Scrapbookpages Blog

May 22, 2017

Deborah Lipstadt accused Trump advisers of “soft Holocaust denial”

Filed under: Holocaust, Trump — furtherglory @ 10:15 am

Lipstadt-Deborah.jpeg

What is “soft Holocaust denial” you ask. I think that the person who wrote this news article meant to say “soft core Holocaust denial”.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Writing in the Atlantic, Lipstadt – a leading expert on the Nazi effort to wipe out Europe’s Jews – took aim at the Trump administration for its failure last Friday to mention Jews as the primary victims of the Holocaust.

“Holocaust denial is alive and well in the highest offices of the United States,” wrote Lipstadt. “It is being spread by those in President Trump’s innermost circle. It may have all started as a mistake by a new administration that is loath to admit it’s wrong.

“Conversely, it may be a conscious attempt by people with antisemitic sympathies to rewrite history,” she added. “Either way it is deeply disturbing.”

Lipstadt’s intervention came in amid an escalating row over the White House’s statement on Holocaust Memorial Day. On Monday, Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, accused the media of a “pathetic” attempt to whip up controversy.
Deborah Lipstadt: ‘Many would like to stand up to antisemites. I had the chance to do it’

The historian said she had learned of the White House statement while in Amsterdam for a screening of Denial, starring Rachel Weisz as the historian and Timothy Spall as Irving, and had just passed the house where Anne Frank had hidden when her phone started buzzing with messages of the news.

Lipstadt wrote: “Though no fan of Trump, I chalked it up as a rookie mistake by a new administration busy issuing a slew of executive orders. Someone had screwed up … A clarification would certainly soon follow. I was wrong.”

Referring to the 10-week libel trial she won against Irving in 2000, she added: “The de-Judaization of the Holocaust, as exemplified by the White House statement, is what I term softcore Holocaust denial.

“Hardcore denial is the kind of thing I encountered in the courtroom. In an outright and forceful fashion, Irving denied the facts of the Holocaust.”

End quote

May 21, 2017

What should American students learn in English class?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 3:48 pm

I think that all students should learn to speak and write correct English in English class.  I am way behind the times — an old fogey who does not even know how to spell fogey. [I think that I’ve said that before.]

In modern English classes in America, the students learn about the Holocaust. They don’t learn English.

You can read all about it in this recent news article:  http://www.timesdaily.com/news/education/deshler-students-create-holocaust-exhibit/article_57abf905-3faa-552b-a30b-1c99bb2aa6dd.html

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

TUSCUMBIA — Students in Tanya Hayes’s 10th-grade English class at Deshler High School honored victims and heroes of the Holocaust with an exhibit, “Heroes’ Hands and Victims’ Voices.”

The students researched and selected a Holocaust victim and a hero who assisted others.

The students began the project after reading the book “Night” by Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

“This exhibit showcases and honors the heroes and gives voices to those whose stories were untold,” Hayes said.

She said the project included the creation of an altered book page, a poem, a fictional narrative from the perspective of someone who died during the Holocaust, and a hero.

End quote

Wait a minute! Elie Wiesel was never in a Holocaust camp. There is an extensive website devoted to proving that Wiesel was never in a camp. Elie the Wiesel wrote a fictional book and made a fortune, but he was never in any camp. He has no Holocaust tattoo on his arm and no other proof that he was ever in a concentration camp.

The news article continues with this quote:

Begin quote

The somberness of Sarah Seaman’s project with a heavily edited writing display was indicative, she said, of the Hitler regime trying to “eradicate” Jewish people from history.

End quote

If Hitler had wanted to eradicate the Jewish people from history, he would have done it. The Jews were not “eradicated”. A million Jews are now back in Germany where they can now lie, steal and cheat to their Heart’s content, knowing that nothing will be done about their crimes.

This quote is at the end of the news article:

Begin quote

Hayes [the teacher] said the reading and writing experiences helped equip the students to be aware of the importance of caring and compassion, the dangers of hatred, and the need for human beings to demand dignity and respect for all.

“More than 6 million Jews were never given the chance to tell their stories, and these students certainly realized the importance of those stories being told,” Hayes said.

End quote

How many million Jews DID get a chance to tell their stories?

Today’s libraries are filled with the stories told by the Jews who SURVIVED.

If Hitler had wanted to kill six million Jews, why didn’t he do it? Why did so many Jews survive?

