16) Abba Suchowlanski, (Krema IV) and
17) Eliezer Welbel. (Krema IV)
The process of annihilation was unrelenting and as the remnants of European Jewry came under increasing scrutiny, it was the last vestiges of any large Jewish Community, that of Hungary, which had so far persisted, drew closer attention. By the end of September 1944, with even Auschwitz and Birkenau being called upon to destroy its very evidence of the atrocity and disguise the corroborating facts that would piece together what had happened to the Jews of Europe as we surveyed the remnants of these Jewish Community’s. The Sonderkommando knew full well its own demise was at hand. As the Russian Armies drew ever closer, there was a call to arms, and an armed insurrection was contemplated.
With no outside aid, the Jews of the Death Camp would struggle to act with little more than knives, axes, clubs, a few hand guns, a limited supply of munitions, molotov cocktails and their bare hands. My narrative detail for this insurrection is for another piece but amongst those who forfeited their lives was Chaim Zalman Gradowski, a leader of that effort. As 1945 arrived, with the Russian forces within earshot, on January 18th. 5,000 Jewish Survivors were force marched out of Auschwitz leaving about 7,000 so severely debilitated they were considered an incumbrance to the success of a Death March! On January 27th. Auschwitz Birkenau was liberated by the forces of the Russian State and Memory of The Holocaust began to be built upon. Most of these Books I have listed here are coloured by the experiences of those who Survived a fate worse than the Death.
"..They showed an immense courage refusing to budge from ..spot. They set up a loud shout ..hurled themselves upon ..guards with hammers and axes ..wounded some of them ..rest they beat with what they could get at ..they pelted them with stones without further ado. It is easy to imagine what was ..upshot of this. Few moments had passed when a whole detachment of SS men drove in ..armed with machine guns and grenades. There were so many of them that each had two machine guns for one prisoner. Even such an army was mobilised against them." Zalman Lewental.
But all of these works represent a part of an archive which expands upon Auschwitz’s ability for an atrocity which was unprecedented in all of History and remains unparalleled within our Humanity. This destructive force, which was meted out to more than 1,100,000 Jews and countless other's, Gypsies, Poles, nationals of every border, and the religious of many a persuasion, who did not fit Hitler's requirement for life were singled out. These Books then are merely a subjective selection from my own Library and deliver to the reader what I consider is to be gained as insightful in the research of the atrocity that is Auschwitz. While aiming toward a comprehension we can barely come to terms with, we continue to seek out any form of comprehension. For me, I constantly read of the ordeal of other’s in the hope that I can understand a little of the Jewish suffering. It is in that compelling need to wonder as to why it happened in the first place and why we allowed it to happen at all that my search is insatiable.
1) Adelsberger, Lucie Auschwitz: A Doctor's Story.
2) Czech, Danuta Auschwitz Chronicle.
3) Delbo, Charlotte Auschwitz and After.
4) Dwork, Deborah Auschwitz.
5) Friedrich, Otto The Auschwitz Kingdom.
6) Hart, Kitty I Am Alive.
7) Hart, Kitty Return to Auschwitz.
8) Jacob, Lili The Auschwitz Album.
9) Klarsfeld, Serge French Children and The Holocaust.
10) Kulka, Erich Escape from Auschwitz.
11) Kulka, Otto Dov Landscapes of Metropolis of Death.
12) Langbein, Hermann People in Auschwitz.
13) Lengyel, Olga Five Chimneys.
14) Levi, Primo If This Is a Man.
15) Levi, Primo The Truce.
16) Levi, Primo The Wrench.
17) Levi, Primo The Periodic Table.
18) Levi, Primo If Not Now, When?
19) Levi, Primo Moments of Reprieve.
20) Levi, Primo The Mirror Maker.
21) Millu, Liana Smoke Over Birkenau.
22) Muller, Filip Eyewitness Auschwitz.
23) Nieuwsman, Milton. J Surviving Auschwitz.
