What remains inexplicable in the ruins of Survivoral Memory after The Holocaust, abides in History as an horrendous account in both terms of its incomprehensibility and the lack of completeness of available Testimony. What will certainly abide in what History will continue to understand will accuse for entirety the sheer lack of Humanity afforded to 6,000,000 Jews of Europe. Personally - and I have been to places no decent human being should ever venture - the Death Camp is above and beyond what the mind can imagine. In my search and research I have listened to those on the fringes of society deigning to utilise all manner of hatred that they could muster against all those different from them! I am different from them! You are different from them! We are all different from them and we are differing from each other in so many ways! But we are virtually all the same in one important area, we are all Human Beings! So for that reason alone I do not use the word Hatred lightly especially when it might be against my fellow Human Beings. It is an overused, over exposed and threatening word by those who would seek to obliterate all traces of an antisemitic hatred Hitler fully utilised in his assault upon the Jewish People.
"..children were taken. ..All ..women ..not just ..mothers ..sensed in ..welling rebellion in their guts that something had been violently torn from ..maternal instinct that lay at ..very core of their being." Giuliana Tedeschi.
Religion is bandied about all too often in terms of the word hatred and for me, there is NO God worth a jot that does not know that it is the diversity in People that makes for what is Humanity! On days like these, when we choose to Remember that 10 years ago there was terror on London Streets and on the Tube, that 52 Innocent People were Murdered, we feel the need to become closer to Family. When we recall too that just 20 years ago, a place called Srebrenica was devastated by a Genocidal hatred, a term of such hatred only recently and historically encapsulated in the term of The Holocaust, we choose to look for our Family. For Remembrance of The Holocaust itself, now just 70 years since it has passed into the records, the Slaughter of the Jews of Europe has much in common with the Genocide of these more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim Men and Boys. When we reach out to Family it is time to Remember that entire Families of these Jews of The Holocaust were Murdered together, obliterated from time, but recalled and Remembered in History. Hatred, for one excuse or another, permeates all of these acts of violence, criminal acts which are raged against Innocent People. Though in varying degrees of the account, each plays its part in denigrating the very fabric of the humanity we have gained so far.
"..There were 100's of Jews walking along ..street with blood pouring down their faces ..holes in their heads ..hands broken ..eyes hanging out of their sockets. ..covered in blood. Some ..carrying others who had collapsed. We went to ..citadel ..saw things that few people have ever seen. At ..entrance ..were soldiers standing guard. .. holding clubs ..thick as a man's wrist ..lashing out and hitting anyone who crossed their path. ..Jews were pouring out of ..entrance. ..rows of Jews lying one on top of ..other ..whimpering horribly. ..Jews kept streaming out ..completely covered in blood. ..just being hit out of rage and hatred." SS Hauptscharfuhrer Felix Landau.
So when we have particles of the relevant evidence, as in this depiction from the tenets of The Holocaust, they could all too easily have been applied to what Europe then experienced just 20 years ago in The Balkans. The evidence to be gained from those who saw or even Perpetrated the crimes of Srebrenica has much in common with what Felix Landau has stated here. There is no rhyme or reason for these Slaughters, merely the Fact that one 'person', or group, hates with that form of passion so prevalent in the terms of these expressions we have been forced to bear witness to. The lessons have been clearly learned and they appear to be skewed in the direction of an atrocity to be delivered by those who would destroy the fabric of existence. That the atrocity is visited onto the Streets of Communities so as to disturb, disconnect and destroy any sense of that community which still prevails, is a vicious tool of the newer expression of the same hatred. Democratically held views, all social norms are presented for acceptance and then they are subsequently denied to all those who differ from these, the visitors of terror. Terrorists, whose only function is to destroy the common bond in People, cannot destroy what is an essential in common with all People, their Humanity.
"..I recall particularly one mass execution when about 90 prisoners ..all Jews ..were killed by gassing. This took place ..as far as I can remember ..Spring ..1944. In this case ..corpses were sent to Professor Hirt of ..Department of Anatomy in Strasbourg. I also conclude that Hirt suggested and urged ..murder of these prisoners ..and ..along with Kramer ..bears ..main responsibility." Magnus Wochner.
But the destruction of a People could so demonstrate and even invest a fallacious need for them to be then sanctioned for some falsified research by Professors and Medics of the Reich. All who apparently have too easily forgotten their Hypocratic Oath and their own Ethical or Moral compass. The Religion of these exponents of Destruction or Falsified Medical experimentation is not to blame for such conduct. For the seeming hatred that permeates the World today, Religion is not the root cause but the excuse. Certainly Islam is not to blame? Surely Catholicism is not to blame? As for Judaism, how can Judaism be to blame? If we take from history all that we owe to Judaism, as the deliverer of a monotheistic belief system, Judaism who is the elder brother so to speak, becomes merely a sibling rivalry in Religious terms? As with what is wrong in my own Church, it is the people who mark the religion as wrong, not the faith that is firmly held. Muslims have a wonderful faith, a belief system that will take them to their God. Islam's is without doubt the same God of Christianity and Judaism, but with a differing vocalised expression. Despite Religion, what is wrong in any belief system, is when it does not speak out vocally enough against what is not right and not proper. In defence of the poor, or to aid the destitute or the hungry, we are all in need of a voice and those with a charitable and altruistic disposition who will look after those of the most vulnerable must act and speak for Tolerance.
"..Despite ..recent outpouring of popular and scholarly books on Hitler ..no work has yet been produced that satisfactorily explains Hitler's obsessive ideas about ..Jews ..readiness of ..German people to accept these ideas ..and Hitler's ability to harness an enormous apparatus of men ..institutions ..facilities just in order to murder ..Jews. Hitler has proved to be an elusive and unrewarding subject for conventional biography because ..explanations for ..baffling mystique he exercised ..for ..power he came to wield ..and for his unspeakable accomplishments are not to be found in ..facts of a banal life ..but in ..ideas and feelings that created ..symbiosis between him and ..German people. Their mutuality and interdependence thrived ..as Hitler first expressed and later gratified ..Germans' most arrogant and abominable ambitions. He relieved their deepest fears and anxieties and ..near ..end ..disburdened them both of guilt and responsibility for ..wickedness they had given him warrant to commit." Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz.