I live in Sacramento, which has a library of books written by Holocaust survivors.  Who was it that said, “If Hitler had wanted to kill the Jews, he would have done it — and there would have been NO SURVIVORS.”

O.K. there might have been a few survivors, but not enough to write a library of books.

May 20, 2017

Sybille Steinbacher’s account of the liberation of Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 4:58 pm

One of the readers of my blog mentioned Sybille Steinbacher’s account of the libertation of Dachau.

I wrote about Steinbacher on my website years ago.  The following information is from my scrapbookpages.com website:

According to Sybille Steinbacher, who wrote a book entitled “Dachau: The Town and the Concentration Camp,” the US Army commandant of the town, after the liberation, spoke angrily to the 30 Dachauers on the day that they were brought to see the Dachau concentration camp. He told them, “As punishment for the brutality that the town tolerated next door to it, it should be sacked and turned into ashes!”

The town priest, Father Friedrich Pfanzelt, who was among the visitors, pleaded with the Americans not to destroy the town. In a series of articles in 1981, a Dachau newspaper named the Dachauer Nachrichten wrote about how the priest saved the town: “On his knees, the prelate pleaded for mercy for Dachau.”

According to Peter Wyden, author of “The Hitler Virus,” 90 percent of the residents of Dachau were Catholic. Regarding Father Pfanzelt, Wyden wrote: “Then, from the pulpit of his St. Jacob’s Church three days later, the priest set in motion Dachau’s great trauma, the protestation of innocence, the denial of guilt that would never leave the community.”

Of all people, Father Pfanzelt should have been aware of the atrocities committed inside the Dachau concentration camp. According to Wyden, “For years the SS had extended him the privilege of conducting Sunday services in the KZ. And he had reciprocated with many ingratiating letters (which Steinbacher found) and had taken pride in his cordial relations with most of the camp commandants.”

Father Pfanzelt died in 1958 without ever confirming or denying that he had saved the town from the wrath of the Americans.

 

Germany’s first Holocaust professor will give lectures at the former I.G. Farben headquarters

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — furtherglory @ 3:29 pm

Back when I was traveling to Holocaust sites, I wanted to see the I.G. Farben headquarters, where Jews had worked in factories. I was told that tourists were not allowed to get anywhere near this building. I was warned that I should not even say the word I.G. Farben because this place was so secret.

I. G. Farben factories at Monowitz

Now a Jewish professor will be giving lectures at the famous I.G. Farben factory, which tourists have not been allowed to see until now.

Jews working  in a factory at Monowitz

The following quote is from the news article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4523096/Germany-s-Holocaust-professor-begins-work.html

Begin quote

A female professor took up her appointment at a prestigious German university this week as the country’s first academic to teach the Nazi Holocaust to students.

Some lectures by historian Sybille Steinbacher will be given in the former HQ of the I.G. Farben company which in wartime made the poison gas used to massacre Jews in their millions.

Professor Steinbacher’s appointment by the Goethe University and the Frankfurt Fritz Bauer Institute was described as ‘a milestone on the way to a better understanding of the Nazi crimes and their impact on history into the present’ by Hesse state science Minister Boris Rhein.

End quote

So the I.G. Farben company was making the Zyklon-B gas that was used to kill the Jews. They were not trying to make an atomic bomb as some people claimed.

Auschwitz III, aka Monowitz, was established in 1942 at the site of the chemical factories of IG Farbenindustrie near the small village of Monowitz, which was located four kilometers from the town of Auschwitz. The IG Farben company had independently selected this location around the same time that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler decided, in April 1940, to locate a new concentration camp in the town of Auschwitz. The most important factory at Monowitz was the Buna Werke, which was owned by the IG Farben company.

Of the three Nazi concentration camps located near the town of Auschwitz, the Auschwitz III camp was the most important to the Nazis because of its factories which were essential to the German war effort. The Monowitz industrial complex was built by Auschwitz inmates, beginning in April 1941. Initially, the workers walked from the Auschwitz main camp to the building site, a distance of seven kilometers.

Max Faust is one of the men that inspected Monowitz along with Heinrich Himmler

The decision to build chemical factories at Auschwitz transformed both the camp and the town. On February 2, 1941, Herman Göring ordered the Jews in the town to be relocated to a ghetto, and German civilians moved into their former homes.

