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)

Empathy in Holocaust Terms.

ReflectionsPosted by P.A. Draigh Sat, February 10, 2018 13:33:59

Empathy in Holocaust terms.

Words are so often misused and the art of the Historian, who is considered expert when, in the delivery of the science of History, presents his words empathetically and is sympathetic to the relationship of delivery. Empathy is one such word which when delivered with truth, honesty and with its integrity intact will deliver posthumously for 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, a remembrance they deserve. That said, the historian is at times dispassionate and also somewhat aloof from the turmoil that has to be presented. A student of their chosen field which they have sought to be recognised historically, and one which is related to an observance of the very parameters and the essential constructs to be searched and researched, is a sort after disciple. The vital ingredient of that scholarly effort is for me the blending of the period of my concern, through which but a tiny fragment of a time, in which the most immense crime ever staged and committed against any within Humanity has been titled The Holocaust. This is both a murderous theme and shocking.

The term, The Holocaust has in itself an immense and emotional propensity to shock and make anxious those whose steely determination remains proportionate to the demands fencing in the promoting of the bare facts. The honest truth and knowledge that is to be gained from the broadest spectrum of testimony and evidential awareness, is sacrosanct. The duration of this tragedy, where murder was commonplace, where destruction was a daily occurrence and the Jews of Europe were treated terminally, is now eternal in our recollection. The chronological order terrorising Jews, and others, ranged the entire period of Hitler's rise to power and his demise, barely 13 years. We therefore place on record all evidences which ensure the integrity of that very testimony as it verifies and confirms the account explored. Almost complete analysis of the period has delivered an essential archive of intimate accounts which all feature in accusing the most horrendous criminals of the most appalling crimes ever committed against innocent People for being Jewish. An old saying that measures the capacity to disenfranchise people in the legislative procedure, and that would:

'drive a Horse and Carriage'

through its effort to act judicially, do so as it fails its People. In Poland, such is the sheer lack of empathy toward its own Murdered Jewish Community that the government of Poland is representing its own feelings too ably and has enacted this:

"..Whoever publicly and untruthfully assigns responsibility or co-responsibility to ..Polish nation or ..Polish state for Nazi crimes committed by ..Third German Reich or for other crimes constituting crimes against peace ..crimes against humanity ..or war crimes ..or in some other way markedly diminishes ..responsibility of ..true perpetrators of these crimes is subject to a fine or imprisonment for up to 3 years."

Firstly! The Holocaust Murder of 6,000,000 Jewish People is a wholly constructed Hitlerite rage and plan. However, whoever participated, perpetrated or otherwise assisted Hitler's efforts, are also guilty in the most heinous series of crimes ever imaginable in All of History. That Hitler's intention for The Final Solution to the Jewish Question cannot disavow anyone of their moral responsibility to object to such tenets as are criminally reprehensible, is accountable to Human civilisation. Those coerced to act unlawfully are fully complicit in the crimes they undertake. In Poland that is equally true. Where once the refrain of Judaism was an acculturated, learned and essential Literature of words and tales, and all through the Century’s, the echoes once absorbing the Hassidim was poetic with religious propensity, while lyrical and well versed in its content. This has all but disappeared. The essence of Jewish learning was practically eliminated as Hitler’s legions drove a disgruntled discourse through all the civilising influences of both Judaism and Western culture.

Where once the Poem and the Poet were equally matched, the subsiding influence of poetry has not been awakened to any large degree by 6,000,000 Jewish losses. Though invariably, there are those whose proponent parts are both featured lyrically and empathetically and equally versed and directed toward all that has been lost to us, we are still absent of so much. Both in the Literal and Literary sense, the World has come to recognise much of what is now missing. From the lines and stanzas of words that have a now distant and hollow echo from lives taken, lives discarded and oh too many of them destroyed as we look to the detail and scraps of evidence of a past that lay destroyed. Yet in our midst the discord is largely unrecorded. Perhaps the poem which shaped my interest, which brought down borders in Jewish Literary matters, as they clearly relate to The Holocaust, is Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s phenomenal work on Babi Yar.

Babi-Yar

No monument stands over Babi-Yar. It seems to me that I am Anna Frank,

A steep cliff only, like the rudest headstone. Transparent, as the thinnest branch in April,

I am afraid. And I'm in love, and have no need of phrases,

Today, I am as old But only that we gaze into each other's eyes.

As the entire Jewish race itself. How little one can see, or even sense!

Leaves are forbidden, so is sky,

I see myself an ancient Israelite. But much is still allowed -very gently

I wander o'er the roads of ancient Egypt In darkened rooms each other to embrace.

And here, upon the cross, I perish, tortured

And even now, I bear the marks of nails. They come!

No, fear not those are sounds

It seems to me that Dreyfus is myself. Of spring itself.

The Philistines betrayed me - and now judge. She's coming soon.

I'm in a cage. Surrounded and trapped, Quickly, your lips!

I'm persecuted, spat on, slandered, and They break the door!

The dainty dollies in their Brussels frills No, river ice is breaking.

Squeal, as they stab umbrellas at my face.

Wild grasses rustle over Babi-Yar,

I see myself a boy in Belostok The trees look sternly, as if passing judgement.

Blood spills, and runs upon the floors, Here, silently, all screams, and, hat in hand,

The chiefs of bar and pub rage unimpeded I feel my hair changing shade to gray.

And reek of vodka and of onion, half and half.

And I myself, like one long soundless scream

I'm thrown back by a boot, I have no strength left, Above the thousands of thousands interred,

In vain I beg the rabble of pogrom, I'm every old man executed here,

To jeers of "Kill the Jews, and save our Russia! As I am every child murdered here.

My mother's being beaten by a clerk.

No fiber of my body will forget this.

O, Russia of my heart, I know that you May Internationale thunder and ring

Are international, by inner nature. When, for all time, is buried and forgotten

But often those whose hands are steeped in filth The last of antisemites on this earth.

Abused your purest name, in name of hatred.