Of course there are many forms of hatred, but each requires a Victim to be Victimised, a 'coward' to commit to the act of Hatred and for those of us to sit idly by and ignore a hatred's consequences. I am often asked why an Irishman should choose a hatred raged against the Jewish People above any other hatred. Well the Truth is, there has not been any other hatred quite like the antisemitic hatred Hitler brought to History. The Holocaust added a systematic Slaughter to that 2,000 year hatred against the Jewish People. This time with a detail which Destroyed, Annihilated, Engulfed and Curtailed the lives of 6,000,000 People, and all because they were Jewish. In more than 2,000 years of a most rabid and rancid Human hatred, the Jewish People have been at the forefront of that directed anger, rage and hate filled emotion expressly aimed at them. But my position does not sway because of those very terms of the hatred that is expressed. I also comment upon any hatred which consumes more recent lives. I am as appalled as anyone should be, that innocence is taken when lives are treated with an intolerance we all abhor. That such lives are discarded like a disposed of piece of paper, when a 4 year old Jewish Girl, Tokele, is Murdered for her Jewish antecedence, is against all Humanity. Or when 4 Young Black Girls are Murdered in a Church, these all wreak of a crime which should be intolerable to us all. After what lesson Tokele should have lent to us, all future atrocity should not have emanated after what we have learned of The Holocaust .
"..Death comes to every individual. There is an amazing democracy about death. It is not aristocratic for some ..people ..but a democracy for all ..people. Kings die ..beggars die ..rich ..and poor ..die ..old ..and young ..die. Death comes to ..innocent and ..guilty. Death is ..irreducible common denominator of all men. I hope you can find some consolation from Christianity's affirmation that death is not ..end. Death is not a period that ends ..great sentence of life ..but a comma that punctuates it to a more lofty significance. Death is not a blind alley that leads ..human race into a state of nothingness ..but an open door which leads man into life eternal." Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.
This is but a small part of the Eulogy which Dr. King had given at the 6th. Avenue Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, USA on September 18th. 1963. With this particular form of hatred, it was such a savage attack on us all as Human Beings. Dr. King speaks out against the murders of these 4 Children, these Children who were Murdered by a Klan hatred which has no place in our midst, must make a Tolerant World stand up and make these atrocities accountable. These 4 Children were Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair and Cynthia Diane Wesley. Carole Robertson's Service was a separate occasion, though she too was enjoined in the terms of a Eulogy clearly encompassing the atrocity of her Murder also. But these killings were about Hatred, pure and simple. They are similarly defining of those Intolerances measured from within The Holocaust. It is a Hatred for these 4 young Girls who wanted to live in a World where they were defined by the colour of their skin, and Murdered because of it! So for me, I can speak about White on Black hatred just as well as I can concern myself with why 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, Men, Women and Their Children were Destroyed. I have an Irish pride in being Tolerant and am altruistic in nature, though sorely tested by those who would treat Humanity with such disregard.
"..Life springs from death ..and from ..graves of patriot men and women spring living nations." Patrick Pearse.
All past experiences have taught us little, if the requirement of 'nations' is to comprise of the graves of both patriot Women, and patriot Men. I too am as concerned as to why we continued to allow this all to happen when dialogue has always protected the brave against the bullet. Initially, when the warning signs of the escalating terms of Hitler's hatred for the Jews were mounting, when his rhetoric took on an uglier degree that was way above the bullet and dismissive of the vocabulary of dialogue, we did little to condemn Hitler nor his expression of hatred! For my own commentary in History, I would suggest that Hitler proved to be a voice that held too much of a resonance in a World crippled by similar hatreds. As such, I would rather refrain from the Irish upon Irish so called hatreds, because these have been defined by a Religious element that does not exist for most Irish People and is deliniated by an invasiveness which time will remove. But what have we learned in the 70 years since the World awakened to what it allowed to happen to the Jewish People? What has been articulated in the 50 years since Dr. King's Eulogy? In these intervening years since the end of World War 2, what should have been learned by the entire World as we became aware of The Holocaust term? It appears we have learned next to nothing and all has been shifted from memory and lost in Rwanda, in The Balkans and even globally where hatred persists and Murder reigns.
"..Conquest ..gives no title ..if it exists over ..body ..it fails over ..mind. It can exert no empire over men's reason ..judgement ..affections." Roger Casement.
As we travel on from the 70 years since The Holocaust, and the realisation of what occurred and what was allowed to happen became part of the fabric of the humanity that has been abbreviated from inhumanity, we have more often learned to, fight, maim, extort, traffic humanity, kill and to Murder. It appears that rather than Tolerate the inherent differences each of us have, which is why Humanity transcends such singular bigotries, we recognise the differences in People and use that as a sword to lance that uniqueness. For History, or maybe it is just for me, if The Holocaust is to teach the World anything, we cannot read the lesson as it was not learned in the hatred that spilled out into the Streets of Birmingham, New York, London, Charleston and Sousse. It has not been learned in any of those places, and so many other places now defined by atrocity. Some of these, listed below have bellowed out from our screens to augment what The Holocaust should have ensured would never happen again. If Dr. King's Eulogy could at least teach us something, and thus far it has not been in the way toward a more widespread Tolerance, it must speak directly to each of us about what is wrong with all manner of Intolerances across the Globe.
18/9 Birmingham, Alabama! 9/11 New York! 7/7 London! 7/6 Charleston, Carolina! 26/6 Sousse, Tunisia!