24) Nomberg-Prestyk, Sarah Auschwitz.
25) Nyiszli, Dr. Miklos Auschwitz.
26) Schloss, Eva After Auschwitz.
27) Steinbacher, Sybille Auschwitz.
28) Szmaglewska, Seweryna Smoke Over Birkenau.
29) Venetzia, Shlomo Inside the Gas Chambers.
30) Vrba, Rudolf I Escaped from Auschwitz.
31) Wetzler, Alfred Escape from Hell.
32) Wiesel, Elie Night.
33) Wiesel, Elie A Jew Today.
34) Wiesel, Elie All River's Run to The Sea.
There are also those who have managed to leave to posterity what is placed before you and here in the words of non-Survivors like Zalman Lewental and Chaim Zalmen Gradowski, I present them to you. During this period of The Holocaust therefore, from November 1942 until his death on October 7th. 1944, Chaim Zalmen Gradowski managed to Survive and inform us of an atrocity so brutal, it slays the heart that is rendered by its detail. But here, Chaim Zalmen Gradowski’s message is an immensely terrifying account of the very atrocity he was ordered to perform. These are Chaim Zalmen Gradowski’s words, not extinguished by time but distinguished by the necessity to recall, to remember and for us not to allow it all to be forgotten.
"..In ..big hall ..in ..middle 12 pillars are supporting ..load of ..building ..now shines a bright electric light. Along ..walls ..around ..pillars ..benches with hooks for ..clothes of ..victims are ready for a long time. On ..first pillar a sign is nailed in several languages ..advising newcomers as they arrived to ..bathroom ..and that they should take off their clothes for disinfection. ..doors are open. Hell is yawning in front of ..victims. ..representatives of ..great power are lined up like for a military parade in ..anteroom leading to ..tomb. ..entire Political Section is now coming to ..party. High ranking officers ..of which we have never seen ..face in ..course of ..last 16 months. Among them ..a woman ..SS ..commandant of ..women's camp. .. last woman crept with difficulty into ..bunker. ..door already slams ..is hermetically sealed and locked ..that not a stream of air can enter. They are pressed together there ..victims ..like in a barrel. ..In ..light of ..moon we see ..2 silhouettes. They put on their masks to pour ..deadly gas. They carry 2 metal boxes ..which will kill 1,000’s of victims buried there. ..they go an innocent step to each eye of ..underground bunker ..pour ..gas ..then cover ..opened eye with a heavy lid so that ..gas cannot find back. ..Through ..peephole in ..door of ..tomb ..they themselves ..authorities ..big mass of men fall down dead as a result of ..deadly gas. ..Trembling hands ..brothers turn ..knobs and raise 4 latches. 2 doors opened 2 huge tombs. ..Here protrudes a pan back ..head and legs buried under other bodies. Here you can see a hand ..a leg ..pointing in ..air ..whole body ..engulfed in ..deep sea nudity. You only see bits and pieces of human bodies to ..surface of this world of nudity. On this vast sea naked floating heads. They are raised to ..surface of these bare waves. What it looks like swimming in ..vast deep sea ..and only ..heads emerge from these deep abysses nudity. Heads ..brown ..blond ..brown ..stand alone this general nudity. One should harden his heart ..stifle sensitivity blunt all painful feeling. One must drive back ..agony pounding like a hurricane in all ..members. One must be transformed into a machine ..see nothing ..feel nothing ..know nothing. ..legs and arms began to work. There is a group of comrades ..each divided into his task. One pulls ..one rips ..corpses out of this tangle by force ..one here by one foot ..one there by ..hand ..as it is better suited. It seems they will dismember through being pulled in every direction. One drags ..corpse on ..floor of glazed and stained cement. ..3 men stand there to prepare ..body. One with a cold pincers ..it sinks into ..beautiful mouth in search of treasure ..a gold tooth ..and when he finds it ..he tears it with ..flesh. ..second with scissors ..he cuts curly hair ..strips women of their crown. ..third tears earrings ..often stained with blood. And rings that will not leave are pulled off with pliers. Now it can be delivered to ..elevator. 