Auschwitz quickly went from a primitive Jewish town of 12,000 inhabitants to a modern German town of 40,000 people which included an influx of German engineers and their families. Both the main Auschwitz camp and the Birkenau camp were expanded in order to provide workers for the factories. Before Monowitz became a separate camp with barracks buildings, the prisoners had to walk from the other camps to the factories.

On July 17 and 18, 1942, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler made a visit to the Auschwitz complex. The photo directly above shows Himmler talking with German engineer Max Faust about plans for factories at Monowitz, the Auschwitz III camp.

 

The Nathan Rappaport Memorial to Heroes of Warsaw Ghetto is in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 12:30 pm

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at:

http://forward.com/culture/372376/one-author-two-radically-different-holocaust-stories/he

Begin quote

[Victor] Ripp’s journey takes him eastward and further into the past. Rapoport’s famous Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, in Warsaw, Poland, strikes him as grandiose, while Auschwitz knocks him into a “stupefied trance.” In Grodno, his father’s birthplace, he learns that his Ripp relatives were more prosperous than he had imagined.

End quote

When I went to Poland in 1998, my tour guide told me that I absolutely had to see the Rapoport Memorial in Warsaw.

Front of Rappaport Memorial

Back side of Rappaport Memorial

The date that the Nazis chose to destroy the Warsaw Ghetto was on Passover, April 19, 1943.

The leader of the Jewish resistance movement, Mordechai Anielewicz, was determined not to give up without a fight. By this time, the Jews in the Warsaw  Ghetto thought that the daily trains to Treblinka were not transporting the Jews to resettlement camps in the East, as the Nazis claimed, but were taking them to a death camp to be killed in gas chambers.

It was because the ghetto residents began refusing to get on the trains that the Nazis decided to liquidate the Warsaw ghetto.

Ukrainian and Latvian SS soldiers marched into the ghetto on April 19, 1943, entering at the northern border of the Ghetto on Zamenhofa street. It was not until May 16 that the SS was able to defeat the handful of resistors, who lasted longer than the whole Polish army when the Germans and the Russians jointly invaded Poland in September 1939.

On April 19, 1988, the 45th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, a Memory Lane was marked out through the former Ghetto. The route starts at the corner of ul. Anielewicza and ul. Zamenhofa where a plaque tells you that this was the site of the former Ghetto.

The buildings were severely damaged during the fighting, and the Ghetto was torn down. Jewish prisoners were sent to Warsaw from the Auschwitz death camp to clear the ruins of the Ghetto.

One of the stops on Memory Lane is the monument pictured at the top of this page, which honors the Jewish resistance fighters; it is the work of sculptor Nathan Rappaport and is sometimes referred to as the Nathan Rappaport Memorial. It is located on ul. Zamenhofa, the street where the fighting began in the Warsaw uprising.

In the photo at the top of this page, the front of the monument is shown. It depicts several of the resistance fighters with Anielewicz in the front holding a hand grenade in his hand. At the start of the fight, a few hand grenades were virtually the only weapons that the Jews had. After they killed a few SS soldiers and the others retreated, the resistance fighters took the weapons from the hands of the dead and continued the fight the next day when the Nazis returned.

The second photo above shows the back side of the monument. It depicts a line of Jews marching to their death in a concentration camp. In the courtyard where this monument is located, and at many other places along the route of Memory Lane, are black marble stones like gravestones in a symbolic cemetery, honoring those who died in the ghetto and in the extermination camps.

May 18, 2017

Who betrayed famous scofflaw Anne Frank?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — furtherglory @ 8:51 am

Why was Anne Frank a scofflaw, you ask?

During World War II, the Germans required Jews to register, so that the Germans could keep track of them. The Jews were the enemies of the Germans during World War II. The Germans didn’t want the Jews to be fighting, as civilians, against Germany. That’s why the Jews were sent to concentration camps.

Otto Frank was a criminal, who did not want to register, because he would have gone to prison, if he had registered.  Otto had been committing a crime by cheating his banking customers. Otto’s brother, who was also cheating his banking customers,  managed to escape to America before he was arrested as a criminal, but Otto didn’t make it.  Otto Frank literally “missed the boat”.

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-betrayed-anne-frank

Begin quote

Anne Frank’s father Otto—the only member of the family to survive their subsequent deportation to the concentration camps—was among the first to assert that a betrayal had led to their capture. The group’s hideout was located inside a warehouse he had once owned, and they were aided by several of his employees as well as other Dutch sympathizers.