Words, which have emanated from the many who Survived The Holocaust's most evil and pernicious grip, do not speak of any lasting hatred. Their voices mask the incredible pain and suffering they endured and their search for Justice will constantly shame us. The Survivor conceals the Fact that Humanity broadly let them down, a fact that is all too often forgotten. The Survivor suffers the persistent wrench of all our demands to relive their ordeal so that we too might understand or achieve some form of comprehension. But these Survivors are captivated by their own persistent need for all of us to learn the lesson of Tolerance and ensure that we never face the critical choices that they, the Survivors were forced to make. But in these five single instances I relate to here, which are set before the mantle of all of our History, the clear lesson has been an intolerable one, and has been exacted against innocents. Those innocents have been murdered regardless of any commandment by any God that 'Though Shalt Not Kill.' Entrenched within that Godly requirement is a clause which demands that we should not Murder either! So, as yet again another Black Leader has been, more recently steeled to deliver a Eulogy for the victims of a Hate Crime, these are more Victims of a Race Hate that has entrenched itself deep into the American psyche and it will not go away!
"..For too long ..we have been blind to ..way past injustices continue to shape ..present. Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty ..attend dilapidated schools ..grow up without prospects for a job or for a career. Perhaps it causes us to examine what we're doing to cause some of our children to hate." President Barak Obama.
Perhaps WE too can ask why Sharonda Coleman - Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel L. Simmons, and Myra Thompson were Murdered? Perhaps with this callous disregard for any Human life, as it continues to infect and as we are left reeling once more from the shock waves of its impact upon us all, we can share the pain of their Family's loss. For me, even Irish life in MY City of Birmingham, England was disregarded by those seemingly representative of an Irish value. This has caused me to become fettered to a disgust for the Politics, Religion or otherwise, of any system which seeks to impose itself upon the majority of Humanity! Which is why, Muslims of Islam abhor what is being conducted in their name. There will be Muslims too who might well fail the test, as rejectionists, of the correct Quran passage that is being asked by a masked Murderer. That Religious contention is also pointed to those either side of an Irish border who will not relinquish the control mechanism which violence provides for them. I was asked by a Publisher to write about the 'Irish' situation but could not bring myself toward the distortion of ideas which both sectarian factions seek to bolster their inverted and warped idiocy! Then, after I received the picture of the 4 year old Tokele, a Jewish Girl Murdered because she was a Jew, I decided I could add to my own understanding of The Holocaust and the loss of Humanity detained in its History?
"..child held her hand. ..A child ..tiny ..little ..sheared ..stripped. ..For ..gas chamber". Laura Harper Crist.
We see it all the time though, with this or with that Religion how equivocal the differences there are amongst us all. In some of the poorest parts of the world, Christianity reigns while people starve. The same goes for Islam with some of the world's poorest people living amongst a Country's wealth which is in $billions and is so misspent on arming soldiers and aiding conflict and war. We have a saying which I am sure belongs to all faiths as we ask of Religion what is God's intention. For Christian's we ask what would our Christ do? If Christ would not kill, or if Jesus would allow a people to go hungry, visit pain on any People, then we should ensure we act accordingly and likewise as God would intend. We should not be involved in strife, propelling others to intolerances we are morally bound to ignore. It is up to people like you and me to make a difference. When I was asked to write a book about the Irish situation, I did not wish to write about what I felt would cause many to accuse me of bias. That old chestnut of Catholic versus Protestant has been a smoke screen for all too many years. I grew up in a community where I knew a Protestant was a Person who did not attend My Church. But then, I had Aunts and Uncles who did not attend my Church! They lived elsewhere. Then I was sent a photo of a 4 year old Jewish Girl, Tokele, murdered for being Jewish. That gave me the starting point to journey back and immerse myself in the most uniquely offensive Catastrophe perpetrated against the 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of The Holocaust. What is being said now, which should have been more articulately stated back then, who make The Holocaust the most offensive perpetration of a Genocide ever to confront our very decency, our civilising Humanity. Today though, there is an acceptance that was done was wrong, but that does not go far enough to deliver even the remotest Justice to those 6,000,000 Jews of Europe.
"..Government and with it ..great majority of ..German people ..are very conscious of ..appalling suffering brought to ..Jews in Germany and ..occupied territories. ..German people in their overwhelming majority ..disgusted by ..crimes perpetrated against ..Jews. ..in ..name of ..German people appalling crimes were committed ..that demand from us moral and material reparation ..not only as far as damages to ..individual ..but ..with regard to Jewish property." Konrad Adenauer.
One of Hitler's ideological mainstays was the larceny conducted against the Jewish People, their Property and then their Lives. This Fact has been driven under the Radar in favour, by some, to circumvent what had always been Hitler's intention, the theft of all that was Jewish, including existence. For me, I take my Bible's words, which acknowledge that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish People to accept that word is so. If there is a respect for the word of God at all, we will respect that this is his wish and honour it. It is tragic then that it has come after 6,000,000 Jews have been murdered in The Holocaust. My Bible also points to what Theft means, and the ownership of stolen Lives and Property is damnable in God's eyes. That the Slaughter is the very reason for my writing 3 books for a Jewish memory which belongs to us all is but a part of my reasoning. This Catastrophe is what gave the Jews back to Israel and Israel back to the Jewish People and it has become a timely reminder of the word of God. It is a simple matter for me, I do not ever condone the death of innocent people, and like the people here in Ireland, we have had to re-learn to live with each other irrespective of one's religious persuasive conviction. That is the whole point which is being lost here in the remonstrations and discriminations within religion. If there is any concern after what History has acknowledged, and if the People of this world want to live in peace, then let them go to the table with an offer that the world will see is as reasonable as it is tolerable.
"..Auschwitz may be 100's of kilometres from Hungary but it is part of Hungarian history. ..This Death Camp was ..scene of ..inhumane suffering ..humiliation and death of nearly 500,000 of our compatriots." Janos Ader.
