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March 28, 2014

Holocaust survivor in Australia speaks out against changes in free speech laws

The following quote is from an article, which you can read in full at

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/545399/20140328/racial-discrimination-act-tony-abbott-holocaust-moshe.htm#.UzWQ4V7Y1Ph

Holocaust Survivor Moshe Fiszman pleads [with Australia’s] leader to abandon his proposed changes [in the Free Speech law], saying that he would be taking away [the Jew’s] freedom in doing so.

[…]

[Australian Prime Minister] Mr Abbott claimed that the changes are necessary to remove the restrictions on “free speech,” and that they also include strong prohibitions on racial vilification.

Mr Fiszman, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who spent the Second World War in Nazi concentration camps, begged to differ.

He penned an open letter to the PM, asking him to abandon his plans to change the RDA [Racial Discrimination Act].

[Moshe Fiszman said] “You might think you are increasing freedom, but let me assure you that you will be taking away the freedom of communities such as mine [the Jewish community]. The freedom to live without hatred and without lies being told about us [the Jews],” he wrote.

“That is why every single ethnic community is against this change. Some 39 communities have protested against it. Australia is a beautiful country because, like the United States, we are all migrants – not minorities. But if this law gets up, we will be made to feel like minorities.

“You might think you are increasing freedom, but this change will hurt disadvantages, underprivileged groups, like the Aborigines who regularly visit the Jewish Holocaust Museum.”

He continued, “I came to this country because it was the furthest away from Europe I could get. Also, I had four years behind bars as a refugee after the war because nobody wanted me, so I had plenty of time to check out what Australia was made of. I researched its constitution and so forth, and I liked it.

[…]

“What do they want to change this law for? If you start playing around with it, where will it end up? Who is it giving the freedom to? They want the right-wing loonies to have a free rein so they can write and say whatever they like and get away with it scot-free. Holocaust deniers like the Adelaide Institute.”

Mr Fiszman was the only member of his family to survive after suffering in various Nazi concentration camps, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau.

“This is my opinion as a survivor, the opinion of a man who went through living hell for five-and-a-half years, on death row for 24 hours a day. I am dead against it. Don’t let them touch the freedom of the people in the country.

After I read the news article, I did some  research on Moshe Fiszman and found a website which gives the following information about Moshe, obtained in an interview:

http://www.arturszulc.se/anslagstavlan/mellan-himmel-jord/a-interview-with-moshe-fiszman-holocaust-survivor

The following information is from the website, cited above:

What happened to your family? And where you put into a camp? What camp?

In August 1942 the Jewish population (including my family of five people) nearly 24 000 people men, woman, children, babies, pregnant woman, old people, were cramped in cattle trucks over 100 per truck, no food, water or toilet, and what we found out later, taken to a place called Treblinka, and gassed to death, their bodies burned, and the ashes used as fertilizer.

3 000 Jews, including myself, were given striped clothing, and were declared as prisoners of the K/Z. Majdanek.

In July 1944 we were death marched to Tomaszow Mazowiecki for six days. From there to Auschwitz- Birkenau were I was selected to live a while longer. There after I was taken to Natzweiler-Struthof (my prisoner number 25627), from there to Vaihingen am Enz, were we left a mass grave of  1600 prisoners. In March 1945 marched to Dachau (my prisoner number 150321), and finally all Jewish prisoners marched in to the Austrian Alps and by miracle freed.

I survived. What actually what did I survive? I had no family, no home and no country to go back to, I was alone in a cursed country.

You spent almost two years in Majdanek. How does one survive such an ordeal? What kept you going?

Hope.
And the will not to allow the savages to turn out the light on the Jewish people and their history.

[…]

You managed to survive. What happened after the War? How did you end up in Australia?

I was lucky, for five and a half years of starvation and maltreatment, to be found by a front line unit of the 7th U S Army in the mountains of Austria. Lived as a refuge for four years in UNNRA camps, finally Australia was ready to accept me as a migrant.

From this interview, and Moshe’s description of his survival in the Holocaust, we learn that Moshe Fiszman is the living proof of what Holocaust deniers claim.

1. Moshe Fiszman was sent to Treblinka, a death camp, where he was not gassed in any of the 10 gas chambers, but was sent on to the Majdanek death camp, where it was initially reported that there were 5 gas chambers.

2. Next Moshe was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, where he was again not gassed in any of the alleged 5 gas chambers.

3. From Auschwitz, Moshe was sent to the Natzweiler-Struthof camp, which was mostly a camp for Resistance Fighters, although it had the obligatory gas chamber.  (Was Moshe sent to Natzweiler because he was fighting in the Polish Home Army of illegal combatants?)

4. When the Natzweiler-Struthof camp was abandoned, Moshe was sent to Dachau, which allegedly had a gas chamber, but Moshe was again not gassed. He was sent to a sub-camp of Dachau, called Mittenwald.

5.  After the American Seventh Army liberated the main Dachau camp, they went on to liberate the Mittenwald camp.  After the camp was liberated, it became a Displaced Persons camp, where Moshe stayed on until he went to Australia.