2 men throw bodies like logs on ..platform ..and when their number reaches 7 or 8 ..give a signal with a stick ..and ..elevator rises. Up there ..near ..elevator ..were 4 men. 2 on one side ..pulling ..body to ..reserve. And 2 others who pull them directly to ..furnaces. One lays out 2 on 2 before each oven mouth. Small children are stacked on a large pile on ..side ..they are added ..thrown on 2 adults. ..bodies are placed one on ..other on ..iron stretcher ..mouth of hell is opened ..and ..stretcher is pushed into ..furnace. ..fire of hell sticks his tongue out like ..seized ..body as a treasure. Hair catches fire first. ..skin swells bubbles ..which burst in a few seconds. ..arms and legs writhe ..veins and nerves are tense and moving limbs. ..body is already ablaze all around ..skin is cracked ..grease flowing ..and you hear ..sizzle of burning fire. You can see more body ..only infernal furnace fire that consumes something in it. ..belly bursts. Intestines and bowels gush ..and within minutes it is still a trace. ..head takes longer to burn. 2 little blue flames shimmering in ..orbits ..eyes that burn with very bottom brains and mouth still calcined language. ..whole process lasts 20 minutes ..a body ..a world was reduced to ashes. You remain transfixed ..watching. Here we ask for 2 more on .. stretcher. 2 people ..2 worlds ..who held their place in humanity ..who lived and existed ..acted and created. Who worked for ..world and for themselves ..laid a brick on ..big building ..woven wire for ..world and for ..future ..and in 20 minutes there will be no trace of them any more. Here are 2 others now put there ..they were made to freshen up. 2 young and beautiful women ..they had to be splendid. They had a place on earth ..occupying 2 whole worlds ..so much happiness and pleasure have provided ..world ..every smile was a comfort ..a delight every look ..every word a delight ..like a heavenly song ..and where arose ..they brought them joy and happiness. So many hearts loved ..and now here they are extended to both on this board with iron ..and soon will open ..jaws of hell ..and in a few minutes there will be no trace of them more. Here we extend to 3 now. A child pressed on ..mother's womb. So much happiness ..so much joy experienced his Mother ..his Father ..birth of their child. They built a home ..woven future ..world was for them an idyll ..and in 20 minutes there will be no trace of them more. ..elevator goes up and down ..carrying countless victims. As a huge slaughterhouse stacks there heaps of corpses ..waiting their turn ..waiting to be removed. ..30 infernal mouths blaze now in 2 large buildings and engulf countless victims. It will not take long for these 5,000 persons ..5,000 worlds ..are devoured by ..flames. turn ..knobs and raise 4 latches ..to open ..2 doors ..of crematoria 2 and 3." Chaim Zalmen Gradowski.
This hideous detail is all that Hitler ordained for the Jewish People and this is what those who followed Hitler without morality or ethical probity perpetrated in his name. Please, as you read and consume the obscenity that this piece presents to you, know that it is not the detail described by Chaim Zalmen Gradowski that is obscene. It is before the detail, for what Gradowski wishes you to know was what Hitler achieved, that detailed fact is what is obscene. This is the truth that in our time, a person such as Hitler was given the manoeuvrability in which to destroy in excess of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe. This depiction here is a rendition of only a part of that immense account but is of such an prodigious pain and obvious torture for Chaim, that he must have sensed the extreme detail would choke our emotion. Chaim assessed that he had measured our future accusation of those who ensured that Chaim had a deadly task to perform would not be as slight as it has been.
This horror of a depiction, a graphic obscenity is only a small part of The Final Solution of The Jewish Question, die Endlosung der Judenfrage which escalated the capacity for annihilation to 6,000,000 Murdered Jewish People of Europe. That these Jews were all Murdered Men and Women with Their Children is obscene enough. That it was ordered and carried out by those for whom Hitler commanded, and given the desire of so many to achieve all that Hitler so wished, is a rancid indictment of a grave wrong. Here, before you in words presented by a man of enormous bravery is the decapitation of God, the demise of religion in the face of an affront to any God who could stand as idly by as this World did!
