Holocaust Memorial Day 2017
"..I was absolutely ..irrevocably sentenced to death ..along with 1,000,000's of my compatriots and ..100's of 1.000's of children who ..in accordance with Hitler's ..New Order were to be ..first to die along with ..sick ..weak ..elderly. I was totally meaningless dust ..a miserable speck among so many excellent ..great ..mighty representatives of my nation ..which they simply decided to exterminate." Halina Birenbaum.
It is my privilege to share here with you all what People like Yehuda Adelman, Erica van Beek, Halina Birenbaum and Ruth Goldschmied Sax know! Their words form the necessary element for any Holocaust Memorial event which is their evidence, their truth and their integrity. As Remembrance is a celebration of what must not be forgotten, so that memory is fully preserved, we enter their world seeking some form of resolution with our past.There are 6,000,000 individual reasons why we choose to Remember and while there are individuals who can be overlooked while we concern ourselves with that fact, we continue our quest. Just as we Remember Auschwitz/Birkenau, Babi Yar, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Rumbuli, Sobibor and Treblinka, let us not Forget there are places like Gorodok, Krasny, Maly Trostinets, Westerbork and Zamosc.
"..period ..1939 ..1945 was ..a time of incomprehensible ..events. ..people who survived were injured for ..rest of their lives." Erica van Beek.
WE must also Remember those individual Jewish People who will not appear on any analysis of the catastrophe as they have been swallowed up by the very detail which sought to conceal them. As we acknowledge the debt owed to 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, there is no telling how inaccurate that figure truly is and how many more Jewish People have been swept aside, murdered and singularly abandoned in ditches and on the side of a road somewhere. History will never know the full extent of the trauma of the Jews of The Holocaust, so we do what little we can to remind the World of that factual truth. However, such are the numbers of those Jews Murdered that the incalculable suffering becomes too immense to ever account for it all!
"..Recognition of ..truth ..whole truth and opening ones heart and sharing ..experiences is necessary to stop ..evil ..to gel rid of ..aggression ..hate and ..prejudice. To convey ..Auschwitz truth is a great lesson." Halina Birenbaum.
We each take our journey with one step and that step for me has grown by 6,000,000 acknowledgements. My recognition for the suffering of innocent People is my reasoning for beginning this, The Holocaust odyssey. Initially, it all commenced when I received the image of a young Child, the 4 year old Tovah 'Tokele' Olshak who was removed from this life because she was a Jew. Little was known of this Child except that she was Murdered amongst some Surviving Jews in the Polish Town of Sokoly. Even her memory was not fully recorded though thankfully now, YadVashem has her presence recorded now! This is where to find her name:
But my journey was not limited to ensuring Tokele's name was merely one of the Remembered. She was now one of those Jews of Europe who could not be Forgotten. It transpired also that Yaffa Litwak, who knew the Family gathering in Sokoly, before they were Murdered, confirmed for me the Fact that she knew Tokele and that she managed to escape the tragedy of Tokele's Murder. Tokele was amongst 9 other's whose Survival had been so short lived. For me then, the progress through The Holocaust from there at Tokele's Murder has been inspiring, troubling and an sad indictment of man's capacity for great evil. In the vain hope that we will one day learn to respect each other as individual human beings, we search for a fuller meaning and comprehension wherever we look. For me, that on going search is from in amongst 6,000,000 Jews lives who were so cruelly taken and brutally destroyed. So here, as a further page in the litany of crimes expressed is a remembrance that on this specific day of memory, we choose not ever to forget that:
On this day in the History of The Holocaust January 27th. 1943 1,300 of Grodek Jagiellonski's Jews are murdered.
On January 27th. 1944 over 680 Dutch Jews are resettled from Westerbork to Auschwitz and are Murdered there.
On January 27th. 1945 while Russian forces liberate Auschwitz, the remaining Jewish prisoners who are left behind to fend for themselves look on while many other Jews have been force marched away from the scene of the devastation. The liberated Jews, along with many non-Jews are in essence free. However, many will succumb to all that had preceded their grasp at freedom. For what had taken place, there are estimates as high as 2,500,000 Jews having been murdered at Auschwitz and Birkenau, we share a horror only they can know. For the countless others who belong to terms within WWII, which all add to the overall accusation rendered before Adolf Hitler's name, we can ill afford to aqllow memory to then be denied.
"..I know ..that never in ..history of mankind ..never anywhere in ..realm of human relations did anything occur to compare with what was inflicted on ..Jewish population of Poland." Jan Karski.
