For Tokele, aged 4 years old, Murdered in Sokoly on February 17th. 1945.

Day 1: A Month to Go.

In a month’s time I will make a journey that I have been anticipating, perhaps even dreading, but I am still looking forward to the venture in equal measure? For some years now I have written and spoken of the terrible Catastrophe which faced the Jews of Europe, secreted beneath a devastating 2nd. World War which consumed between 50 and 70 Million lives! What should not be lost within this Conflicting particular tragedy is the cold, calculated and ruthless isolation, segregation, selection and resolve of Hitler to Destroy an entire People, those 6,000,000 Jewish People Slaughtered in The Holocaust. War ravages People, yet the systematic Genocide of 6,000,000 Jews denigrates the very Humanity we espouse toward!

I guess, with the measure of any such Catastrophe, I will see for myself now, the close proximity of that Destructive process to the approximately 1,100,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children, all Gassed and Murdered at Auschwitz/Birkenau! I will be standing upon the graves of these Innocent People and reflecting further on those words I have used to capture some semblance of a comprehension beyond imagining. For those of us who choose to, but cannot know, we seek to understand and take from those who do know what it was like for those Jews who Encountered or even Survived Hitler’s intention for them. In that way, through choice, we can perhaps know of a little of what Terror was and maybe even a measure of the Horror the Jews of Europe faced back then!

Today is August 10th. but this is 2014! The Cattle Cars no longer roll with their Jewish Cargo! The Jews today have another fight for their very existence! But much of the World is no longer Indifferent to the plight of a People under direct threat of extinction? Much of the World knows the debt of Conscience that is owed to the Jewish People of Europe? For those who emerged from the terms of The Final Solution, and especially for those who remain confined within the selection process that has delivered to the World, the terms of The Holocaust, I am here, I hope, with those reading this, expressing the essential need to Remember and acting in accordance with the lessons learned!

1938 August 10th. the Great Synagogue in Nuremberg is destroyed.

The right to profess one’s Faith is sacrosanct. It is given by God and can only be taken away by that same God who has gifted this Belief system to Us. For those of a fundamentalist bent, God does not command anyone to enforce a belief, that is not belief, that is subjugation! The Freedom to choose is a God given right which Human Laws must enshrine if Ethics and Morality are to be protected and Protect!

1940 August 10th. Romania enacts anti-­Jewish Laws amidst anti-Jewish riots which erupt in the Country.

Nation upon nation of those who sought the swirl of all that Hitler proposed, used the very same racist elements in antisemitism to cower before a system which would otherwise have devoured it! Hitler and his Nazis spread fear and hatred. Those who stood against this were Imprisoned, Incarcerated in Camps and Murdered. Though the Jews of Europe were a benign force, Hitler saw fit to designate them, enemies, ‘Untermenschen’ and set forth for them a Destructive path which led to Death in Camps and Killing Sites throughout Poland, Russia and too many Countries to mention! Their Tragedy is the work I have chosen to add my voice to!

1942 August 10th. the first Deportations of Jews from Lvov to Belzec.

A Total of some 50,000 Jews of Lvov were murdered during the term of The Holocaust. A place of distinction amongst Jews and those who resided peaceably alongside Jews. But Hitler had other ideas for the Jews of 1,000’s of Cities, Towns, Villages and Shtetls, wherever Jews came to rest!

1942 August 10th. Camp Kommandant SS Standartenfuhrer Christian Wirth adopts Diesel engine for gassing.

“..As soon as the ramp had been erected in the castle, people started arriving in Kulmhof from Lizmannstadt in lorries. The people were told that they had to take a bath, that their clothes had to be disinfected and that they could hand in any valuable items beforehand to be registered. When they had undressed they were sent to the cellar of the castle and then along a passageway on to the ramp and from there into the gas-van. In the castle there were signs marked “to the baths”. The gas vans were large vans, about 4-5 meters long, 2.2 meter wide and 2 meter high. The interior walls were lined with sheet metal. On the floor there was a wooden grille. The floor of the van had an opening which could be connected to the exhaust by means of a removable metalpipe. When the lorries were full of people the double doors at the back were closed and the exhaust connected to the interior of the van.” Walter Burmeister.

The indisputable truth, that through the learning process for the Destruction of the Jewish people, methods were adapted, adopted which suited the environment for Killing! With the move from T4, the Euthanasia Programme, to the usage of cellars for ‘Gassing’, to the Gassing Vans and onto the Industrialised nature of the Slaughter in The Death Camps, much was learned and advanced in the killing process, as with Wirth at Belzec! When der Einsatzgruppe proved costly in terms of bullets, it became expedient for Hitler to have his best minds think up the unthinkable, the Mass Murder of Millions!

1942 August 10th. 1,000 Theresienstadt Jews were transported toward Minsk and were murdered in gassing vans at the nearby killing site of Maly Trostinets.

More than 35,000 Jews were murdered here at Maly Trostinets to all add weight to the Statistical analysis of the Slaughter which confounds us. Elsewhere the killing progressed and at Brzozow 1942 August 10th. 800 Jews were murdered.

A Book a Day, or so of suggested reading!

1. Adelsberger, Lucie Auschwitz, A Doctor’s Story.

2. Czech, Danuta Auschwitz Chronicle.

3. Klarsfeld, Serge French Children of The Holocaust.

Two of these Books will define a particular need in Remembering the Jews of The Holocaust. Danuta Czech’s Book, in Chronicling the arrival and ‘resettlement’ of those Transports at Auschwitz Birkenau, and Serge Klarsfeld’s monumental and significant study of the French Deportation of The Jewish Children to Auschwitz, from within France! Each Book has a poignancy in relation to the overall Catastrophe for the Jews of Europe. Read them all and know the depth of despair reached and the humbling Survivor’s search for Peace and Justice, none tinged with any hint of vengeful retribution!