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Sat, October 29, 2016 20:15:47
Poland Must Not be Succoured into any Denial!
"..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.
The President of the Polish Republic apologises for what was committed during Hitler’s onslaught against the Jewish People. In fact, when Polish community’s sought their own rage against the Jewish People in places like Jedwabne, Kielce and Sokoly and Murdered their former neighbours, the Nazi presence had gone in many instances, replaced by a millennia of old hatred’s. In some of these Community’s identified here, the Murdered Jews had already Survived what Hitler had resolved for them and returned to their former homes in the hpe of healing their bitter wounds. In Jedwabne for instance, where more than 340 Jews of the Town were driven into a barn and burned alive, the blame had fallen upon the Nazi’s for years. While it is true that the main protagonist’s were compiled of local people, their instigators were German. So those who immersed themselves in this particular atrocity were not exclusively German or even Nazi.
In viewing the landscape of The Holocaust, there can be no discolouration 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. There is erected in Jedwabne now, a newly erected Monument which seeks to memorialise those who were Murdered and to remember what occurred here and to express a regret for what happened.
"..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 and we visit not just places and community’s where atrocities were piled high upon the Jews who once resided there, but we have a system of Camps that Hitler had built to ensure atrocity was piled ever higher upon atrocity. As we know for certain that there were numerous 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. All copoperation, which finally led toward Hitler’s final resolve to Murder all the Jews of Europe, was not exempting of an atrocity 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 Jewish and Polish Peoples.
It must be a considered fact here that a distinction must be made in which is a system which Hitler created and is delivered away from the immediate Reich was done for obvious reasons. Where these 6 Death Camps dealt exclusively in the destructive capacity to annihilate the Jews sent there, the Final Solutio which had put 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 of Hitler’s Final Solution. The shift of emphasis here, taking the Jewish 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, evacuated to be confined there.
The is no such thing as a Polish Death Camp so the term, Polish ‘death camps’ has to be seen as an attempt by apologist’s for Hitler’s blood letting. The effort 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 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 until they could work no longer, the term of Death Camp still speaks specifically of Hitler’s final intention. At Auschwitz, those who were transferred to nearby Birkenau had reached the end of the line and the final moments of their existence was treated both methodically and mechanically. Those remaining behind within auschwitz were left to face a debilitating existence which would severely limit their ability to survive.
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 of Final Solution, the term must be stricken from the conscious assurance given to the veracity of all Holocaust literature, statements and intentions. 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 description incorrectly and needs to be replaced by a more tangible meaning! We can never allow for the deliberately orchestrated attempt to negate the fundamental strivance by Hitler to destroy all of European Jewry, and mainly within Poland.
As the 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 intention. And that is a simple fact that while these Camps were indeed on Polish soil, they were the initial construct of Hitler, his invasive and murderous regime. Previously, I have clearly been at fault in this, but never in asserting other than these Death Camps were Hitler owned. 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. 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 x6 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.
That they 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 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 other’s for whom Hitler might have the slightest annoyance. 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 with 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, History cannot then ever deny that it was for Hitler a priority to destroy the antecedence of all Jewish existence. 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, 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 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 aware that the Sainthood of 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 attributes 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 to her status as a Jew. This was not her former status as a Jew, but that proclivity under Hitler which sought the fullest identification of a Jew as a Jew and which belonged to a Jew. This remained with the Jewish People until they 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 deny or attribute her destruction to Hitler not to his antisemitic hatred.
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 to look to present day Israel to seek a past justification. For all the wrongly inarticulate reasons and so that deniers can state the cause of extremist hatred within Palestinian 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 denied. Not withstanding this form of negation there is a link with anything that gives doubt 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 Polish collaboration in the midst of The Holocaust, more can be gained by the denier than the veracity of History has to gain.