With that reality for the Jewish Murdered of Auschwitz and Birkenau all being added toward a tally which recognises 6,000,000 Jews of The Holocaust having been Murdered, this Death Camp ranks amongst Hitler's worst. Today, with memory and memorial we recognise that the requirement to Remember all of these Jews are essential for us all. Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Memorial Day was first observed in the UK in 2001. In the future this date should identify as poignant, remembering that 6,000,000 Jews of Europe were so systematically Slaughtered as a staging post for altering the ways of the World. Subsequently, all future Genocide's will require remembrance as an acceptance of a lesson we have not yet learned.
Halina Birenbaum has lent me so many words, it is hard to thank her enough for all that she has given me! Words which have emerged from the depths of the pain and the suffering have been like a beacon from the dark to brighten the future for those willing to see. Indeed, with a Hope that is indeed the Last to Die, we might achieve a position of humility in respect of those who are no longer with us.
"..I wanted only to tell to get above ..past and ..present ..to bring closer for today's people ..history and characters whose only trace in ..world is my recollection. I want them to live as long as I am alive. Doing it by letting people know about ..tragedy that was done by hate and fascism." Halina Birenbaum.
There is a great deal of certainty over what we have lost and the whole World owes you, the Jew of The Holocaust and the Jewish Survivor. There is a deep debt of gratitude to all of those who have lent their words, and for what we have asked and sometimes demanded of you so as to inform and to relive, we hope you understand that clear demand. The entire World owes you, the Survivor, a huge apology for what has been taken from you, and in all too many cases, that which was taken is everything. With every vestige of what Humanity has long sought to protect, it was abandoned in place of another's demand to destroy you all. The whole World has an enormous liability to ensure therefore, that what was once belonging to the Jews of Europe, 6,000,000 of whom have been so savagely culled from all existence, their property, possessions, goods and what remains of their entire worth must be returned to them. David Ben-Gurion, the then Israeli Prime Minister spoke of this Repatriation of Jewish property in 1952. What he clearly advocated and suggested was that any Reparational demand should be based solely upon the recovery of as much Jewish property that had been taken from the Jews. This wish, which was to be secured as efficiently as administratively possible, was issued with the proviso:
"..that ..murderers do not become ..heirs as well." David Ben-Gurion.
This requirement was an essential need for those Jews still coming out of The Death Camps, The Concentration Camps and the latter day Transit Camps. It was essential for the Survivng Jew to know there was a space waiting for them away from the mounting rhetoric of newer antisemitism and pogrom. The attempt in many country's to murder any of those still facing their Survival, is an affront still further to humanity. In order then to also assist financially with the Survivor's immediate recovery from the effects of what was imposed upon them, which History has now recognised fully as The Holocaust, and to allow for the Survivor's transition into and amongst the Jewish Community of the burgeoning State that was still to be Israel, their further struggle was to be eased, and Germany here acknowledged with their concent, that Jewish Survivoral need.
"..truth about my life and that of my mother is really complicated. I have to rediscover my past and my memories now. That's why I try to write down on that quest ..everything about that trip to ..past." Erica van Beek.
As a consequence of what Hitler has achieved genocidally, that demand for restoration should be bestowed upon those Survivors and Family members whose right is acknowledged under all moral and ethical codes. That ethical code was clearly abandoned, and thank you Erica for stating what was and should have been obvious to the World, as Hitler rose to infamy!
"..Hitler's hell is visible in 1933." Erica van Beek.
The whole World does not yet know nor appreciate what that fact of knowledge of the growing awareness amounts to as Hitler's hell engulfed 6,000,000 Jews of Europe. At least the World does know what emerged but perhaps are not as appreciative of the fact that it was clearly known before we knew,Yet? Truly, there are not enough Jewish Survivors to reclaim their right, nor could they then give us the full detail of the overall atrocity that they have managed to escape. But there is a direct correlation between the Survivor and the terms of The Holocaust and it ramifications. The necessity of individual nations to accept what was done to both the Slaughtered Jewish People and the Jewish Survivor, and in their nations name, either at the behest of Adolf Hitler or of their own volition is be fully acknowledged. The weight of burden of the repatriation of those former ownership's, is not for the Jewish Survivor to continue to claim but must be unconditionally returned to the Jewish People as moral probity would demand.
"..I am happy to die amidst fighting Halutzim. We will take with us into our graves ..awareness that ..Jewish People will endure eternally." Yitzhak Katzenelson.
Toward that Jewish endurance, this acknowledgement of the debt that is owed to the Jewish People, to Judaism, or in abstentia to all of those 6,000,000 Jewish lives, to the Jewish State, such is the recognition that will not only form part of that genesis for my next piece to my Blog, it will be a rehearsal for the acceptance of a prudential recognition that further wrongs add exponentially to what we forced the Jewish People already to endure. I will also post this piece to FaceBook too, as I recognise there are those who have Survived and there are those who are a descendant of those who have Survived. For me, as the evidence of the Survivor is strategic to my own research and effort, it is of the utmost importance, in forming the narrative for 6,000,000 Jews held within The Holocaust term, that we make other's aware of what it must mean to have Survived.