The Jewish State has a clear mandate for peace written in the Blood of 6,000,000 lives lost and they will be seen to comply only if they are no longer threatened. I don't know all the answers for a peace in the Middle East, but what Iran and Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah all preach, about denying the very existence of Jews or of an Israeli State, this is not appropriate in the World of today! Nor indeed is it Godly. This is a hatred which is not borne out of anything Christian or what Allah or the Prophet Mohammed would even condone. It is not Islamic and it is certainly not right to wish for the destruction of any People who are defined by Race, Colour, Creed, Caste or even Ethnicity. Here in Ireland, with terrorists having denounced violence, if peace in the Middle East is what must be deserved, all must follow the road toward dialogue and all violence must end. Here with my efforts for the Jews of The Holocaust, I am convinced that what cannot be forgotten is always Remembered. Hatred has no place in a World which lives with the memory of what happened to these Jews of Europe. For what we allowed to happen, we have 6,000,000 reminders and accusers! In Alabama, New York, London, Carolina and Tunisia we have learned the lessons of hatred and added to its continuance.
"..During ..war a person could at least try to have himself transferred from an Einsatzgruppe. I myself managed to do this successfully. ..I was not demoted as a result of my transfer and not disadvantaged ..apart from remaining on very bad terms with Heydrich until his death. There were without doubt cases where people who were transferred from an Einsatzgruppe suffered disadvantage. I can no longer recall individual cases. None ..less ..as far as I know ..nobody was shot as a result." SS Brigadefuhrer Professor Dr. Franz Six.
Despite the many contentions otherwise, there were few ramifications for those who chose conscience above Hitler's order's. All Perpetrators could all too easily have allowed for their participation in The Holocaust to be non-existent. So I continue to recall those 6,000,000 Jews in History whose presence has been taken from us! But for me, and while there are three Catastrophes in our History which can be categorised as a Genocide, there is one which is incomparable, and was raged against the Jews of Europe. That 'ONE', the Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children can only be qualified as, The Holocaust. The Holocaust exemplifies hatred on such a monumental level, it is beyond what I have long considered was the failed notion of comparative genocides. Whilst there are striking similarities in an Irish Famine or an Armenian Tragedy, given that there were such depths of destruction and despair, and with so much that was intolerable can be taken from each, each cannot afford that certain uniqueness that is The Holocaust.
"..I am no longer in ..area of Stalingrad but further north in ..middle of ..front. ..sight of ..dead ..including women and children ..is not very cheering. ..we are fighting for ..survival or non-survival of our people. ..As ..war is in our opinion a Jewish war ..Jews are ..first to feel it. Here in Russia ..wherever ..German soldier is ..no Jew remains. You can imagine that at first I needed some time to get to grips with this. ..We happen to be in possession of old clothes ..which are very much sought after. We can get everything here. ..clothes belonged to people who are no longer alive today. ..We have got to be tough here or else we will lose ..war. There is no room for pity of any kind. ..There are no Jews here anymore. ..I have already told you about ..shooting ..that I could not say 'no' here either. ..We have to eat and drink well because of ..nature of our work ..as I have described to you in detail. Otherwise we would crack up. ..If it weren't for ..stupid thoughts about what we are doing in this country ..Einsatz here would be wonderful ..since it has put me in a position where I can support you all very well. Since ..as I already wrote to you ..I consider ..last Einsatz to be justified and indeed approve of ..consequences it had ..phrase 'stupid thoughts' is not strictly accurate. Rather it is a weakness not to be able to stand ..sight of dead people ..best way of overcoming it is to do it more often. Then it becomes a habit." SS Obersturmfuhrer Karl Kretschmer.
As unique though as we see the very delineated terms of The Holocaust, the unparalleled, unprecedented, systematic, mechanised and industrialised nature of the Slaughter, The Holocaust sets the Destruction of these Jews apart from anything else in History. The Mongol hordes does not compare. The rampage of the Huns does not equal. The deaths of over 1 Million Irish people is no comparison. The wanton neglect and demise of over 1 Million Armenians does not compare. This is all before we even gauge the enormous differences in numbers that are still to be accounted for. The Human cost alone, all of which is beyond compare, is far greater for The Holocaust. I do not dare here to compare the savagery of one group against the viciousness of another. I do not ignore the fact that individual deaths are as prominent to all nor do I belie the more deadly destruction afforded to each is more grave than to the rest. That will to compare is for those who suffered to make clear. For those crimes that were perpetrated, that is for world Justices to decide on behalf of those no longer able to seek Justice for themselves. But with the enormous hatred of Hitler's grasp of that violent History, honed to such a frenzy, and the duration of that rabid assault upon The Jewish People, this has not been equalled in any terms History might wish to revise.
"..A pit ..7 to 8 metres long 4 metres wide ..dug. ,earth ..piled ..one side of ..pit. This pile of earth and ..side of ..pit ..completely soaked in ..blood. ..pit ..filled with ..corpses ..all ages ..sexes. ..so many corpses ..could not ..ascertain ..depth of ..pit." Major Karl Roesler.
Therefore, there is No comparison in terms of numbers! 6,000,000 is three times more Murderous than the neglected dead in The Irish Famine and those contingent killings, random murders and the starvations in The Armenian Tragedy, both combined. In the systematic nature and selection of a Race of People for Destruction, The Holocaust is not simply Hitler's ultimate goal, it is The Final Solution. The negligence of Governments in Ireland is unlike the calculation made by Hitler and his Nazi 'government'. Nor is the removal by the Turkish 'government' of the Armenian people from their homes representative of that same form of 'resettlement' devised and orchestrated by Hitler for the Jewish People. The Armenian people were forced into a desert, deprived of food and drink, shot, hanged and certainly murdered. But this was a destruction without design, without clear directive and without the will of a leader clearly orchestrating all measures detailed to bring about any final resolve. This resolve however, existed for Hitler in the tenets of a Final Solution to a Jewish Question.
