This Holocaust Author's Auschwitz Blog

This Holocaust Author's Auschwitz Blog

This blog describes my thoughts and experiences in visiting Auschwitz in September 2014, and Belzec, Majdanek and Sobibor in January 2016

I blogged my preparations for my visit, I posted daily during my visit to Poland...there are also my ongoing thoughts posted here; in the aftermath of my visit...
(Please note due to the sensitive nature of this blog, and the prevalence of trolls, comments have been blocked)

An Irish Response

Revisiting the PastPosted by P.A. Draigh Thu, June 30, 2016 20:21:40

What drives a writer to write or do they even need a reason to write suggests I started young to consider consigning thoughts to words? The motive to put pen to paper, or touch the keys of a keyboard, to strike keys and see words come onto a computer is a mixture of demands and desires to state what may be obvious. Each demand is merely the method of applying that essential requirement to share words. My reasoning has been largely, a desired response to a terrible event in History, both unprecedented and unique, vying with the terrible and the horrible in equal measure. This is the atrocity of Hitler’s fluid yet fixed passage written into the terms that is The Holocaust. But how does one respond to such a catastrophic event? This fatal blow against all Jewish vibrancy as has ever been laid at the doorstep of our humanity, our civilisation or what humanises us, and all of this sorely accuses us.

But do we then approach this very awful place in our history knowing there is that reasoning which suggests there must be something worthy of writing? I cannot imagine anything less worthy to recall and remember and share a dismay at what was allowed to emerge. For these explicit reasons, none more so than the complete destruction of 6,000,000 Jewish People, I have it within me to vent my spleen and remark curtly upon a World which allowed this all to happen. Don’t even get me started on those ignorants who insist on attempting to rubbish the factual truth of what happened to these Jews of Europe. History has allowed the denial claim to gain a momentum, to form some sort of forum which predicated upon the right to free speech. But miscreants who choose to deny the truth and lay false claims before the veracity of honest historical relevance, have crossed a rubicon of deceit and hatred and as such relinquish all rights to state such an ignominious cause.

Such a subject as The Holocaust requires each of us to look deeper into our own reasoning to discover for ourselves why it is there are those who will deny the truth. The denier will obfuscate over the comprehending detail of what so few actually know and what we attempt to learn from. Of course, what we now know of, which 6,000,000 Jews of Europe know to their cost, and what so many of the Survivors have sought to impart, is a knowledge of what it is we have now come to learn. While it is true that I could have written another course or pathway for myself, I have gained an impassioned willingness to point toward remembrance in order to learn. I could have written about something less traumatic, but what is essential in the learning process is the lesson that needs to be learned for us all. Tolerance is a well-worn route occupied by many who seek to lay claim to the investment which humanity delivers for us all.

Religion has a fundamental flaw in its interpretation which allows for the dissemination of so many wrongs to further a failed ideal. Where religion in The Holocaust failed is in the essential requirement of Christianity to act with all moral probity toward a founding Faith of our forefathers' Judaism. As luck would have it, I managed to stumble across a cause that arrived at my door in the frame of a photograph of a young Child. She was presented to me, as the image of a 4 year old Girl, who looked simply a 4 year old Girl sleeping. But no! She was not asleep. She was no ordinary Child. She was a murdered Jew! Tokele was the name of that 4 year old Jewish Girl and she, I imagine, is as she lay, prostrate before History, struck down for being of the Jewish Faith. Not that Tokele knew anything about Religion or the tenets of an antisemitic hatred which has emanated from Christianity for more than 2,000 years. What she met, as more than 1,000,000 other Jewish Children met within The Holocaust, was a rancid hatred inspired by Religious dogmas.

Not just that! The pronouncements by Religious leaders which became extracted in detail by those who used a twisted version of its doctrine and who sought to settle hate filled intolerances has a resonance even today. The rest, as they say, is the quest in which I am now steeped within The Holocaust History. This incident, let alone the fact that I was being given a share of an atrocity, required a response which I have applied to words, sentences and Books for the past 20 years. History now knows that Tokele was not alone amongst the Jewish Children of Europe to meet a violently similar fate. There are more than 1,000,000 such individuals from that expunged reservoir of 6,000,000 Jews who were also sought out for a systematic and unprecedented slaughter on the simple basis that they were Jews. For all too much of our History that exact same scene has been played out where intolerance has met with, and affronted, the Jewish People.

Our own belief system has not only plagiarised the Jewish Faith, it has roundly condemned Judaism for having been giving its very resonance and vitality from our God. Here in Ireland so much of the knowledge of Hitler’s great evil was denied to the general population on the basis of a wider support being denied to another allied power. That secretion of a necessary knowledge of grave offence was delivered simply because it was a British power which sought to confront Hitler on the European Continent. What then emerged within European Countryies comes as a shocking indictment of an awareness restricted to far too few. From the knowledge now gained, what had allowed for a greater evil than had ever been conceived of thrusts humanity back into a darker place. Such was the intolerance displayed, it was allowed to flourish and destroy, with intolerable impunity, 6,000,000 Human Beings because their antecedence had made them Jews.