There is no Jewish blood that's blood of mine,

I know the kindness of my native land. But, hated with a passion that's corrosive

How vile, that without the slightest quiver Am I by antisemites like a Jew.

The antisemites have proclaimed themselves And that is why I call myself a Russian!

The Union of the Russian People!" Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

(Yevgeny Yevtushenk, if we are to Remember him best is a Russian who witnessed the iniquity in the failed acknowledgement that Babi-Yar was, then we recognise with him THE most single and barbarous atrocity for the Jewish People within their Holocaust. This will be reflected and it should be with his words that: "..Poetry is like a bird ..it ignores all frontiers." Yevgeny Yevtushenko.)

I also included this entire Poem in my Book Babi Yar - A Jewish Catastrophe in an effort to share with the reader the distance we have travelled from Yevgeny’s acknowledgement of the catastrophe. When we first sought to ignore, when we thought to forget or when there was an emerging attempt to dismiss the Jewish presence in The Holocaust, few chose to adjust the overall imbalance. As to where acknowledgement is grudgingly given, and still to this day that is so, we look for many ways to heighten the concern we all must have for what 6,000,000 should not have been forced to endure. That said, there are enough people in this world who would not credit the Jews with anything, let alone a life worthy of living. For Jews, filled with fear, sheltering from the threat of abuse or assigned a fate they will not choose, we must come to the fore to resist the tide of an historical hatred that has been rendered illegitimate. Any categorical excuse to rail against the individual must be seen for its inadequacy, and on out part, an intolerable indictment of our past indifference.

Shipment to Maidanek. (Majdanek)

Arrived from scattered cities, several lands,

intact from sea land, mountain land, and plain,

Item: six surgeons, slightly mangled hands,

Item: three poets, hopelessly insane,

Item: a Russian mother and her child,

the former with five gold teeth and usable shoes,

the latter with seven dresses, peasant-styled.

Item: another hundred thousand Jews.

Item: a crippled Czech with a handmade crutch.

Item: a Spaniard with a subversive laugh;

seventeen dozen Danes, nine gross of Dutch.

Total: precisely a million and a half.

They are sorted and marked – the method is up to you.

The books must be balanced, the disposition stated.

Take care that all accounts are neat and true.

Make sure that they are thoroughly cremated." Ephraim Fogel.

(Ephraim Fogel Escaped from Russia in the 1920’s and has been assigned a literary attribute shared here. He served in US Army from 1942 - 1946)

For me though, and I tire endlessly at the concept of a Jew judging incorrectly a fellow Jew who had but x2 choices in the midst of Hitler’s Holocaust, to die or to live long enough to die later. I will not denigrate the memory of anyone who saved a single Jew, let alone anyone who saved Jews residing in their darkest hours and so saving 100’s or even 1,000’s. I do not understand, when there are already so many non-Jews wishing to curse the memory of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, why should any Jew allow for some personal enmity to gift further the rancid nature of antisemitic hatred. The purveyor’s of such a hatred do not need any assistance from anyone else, least of all from any Jews who do not see the Universe that was saved, and in its entirety. And as it was saved from certain annihilation, we must explore the reaches of those lost to us who have but a simple message added to our cause Always to Remember, Never to Forget.

Smoke Rose

"..Smoke

rose

in the garden

God watched

from above,

and fear walked

in the cool

of the day." Itamar Yaoz-Kest.

(Itmar Yaoz-Kest is a Hungarian Survivor and his amble through Belsen is a reminder that so much Smoke consumed so much Jewish Humanity, that we are ill advised to forget.)

It is essential we recognise that while Ephraim Fogel was one such Poet who managed to offer us an insight into one of Hitler’s x6 Death Camps, established by Hitler in German occupied Poland, many other’s are exploring the reaches just outside the Destructive process. Then when we think of the range of emotion which might encompass shame, guilt and grief, and I have before me more than 500,000 pages filled with words which exemplify all of these monuments to inhumanity, I search for other’s who will qualify their meaning. I have no idea what it must be to be a Jew, but I can imagine it takes an extraordinary Human Being to see much in Humanity that still exists after what we allowed to happen to 6,000,000 of their People. Now I might just have you consider why I feel guilt at all about something which happened decades before I was born. But Humanity does not allow for us to ignore what was done to a People simply because we were not born, or we were actually alive though remote from the perpetration. Perhaps even, we remained absent and outside of the very detail of the atrocity seeking to look in to expand our knowledge of such hatred. We each have Parents, Grandparents and some lucky enough to have Great Grandparents, and their past actions have so shaped and influenced how we adjust and perceive our own life, continually attached to the rest of all Humanity. For many German’s, they have but an inkling of what their own lineage achieved in adopting Hitler’s principle to Mass Murder the Jews, and any other’s he might have taken a dislike to.

Could Have

It could have happened.

It had to happen.

It happened earlier. Later.

Nearer. Farther off.

It happened, but not to you.

You were saved because you were the first.

You were saved because you were the last.

Alone. With others.

On the right. The left.

Because it was raining. Because of the shade.

Because the day was sunny.

You were in luck -- there was a forest.

You were in luck -- there were no trees.

You were in luck -- a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,

A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . . .

So you're here? Still dizzy from

another dodge, close shave, reprieve?

One hole in the net and you slipped through?

I couldn't be more shocked or

speechless.

Listen,

how your heart pounds inside me." Wislawa Szymborska.

(Wislawa Szymborska was born in Poland in 1923 and is a Nobel Prize winner for her Literature.)

Hitler was not an empathetic person, had no sympathy for Humanity and raged against common decency on every level. That said, the Jew knows what happened to 6,000,000 of their People. The Jew knows what we allowed to happen to 6,000,000 of their People. The collective guilt of a so called ‘christian’ founded resentment, a deep seated hatred and an eventual willingness to Slaughter these 6,000,000 Jews, throws up far too many questions than those answers which are both necessary to comprehension and acknowledgement. The human World threw its allegiance behind a series of hatred’s that have permeated the Historical arena for more than 2,000 years and has allowed states to disrupt, disregard and destroy the Jewish People at no seeming cost to their own moral nor ethical countenance. Here, and while we deal in huge numbers, statistics can never be a correct format for what is a very Human loss of People, and is a loss too to the rest of Humanity. Nor can such mathematical statements or formulae become the arbiter of a human atrocity so enormous, we have difficulty imagining its terrifying ordeal.