"..When I am asked about executions of Jews I must confirm that on August 19th. 1942 I witnessed an execution of Jews at Belzec extermination camp. I would like to describe how I came to be there. During my conversations with SS Brigadefuhrer Globocnik ..he told me about ..large spinning mills that he had set up in Belzec. He also mentioned that work at this camp would considerably outstrip German production. When I asked him where ..spinning materials came from ..he told me proudly that they had come from ..Jews. At this point he also mentioned ..extermination actions against ..Jews ..who for ..most part were killed at ..camp at Belzec. ..During this first visit I was taken around by a ..Wirth ..who also showed and explained to me ..extermination installations at ..camp. He told me that ..following morning a new transport of about 500 Jews would be arriving at ..camp who would be channelled through these extermination chambers. He asked me whether I would like to watch one of these extermination actions ..to which ..after a great deal of reflection ..I consented. I planned to submit a report to ..Reichsarzt SS about ..extermination actions. In order to write a report I had ..however ..first to observe an action with my own eyes. I remained in ..camp ..spent ..night there and was witness to ..following events ..next morning. A goods train travelled directly into ..camp of Belzec ..freight cars were opened and Jews whom I believe were from ..area of Romania or Hungary were unloaded. ..cars were crammed fairly full. There were men ..women and children of every age. They were ordered to get into line and then had to proceed to an assembly area and take off their shoes. ..After ..Jews had removed their shoes they were separated by sex. ..women went together with ..children into a hut. There their hair was shorn and they had to get undressed. ..men went into another hut ..where they received ..same treatment. I saw what happened in ..women's hut with my own eyes. After they had undressed ..whole procedure went fairly quickly. They ran naked from ..hut through a hedge into ..actual extermination centre. ..whole extermination centre looked just like a normal delousing institution. In front of ..building there were pots of geraniums and a sign saying 'Hackenholt Foundation' ..above which there was a star of David. ..building was brightly and pleasantly painted so as not to suggest people would be killed here. ..Inside ..buildings ..Jews had to enter chambers into which was channelled ..exhaust of a ..100 ..HP engine ..located in ..same building. In it there were six such extermination chambers. They were windowless ..had electric lights and two doors. One door led outside so that ..bodies could be removed. People were led from a corridor into ..chambers through an ordinary air tight door with bolts. There was a glass peephole ..as I recall ..next to ..door in ..wall. Through this window one could watch what was happening inside ..room but only when it was not too full of people. After a short time ..glass became steamed up. When ..people had been locked in ..room ..motor was switched on and then I suppose ..stop-valves or vents to ..chambers opened. ..It is possible that ..pipe led ..directly to ..chambers. Once ..engine was running ..light in ..chambers was switched off. This was followed by palpable disquiet in ..chamber. In my view it was only then that ..people sensed something else was in store for them. It seemed to me that behind ..thick walls and door they were praying and shouting for help." Professor Dr. Wilhelm Pfannenstiel.
This consulting Waffen SS hygienist, whose commentary on the gassing process at Belzec so strikes at Humanity and for me, it reiterates that enough has already been taken from the Jewish People. Without extending an open invitation to benefit from the term which defines 6,000,000 of their number, Jews everywhere are expected to look with objectivity at what was conducted on their Families, their Heritage, their Antecedence, Creed, ethnicity and Lineage. That well sought out term, though many Jews find The Holocaust reference to a burnt offering somewhat odious or abhorrent, it is a term which defines the 6,000,000 Murdered Jewish presence in all of History. That term is clearly meant to define what, for the Jews of Israel at least, a nation borne out of the very terms that The Holocaust delivered to the World, but to World Jewry it is a constant reminder of all hatreds that are constantly aimed at them. While Hitler sought to deprive the Jews of status, liberty, home and life, he also ensured, with the systematic Slaughter of these Jews of Europe, an unparalleled and unprecedented assault upon the fabric of humanity and upon the integrity of a living and breathing People. Once he had settled upon a route toward that achievement, Hitler would attempt to ensure that the World would be further deprived of any Jewish presence. This World has been denied of some of the finest Scholars, disowned of some of the best Physicians, disclaimers set against some of the greatest Thinkers and Scientists also, Hitler would so deprive us of a route into a Music that was already sublimely felt.
"..mass resettlements of Jews began ..and on October 18th. 1942 ..Germans ordered all Jews to go to Izbica. We walked ..five hours ..Zolkiewka to Izbica. We all gathered in front of ..cinema ..divided by groups according to ..towns we came from ..Krasnystaw ..Piaski ..Turobin ..Zamosc ..Zolkiewka. ..I remember it was very cold and raining that day. ..Germans ordered ..inhabitants of Zolkiewka must go to ..train. ..whole group ran to ..train ..then ..Germans changed ..order ..sent another group ..we were tormented until ..evening. ..they shot at us. ..killed victims ..rain ..blood ..crying ..screaming. ..Rabbi Feldhendler ..Wife ..Daughter were killed. My family and I went to ..train. ..cattle cars for animals ..on ..floor ..chlorine. ..air was stifling .. huddled in this cattle car ..some ..were dying ..some ..dead ..we stood on their bodies and ..chlorine stung our eyes. ..no food ..water ..I stood close to ..wall. Through ..hole in ..wall ..I could gather ..spoon of rainwater ..to drink a little of it. I was able to write a letter to Mr Krol ..I threw it out. After three hours ..train started in ..direction of Belzec we knew exactly where we were going. ..men pulled out ..grate in ..window. People started to jump out of ..train. My brother had already jumped out ..my mother told me ..'Jump out ..my child ..you have so many girlfriends ..they will help you' ..I jumped out after ..second railway station ..Zawada ..I was lucky ..I landed in ..ditch. Others ..jumped out ..under ..next train ..or were ..killed by ..German bullets. ..I got a bullet in my thigh but I did not feel it. I had sprained both legs ..I could not walk. ..a man with a big heart ..called Marcin Szewc. He drove by with a horse and wagon ..he found me. ..asked me what ..happened ..I lied ..saying I was a Pole and ..Germans wanted to deport me to Germany for slave labour but I had escaped them. Mr Szewc ..put me on his wagon ..took me to his home." Mila Szternzys.