The necessary will to confront such a despicable outrage was within the remit of all Irish politicians of the time. The Irish Government's choice not to act was not our people’s resolve to not act as so many had chosen the good fight! However, there were consequences too for the many who sought out Hitler and his Nazi hatreds, upon their return to these shores. Their treatment has been a spoiled legacy for an altruistic people and not the damning response to an affront to even our own presence in the world. The pernicious nature of Hitler’s regime is also a rebuke to all that centres humanity in the midst of what should be both civilising and cultured. But there are other influences which infer we must stand with age old intolerances in order to benefit from it. What we allowed to happen in Ireland was a delivery of a perception which some see as acquiescent to a Hitlerite ideal that would have subverted all that Ireland and the Irish stood for. Such a stance, a seeming neutrality against an evil that would have destroyed the Ireland of the Irish along with 4,000 Irish Jews was as ludicrous of the time as it is perceived as criminal today.

For me as an Irishman to then write, and given that there is so much expression to be gained from focusing upon an Irish theme of belonging, ownership and for being ultimately excluded from the club is hardly negligible. For me to decline such an invitation to write about the Irish situation must conclude for itself that there is a greater resource in the loss to us all which 6,000,000 murdered Jews suggests. The immediate nature of loss I have used to gain a perspective, gains an objectivity which allows for that requirement to speak against an intolerable hatred which surely infects us all. I use a voice which denounces the many who stood back from the abyss as all too many of their fellow human beings were consigned to the ignominy of annihilation. It is hoped that mine is an utterance above the quiet which was met by 6,000,000 Jews pushed along the road toward extinction.

If I could at least intone a criticism of what allows for anyone to see in a 4 year old Child a reason to destroy, I can find a vehemence which will articulate above the unreasonable which saw 6,000,000 Jews murdered. These Jews should not have been so willfully abandoned without more of a retort from more of us. That these Jews were condemned to their fate speaks volumes for an indifference that proved palpable. Far too many like minded bigots, racists and hate-filled have made an alliance with the hackneyed idioms of Hitler’s regime which sees no wrong in murdering a 4 year old Tokele simply because she was a Jew. Not only that, there is this sustaining outcrop of their support for Hitler’s position all of which negates the sacrifice and death of all of those who stood resolutely against him during World War 2. For me, it is imperative that I write about what it is in racial hatred that so stirs some to excess and others toward apathy. It is evident that so many of the positive aspects to have been written about The Holocaust has not emerged from an Irish literary genius which the Irish can exemplify.

Irish literary work excels at a level commensurate with altruism and a World standing clearly acknowledged. Despite what some still might call the Irish position, with the nuance of Catholic and Protestant antagonisms, we are a better people for having integrated many into our society who do not belong to either faction. Our own Catholicism did not become vocal during the period of The Holocaust until it was expressed in terms of a condolence for Hitler’s death. Our society must not allow for any form of intolerance to gain a foothold above and beyond what tolerance allows for us all. My own effort has been to redress the imbalance this form of intolerance presents itself and in terms of how The Holocaust is perceived here, it should matter more than is perceptible. This world has much to redress with regards to how each nation sees The Holocaust and still manages to allow for the ritual abuse of the memory of 6,000,000 Jews contained within its atrocity.

With regard to any attempt which seeks to alter that Historical fact, what happened to these Jews must be acknowledged as a debt of burden to our own futures. It will be in the forceful nature of our positive condemnation of any who would insist in denying the truth of The Holocaust which will shelve our lethargic resolve to confront such a discriminatory hatred. In considering what has personally affected my life I lend an empathy for the too high a burden placed upon 6,000,000 Jewish lives who were totally extinguished. It is particularly true for me, and for memory as a whole, to not only honour those we seek to remember, but on account of the ferocity in the greatest tragedy to ever infect all of humanity, mine is an impassioned plea to recall, to remember and to never forget. If I had started my effort with The Irish Famine, I would be clearly recognising a state which is reflective on a world stage. We have the words and the eloquence of many who will stir the world invective in assailing all terms which might seek to justify the damnable mistreatment of any people.

All of which has presented the Irish psyche with an appreciation of the human condition, and which renders us generous, altruistic and warm. This state categorically garners a concern as to how a world should and must treat all of its people. Those people are no less worthy of life because they are Jews than Jews are more eligible for destruction than we are. Both disparate and uniquely linked as human beings the Irish have the ability to render to The Holocaust what humanity owes to those Jews interred within is confines. I am here writing about a position which could so easily belong to any nation, any peoples within any nations on the basis of their differences. As I have sought to confront those intolerances and the indifference this has led to in The Holocaust, this has been an excursion for me into a dark realm which sheds a light only obvious to those who wish to see in its vibrancy a discriminatory rejection of all Tolerance.



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