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. Nor do any of those Jews who were transported into Poland to be resettled by Hitler’s volition to face complete annihilation. Any attempt to then obliterate these Polish Jews and the Jews of Europe from all existence is all Hitler’s. 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
While it is most certainly true that many of the Parents of Poland, and even the Granparents 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 could the Jews count on either. Truth and dignity must be bestowed where Truth and Dignity belongs, and as with those Poles who assisted and aided, for those Poles who helped and hid those Jews they either knew or did not know, theirs was a matter of human conscience. It is fair to state, that while those proven Righteous before the World, those who have been proven culpable and complicit in the Crimes of The Holocaust 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.
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. While German knowledge of Polish Jewry had a reliance upon the well established antisemitic and 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.
Clearly, Poles hid Jews and understandably Poles who took an enormous risk in denying Hitler any assistance in claiming even more Jewish lives, are commendable. But the one 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 toward Jewish destruction. A Polish ministry that was steeped in an antisemitism that is in contravention of the priesthood’s ethical, moral and Christian duty. In Christ’s name the Christian commandment is to 'Love thy Neighbour as thy self' and with this too many of these priests failed to do. 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 depiction’s of what has emanated from within Poland also share’s the concerted nature of that widespread atrocity that Hitler had sought.
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. Of course, Poland was first to feel the effects of WWII 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. Sporadic attacks on Jewish community's were widespread and on September 2nd. there were some 30 Jews of Piotrkow who were Murdered. But this was only the beginning as the plunder of Jewish existence was orchestrated on a massive and co-ordinated scale.
The following day, September 3rd. 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. Meanwhile the tempo of the atrocity increased with such intensity that when Russia enjoined the conflict on September 17th., 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 Russian influences 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 in the Western sector of Poland.
"..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. (Foreign Office Department Chief.)
All of this changed again when on June 22nd. 1941 Hitler turned against his erstwhile ally and Barbarossa was launched against Russia and the forces of Stalin. The move into Eastern Poland was rapid and what descended upon those Jewish Communities who had suffered fewer ill effects from the partition 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. The dying Jews languished in certain knowledge that their time had been clearly fixed. There was an agenda of destruction that had now commenced, without subtlety and with a forceful direction. Immediately, an avalanche of anti Jewish assault fell upon all of these Jewish Community’s, whether Jews felt randomly or with a sense that some form of collective aggression had breached all civilised restraint, it stretched across all the Jews of Poland.
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. These Eastern regions began their own torture and brutal repression of their now former Jewish neighbours in concert with an all consuming hatred. 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 unrelenting. 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 community who took refuge in this detailed assault to deliver their own injustices. The accusation of History does not stop at just a few local antisemitic, though ignorant Poles either.
Before Hitler's move toward the programme for his Final Solution, almost any murder could be attributed to Polish excess. Even from amongst the local priest's and the so called intelligentsia, pogroms unleashed 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 to enrich their own existence. Until a time came when Hitler's control loosened the slip knot and a stillness went before the newer storm that soon arrived, and with a vented fury, History still reels from The Holocaust.
What Hitler perpetrated here in Europe, though largely within Poland, has been fundamentally exposing the latent genocidal tendencies of human beings 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 led 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 run deep with the blood of innocents. While that fact remains, it is important that Poland seeks to identify the blood of those interred there and also, the attributing accusation for all of those who ensured the blood which saturated the Polish ground, was Jewish blood.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Thu, August 04, 2016 17:19:24
An Open Letter to Klara Polzl and Alois Schicklgruber.
The World would have been a better place without someone like Adolf Hitler having ever entered it. The World could have been saved from a terrible tragedy, a Catastrophe, an affront to all of humanity. These two people atop of the page could have foregone a union which would have saved somewhere in the region of 50 to 70 Million people. A chance to cheer? From the debilitating effects of war and death attributable to a debased human being, humanity has come to know the depths to which mankind can truly plunge. If only this suspended union could have been effected, what we would then have come to learn would have saved the World entire. For these two future parents, no doubt ignorant of what was to come, own a responsibility they had no warning of. The premise then, for us to ensure that the World does not have to attempt to comprehend what the Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews in The Holocaust has come to mean, Hitler should not have been born.