"..Until then I had known Germans only as a steel wall of implacable death. I had come to contend with them as a free person with memories from reality ..created then by their countrymen. To bring right up in front of their eyes ..image of these experiences so that they ..their children ..their grandchildren might taste them for a moment. But I was faced with ordinary people ..shaken ..moved ..terrified ..shamed. Thus was I required. With shared tears." Halina Birenbaum.
My Publisher has been handed many works that have given, delivered with their evidences carefully wrapped up for me, an emphasis to my work I gladly share. I will use these works to further secure the Memory so befitting the gradual loss of the Survivor's and the legacy they have delivered for their Children and us. All of which I am more than willling to do and I am extremely grateful for all manner of testimony which all adds to the evidence we continually add to. Here and now, as I fully see the Survivor's loss as our loss, I will carefully read, and re-Read these words and works to make them resonate so that on January 27th., as we face that day of Holocaust Remembrance, more Memory is restored.
"..After Kristallnacht not only hell breaks loose in Germany ..but ..panic among Jewish citizens in surrounding countries." Erica van Beek.
So, thank You for these evidences and know full well from me that the words they contain will be added to the catalogue of Memory I will always mention in my search for meaning. It is a fact that when panic indeed spread throughout Europe for its Jewish People, its effect spread wide and far. However, meanings in terms of the comprehension necessary to understand what the Survivor lived through, and while 6,000,000 Jewish souls did not survive, it is best described by those who have formed the narrative to which we now wish to add, Always to Remember, Never to Forget.
One such Survivor, a study of great resilience, perseverence and and compassion is Ruth Goldschmied Sax. Growing up in the midst of such beauty, spolied and indeed pampered, Ruth Goldschmied Sax would emerge into an ugly world where she was a vicitm of a collossal hatred designed to eradicate her very being.
"..Life really was beautiful ..growing up ..I was very spolied." Ruth Goldschmied Sax.
Her gripping story, written by her Daughter Sandra Scheller - Try to Remember Never Forget will enlighten, impress and make you convinced your own sadness is but a ripple in an ocean of despair. The book affords us an insight into what it is like for both the Survivor and for those who live with the consequences of that Survival. I have found her story both warm and tragic, gripping and filled with an anxiety of what could and should have been. For those of you who seek to indemnify further the story, Ruthie's is on YouTube and I would urge you to visit her and learn from her of what her struggle entailed, and how she managed her Survival. To this day that Survival has to be managed and as all Survivor's know, living is part of the price they have to pay for what they saw, witnessed and were forcibly made to endure.
"..God created a beautiful world ..only some people made it miserable." Ruth Goldschmied Sax.
In acknowledging anything that those like Ruthie did endure, we look upon a past that was so shattered it is hard to imagine how the pieces were reconstructed and put back together. But that they were, speaks volumes for the integrity, resilience and capacity to endure that is the fundamental mindset of all Survivor's. Another of these evidences has been a wonderful work sent to me by Roma Hoffman, and she too was gracious enough to send me a work, and it is of her Father, Yehuda Adelman's a memoir that is Heroes Without Medals. Such is the content of this work, I will need to trace through the tragedy for the Jews of Gorodek and Krasno. Places and People stake a reneweed emphasis on my search for ever more of those who remain missing from The Holocaust narrative, so I have ever more need to search further.
"..We begin to tell stories about our town. ..Gorodok. ..we lost our parents ..we saw ..deaths of our brothers and sisters. After 2 ..3 years ..injured ..brokenhearted we came to our devastated homes." Yehuda Adelman.
This is the truth for all Suirvivors, bonded together by a common understanding of what they were forced to endure. That they witnessed such savagery is compounded by History's demand upon them to recall, to relive and to remember what it is we need to know. All of this is in order to even approach the outskirts of a comprehension that is far removed from the experience of those who met the full force of Hitler's hatred! This is an obviously weighted burden of 6,000,000 souls detained in their's and our past and it cannot be allowed to remain contained in that past. It is a lesson for the future which pushes the essential need to learn forever forward. I have always made it a point, when I meet with Survivors, to apologise to them on behalf of what an ostensibly 'christian' body of people has done.
"..I was reprimanded because I could not comply with various restrictions. ..Here ..there were enormous crimes committed against humanity and no punishment for it. People being killed ..burned and ..voice of God kept silent. ..I in view of ..atrocities against mass murderers. No illusion was left. Nothing happened that would shudder ..world to ..core." Halina Birenbaum.