Everything for me has a musical nuance! It is a comment on life! It has a message to accompany all of us through History! So for me to say I dislike a certain music or song, I would have to had listened to it to make certain that such a statement was considered! For me, music transcends all barriers and if allowed, can bridge the divide between people and surely can allow our own humanity to more greatly achieve. Let me paraphrase what Bob Marley has to say for a moment! If one lives for one's self, you will be in vain! If, however, one decides to live for others, one can live again through giving and tolerance. So go out and live again and again and this world can be a better place for us all. This is the lesson of a Black man! For all of those who are racially bigoted in some form or other, and who listen to all manner of Music, they simply cannot deny the enormous influence owed to African Music. The Black influences gained through the strident echoes of The Blues or the intrinsically racial cross over marked by Rhythm and Blues, all add a real diversification to our own lives. We simply cannot then pretend that a racist bigotry can be disowned when such influences can be gained, and are garnered from what all People have to afford us all.
"..Dear Friend Ubbink ..You are one of ..first to whom I shall send greetings. Let me congratulate you from ..bottom of my heart on ..liberation of your country from our brood of vipers and criminals. However dark our fate may now be ..those terrible people could not be allowed to win. Ask your people if ..now at least ..they believe what went on in Blezec. ..I thank God that I did everything in my power to cut through this abscess on ..body of humanity." Kurt Gerstein.
What is great and good in all People cannot be denied by the few who seek to separate and divide us from the richness to be had from knowing the diversity in People. When we can gain so much from Tolerance, it is intolerable that we do not accept the differences in People that makes us unique. For me, to hecter and revile or to simply belie the influence we can all gain from such Human diversity is to negate all of humanity at its very best. Just with this musical gain from African influence, which has spread itself far and wide is to appreciate the tolerable. As the Blues was born, as Reggae stirred us and as Popular Music courses through our veins, the lineage traces its beating steps all the way back to Africa. For the ignorant, Sam Cook, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye are people of Black skin and our appreciation of them should not diminish because of that differing pigmentation. That is clearly what Martin Luther King states in his hope, which is even for us who pay to fly to the Sun to augment our lack of pigmentation when he raises the bar of Tolerance beyond what is unacceptable and as for all people,
"..they will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, and not the color of their skin." Martin Luther King.
Can we then deny the influences inherent in all that we have gained, simply because of the racist hatred from a few? Without Elvis, remarked John Lennon, there would be no Beatles. As Elvis was clearly influenced by Gospel and Rhythm n' Blues, the influences in the Deep South, as racist a settlement as anywhere in America, is a music fused for a Nation and with that, a tolerance could emerge. In that heady mix of cultures, enjoyment was created which could fund an acceptance of all that is righteous in all people. Reggae can manage to denounce the irrelevance of the "KKK" as Steel Pulse have. It should be just as easy for the World that listens and hears all manner of Musical genres to rely upon the relevance that is within what we can each share to gift all to humanity what is tolerable. That said then, surely Music cannot lead others to commit crimes, molest and abuse people or even murder People. That a racist leader came along and, from pure hatred, selected the People of the Jewish Faith for a Slaughter, on an industrialised and mechanised scale, simply because of an inherent difference he demonised, underscores an intolerance of any People that goes beyond all reason!
"..Those who begin by burning Books end by burning People." Heinrich Heine.
Here, when Heinrich Heine predicted that the burning of Books would turn those who issued such a vocalised and denunciated decree, that they would share a preponderance to mass murder, an immoral degeneracy turned those intent upon burning Books into those who Murdered and cremated human beings. Heine could all too easily have said the same would be applicable to those who decapitated the German people from Jewish music. Heine though has still underlined his assessment with a pertinent understanding of the decline in civilisation's humanity toward an unethical and immoral descent into barbarism. That the same restriction could be placed upon music, on the restrictions of Art or upon the moderation of other influences, all of this would become the catalyst for the systematic intolerances Hitler exercised. Everywhere, where prejudice, bias, bigotry or intolerance is borne, has been excavated from what civilised us and has been categorically maligned within The Holocaust Murder of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe! What History had delivered toward the culture of Humanity has been clearly rounded upon and either obscured, displaced or destroyed in his Reich, in the Ghettos, the Death Camps, the Killing Sites and an erstwhile expression of Hitler's own brand of antisemitism.
"..Barbed wire ..right ..left ..2 dozen Ukrainians with rifles at ..rear. They came on ..led by an exceptionally pretty girl. I myself was standing with ..Wirth in front of ..death chambers. Men ..women ..children ..infants ..people with amputated legs ..all naked ..completely naked ..moved past us. In one corner there is ..SS man who tells these poor people in an unctuous voice:
..'Nothing at all will happen to you. You must just breathe deeply ..that strengthens ..lungs ..this inhalation is necessary because of ..infectious diseases ..it is good disinfection.'
..When somebody asks what their fate will be ..he explains that ..men will of course have to work ..building streets and houses. ..women will not have to work. If they want ..they can help in ..house or ..kitchen. A little glimmer of hope flickers once more in some of these poor people ..enough to make them march unresisting into ..death chambers. ..most of them understand what is happening ..smell reveals their fate! Then they climb up a little staircase ..see ..truth. Nursing mothers with an infant at ..breast ..naked ..many children of all ages ..naked. They hesitate ..but they enter ..death chambers ..most of them silent ..forced on by those behind them ..who are driven by ..whip lashes of ..SS men. A Jewish woman of about 40 ..with flaming eyes ..calls down ..revenge ..for ..blood of her children on ..head of ..murderers. ..Wirth in person strikes her in ..face 5 times with his whip ..she disappears into ..gas chamber." Kurt Gerstein.
Can we so disown the discoveries of great Scientists like, Albert Einstein; or the Physicians of the caliber of Hans Krebs; or such Social Thinkers like Karl Marx whose effort was for the greater good of all humanity? Can these be denied to us, to History and posterity because they are of Jewish Birth? This is even before we equate ourselves with the litmus test of those Musicians and Composers who are of the Jewish Faith! Can we allow hatreds to prosper at the cost to the Culturisation all of humanity? Hatred is such a brutal term for what is unacceptable in People and is often misspelled as intolerant! The mere distinction given to the word implies a knowledge way and beyond what we could possibly realise about those we supposedly despise! That we very rarely know or are even aware of such a hate or of its manifestations, this has its own concerns! Similarly, as Erwin Schultz, who as head of Einsatzkommando 5 points out to those who use a compliance with higher authority, should not negate any move from Moral or Ethical efficacy! The supposed repercussions for refusing to act in a contrary manner to Hitler's demand, did not entail any severe measure, punitive or otherwise.