Tragically, it was far too late once Hitler strode the world stage to attach any regret to what a Parent of his should or shouldn’t have done. From a 2,000 year old hatred so vile and vitriolic, Hitler brought that antisemitic hatred to new lows. It is Hitler’s final solution which engaged in antisemitism's abhorrent nature. What then emerged under Hitler’s tutelage is an atrocity that has exposed the World to further Genocides. Ever since the certain product of Hitler’s Parental union, and once Adolf Hitler was born in 1889, the history of mankind has been degraded by this very debased human being. What Hitler delivered to the World, and much of his venom was the particularly inflicted atrocity upon the Jewish People that is The Holocaust sheds a shocking light upon human brutality.
A World War would well and truly have been prevented without Hitler being alive. Ever since his emergence, conflicts have raged in various guises which are now measured in Genocidal terms. Even when warfare continues to rage and newer genocides ravage the outposts of our society, and with gathering momentum, a finger is squarely pointed at the attributably bad lessons brought to us by Hitler and his regime. Today the detailed lessons of The Holocaust are to be learned and though this is what presents all of History with some falsely amicable settlement of what to say and what to do, The Holocaust cannot fail to outrage. So as to approach The Holocaust with feeling and understanding, we must respect the fact of the horror for the victims. This for me is what History should look like, attempting to comprehend what it is we need to know. What we need to know is how, in this age of Civilisation and Culture, could the World stand by and allow what happened to the Jews of Europe to occur?
There should be no litigating any of that remedy for which humanity seeks a resolution with this past. Where a common bond of decency should have prevailed, we have to face the facts that people behaved without conscience toward a beleaguered, debilitated and distraught Jewish community. Of course this astonishing reckoning is all before we came to know the evidence we are aware of now. That such a startled world would become witness to the most excessive destruction of a single people in all of history is a brutal reality enough. But back before the terror, there was no Court dictating to future Parents on how best to treat their Child. No life force could ensure that Hitler would still not emerge hate filled and reviled. Hitler was the author of his own hatred and he certainly was the orchestrator of that plunge which Germany - with the Germans - took.
It was an ignominious descent into which 6,000,000 Jews of Europe were pitched as part of a human deficit of 50 to 70 Million human beings. All of these human beings were dead, killed or murdered during World War II, and the rampant race creed of antisemitism was mixed with Hitler’s worldview to achieve such destruction. Of course children are resilient and they manage the extremes of emotional trauma, each in their own separate ways. The loss of a Mother at any age is no reason to lose the element of compassion and empathy which such a Mother’s bond brings to a home. True! Hitler lost his Mother at a tender age, merging into teen aged life without that certain rudder. That loss is never an excuse for the derailing of all of his moral and ethical probity. Such guidance has not been totally effaced by Hitler’s loss, and though many are encouraged to state that was so in Hitler’s case, we must realise that it was Hitler’s choice to leave all the guiding principles of humanity behind.
Not all children losing a Parent at this age turn their loss into an aberration, or a monstrous construct, or becomes a distortion in human form. That such trauma and dilemma proves the resilience of most children, even at the worst of times, all goes on to prove that children have to be pliable in order to combat the rigours of normal life. But will the World ever understand why Hitler took the route he seized upon when the proof of a Child’s resilience has been so well documented? Children grow and emerge so as to become the building blocks on which all of society is built. Each child has materialised and moved into a mainstream of certainty and unity. However, which route do we expect all children to take when faced with what is a deeply saddening tragedy. The loss of a parent is certainly a trauma and the loss of a Mother, more so.