Tolerance is so hard won and yet it is all too easily lost and for the whole of Humanity that Sin of Perpetration, Intolerance or Indifference is a stain upon our own legitimacy as human beings. So just in case I do not get the opportunity to greet you in person, I apologise to You for the inability of those 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of The Holocaust, who cannot direct their appreciation and respect for what you the Surviuvor's have done and what you have achieved having Survived. In each of you Survivor's the World entire has been saved. The lost will never be Forgotten as they form a part of the history related to The Holocaust. That those who did not survive will be recalled Forever, and their names persist in perpetuity so that We must learn, Never Again, we have occasion to remembernot to forget!
"..We feel ourselves linked together ..we cannot break free of our past. That we cannot forget." Yehuda Adelman.
Back on October 26th. 1939 it was decreed that all Polish Men and Women, aged 14 to 60 would be enslaved, 'Arbeitspflicht und Zwangsarbeit.' This defined Forced Labour for those Poles who would receive 'equitable' pay, and Jews would have no payment provision was all a part of a debilitating process. At the same time the Red letter 'J' identification Card was issued for Polish Jews, clearly marking their documentation with a visible identifier. I have written a Book, well the Introduction to a Book which contains 6,000,000 Red Letter 'J's as a reminder of how many Jewish lives this represents. I am mindful too, that should such a Book become Published, 6,000,000 copies should be placed in 6,000,000 Schools so that 6,000,000 additional evidences can be delivered to the Memory of The Holocaust and the loss of the 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, Men, Women and Their Children that this entails.
"..Ruth Goldschmiedova Sax is alive and well. ..Although she thinks about her past ..she still has a lotr to look forward to." Sandra Scheller.
And while we are in contemplaitive mood, let it not be said that any Jew could have altered what Hitler had planned. As I feel certain that all and any confrontation with the Germans would have led to the immediate destruction of all Jews, it is essential we respect the meory of the fallen as having been given no choice. Those few Jews that might be saved would not then be saved due to a collective responsibility harshly enforced by Hitler and his Reich minions. Sometimes evil presents itself and this one man Hitler set the seal on that very monstrosity we know is The Holocaust. All of which those like Himmler, Heydrich, Eichmann and the the rest of Hitler's sorry horde had had demanded from Hitler and had ritually obliged.
"..Sincerity wakes up in others good feelings ..which turn to closeness and understanding. I experienced it in all my meetings ..in different countries ..cities ..schools ..synagogues ..churches ..and lately also in Majdanek." Halina Birenbaum.
History is very important for us all. It teaches the lessons of the wrongs and even the mistakes in ancestry in order that we do not compile those same errors in order to compel history not to damn us too. By researching History I came across The Holocaust and it has been like a personal vendetta to express what should be said, to state what has not been told and to ensure an added voice is given to those 6,000,000 Jews of Europe whose voice has been extinguished. The absence of these quashed voices is no more discernible now than a haunting emission! But at least, in my choice of study and commitment, and I am hopeful none are offended by what I hold deeply, that 6,000,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children were Annihilated at the behest of Adolf Hitler, and all due respect is owed to the memory of those destroyed Jewish People.
"..I was 15 years old by ..time I was out of 4th. camp in Germany. My diplomas ..scars were equipped only with those experiences and my recollections. I had to start a new life. I had to cover my wounds with a smile ..as well as my orphan hood and poverty." Halina Birenbaum.
The truth of The Holocaust is a pertinent detail in all of our History and if that factual veracity seeks to simply remember those details of the atrocity clearly expressed, none should be offended! It is my intent to inform others of an opinion I strongly hold, that all are made equal and deserve equal respect no matter their race, creed, colour, ethnicity or their political persuasion.
"..November 13th. 1992. ..Today ..papers are ..full of terrible things ..happening in ..former Yugoslavia. Murders ..mutilations ..rapes. ..How will ..survivors continue to live." Erica van Beek.
Even friends who have read my Books wonder why I did not apply myself to something else other than The Holocaust in History. Was there something more relevant? No! They simply wondered why I would accept the level of abuse my written words provoke. But, and If I can provoke Remembrance in all I do? I will have done more than I ever anticipated. If I go back to the beginning, to where I came across Tokele, and that knowledge that she has emerged from the depths of a History chosen to keep her from view, I find 6,000,000 justifications for all I do, and though my Books have yet to express in 6,000,000 words those sentimens, there are enough words within them to commend others Always to Remember, Never to Forget.
"..teachings ..about ..world ..people ..ethics ..faith ..I had to learn ..by myself in ..hell of concentration camps ..without my Mother who was put to death in ..Gas Chambers in Majdanek ..my Father ..put to death and burnt in ..crematorium in Treblinka ..my Brother ..my Sister in law ..so young ..but cared for me like my Mother ..tormented and burnt in Auschwitz." Halina Birenbaum.