Psalm

No one kneads us again from earth and loam,

no one evokes our dust.

No one.

Praised be you, no one.

Because of you we wish

to bloom.

Against

you.

A nothing

were we, are we, will

we be, blossoming:

the nothing's-, the no ones rose.

With

its pistil soul bright,

its stamen heaven crazed,

its crown red

from the purple word that we sang

over, o over

its thorn. Paul Celan.

(Paul Celan was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina in 1920. In 1942 Paul saw his parents deported to Auschwitz. He survived The Holocaust confined to many camps but Paul never truly recovered from the losses. He committed suicide in 1970.)

Significantly, The Holocaust term has been borne on the mantle of Historical account to not only contain this emphasis for loss but to curtail a devastation which would damn all too much of human civilisation. 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of Europe are such an atrocity, which must audibly resonate with accusation and a measure of empathetic sympathy for a beleaguered and brutally destroyed community, that we should all we hear its call from the distance and pain so many People were forced to endure. The atrocity itself cannot be judged with such terms as would allow for the human enormity of the annihilation of a People. Moreover, and simply because they were Jewish People, we cannot allow for this to become deflecting from the fullest human dimension of loss. Indeed, how can any mathematical dissertation convey the terror and horror fully experienced by 6,000,000 Murdered Human Beings. How then can we redefine our own humanity on the basis of this severing of any cultural, ethical or moral probity which had supposedly established our former civilisation. Had we too been given no manner of choice would we too have been guillotined from existence. Perhaps, just perhaps, as non-Jews we would have been more favourably treated and then eternally rewarded in more favourable terms as to how we are to be remembered.

"..Had I died when I had no choice it would not have allowed others freely to cease my existence. No one has ..right to select inappropriate timing for me to leave my life behind. Perhaps this is childish foolishness but now I will not be allowed to progress beyond ..not yet Adult fool I might have planned to be." Anonymous.

(Anonymous and from the depths of The Holocaust).

Remembering that with such a measured and constructed intolerance, 6,000,000 Jews were allowed to be Slaughtered with little protest from the World standing along the ridges of total indifference. I look constantly for what might inspire those others of us to begin their own recollection and connection with these, the Jews who are The Holocaust. We gaze either willingly or not on a past we have yet to comprehend fully. From that period there was a poetry which has become an undernourished medium as it presents itself to us today. But in the midst of an approaching doom, and as the terms of The Holocaust escalated, adding words to those messages we were to inherit, this has motivated so many conflicted and endangered Jews to add in prose, the lessons we have yet to fully contend with. We have been given all too many graven images and these attack our conscience and conscious reckoning. With words which once flourished, mighty tomes have been consigned to the same abandoned ash which was a formerly a representative body of 6,000,000 Jewish People. But we have many examples of the style and emphasis placed in words to come from beyond their grave to consult our impression of the deepest rift ever to refute humanity itself.

"..We have to be tolerant. I don't care if you're Catholic ..Muslim or something else ..as long as you're a decent human being. That's really what it is." Alexander Kimel.

(Alexander Kimel was born in Podhaje, Galicia and lived in Ghetto of Rohatyn, where some 9,900 of the 10,000 Ghetto Jews were Murdered. Alexander escaped May 1943 and is a Survivor.)

In essence, the usage of words to promote tolerance has been largely conducted through Books, forgotten statements and simple pamphlets wishing to inform us. With poems that are so well measured and offering such a depth perception, we have largely failed to study them. They have become the lexicon of abbreviated cries, shrieks of despair all detailing the abandonment of a People on the cusp of a faltering society unwilling to protect them. Meanwhile, it is essential to identify the ownership of a work quoted so we know who delivers them to us. It is also important for me to recognise that in the depths of The Holocaust, identity was meant to be shredded alongside those Jews to be physically destroyed. Usually, and in the midst of societies all too willing to look the other way, words were constructed in defiance to such an intolerable indifference. Here, in this use of words to describe the atrocity, and I am not an advocate of Poetry as such, but merely as their usage of the words used to convey the factual truth we have sought, we come to recognise an epoch altering atrocity. The carefully scaled words, while they balance our appreciation of the lengths to which so many went to, to deliver us the example we clearly have not awoken to, we grasp an urgency which was limiting in the context of time that was being denied to all these Jewish People.

There is a Last, Solitary Coach.

There is a last, solitary coach about to leave.

Let us get in and go.

For it won't wait.

I have seen young girls going softly

With sad faces

That looked ashamed and sorry

Like purple sunsets.

And chubby, pink children

Who went simply

Because they were called.

And I've seen men

Who stepped proud and straight through the world's streets,

Whose large eyes went ranging

Far and wide,

They too got in calmly

And left.

And we are the last.

Day is declining.

The last, solitary coach is about to leave.

Let us too get in quietly

And go,

For it won't wait. David Vogel.

(David Vogel was a Russian Jew taken in 1944 and Murdered somewhere?)

One of my all time favourite songs, and music is both a simple pleasure and a much needed resort in the midst of the turmoil, has to be Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones. But, it is with the words which engaged me so many years before I lasted onto The Holocaust, that I learned from sympathy that empathy escalates us toward awakenings as better beings of human stature. I learned candidly from lyrics that we can make bold statements and when we state the things that matter, we can articulate all manner of concerns. At the time of my awakening to the loss of 6,000,000 People, and as I so often digested words to find their meaning, I did not realise I would find World War II and The Holocaust as a refrain that entered my head with this song. But, and my resolution to affix some form of literary concern to such an enormous Tragedy, Catastrophe and Atrocity did emerge. Those initial struggles with words allowed for an empathy that was guided toward an annihilated Jewish People. I found a solid grounding and from which I have layered this platform of mine with the words that would devour so meanings, 6,000,000 reasons await some form of resonance with the horrible details still to emerge.