The umbilical cord is never more severed than when a child loses its Mother. The psychological trauma, which some in history seek so as to abandon the norms of a common ascendance, is never more true than with regard to Hitler. It must not be ignored that Hitler shifted in favour of what must have been a conversion from rights to wrongs. This anomaly was at his own behest and the World around him emerged a darker space. Meanwhile, others have used their bereft emotion, from that same deeply traumatic event, to become better and more accomplished human beings. But Hitler took a deviant course which will forever have the German people and Germany to answer for what he called for. We are each responsible not only for what we say but for how those words are heard.
Indeed, how those words are ritually interpreted becomes a responsibility to check that we are not misconceived. Also, while no one has the right to ignore the iniquities which exist in this World, there are those who ignored Hitler’s hatred for the Jews and are somewhat culpable in what emerged as The Holocaust. We know all too well that Allied intelligence agencies had intercepted Hitler’s clear intentions, and not just for the Jewish People but for War also. It could not be possible that Hitler achieved his earlier goals, Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, Austria and then sweeping any semblance of diplomacy aside to take Poland, and no bona fide intelligence was available? The enigma of ultra was working well into the emerging obscenity after Hitler swept into Russia. The German codes had been broken July 9th. 1941, less than 2 weeks after Operation Barbarossa barged across a 3,000 mile Russian front.
European Jewry was already under Hitler threat, now the Jewish fate took on a more precarious and catastrophic dimension. We are all obliged to speak out against any and all injustices, and indeed what happened to the Jewish People was both unjust, deadly and preventable. Perhaps though, the Jews have more of a right than anyone else to speak out about The Holocaust, and more so in light of what was known in advance of what was to come. So by the time Hitler had raged against the whole of World Jewry, the world of the Jews was already disappearing rapidly. Truly, and only an idealist would consider this as it appeared to me, that given the very extenuating experience of The Holocaust for the Jewish People, and then for the State of Israel, this catastrophe should have become a beacon of hope for us all.
We could each then shine a light on the evil deeds of Hitler and look to a better future guided by the vilified example of an atrocity we have no wish to repeat. Lessons learned, or so I thought, and we thereby would have our passage through a more tolerant understanding, illuminated by the concerns for a past we had neglected and which had allowed for this most brutal atrocity to occur. Enlightened as we should have become, we surely saw the intolerable lessons that these Jews of Europe had to endure. We would then begin to make all the necessary alterations to move us away from such a darkened period. That these Jews were deliberately driven toward an intended oblivion, this would garner for us all a genuine need to learn the positive lessons which tolerance will ensure? If we have not been provoked to act with charity and compassion toward those we share this planet with, what will it take for humanity to learn anything?
Clearly, as tolerant as we should have become, Wars should never have darkened our lives ever again. Ideally, and with a stinging rebuke unresolved by such an unprecedented and unparalleled atrocity as The Holocaust, we will all share more equally the space we inhabit. Can we now afford to be unresponsive to the requirements of our fellow human beings or ignore their moment of gravest need? Will the past ever forgive us if the present day lessons take us into a future marked by more atrocity and other extremes of intolerance? Latterly, Hitler has been caught in an ideological lie which led to a genocide on an unimaginable scale. He gifted himself with a larceny which ran rampant alongside this supposedly ideological program. The truth of Hitler however, remains one of a hate-filled individual imposing that exact same hatred upon a willing aggressor who adopted with blind fury, Hitler’s final resolve.
There were well worn paths toward enlightenment which were ritually abandoned. The very deep seated altruism of nations, which is no different in the Jewish Faith than it is for Catholics everywhere, failed all of humanity. The fact that kindness and charity are both termed in its total obligation to assist any human being in distress has apparently been lost to Hitler. That said, the same truth can be levelled at any and all Christians who failed in their moral duty to assist the Jewish People during The Holocaust. All assistance at any level must be administered if the fundamental belief system, adhering to Jesus’ teachings are to be adhered to. The Jews have every right to look to our Christ-based Faith system and question its relevance, especially when it ignores the core values of what Jesus was sent here to deliver for us all.