Shortly after World War II ended, Otto Frank suggested that the culprit was Willem van Maaren, a warehouse employee who was not in on the secret. Van Maaren was later the subject of multiple investigations related to the betrayal—including one by famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal—but he always maintained his innocence, and none of the cases ever produced any evidence against him.

End quote

Note that the news article suggests that Willem van Maaren  was a criminal because he allegedly betrayed Otto Frank, the criminal who cheated his banking customers.

May 16, 2017

Death statistics at the Buchenwald concentration camp

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:37 am

 

BuchenwaldGate.jpeg

The photo above shows American soldiers entering the gate into the Buchenwald camp after it was liberated.

One of the readers of my blog wrote in a comment that a recent news article mentioned that “at least 56,000 prisoners died at the Buchenwald camp.”

The 56,000 number is an estimate that was given, many years ago, by someone at the Memorial Site.

On April 19, 1945, only 8 days after the concentration camp had been liberated by the US Army, the Communist prisoners at Buchenwald held a mourning ceremony near the gate house where they had constructed an obelisk in honor of the victims. The obelisk is shown in the photo below.

Memorial in honor of the prisoners who died at Buchenwald

On June 5, 2009, President Barack Obama placed a single white rose on a plaque at the spot where this obelisk once stood. “The White Rose” was a student resistance group at the University of Munich which had opposed Hitler’s government during World War II.

The obelisk, shown in the photo above, was relocated in 1961 to the intersection in the road where the access road to the camp branches off the main road. The writing on the plaque lists the 18 countries of the victims.

In 1999, I went to visit the Memorial Site, where I learned that the official number of deaths at Buchenwald, that was given by the first U.S. Army Intelligence report, dated April 24, 1945, was 32,705.

After the camp was liberated, the Jews who were held in the “Small Camp” in the quarantine barracks at the bottom of the slope, which were the farthest away from the gate house, were not invited to attend the ceremony held by the Communist political prisoners. At this ceremony, the number of prisoners who died in the camp was estimated by the survivors to be 51,000.

In 1999 the Memorial Site at Buchenwald was giving an estimate of 56,000 prisoners who were killed at Buchenwald.

According to a booklet that I obtained from the Buchenwald Memorial Site, which was written by Sabine and Harry Stein, “A total of 11,000 Jews lost their lives in Buchenwald. Out of the 13,969 inmates who died in 1945, there were 7,000 Jews.”

The booklet written by Sabine and Harry Stein, which was available from the Memorial Site in 1999, states that, in addition to the number of recorded deaths at Buchenwald, “More than 8,000 Soviet prisoners of war were shot in the stable. An estimated number of 1,100 people were executed in the crematorium and an estimated number of between 12,000 and 15,000 people were dead upon arrival from the camps in the east or fell victim to the evacuation marches. This gives a total number of approximately 56,000 persons killed.”

The first U.S. Army Intelligence report, dated April 24, 1945, put the Buchenwald death toll at 32,705.

According to a U.S. Army report dated May 25, 1945, there was a total of 238,980 prisoners sent to Buchenwald during its 8-year history from July 1937 to April 11, 1945, and 34,375 of them died in the camp. This report was based on records confiscated from the camp by the US military, after the camp was liberated.

A later U.S. Government report in June, 1945 put the total deaths at 33,462 with 20,000 of the deaths in the final months of the war.

In the first news reel film about what the victorious American troops discovered in Germany near the end of the war, the narrator says that “20,000 out of the 80,000 prisoners at Buchenwald were found alive.” This would mean that 60,000 prisoners died at Buchenwald, which contradicts the Army reports.

The International Tracing Service of Arolsen, an affiliate of the Red Cross, released a report in 1984 which said that the number of documented deaths in Buchenwald was 20,671 plus an additional 7,463 at the notorious satellite camp called Dora, where prisoners were forced to work underground in the manufacturing of V-2 rockets for the German military. (In October 1944, Dora became an independent camp named Nordhausen.)

According to a guidebook which I purchased at Buchenwald in 1999, there were almost 10,000 Jews sent to Buchenwald on November 10, 1938, after the pogrom known as Kristallnacht, and more than 200 of them died after only a few weeks.

