Scrapbookpages Blog

January 10, 2012

“Courage to Remember” or courage to put up a disengenuous exhibit?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:24 am

The traveling exhibit called Courage to Remember is now being shown in Vermont, according to the Manchester Journal.

I’m confused about the title of this exhibit: Why does it take courage to remember the Holocaust?  A person can go to prison for 5 years or more for denying the Holocaust, but will anything bad happen to a person who remembers the Holocaust?

I previously blogged about the Courage to Remember Holocaust exhibit here.  The photo below was included in my previous post.

A poster in the Courage to Remember traveling exhibit

The headline on the poster above is “The Jewish Question.”  The text on this poster does not explain the meaning of the term “Jewish Question.”  I wrote about “The Jewish Question” in a previous post which you can read here.  It would have taken some courage to put the real meaning of “The Jewish Question” on a poster in this exhibit, and to put the full version of the photo below in the exhibit.

Photo in the exhibit which has been cropped

The iconic photo below is included in the Courage to Remember exhibit with a caption which says that the people in the photo are “on the way to the gas chamber.”

Photo from Auschwitz-Birkenau in the exhibit

How does this photo show that the people in the photo are “on their way to the gas chamber?” Did the SS men at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp really allow women and children to walk to the gas chamber with only a photographer as an escort?  It takes courage to remember that most of the survivors, who are out on the lecture circuit today, were children under the age of 15 when they were sent to Auschwitz, but for some reason, they were not sent to the gas chamber.

May 12, 2010

Anne Frank wrote in her diary: “We can never be just Dutch, or just English, or whatever, we will always be Jews as well.”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 10:41 am

The first thing that visitors see on a tour of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam is a poster with a quote from Anne’s diary, written on April 9, 1944:

“One day this terrible war will be over. The time will come when we will be people again, and not just Jews! We can never be just Dutch, or just English, or whatever, we will always be Jews as well. But then, we’ll want to be.”

The photo below is on the poster at the entrance to the Anne Frank house with the quote that I have written in the title of this post.

Famous photo of Anne Frank at the age of 13

The Anne Frank house at 263 Prinsengracht in Amsterdam

(Click on the photo to see a larger size)

I thought about Anne’s diary entry when I read articles in today’s news about concerns that American Jews have dual loyalty to America and Israel. You can read  one of these articles here.

Anne Frank was only 14 years old when she wrote that Jews can never be “just Dutch, or just English, or whatever” but she captured the essence of the problem that caused Hitler to want to get rid of the Jews.  The title of the Wannsee conference, ordered by Hermann Goering, Hitler’s right-hand man, was “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”

The Jewish Question had been discussed for years in Germany; even Karl Marx weighed in on the Question. The “Jewish Question” was should Jews assimilate into the country where they lived, or should they keep themselves separate in their ghettos and Jewish quarters.  The word “anti-Semite” was coined to mean a person who wanted the Jews to assimilate, meaning a person who did not want the Jews to be separate or to have their own country.  Anti-Semite originally meant anti-Zionist.

Hitler was not an anti-Semite; he did not want the Jews to assimilate, but rather, he wanted the Jews to get the hell out of Germany and go some place where they could have their own country.  The problem was that the British did not want the Jews to go to Palestine and since Palestine was a British protectorate, they had the power to limit immigration into Palestine.  That’s why Hitler appointed Adolf Eichmann to sneak Jews into Palestine, beginning around 1934.  The British would only allow young people with manual labor or farming skills, so Hitler set up work shops and farms where young Jews could learn these skills.

Poland didn’t want the Jews either, and the Poles began working on a plan to send them to Madagascar, which was the second choice of Zionist leader Theodor Hertzl as a Jewish homeland. After Germany conquered Poland in 1939, Hitler took over the Madagascar plan, but it came to naught.

In 1933, when Hitler came to power, the German Jews had everything that a country normally has:  They had their own flag, their own anthem, their own language (Yiddish) and their own alphabet (Hebrew), their own jokes, their own music, their own foods, their own history, their own clothing style, their own holidays, their own day of rest (Saturday), even their own clocks which ran backwards because the numbers were in Hebrew. Inside their ghettos, the Jews of Europe followed their own laws.

Of course, there were assimilated Jews in Germany in 1933, including the Otto Frank family. But there were other German Jews whose loyalty was to their fellow Jews, not to Germany.  This was basically what caused the German exportation of the Jews and the Holocaust, after other countries refused to allow them to enter.