That is where Hitler got things squarely wrong. For more than 2,000 years antisemitism has labelled the Jews as Christ-killers when in fact, Jesus volunteered to do what God had demanded of Him! So we come to a conclusion which sites a parent who would have saved the World entire had they known what was to come. We then have the parent who sends his only Son to die to save us, for History to distort that and pressure the Jewish People with 2,000 years of antisemitism and a Hitler who developed that hatred into, The Holocaust.
Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Tue, July 19, 2016 20:47:41
Is it the truth that the Waffen SS units were utilised as a fire break and became cannon fodder as demanded by Wehrmacht Generals? There is no doubt that many fought with exemplary courage for the Fatherland, but became mired in atrocity, brutality and indeed The Holocaust. They were a so-called elite amongst the German military. With the inclusion of less-than supposed-strictly-aryan specimens, this then saw through the failed ideology Hitler had proposed. For the Muslim Brigades and Divisions, this is a contention which many who study the period of World War II are engaged in. I have no real interest in the relative status of these Divisions as fighting units. Some state the Waffen SS’s exemplary fighting nature prior to the inclusion of misfits, bandits and the Muslims, but they were an illegal body, cold hearted and ruthless.
The Waffen SS, as with their equally brutal Policing, Intelligence and Camp Guard ranks wore their humanity hidden beneath a specific uniform. These legions, their uniform ritually adorned with a skull, had a sinister acceptance that was selectively genocidal. I would state that with their immersion in all aspects of Hitler's ideological hatred, they too mounted the plinth of an absurd dogma and acted in accordance with Hitler's murderous wish. Without conscience and with little regard for the necessary compassion Humanity demands, they did their master's bidding. Hitler unleashed his SS forces upon an unsuspecting world, in a military conflict that would be bound by no moral code or Convention. Here are but three of those Divisions and their role in an atrocity well recorded. The Waffen SS presence in the annals of The Holocaust is also well known. 3rd. Waffen SS trained at Majdanek. Their assistance of der Einsatzgruppe, at Babi Yar for instance has been well documented.
1st. SS Panzer Division (Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler)
On December 17th. 1944 members of a Kampfgruppe, of the 1st SS Panzer Division (Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler) Murdered 80 American Prisoners of War. Peiper's Kampfgruppe did not restrict itself to this single Massacre. 73 Waffen SS personnel were held accountable. 43 received Death Sentences, which were later commuted, 22 gained Life Sentence tariffs and 8 were given lighter sentences. Also, units of the Division Murdered Mademoiselle Maujean in front of her 5 Children in Tavaux. They set her alight, locked the Children in the cellar and poured petrol down into it. The 9 year old put out the flames, saving the 4 other Children and himself.
2nd. SS Panzer Division (Das Reich)
On June 10th. 1944, the 642 inhabitants of Oradour-sur-Glane, Men, Women and their Children, were Murdered by a Waffen SS unit from 2nd. SS Panzer Division (Das Reich). The Oradour Community was forced into the local Church and incendiary devices were placed around the building! The Church 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 slaughtered.
3rd. SS Panzer Division (Totenkopf)
Theodor Eicke was the Dachau Kommandant before embarking upon his Waffen SS career. He became the Inspector of Concentration Camps. Rank and File members of the 3rd. SS Motorised Division were drawn from Buchenwald, Dachau and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps. Within nine months of operations in Russia Totenkopf was decimated to such a degree, 80% of its 17,200 force were casualties. On May 27th. 1940. the Le Paradis Massacre against British Prisoners of War was conducted by 14th Company, 3rd. SS Panzer Division (Totenkopf). British Forces were in retreat toward Dunkirk. Troops from the 2nd Battalion, of the Royal Norfolk Regiment were defending a farmhouse surrounded by the Waffen SS task force. Without ammunition, the British Troops surrendered. 97 British Prisoners of War were Machine Gunned against a wall. Murdered!