"..I rode a tank

Held a General's rank

When ..Blitzkrieg raged

And ..bodies stank." The Rolling Stones.

However, there is a truth to be had in that all Roads do lead in the one direction and nominally, this is to the place we wish to be. Again, and while this might sound like an opportunity to direct myself toward those words which have become meaningful to me, and they are and they do, they just might inspire the definitive direction for others. This route, which I have traversed now for more than x20 years does not letup as I seek future comprehension from an immeasurable conflict with an immensely detailed narrative view. Pleased to meet you (was said), (with a) Hope that you guess my name. But what's puzzling you, is the nature of my game and that particular game has more than 1,500,000 Jewish Children’s souls amongst these 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of Europe, who are literally far too anonymous to History. In these first few words are the lyrics to a song I have devoured time and time again and long before I knew much of The Holocaust term, let alone the very detail aspects of its atrocity, Music so consoled my soul and filled my heart with measures of meaning. I have had my senses so warmed, they remain my release from the troublesome detail of atrocity which spared not one single Jews, but consumed 6,000,000 of them anyway.

Race.

When I returned to my home town

believing that no one would care

who I was and what I thought

it was as if the people caught

an echo of me everywhere

they knew my story by my face

and I who am always alone

became a symbol of my race

Like every living Jew I have

in imagination seen

the gas-chamber the mass-grave

the unknown body which was mine

and found in every German face

behind the mask the mark of Cain

I will not make their thoughts my own

by hating people for their race. Karen Gershon.

(Karen Gershon escaped The Holocaust on the Kindertransport while her Parents, deported to Riga did not.)

The strains of riffs and themes of music so touched my heart like so much poetry and as poetry still resonates with literary minded people, its eloquence has so ensnared me. For their effort, I can use words lyrically to share my concerns and with a passion for their usage. Here, poetry is far too often all we have left of so many, wholly consumed within the atrocity. Now that I seek their words to define, and it is their absence from us which needs defining, I reconnect somehow with their past. In words which might not seem like they factually accumulate the despairing horror that is every day encountered, a poet can so often give their finer words to share a scene which could all too easily pass us by. What words may choose to devastate us must be sought out of the carnage of hate we now wish to confront. But we escape the language of confrontation and know their indelible process has been weighed down with such an immense horror, how are we to describe what we consider must have been truly terrifying. Life does not offer us too many glimpses into a past so riven with despair, that the sheer atrocity would seek to consume us too if we did not have historical distance to qualify us for our present day travails.

"..driving of women ..children into ..marshes did not have ..expected success ..marshes ..not so deep ..one could sink. After ..meter ..solid ground. ..Ukrainian clergy ..very co-operative and ..available for every Aktion. ..population ..on good terms with ..Jewish sector of ..population. Nevertheless ..helped energetically in rounding up ..Jews. ..locally recruited guards ..Polish police ..former Polish soldiers ..made a good impression. ..total number ..shot by ..Mounted Units ..6,526." SS Sturmbannfuhrer Franz Magill.

(Franz Magill led a troop of the Dirlewanger brigade)

We cannot look upon accounts of such atrocity without the feeling of shame which must have been so missing from those whose empathy was kept secreted deeper inside them than should be humanly possible. But here, we merely dip our toe into the swelter of words whose poisoning influence must become adapted to ensure the positive lessons which tolerance must give. This is the essence in which empathy strikes at the core of all belief systems and clearly manifests itself in the detail which has grown to shock, frighten and scare humanity. But clearly the world is not shocked enough as there are many who will now defend the indifferent attitude of their nations during the most horrendous period in all history. The Holocaust Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe has no humanitarian borders but exists within the psyche of who we are and who we wish to be. Worryingly too, especially in a country like Poland, where 3,000,000 of its own Citizens were butchered because they were Jews, some seek to shift responsibility and apportion blame onto some others. Though notably guilty of many crimes, these others, be they Estonian, French, Latvian, Lithuanian or Ukrainian, all are equally as guilty as any Pole who divested themselves of any moral probity in their conduct toward their fellows, who just happened to have been Jews.

"..Reminiscences make a sad ..depressing literature." Januscz Korczak.

(Januscz Korczak was born in Warsaw. Renowned the World over for his refusal to abandon His 200 charges, the Children from the orphanage to Treblinka. On August 6th. 1942 Korczak, with Stefania Wilczynska, Broniatowska and Sternfeld leading x4 Columns of Children left their sanctuary at 16 Sienna Street, their fate sealed.)

This sought out effort to ensure the light of reminiscence by some is cast aside in order to ensure the deeds of some former nationals do not shine brightly upon the truth of the many forms of collaboration, does not abrogate any responsibility. This process of shifting blame is seemingly their sought after deflection in order to negate the obvious collusion and collaboration by some of their own nations with these deeds of Hitler and his cronies. It is possible, with recalling here what Januscz Korczak reflects upon, and in fully reminiscing their loss, we have too detailed an atrocity to make it at all palatable to accept when far too many had a responsibility for the constituting effects of the overall atrocity. This means also that any form of denial by any who might have constituted a guilt for the atrocity’s perpetration, must be questionable. Those aligned with the gravest intolerance’s toward their Jewish Neighbours, or were merely effortless in the seeming indifference they had shown to the destruction of the Jews, cannot be tolerable. All of these effects, which was so obviously being undertaken, belongs to those nations and their nationals who assisted, aided, abetted or helped in destroying a fully fledged humanity designed in Jewish attire.

Their shouts do not greet us.

We stare at long lost moments

Shuffle forth to meet despair.

There the angry crowd awaits

A doom ridden line of hope.

Their shouts do not greet us

No welcome echoes forth.

I see many amongst us

From vast times gone by.

Adhering to shrieking demands

We settle to a controlled sway.

