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May 28, 2016

Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein has died, at the age of 91

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:10 pm

You can read a newspaper report on the death of Hedy Epstein at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/us/hedy-epstein-rights-activist-and-holocaust-survivor-dies-at-91.html?_r=0

Hedy Epstein is shown in the center of the photo

A protest in Cairo in 2009. Hedy Epstein, center, spent much of her life working for a broad range of social justice movements. Credit Amr Nabil/Associated Press

It was only a year ago that I was blogging about Hedy Epstein: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/hedy-epstein-the-jewish-woman-who-was-arrested-in-st-louis-confronted-herman-goering-at-nuremberg/

The following quote is from the recent news story:

Begin quote

Ms. Epstein, a Holocaust survivor who spoke widely about the persecution of the Jews in Germany, and who spent most of her adult life working for a broad range of social justice movements, died on Thursday at her home in St. Louis. She was 91.

The cause was cancer, said Dianne Lee, a friend.

Ms. Epstein was born Hedwig Wachenheimer on Aug. 15, 1924, in Freiburg, Germany, and raised in nearby Kippenheim. Her father, Hugo, ran a dry-goods company founded by his grandfather. Her mother, the former Ella Eichel, was a homemaker.

After the Kristallnacht pogrom, Hedy was expelled from school. She returned home to see her house ransacked and her father being dragged away by the police. He spent four weeks in Dachau. After being released, he and his wife arranged for Hedy, their only child, to travel to England in 1939 on a Kindertransport train and ship.

“I was a terrible child,” Ms. Epstein told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2000. “I resisted going away and accused my parents of having found me on the doorstep, left by Gypsies, and now wanting to get rid of me. I recognized later that they were giving me life.”

She was an interview subject in the Academy Award-winning 2000 documentary “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport.”

[…]

Hedy was raised by foster parents in London and left school at 16 to work in a munitions plant. In 1945, she returned to Germany, where she was a translator and researcher with the Allied War Crimes Tribunal at the Nuremberg “Doctors Trial.”

She immigrated to the United States in 1948 and began working for the New York Association for New Americans, an agency that brought Holocaust survivors to the United States. Two years later, feeling restless, she moved to St. Paul, a city she picked at random, where she worked on behalf of refugees.

End quote

It is a mystery to me why the Nazis sent children to England to be saved. Didn’t they realize that these children would spend the rest of their lives demonizing the German people, and participating in war crimes trials against Germans. That’s the thanks they got for saving a few Jewish children, by sending them to England.

The following quote is from the end of the news article:

Begin quote

Her 1999 memoir, written in German and published in Germany, was titled “Erinnern Ist Nicht Genug” (“Remembering Is Not Enough”).

Ms. Epstein often addressed audiences at schools and community events about the Holocaust. Her talks concluded with an admonition: “Remember the past, don’t hate, don’t be a bystander.”

End quote

Sorry, but I have no respect for Hedy Epstein, who spent her whole adult life encouraging people to hate the German people.

June 13, 2015

Why did the Nazis send 10,000 Jewish children to England just before they began the killing of 6 million Jews?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:09 am
Memorial to the children on  the Kindertransport

Memorial to the children on the Kindertransports

Some of the Jewish children who were sent to England, just before the Holocaust began, are now out on the lecture circuit telling their stories. Today, I read the story of one of these children here.

This quote is from the news article, cited above:

Begin quote:

Anne L. Fox was just 12 years old when she stood at the train station in Berlin awaiting the arrival of the Kindertransport that would take her to London — far away from the hatred, the unthinkable acts of the Nazis — and the only home she had ever known.

That day, Dec. 28, 1938, remains seared into her memory. With a small suitcase in hand, Fox held tight to her parents, Marta and Eugene Lehmann. In the wake of Kristallnacht — the name given to the night of anti-Semitic atrocities committed six weeks earlier — they registered her for this life-saving mission sponsored by the British government. Her best friend, a gentile girl named Dorit, was also there to say goodbye.

End quote

This quote, about the Kindertransport is from Wikipedia:

The Kindertransport (German for children transport) is a rescue mission that took place during the nine months prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. The United Kingdom took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig. The children were placed in British foster homes, hostels, schools and farms. Often they were the only members of their families who survived the Holocaust.[1]

Let me see if I have this straight?  The Nazis had a plan to exterminate all the Jews, preferably in gas chambers, but first they wanted to save 10,000 children who would live to grow up and have children and grandchildren, who would then make trips, 70 years later, to see the gas chambers and condemn the German people until the end of time.