"..I do not know of or recall any order that stated that SS chiefs or members of ..SD or ..police would be sent to Concentration Camps if they refused to carry out an order. I also never heard of such an order during ..course of conversations I had on ..subject or indeed from rumours." SS Brigadefuhrer Erwin Schultz.
So it is clear! The choices made by those who acted to deliver for Hitler his Final Solution, resolved to do so. That they laid aside their conscience in the manner of the Destruction of innocent people, especially the Jewish People is evidenced throughout The Holocaust. To the tolerant, it is merely intolerable to not accept those we see or hear as somehow different to us! Take our love of Music as that prime example! How often do we need to hear from those whose hatred of this or that type of Music, or even a loathing for an entire genre of Music, before we realise that they have little perception as to what that expression of hatred means or entails. The haters do not own the wherewithal let alone the ability to discern taste in music, what chance do they then have of articulating their dissent of any Human Being? While taste is a subjective view point, Musical appreciation, which emerges from a mixed fusion of so many influences, cannot lessen our Musical experience objectively. For Hitler during his reign though, not only did he seek to curtail all Musical appreciation, he assuredly sought to destroy the very People whose essence of that Music had - and has - influenced so many of us. As with his own supposed ideology, Hitler then sought to secure the destruction of the very evidence of his Final Solution. For that he engaged the services of the Murderer of Babi Yar. Such was the clamour to conceal the deviant nature of his crime, Hitler set about to ensure that any awareness of the Catastrophe would be limited simply to those who spoke about it in hushed and whispered terms.
"..from June 1941 to January 1942 ..I was ..Commander of Sonderkommando 4 A. ..June 1942 ..entrusted by Gruppenfuhrer Mueller with ..task ..obliterating ..traces ..executions carried out by ..Einsatzgruppe ..East. ..orders ..report in person to ..commanders of ..Security Police ..SD ..pass on Mueller's orders verbally ..supervise ..implementation. ..order ..top secret ..there was to be no correspondence in connection with ..task. ..September 1942 ..reported to Dr. Thomas ..Kiev ..passed ..order ..to him. ..May ..June 1943 ..made additional trips to Kiev ..after conversations with Dr. Thomas and ..SS Police Leader Hennecke ..order was carried out. During ..visit ..August ..observed ..burning of bodies in ..mass grave near Kiev. ..grave was about 55 meters long ..3 meters wide and 2.5 meters deep. ..top ..removed ..bodies ..covered with inflammable material ..ignited. ..about two days until ..grave burned ..to ..bottom. ..grave was filled in ..traces ..practically obliterated. Owing to ..moving up of ..front ..not possible to destroy ..mass graves further south and east which had resulted from executions by ..Einsatzgruppe. ..my orders ..should have extended ..duties over ..entire area occupied by ..Einsatzgruppe ..owing to ..retreat from Russia ..could not carry out my orders completely." SS Standartenfuhrer Paul Blobel.
All diversity, in any sphere of influence is to be welcomed by all those who seek to appreciate and understand what it is that makes us unique! For want of any acceptance of a derogatory, narrow or even an inhumane response to what we personally find acceptable, are we then to adopt those very choices that are to be imposed upon us? When Jewish composers were banned from German auditoriums, when the influence of Jewish Music was to be labelled subversive, where it was suggested it could be tainted, when Germans were to be ignore its prominance, was the Music of Tchaikovsky, Mendelsohn or Mahler no longer a viable, vibrant, credible expression of brilliance? Music can not only enthuse, it can relax and infuse us with an appreciation of the culture it brings. Garnered from the widest spectrum of musical genre's, we entered a realm of appreciation not widely open to us before the advent of radio. When someone comes along and decides for us what Music it is we should be heeding and therefore, what Music we are restricted to listening to, are we then to be subjected to an even worse than artistic destruction? Perhaps the Destruction of an innocent People!
"..I was in Berlin at that time and saw some pretty revolting sights ..destruction of Jewish shops ..Jews being arrested and led away ..police standing by while ..gangs destroyed ..shops ..even groups of well dressed women cheering. Maybe those women had a hangover next morning ..as they were intoxicated all right when this was taking place. I found it ..utterly revolting. In fact to a German journalist who saw me on that day and asked me what I was doing there ..I remember I just said very coldly ..I'm studying German culture." Hugh Greene.
It might amaze the World to know, that while Germany has sought to come to terms with what has been done during The Holocaust period, and in its name, it pays pensions to many who Perpetrated those very crimes that they would personally denounce as both barbaric and inhuman! But what has been written for the German people through suggestion, that they did not know about the emerging detail of The Holocaust, is a catalogue of deceit which pronounces a denial that has little regret nor any remorse. That all the German people knew nothing of the emergence of The Holocaust is just as unlikely as all the German people knowing everything of the terms of Hitler's Final Solution. But what cannot EVER be disputed is, that there cannot be one of those German people subjected to Hitler's Reich, who could attest that they simply knew nothing at all of what was happening to the Jewish People. That is true for German's living in Germany, invading Europe or establishing the Killing Grounds to the East. That the castigation, the assault, the incarceration, the disappearance and the Destruction of The Jews of Europe was invested with a German presence should be acknowledged with an awareness of the evidence this provides.
"..Before ..Jews undressed Oberscharfuhrer Hermann Michel deputy commander of ..camp made ..speech to them. On these occasions ..used to wear ..white coat to give ..impression ..he was a physician. Michel announced to ..Jews ..they would be sent to work. ..they would have to take baths ..undergo disinfection. After undressing ..Jews ..taken through ..Schlauch. ..led to ..gas chambers ..Ukrainians. After ..Jews entered ..gas chambers ..Ukrainians closed ..doors. ..motor which supplied ..gas was switched on by a Ukrainian called Emil and by a German driver called Erich Bauer from Berlin. After ..gassing ..doors were opened ..corpses ..removed by Jewish workers. " SS Oberscharfuhrer Kurt Bolender.