Edging further from all we knew

Children so much closer to an unknown e.." Anonymous.

(Anonymous and unfinished from the depths of The Holocaust)

Here, as the political emphasis after this, a Second World War sought to assuage so much guilt and secrete all too much of the atrocity, the 'general's of rank', the politicians of measure and the people of consequence all emerged unscathed from what they knew of the more than 1,250,000 shot Jewish bodies, which must have stank as they sank into shallow holes and hideaways. This does not even meet the criteria to be attached to those who continued daily life outside the gates of Auschwitz, Belzec, Birkenau, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka. For me, as I stood in each of these Death Camps, fully established by Hitler in German occupied Poland, I too wonder, who could not know, who could not hear, who could not see and who could not have smelled the atrocity of so much burning flesh. In these x6 Death Camps alone, there were in excess of 4,000,000 Jews Murdered, interred, disinterred and cremated. The approved essential to disinter and then cremate what remained of such an atrocity must have appeared before countless German general's who had been witnesses to the imaginable destruction they endorsed with their culpable silence. This truth does not belong to the integrity of a song either, but to the failings of History to stand squarely in favour of a justice for 6,000,000 Murdered Jews.

"..My mother survives in hiding and ..4 months before liberation she is turned over to ..Germans by a local Polish farmer. She is tied to a wagon and brought into town to ..German Gestapo ..and is shot in ..town cemetery." Aaron E.

So as not to be lost in translation I copied both versions of Pavel's Butterfly. The synthesis of the work is hardly disturbed and it is little consolation knowing the outcome of what awaited Pavel, whose Butterfly might easily have translated equally plausibly within Birkenau. What continually confronts us today is not just in the search of so missing a sympathy for what approached, what emerged and what destroyed 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, but the enormous shortage of empathy left reeling in its terrifying wake. Not that all concerned have failed to acknowledge The Holocaust is all a part of all human responsibility. But the distancing from its occurrence has a gained momentum and a blame culture which seeks to somehow exorcise certain national guilt’s. We are aware that for so long Germans placed their own guilt and its onus, on those fringe elements of German society, Gestapo and all too many rogue SS units.

The Butterfly.

He was the last. Truly the last.

Such yellowness was bitter and blinding

Like the sun’s tear shattered on stone.

That was his true colour.

And how easily he climbed, and how high,

Certainly, climbing, he wanted

To kiss the last of my world.

I have been here seven weeks,

‘Ghettoized’.

Who loved me have found me,

Daisies call to me,

And the branches also of the white chestnut in the yard.

But I haven’t seen a butterfly here.

That last one was the last one.

There are no butterflies, here, in the ghetto. Pavel Friedmann.

(Pavel Friedman was a 19 year old taken from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on September 29th. 1944 and Murdered there.)

From here there is a process forward to where we attempt to link the atrocity to those who perpetrated the deed, but also to those whose presence, observance and knowledge permeate the perimeter of this destructive process. Those like the Dirlewanger or Kaminski brigade are what criminal elements can become for the excuse of nations to hide behind. Hitler of course, so intractable and convinced all criminals would deliver him his end result, the Destruction of all Jewry. We also have come to realise that the crimes of the supposed ‘elite’ Waffen SS and even Wehrmacht troops were more deeply embedded in the atrocity than has been fairly acknowledged. Now we hear more from all too many nationals who insist it was other nations who committed the crimes and not their. Be they Polish, Latvian or Ukrainians denials, each contributed a share to the overall guilt. Truth is! While some nations were more heavily involved and colluded or were collaborative, all collusion is collaboratively wrong. Any level of cooperation given to Hitler defames the name of any societal norms which include morality and ethics. With all things considered, there has been such an inconsistent sympathy for 6,000,000 Jewish losses, and as such, their memorials appear insincere.

The Action in the Ghetto of Rohatyn. (March 1942)

Do I want to remember?

The peaceful ghetto, before the raid:

Children shaking like leaves in the wind.

Mothers searching for a piece of bread.

Shadows, on swollen legs, moving with fear.

No, I don't want to remember, but how can I forget?

Do I want to remember, the creation of hell?

The shouts of the Raiders, enjoying the hunt.

Cries of the wounded, begging for life.

Faces of mothers carved with pain.

Hiding Children, dripping with fear.

No, I don't want to remember, but how can I forget?

Do I want to remember, my fearful return?

Families vanished in the midst of the day.

The mass grave steaming with vapor of blood.

Mothers searching for children in vain.

The pain of the ghetto, cuts like a knife.

No, I don't want to remember, but how can I forget?

Do I want to remember, the wailing of the night?

The doors kicked ajar, ripped feathers floating the air.

The night scented with snow-melting blood.

While the compassionate moon, is showing the way.

For the faceless shadows, searching for kin.

No, I don't want to remember, but I cannot forget.

Do I want to remember this world upside down?

Where the departed are blessed with an instant death.

While the living condemned to a short wretched life,

And a long tortuous journey into unnamed place,

Converting Living Souls, into ashes and gas.

No. I Have to Remember and Never Let You Forget. Alexander Kimel.

(Alexander Kimel was born in Podhaje, Galicia, lived in Ghetto of Rohatyn, where some 9,900 of the 10,000 Ghetto Jews were Murdered. Escaped May 1943 and is a Survivor.)

The moral dimensions of empathy on the whole too has been inadequate in replacing the negative effects of indifference permeating the very atrocity. Far too many today now seek to dilute, dispute and downright refute the terms of reference which seek to enclose the Jews in The Holocaust. The psychological emphasis, to design a string of quotients so as to assess whether one is empathetic or not forces an emotional trait into the hands of a science which cannot fully establish the fundamental and discerning voice of Human concern. We can iterate concern. We can suggest concern but it cannot be given a number and become acceptable to the Human condition. We each display a level of sympathy, or empathy, given our own understanding of what that entails. We may well propose to engage in a remembrance of the 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of The Holocaust, seeking a sympathy to empathise with their loss.