The Jews who died in 1945, in the last months of World War II, were prisoners who had been brought to Germany from the camps that were closed in the East as the Germans retreated from the advancing Soviet army. Under Article 7 of the 1929 Geneva Convention, Germany was obligated to move prisoners away from the combat zone.

According to an information booklet, which I obtained from the Buchenwald Memorial Site, records kept by the camp secretary show the number of deaths each year in Buchenwald, as follows:

1937 – 48

1938 – 771

1939 – 1235

1940 – 1772

1941 – 1522

1942 – 2898

1943 – 3516

1944 – 8644

January to March 1945 – 13,056

March to April 11, 1945 – 913

Total 34,375

The horrendous death toll during the first two months of 1945 was due to a typhus epidemic in the camp. During the same time period, there were also severe epidemics in all the other major concentration camps in Germany.

Typhus is spread by lice and prisoners coming into Germany from the death camps in what is now Poland were the carriers of the lice. The worst epidemic of all was at Bergen-Belsen where 35,000 prisoners died in March and the first two weeks of April 1945.

The death statistics for the first 11 days of April in Buchenwald indicate that the typhus epidemic was being brought under control there.

The Nazis did not use DDT, which was first used to stop epidemics in Europe in 1943. To kill the lice that spreads typhus, the Nazis used Zyklon-B, a poison gas which was also used to kill the Jews in the gas chambers in the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek camps.

The total number of prisoners at Buchenwald was only 5,382 at the start of the war on September 1, 1939, but by the end of September 1939, the camp population had increased to 8,634 after captured Polish soldiers were brought in. By December 1943, there were 37,319 prisoners in the camp, as Resistance fighters from Poland were brought in, along with many Soviet Prisoners of War that were sent to Buchenwald to be executed because they were Communist Commissars. The Soviet POWs were not registered as inmates.

There were 63,084 prisoners in the Buchenwald complex, including the sub-camps, in December 1944 according to the camp records. The population of the main camp and all the sub-camps reached 80,436 in late March 1945 after the death camps in what is now Poland were closed and the Jewish survivors were brought to various camps in Germany, including Buchenwald.

Many concentration camp inmates died on enforced marches, and thousands more died after they were evacuated out of Buchenwald by train in April 1945.

According to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, “on April 6, 1945, the Germans began evacuating the Jewish prisoners. The following day, thousands of prisoners of various nationalities were evacuated from the main camps and the satellite camps. Of the 28,250 prisoners evacuated from the main camp, 7,000 to 8,000 either were killed or died by other means in the course of the evacuation. The total number of prisoners from the satellite camps and the main camp who fell victim during the evacuation of Buchenwald is estimated at 25,500….”

Among the prisoners, who died as a result of the evacuation from Buchenwald, were those on the “death train” that reached Dachau on April 28, 1945 after a three-week circuitous route through Czechoslovakia.

The total number of prisoners registered in the Buchenwald camp was around 238,000 according to a guidebook for the city of Weimar, which is about 5 miles from Buchenwald. This book puts the death total at 65,000. Various other sources put the total number of people sent to the camp between 239,000 and 250,000.

May 15, 2017

The “firing wall” at Auschwitz where prisoners were shot

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 6:04 pm

The black wall at the Auschwitz main camp where prisoners were shot after they had been convicted in a court of law

I am writing about the black wall at the Auschwitz main camp, shown in the photo above, where prisoners were shot. This wall is mentioned in the news article cited below:

http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/auschwitz-local-students-learn-from-visit-to-nazi-death-camp-1-7939242

The black wall at Auschwitz is shown on the left in my photo above

Begin quote from news article:

[The students] had walked quietly and in sombre mood through the camp as they saw the firing wall -where inmates were shot.

End quote

 

Oh no! Did those cruel Nazis shoot innocent prisoners for no reason? That must be what happened; if there was a reason that prisoners were shot, the person who wrote this news article would surely have included that in the news article.
The picture at the top of this page shows some artwork done by a survivor of the Auschwitz camp, after he had been liberated. He has depicted an execution scene at The Black Wall.
The picture shows a uniformed SS man shooting three prisoners while other SS officers look on. Two camp inmates will carry the bodies from the wall and add them to the pile in the foreground; it was the Jews who were assigned to this task.
To the left in the picture is an object made out of logs which was not at the wall when I was there. This is the portable gallows which was used to hang political prisoners who had been convicted in the Gestapo court in Block 10.