What those Germans knew, with the evidence that was finally delivered to Hitler's Reich, this all emerged as an executive position within The Wannsee Conference. The forthcoming Protocol was discharged down the line of command and within their own particular sphere of influences and then onto a broader German public for gestation and continuance. It is certain, that while Hitler called for the Destruction of some 11,293,300 Jews of Europe, and with 6,000,000 of that total fully Destroyed as the precepts of die Endlosung der Judenfrage demanded, 5,293,300 Jews of Europe emerged after Hitler's defeat in World War II. This eventual figure, as a challenge to Hitler's very personal, despicable and inhuman demands, makes Hitler's ultimate aim, though complete in all too many ways, a defeat in terms of its conclusion. Though 6,000,000 Jews are never to be an acceptable Fact of that failure, it is recognised none the less in a statistical anaysis, that Hitler achieved most of what he had resolved to accomplish. The analysis, which must not count as more than the Human cost it tragically amounts to, presents us with a challenge to decipher, not just Hitler's intention, but his achievement. It is essential too that as we measure the depths to which Germany and the German people sank toward, a General of the Reich can deliver his own assessment of how deeply that atrocity brought all of Germany.
"..If you were to ask me ..have we deserved victory ..I should say ..no ..not after what we've done. ..amount of human blood we've shed knowingly and as a result of our delusions and also partly instigated by ..lust of blood ..I now realize we've deserved defeat ..we've deserved our fate ..accusing myself as well." Major General Johannes Bruhn.
As we wage a continued effort to confront denial, we assess that even the most ardent denier of The Holocaust is not stupid enough to believe their own lies. The denier simply works upon the premise that there are those, gullible, ill informed, incredulous or even ashamed of the Fact that it indeed happened. The shame of Humanity is written into that particular concord which Hitler delivered to the World. But it is to the Jewish People, who succumbed to every known trickery and deceit, that We owe our deepest apology! For what happened, for what was allowed to happen and for the rancid hatred the Jews of Europe felt, how could we ever apologise enough! It is to be recognised also, that an epitaph to the terms of The Holocaust is rebounding upon civilisation to this day. Germany fully knows and appreciates the weight of that burden and it is shouldering its immense responsibility with a renewed sense of purpose. Few ever owned up to the responsibility necessary for that decline in Humanity that has suffered along with Hitler's resolve. There were those of course who saw the solution as method of personal enrichment. Also, as an opportunity to impress upon their masters, that though they remained hard, determined and convinced of Hitler's position with regards to the Jews, they themselves sought to have those orders confirmed, and in written form!
"..Generalkommissar for Byelorussia To: Reichskommissar for Ostland I wish to ask you personally for an official directive for the conduct of the civilian administration towards the Jews deported from Germany to Byelorussia. Among these Jews are men who fought at the Front and have the Iron Cross, First and Second Class, war invalids, half-Aryans, even three- quarter Aryans. These Jews will probably freeze or starve to death in the coming weeks. ..On my own responsibility I will not give the SD any instructions with regard to the treatment of these people. I am certainly a hard [man] and willing to help solve the Jewish question, but people who come from our own cultural sphere just are not the same as the brutish hordes in this place. Is the slaughter to be carried out by the Lithuanians and Letts, who are themselves rejected by the population here? I couldn't do it. I beg you to give clear directives [in this matter,] with due consideration for the good name of our Reich and our Party, in order that the necessary action can be taken in the most humane manner. Heil Hitler! Wilhelm Kube."
There is this sheer weight, an inability to comprehend or even appreciate the full extent of the suffering of the Jewish People during The Holocaust. It is an enormous burden which all of Humanity must shoulder in order for us to retrieve what has been lost in terms of what civilises us. What has been achieved, thus far, does not remotely approach what is required to appreciate the monstrous scale of the atrocity. Nor does it belay the implications this has for the future of all Humanity. No amount of study nor research will bring us close to how far Humanity fell. How can we understand such a fall from grace when such was the depth of depravity measured, that civilisation sought to term that descent with a name. We have Raphael Lemkin to afford to the World that name and it is an accusation which resides in a simple term, Genocide. There will, as there have already been, future genocides after The Holocaust. But one abiding reference point to all that History will acclaim as we reach newer and more imminent Genocides, is The Holocaust. The Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe serves as an horrendous precedent. Jewish Men, Women and Their Children were systematically sought out and Murdered. That Fact is to be our abiding legacy and it is as legitimate an allegation as it is an illegitimate response to Civilisation, Humanity and the essential need of Tolerance. Tolerance of the individual, that should reside in each of us was vacated on a grand scale to deliver that final resolve to The Jewish People. Perhaps the authoritative word should emanate from one of Hitler's Murderers! Ohlendorf, whose calm, collected and dispassionate assessment is in stark relief to the Humanitarian concern that is so lacking of these individuals, that they are the product of a devalued Humanity!
"..men ..women and children were brought to a place of execution which was generally sited close to deepened antitank ditches. They were then shot ..kneeling or standing, and ..bodies thrown into ..pit. I at no time permitted any individual to fire ..but instructed a number of persons to shoot simultaneously, so as to avoid any direct personal responsibility. ..officers in charge of ..units or other designated persons had to fire a final shot at ..victims who were not yet dead. ..At ..beginning of 1942 ..Head of ..Security Police and ..SD sent us gas vans from Berlin. ..Whenever a unit had rounded up a sufficient number of victims ..vans were dispatched for ..extermination. We stationed these vans near ..transit camps where ..victims were assembled. ..victims were told that they were to be moved and must enter ..vans for this purpose. ..doors were then closed and ..gas flowed in through pipes. ..victims died within 10-15 minutes. ..vans were then driven to ..burial site ..where ..bodies were extracted and buried." SS Gruppenfuhrer Otto Ohlendorf.