No blade of grass

No blade of grass

That tastes so sweet.

No patch of earth more bare.

To stave off pain to our hunger

No blade of grass so filling

In the cool cold air.

As we eat our fill

The dead fill our naked space

We live if we dare. Anonymous.

(Anonymous and from the depths of The Holocaust)

In the hands of Science, a cognitive tool will discern whether we have the correct methodology required to move away from what is our own reality. The memory for The Holocaust will immerse us in a place where we attempt to connect with those who stroll a different path. There are far too many confined to shedding responsibility and attempting to disown their guilt, there is a danger of unleashing a revisionist view of all History that cannot sustain any truthful narrative. As any christian who might call this the walking in the footsteps of the fisherman, and while utilising the lessons to be learned to benefit those other than oneself, humanity flourishes. Others would simply call this religious emphasis a moral grounding, an ethical understanding and even a charitable approach! For me though, empathy comes with having a sympathetic soul and allowing that sympathy to connect with those whose feelings have been touched by trauma. Also, and for those who are disconnected from Society or just need a calming influence, we have to reach out a hand!

First They Came For The Jews

"..First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left

to speak out for me." Martin Niemoeller.

(Martin Niemoller was a German theological Minister and originally supported Hitler’s views, especially against the Jews. He served time in Both Dachau and Sachsenhausen and Dachau Concentration Camps.)

One can empathise out of concern and afford moral support for someone's wounded feelings without even knowing the impact those feelings can have upon oneself. Emotional support rendered to those at the Death of a Parent is a way toward empathising! We can certainly sympathise with those losses and then empathise for what we too will know what that loss means to fellow Human Beings. We struck a systematic chord when I knew about such losses, and it was empathetic in as much as I could imagine the loss, feel the grief and was aware of the depth of the despair. All of that was fully visited upon me, so empathy came in advance of that knowledge and I am able to reflect the horror for you is the disgust I feel for those who could do this to so many People, and simply because they were Jews. I have therefore empathised before hand, due to that appreciation of what your loss certainly is and I recognise clearly the Jewish essence of it, and as loss comes to us all, it wasn't long before my sympathy for your losses became an empathetic relevance!

How Can I see You, Love.

How can I see you, love,

Standing alone

Amid storms of grief

Without feeling my heart shake?

A deep night

Blacker than the blackness of your eyes,

Has fallen silently

On the world.

And is touching your curls.

Come,

My hand will clasp your dreaming

Hand,

And I shall lead you between the nights.

Through the pales mists of childhood,

As my father once guided me

To the house of prayer. David Vogel.

(David Vogel was a Russian Jew taken in 1944 and Murdered somewhere?)

That is why I stressed placing an emotional arm around the Survivor and the Jewish People as a whole! It was done as an understanding of what your communal need might be and as empathy is a sense of that feeling, it is in that chosen want to appreciate your overall sorrow. With 6,000,000 losses to mourn, my usage of non statistical terms, which is an understanding of the feelings you are faced with, can never replace the Human loss you face! We have a clearly defined empathy reached at as the understanding of an other's situation, placing oneself in their 'shoes'. While support is indeed a shoulder to cry on, that assist to shoulder a burden is as empathetic as it is genuine. One might not understand how a person feels but with any attempt to reach an understanding or imagine how sad or distraught a person might be is all part of an empathetic process.

"..Reformers come to a bad end. Only after their death do people see that they were right and erect monuments in their memory." Janusz Korczak.

(Januscz Korczak was born in Warsaw. Renowned the World over for his refusal to abandon His 200 charges, the Children from the orphanage to Treblinka. On August 6th. 1942 Korczak, with Stefania Wilczynska, Broniatowska and Sternfeld leading x4 Columns of Children left their sanctuary at 16 Sienna Street, their fate sealed.)

Somewhat prophetically, Janusz a reformer could not as yet foresee his role in distinguishing himself before Humanity and while it is too simplistic also to measure the effort in terms of the size of the task, 6,000,000 times over, Janusz Korczak has a measure beyond that. We might seek to follow in the steps of a giant amongst mankind, recognising that Janusz Korczak attains such an accolade. Some might consider Martin Luther King a giant amongst humanity and any attempt to appreciate what he sought to achieve or what he meant to people would stretch the emphasis of our empathetic understanding to find a relevance to The Holocaust. But great people do great things and to empathise with their failings makes the effort an ever more grandiose appreciation of the frailty we each secure in this life. Make no bones about it! We come this way but once. We touch Humanity in the blink of an eye and leave a footprint which shows us empathetic, sympathetic or one of life's drifters through the banality of existence. What you each must choose to understand becomes the effort to reach an empathy with a fellow human being!

I Believe

I believe in the sun

even when it is not shining

And I believe in love,

even when there's no one there.

And I believe in God,

even when he is silent.

I believe through any trial,

there is always a way

But sometimes in this suffering

and hopeless despair

My heart cries for shelter,

to know someone's there

But a voice rises within me, saying hold on

my child, I'll give you strength,

I'll give you hope. Just stay a little while.

I believe in the sun

even when it is not shining

And I believe in love

even when there's no one there

But I believe in God

even when he is silent

I believe through any trial

there is always a way.

May there someday be sunshine

May there someday be happiness

May there someday be love

May there someday be peace.." Anonymous.

(Anonymous and from the depths of The Holocaust. Possibly a French Jew? taken from a place of hiding in Cologne.)

We don't need cliches or terms derived from science to appreciate that the delivery of some form of sympathy ensures an empathy towards another’s struggle, and this is a given! We sympathise and express a desire to simply understand, and hence we empathise! In the grand scheme of things we are negligible unless we reach an understanding of who we are, what we are and why we are who we have become! If we take the time to understand ourselves, we can dictate that understanding so that it resonates with those around us! We have such a short time to fashion anything other than a postscript to life. I am at a cross roads in my study of The Holocaust as to whether the World just did not care enough about the Jewish People, or did not care at all that 6,000,000 of them were being ritually Slaughtered. Now I am tired of those platitudes of concern, the vagaries of which even seek to diminish the term of The Holocaust. For me, and even from those who see in some religious connotation a missing protocol for Annihilation which Hitler fully presented to the World, we should hold firmly to the term which has hosted such a deep loss, its narrative is 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, Men, Women and Their Children who are The Holocaust.

