In an article in the Wicked Local Bedford online newspaper, which you can read in full here, a suggestion was made by Alan Beauchamp to Jon Sills, the Bedford Public Schools Superintendent, on how to combat anti-Semitism in Bedford schools. Included in the headline of the article was this suggestion: “Don’t sugarcoat horrific history.”
The author of the article wrote that he was “appalled that in this community that anti-Semitism appears on the surface to be endemic from grade school students to high school students.”
This quote is from the article:
I think a PowerPoint presentation that shows numerous photos and videos of Jewish prisoners – men women and children being marched into the gas chambers at Dachau, Birkenwald, Bergen Belsen and other notorious death camps – may open some eyes as to what “kill the Jews” actually entails. It is a messy business. There is no need to coddle these students. History is what it is and sometimes it is not pretty — Arbeit macht frei. Tell them the irony of this and the story of Auschwitz. Sugars coat it and you get Swastikas on bathroom walls in Bedford High School.
I would like to know “the irony” of Arbeit macht Frei myself. I blogged about this at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/arbeit-macht-frei-what-does-it-stand-for/
I would certainly like to see some of the “numerous photos” of Jewish prisoners being marched into the gas chambers of Dachau and Bergen Belsen. I am familiar with several photos of Jews marching to the gas chambers at Auschwitz Birkenau. I blogged about this at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/walking-to-the-gas-chambers-at-auschwitz-birkenau/
As far as I know, there are no photos of Jews marching to the gas chamber at Bergen-Belsen. However, there are survivors of Bergen-Belsen, who are telling school children about the gas chamber at the Bergen-Belsen EXCHANGE camp. I blogged about this at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/holocaust-survivor-eva-olsson-educates-young-students-about-bergen-belsen/
Yes, children, there was a gas chamber at the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp, where Jewish prisoners were waiting to be exchanged for German citizens being held in internment camps in America. I wrote about the evidence of a gas chamber at Bergen-Belsen on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/BergenBelsen/BergenBelsen04.html
The quote above continues with this information:
Let the students see the corpses piled up like cordwood. Let them see the piles of shoes and yes even teeth. Let them see the bodies being thrown into mass graves. Show them photos of SS Officers separating families at train stations where men were marched to the gas chambers and women were sent to the SS brothels. Let them see the results of Dr. Mengele’s “experiments”. I would expose the students to exactly what “kill all the Jews” means in graphic detail.
I would tell them that, even today, when one walks through Dachau, how one can still hear on the wind the moans and screams of the former inmates. I know this from firsthand experience after visiting the camp many times while stationed in Europe and escorting visitors.
When the man who wrote the words quoted above, was “stationed in Europe,” the Dachau camp was filled with ethnic Germans who had been expelled from what is now the Czech Republic. After World War II, these refugees lived in the barracks at Dachau, until they were thrown out so that Dachau could be turned into a Memorial Site. What this man heard was the moans of these former refugees, who lived in extreme poverty at Dachau for 17 years. They were the lucky ones; other German “expellees” were living on the streets of German cities, begging for food.
I blogged about corpses piled up like cordwood at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/bodies-stacked-like-cordwood-how-many-times-have-you-read-those-words/
I blogged about the piles of shoes at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/do-photos-of-piles-of-shoes-prove-that-prisoers-were-murdered-at-dachau/
If any of the photos on my blog, or on my website scrapbookpages.com, would be useful for the Power Point presentation to the Bedford students, you have my permission to include them. For example, the photo below shows prisoners arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The photo below should be included in the Power Point presentation. It shows German POWs digging holes for shelter in one of Eisenhower’s death camps, which you can read about on my blog post at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/eisenhowers-death-camps-a-stain-on-american-history/
I wrote about how the Holocaust should be taught in American schools in this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/should-the-holocaust-be-taught-in-american-schools/