At the far end of a long, narrow courtyard between Block 10 and Block 11 at the Auschwitz camp is a brick wall which connects the two buildings. In front of this brick wall, the Nazis had placed another removable wall, constructed out of logs and covered with cork painted black; the ends of the wall were angled slightly toward the center. The purpose of the black wall was to protect the beautiful brick wall behind it.

The photo below shows what the brick wall looked like when the camp was liberated by the Soviet Union in January 1945. The Nazis had removed the portable wall that had protected the bricks.

The brick wall after the wooden had been removed by the Nazis

Many people have noticed that there are no bullet holes in the wall today. That’s because this is not the original black wall. According to my tour guide, this is a reconstruction which looks like the original.

The original wall was removed after Arthur Liebehenschel replaced Rudolf Hoess as the camp commander in November, 1943, and ordered the executions at the wall to stop.

Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated 72 years ago

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 9:07 am

The former Buchenwald camp is in today’s news: http://www.dw.com/en/minutes-silence-at-buchenwald-concentration-camp-marks-72-years-since-liberation/a-38384666

My photo of Buchenwald monument

I have a section about Buchenwald on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Tour.html

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The state of Thuringia’s culture minister, Benjamin-Immanuel Hoff, was among those who joined Tuesday’s commemorations. The minute’s silence at 3:15 p.m. (1315 UTC) marked the moment troops from the US army first entered the camp near Weimar on April 11, 1945.

There they found 21,000 survivors, including several hundred children and teenagers.

Between 1937 and 1945 the Nazis sent almost 280,000 people from all over Europe to Buchenwald and its 139 satellite camps.

At least 56,000 people died there. They were murdered, used in medical experiments or perished due to starvation or cold while being forced to work making weapons for Adolf Hitler’s war machine.

End quote

My photo of the fence around the Buchenwald camp

You can read more about the Buchenwald camp on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/JedemDasSeine.html

You can read about Elie Wiesel and his claim of being a prisoner at Buchenwald on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/elie-wiesel-at-buchenwald-i-was-there-but-i-wasnt-there/

May 14, 2017

News article about Jewish mothers in the Holoaust

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:16 pm

http://www.aish.com/jw/s/Jewish_Mothers_in_the_Holocaust.html

The following quote is from the news article in AISH.com which is cited above:

Begin quote

When it came to protecting their children, there can be no greater heroes than these Jewish mothers. And no one better words to describe it, then their own words.

When the Nazis rounded up the Jews of Piotrekow for deportation, Yisrael, age 4, was supposed to accompany his mother, Chaya, to Ravensbruck. This was Himmler’s notorious “women’s” camp where death by starvation, beating, torture, hanging, shooting and medical experiments were a part of the grotesquerie of daily life. Chaya pushed him away, allowing his older brother, bound for Buchenwald, a “safer” camp, could stash Yisrael in a duffel bag, where she believed he would have a better chance of survival.

She didn’t survive. But her son grew up to carry on the 38th generation of rabbis, becoming Chief Rabbi of Israel and one of the most revered Jews in the world: Yisrael Meir Lau.

[…]

Rudolf Hoess, the brutal commandant of Auschwitz, noted in his autobiography that “time and time again” he “witnessed mothers with laughing or crying children [who] went to the gas chambers.” He recalled a young woman who, as she stood at the gas chamber, said: “I deliberately avoided being chosen for labor because I wanted to take care of my children and go through this in full awareness of what was happening. I hope it won’t take long.”

In the book Scrolls of Auschwitz, a tragic scene is described. In 1943, children were undressing in the anteroom of a gas chamber. When guards tried to hurry them, one 8-year-old girl resisted, crying: “Go away, you Jewish murderer! Don’t put your hand, covered in Jewish blood, on my sweet brother. I am his good mother now and he will die in my arms.”

On this Mother’s Day – as we celebrate with carnations, brunches, cards, and words of love – may we all light a candle for these women, for whom there are no words to describe their valor, only prayers.

This prayer is based on the words of Alexander Kimel, a Holocaust survivor:

Almighty God, full of love, remember all the Jewish mothers, that carried their babies to their execution, led their children to the gas chambers, or witnessed their burning. Almighty God, let their anguish, pain and torture never be forgotten. In our memory they will live forever and ever.

End quote from news article

 

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