The Butterfly

The last, the very last,

So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.

Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing

against a white stone...

Such, such a yellow

Is carried lightly ‘way up high.

It went away I'm sure because it wished

to kiss the world goodbye.

For seven weeks I've lived in here,

Penned up inside this ghetto

But I have found my people here.

The dandelions call to me

And the white chestnut candles in the court.

Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.

Butterflies don't live in here,

In the ghetto. Pavel Friedmann.

(Pavel Friedman was a 19 year old taken from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on September 29th. 1944 and Murdered there.)

6,000,000 Murdered Jews have lived under the genocidal term given to them for much of what remained of Jewish Survival, and their Survival from The Holocaust regards us and that it is incumbent upon us all to retain that principle guidance in order, Always to Remember, Never to Forget. The fundamental fact of all life is surely, We arrived, We laid siege to what life offered us, We stayed a while and then We departed. We might have understood that underlying principle far better if we showed an empathy for some of those 6,000,000 Murdered Jews whose journey proved more troubled than our own! Clearly! As we are obliged to pay our own respects to those we have Loved and Lost, the Worlds Humanity must look past all pretexts to share a concern for 6,000,000 Murdered Jews. Where these Jews, who are The Holocaust, are interred, matters so often in terms of all personal and any intimate connection. Otherwise, Poland as the largest grave site for Holocaust remembrance is not merely a pilgrimage, it is a privilege to make certain the World is awake to why We must visit. Forget the territory and ignore the demeaning images of collaboration that have been presented to us. The essential in this is the memory for 6,000,000 Jews who are much lost to all who survey the carnage struck by such an intolerable hatred.

Shema

You who live secure

In your warm houses,

Who return at evening to find

Hot food and friendly faces:

Consider whether this is a man,

Who labors in the mud

Who knows no peace

Who fights for a crust of bread

Who dies at a yes or a no.

Consider whether this is a woman,

Without hair or name

With no more strength to remember

Eyes empty and womb cold

As a frog in winter.

Consider that this has been:

I commend these words to you.

Engrave them on your hearts

When you are in your house, when you walk on your way,

When you go to bed, when you rise.

Repeat them to your children.

Or may your house crumble,

Disease render you powerless,

Your offspring avert their faces from you." Primo Levi

(Primo Levi’s Shema is one of the finest poems to emerge from The Holocaust and from one of The Holocaust’s finest Writer’s. Born in Turin in 1919 he worked as an industrial Chemist prior to WWII and was detained and transported to Auschwitz. Having Survived this experience and being tormented by Survivoral guilt, he died in 1987. I do not see in what happened to him a suicide.)

Leaving aside all personal enmity, our journey from France through Poland to Russia and from Norway through Poland to Greece, 6,000,000 Murdered Jews do not expect other than our confirmation that we have made the effort to visit and Remember them. Jewish tradition holds with a simple stone as a marker that informs all others that we have been, we have acknowledged and we know the debt we owe 6,000,000 lost lives. There is ample room for 6,000,000 such stones, the achievement of which ensures, Reverence is not dealt with in any remote way. It demands effort and personal attachment, regardless of personal wishes or intentions. I visited x6 of these mass Graveyards, at Auschwitz and Birkenau, 1,100,000 or so markers required; Belzec, with 884,700 markers required; Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka and there is not enough to leave a marker sufficient in grief for 6,000,000 expectant souls. It is simple marker of respect to the memory of those who still passed this way, tortured, brutalised and murdered but in need of our Remembrance in order that they are nor Forgotten.

The Creed of a Holocaust Survivor

I do believe, with all my heart,

In the natural Goodness of Man. Despite the blood and destruction,

Brought by one man, trying to be God,

In the Goodness of Man, I do believe.

I do believe, with all my heart,

That God gave man the blessing and the curse.

Man can select the curse of envy, hatred and prejudices,

Or the blessing of love, harmony and beauty.

Despite the painful curses of the past,

In the blessing of the Creator, I do believe.

I do believe, with all my heart,

That God created a beautiful world,

The sun and the trees, the flowers and the bees.

And the best way to serve God, is

To enjoy the fruits of His labour of love.

Despite the painful memories from the past, In the joyful celebration of life,

I do believe. I do believe with all my heart,

That God has created man in image of His own.

And killing of man, is like killing of God.

Despite the massacres in Rwanda, the cleansing in Bosnia,

The folly of Muslim fanatics, and the cruelty of Pol Pot.

In the love and compassion of the Creator, I do believe.

I believe with all my heart,

That the Messiah and the Kingdom of Heaven will come;

When man will conquer his destructive urge,

And learn how to live in harmony with nature and himself.

When all the preachers of hate will be silenced,

And man will become his brother's keeper.

When man will stop killing man, in the name of God,

And nation will not lift weapons against nation.

When it will be, I do not know, but

Despite all the signs to the contrary.

In the dawn of a Better World, I do believe. Alexander Kimel.

(Born in Podhaje, Galicia, lived in Ghetto of Rohatyn, where some 9,900 of the 10,000 Ghetto Jews were Murdered. Escaped May 1943 and is a Survivor.)

Their wait calls upon us to visit, restore a balance, make amends in some minute way and make an apology that rings out in Never Forgetting what we allowed for them to endure. The travelogue reads 6,000,000 times over, Remember me here as I wait for your coming. Remember. These Are Not Polish spaces as they belong to a displaced Humanity. They retain the last vestiges and integrity of a numbered People, their number being 6,000,000 and this is so vast we have Forgotten all of their Names. The shame too is that we can allow the World to Forget if we do not honour those spaces and allow for the hate filled continuance of:

"..they're only Jews who still do not matter,"

to assign 6,000,000 murdered Jews to their past alone. For me, I know there are 6,000,000 People who do matter, and because they are Jews, we Remember them. And here all empathy turns toward a sympathy for a lost People, ritually devoured by a maddening hatred that is forever irrelevant. We can too easily accept that any form of hatred feasts off of our own humanity and devours it unless we counter its necrotizing influence. We no longer share the space once occupied by these Jewish People, so we honour their memory with a stone, left over to carry the weight of accusation forever forward.