I have written about the tours, made by students from Great Britain, several times on my blog:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/british-het-tours-start-in-oswiecim-then-its-on-to-auschwitz/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/british-students-on-het-trip-learn-how-to-emote-at-auschwitz/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/british-students-on-het-tour-of-auschwitz-learn-about-the-block-of-death/

April 9, 2014

If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one . . . who did Hitler kill?”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:54 am

The title of my blog post today is a quote from Norman Finkelstein’s book entitled The Holocaust Industry, published in the year 2000.

Here is the exact quote from page 81 of The Holocaust Industry:  “If everyone who claims to be a [Holocaust] survivor actually is one, my mother used to exclaim, “who[m] did Hitler kill?”

I thought about this when I read a recent news article at http://www.tcu360.com/campus/2014/04/32123.holocaust-survivor-shares-story-fleeing-nazi-germany

The article is about a woman who escaped Nazi Germany in 1939 on a Kindertransport to the UK.  After World War II, she moved to the USA where she is now out on the lecture circuit, telling her sad story to college students. There is not a day that goes by, in the USA, that a “Holocaust survivor” is not out telling his or her story about surviving the Holocaust.

In his book, Finkelstein cites a book, written by Henry Friedlander, entitled Darkness and Dawn in 1945: The Nazis, the Allies, and the Suvivors. According to Friedlander, as quoted by Finkelstein, “The figure for Holocaust survivors at war’s end is generally put at some 100,000.”

On page 83 of his book, Finkelstein wrote this:

The Israeli Prime Minister’s office recently put the number of “living Holocaust survivors at nearly a million.”

When I read Finkelstein’s book, back in the year 2000, I was just beginning to study the Holocaust, and I could not comprehend what he was saying. For example, he wrote on page 85 that his mother was “A survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, Majdanek concentration camp and slave labor camps at Czestochowa and Skarszyksko-Kamiena…”

Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, from which Jews were deported to Treblinka to be killed

Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, from which Jews were deported to Treblinka to be killed

I had made a trip to Poland in 1998, where I had seen the place in the Warsaw Ghetto, from which the Jews were shipped to Treblinka to be killed. I had learned that Treblinka was a “killing center,” not a transit camp, so how did Finkelstein’s mother get to Majdanek?  I was completely confused by this.

To top it all off, I had visited Majdanek in 1998, where I had learned that Majdanek was a “death camp” with 4 gas chambers. According to Soviet testimony at the Nuremberg IMT, there were 1.5 million people, who were killed at Majdanek.

Majdanek "death camp" in Poland

Majdanek “death camp” in Poland

So how did Finkelstein’s mother escape the Majdanek gas chambers? I assumed that the Nazis had spared Finkelstein’s mother because she was young and beautiful.

I have recently learned that Finkelstein’s mother has been accused of being a “Nazi collaborator” because she is suspected of having been a Kapo [a prisoner who was a helper] at Majdanek.

On my 1998 trip to Poland,  I learned about a book entitled The Painted Bird, written by Jerzy Kosinski. My Polish tour guide told me that this book was a fake story. When I returned from Poland, I got the book from my local library and started reading it, but I couldn’t finish it — it was too gory for me.

In his book, Finkelstein wrote:

[The Painted Bird] was purported to be Kosinski’s autobiographical account of his wanderings as a solitary child through rural Poland during World War II. In fact, Kosinski lived with his parents throughout the war. The book’s motif is the sadistic sexual tortures perpetrated by the Polish peasantry. […]  The Painted Bird became a basic Holocaust text. […] … and required reading in high school and college classes.

So what does all this have to do with anything? I suspect that there are numerous fake Holocaust books. For example, on page 82 of his book, Finkelstein dares to criticize Eli Wiesel.

This quote is from page 82 of Finkelstein’s book:

Apart from the frailties of memory, some Holocaust survivor testimony may be suspect for additional reasons. Because survivors are now revered as secular saints, one doesn’t dare question them.

Finkelstein goes on to list the lies told by Elie Wiesel, who is the No. 1 “secular saint,” whom people don’t dare to question.  Except for those pesky Holocaust deniers. How many Holocaust denial laws will it take to stop Holocaust denial?  The Russian Federation is the latest country to make Holocaust denial a crime.  The Russians are now forbidden to question the verdict at the Nuremberg IMT, at which it was “proved” that 1.5 million people were killed at Majdanek — except for Normal Finkelstein’s mother.