Death Fugue

Black milk of morning we drink you at dusktime

we drink you at noontime and dawntime we drink you at night

we drink and drink

we scoop out a grave in the sky where it’s roomy to lie

There’s a man in this house who cultivates snakes and who writes

who writes when it’s nightfall nach Deutschland your golden hair Margareta

he writes it and walks from the house and the stars all start flashing he whistles his

dogs to draw near

whistles his Jews to appear starts us scooping a grave out of sand

he commands us to play for the dance

Black milk of morning we drink you at night

we drink you at dawntime and noontime we drink you at dusktime

we drink and drink

There’s a man in this house who cultivates snakes and who writes

who writes when it’s nightfall nach Deutschland your golden hair Margareta

your ashen hair Shulamite we scoop out a grave in the sky where it’s roomy to lie

He calls jab it deep in the soil you lot there you other men sing and play

he tugs at the sword in his belt he swings it his eyes are blue

jab your spades deeper you men you other men you others play up again for the dance

Black milk of morning we drink you at night

we drink you at noontime and dawntime we drink you at dusktime

we drink and drink

there’s a man in this house your golden hair Margareta

your ashen hair Shulamite he cultivates snakes

He calls play that death thing more sweetly Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland

he calls scrape that fiddle more darkly then hover like smoke in the air

then scoop out a grave in the clouds where it’s roomy to lie

Black milk of morning we drink you at night

we drink you at noontime Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland

we drink you at dusktime and dawntime we drink and drink

Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland his eye is blue

he shoots you with leaden bullets his aim is true

there’s a man in this house your golden hair Margareta

he sets his dogs on our trail he gives us a grave in the sky

he cultivates snakes and he dreams Death is a gang-boss aus Deutschland

your golden hair Margareta

your ashen hair Shulamite." Paul Celan.

(Paul Celan (Paul Antschel) was born in Czernovitz, Romania and was in Forced Labour for 18 months before escaping to Bucharest and eventual Survival.)

Essentially, and more especially for Jews everywhere, these are your People and you have much more reason than I to recognise what the World owes them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but in the case of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, why do we not do everything to Remember them, even when it means standing at their last resting place. Their Remembrance counters all and everything we might bring to the fore amidst personal considerations. Our wishes must remain secondary to what is left of what was demanded of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, and that has been their complete obliteration. Until you stand upon a place on Earth designating that this is their final resting place, who will know your concern and who will know you have been to Remember them. How else do we propose to Remember them in these coming days?

The Little Smuggler.

Over the wall, through holes, and past the guard,

Through the wires, ruins, and fences,

Plucky, hungry, and determined

I sneak through, dart like a cat.

At noon, at night, at dawn,

In snowstorm, cold or heat,

A hundred times I risk my life

And put my head on the line.

Under my arm a gunny sack,

Tatters on my back,

On nimble young feet,

With endless fear in my heart.

But one must endure it all,

One must bear it all,

So that tomorrow morning

The fine folk can eat their fill.

Over the wall, through holes and bricks,

At night, at dawn, at noon,

Plucky, hungry, artful,

I move silently like a shadow.

And only one request

Will stiffen on my lips:

Who, mother mine, who

Will bring your bread tomorrow? Henryka Lazawert.

(Henryka Lazawert was taken from Warsaw to Treblinka during July 1942 and Murdered there, her memory is preserved and though:

"..I move silently like a shadow."

her destruction has not ensured her passage through our time is a forgotten detail. Not just merely in the words expressed, but her person is recalled.)

Treblinka had sought to accomplish a Hitlerian detail for more than 800,000 Jews or could it be more than 1,000,000 but obliteration comes to those forgotten and History records her name, her passing and her being. There in the gene sequence of the Survivor is the essential need for Justice which all but eliminates the terms of anger we would be raging with. All so many of these Human Beings, whose lives have been inundated with terror, horror and the grief of far too much loss, have a differing view to all of us where vengeance is replaced by what 6,000,000 Murdered Jews never received, Justice. The call to this day, for any form of Justice which meets the criterion which should be applied to the systematic nature of the Slaughter of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of Europe, would make the most placid of us rage with anger, our blood boiling over for revenge.

But, and apart from the fact that the Survivor considers luck to have been on their side, it is no coincidence that Justice has swerved their infinite need. It is in knowing the lengths to which we all must go to deliver to each and everyone a small portion of who we aim to be. In the depths of a despair that is The Holocaust, I have found these the Children to be the hardest to deal with. All Children condemned to a life unworthy of life, because they were Jews and so cruelly taken from them. Humanity has taught me much, but if we do not see in the individual a semblance of us, we are doomed to negate all that we should stand for. I have no belief system. I have only a compassion that I deliver on behalf of 6,000,000 Murdered Jews who were denied everything. For us all, we should seek to demand every piece of the life, and that opportunity to live it in peace with each other.

In words recorded for 6,000,000 Jews who can no longer utter sentences of meaning for us, we recall their having been here, in angry terms! However, the seeming way the Survivor purges their own anger, while there could be a lust for vengeance is a remarkable feat of their human capacity to raise themselves up above the rage. The telling of tales from within a Killing Site, the escape from under the pressure of an entire Humanity weighing heavily upon them, calculates our own ability to seek an empathy with such losses as comprehension will not tally. So as I read on, journey forth and deliver even more words of Remembrance, ours is the gift of listening to what the Survivor must be suffering in informing us, and that is empathetic enough to deliver for posterity, The Holocaust History that emerged in our time.



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