My caption here reads with the words that ‘This is not ideological this is Guilt’ and for very good reason. Here at Birkenau the very detailed Truth of what happened to 1,100,000 Murdered Jews and so many others, would have clearly exposed Hitler’s fraud. The dismantling of the Gas Chambers and Krematoria could simply not disguise the very purpose of these constructions. Added to that are the very detailed Architectural blueprints of Destruction which were drawn up. These drawings had but one purpose, the Slaughter of as many Jews of Europe as could be accomplished. While the World looked the other way, 6,000,000 Jews were confined to oblivion.
My role here in adding to a damning accusation of the Allied Powers is a contentious one. True they were fighting a War on many Fronts. But when the knowledge is made aware, that the systematic Destruction of 6,000,000 Jews was under way, more should have been done and could have done to stem the flow of this Genocide. Sure! There were words of support for the Jews. There were even words condemning the actions of Hitler and his Nazi’s toward the Jews. But words did not feed the Ghetto’s. Words did not cease the senseless Slaughter and words did not satiate the crest fallen lives of those Jews of Europe seeking to stay alive!
“..a rush to get everything down in writing before ..generation of survivors dies away. There is also a search for knowledge and understanding by ..descendants of survivors ..leading ..young to rediscover their Jewish heritage. Jews are proudly calling themselves Jews once more. ..young people of today will be ..leaders of ..next generation. They and people of all nations have an obligation to protect ..memory of The Holocaust.” Ann Kazimirski.
Here, the Jews of Israel pay tribute to those who were all Murdered here at Birkenau. The Memorial seems a fitting response to a dark era where so much was taken from World Jewry and nothing was being given back. Here, and now, the Jews of the World have a point of reference which shows them, in stark relief, where they have emerged from and where they must never fail to forget. It is there pilgrimage and like myself, and a fellow traveller, Gabby in the foreground, we found solace, upset, consolation and even friendship from amongst the Memories were were along to add to our overall Testimony.
“..At ..end of this Jewish war ..extermination of ..Jewish people will have been brought about.” Julius Streicher.
I could fill these pages with the Facts and Figures of what you all need to know of The Holocaust! Demand that the World acknowledges what a betrayal of all that is moral, ethical and charitable in Human Nature and before the Alter of The Holocaust, should be more clearly expressed. I could even lend you an emotion that is so immersed in a great sadness for the Jews who suffered, but that emotion must come from within you to even attempt to appreciate the terror that was caused and the horror that was faced. I could even express an anger over what happened to the Jews of Europe while we looked the other way, but that will service nothing but a continued and festering indignation. To simply say that it was an intolerable thing to happen, while such an indifferent attitude was being displayed, would indeed be insufferable.
“..whole complex had forty-six retorts ..each with ..capacity for three to five persons. ..burning in a retort lasted about half an hour. ..it was theoretically possible to cremate about 12,000 corpses in twenty four hours ..4,380,000 a year. ..well-constructed crematoria fell far behind at a number of camps ..especially at Auschwitz in 1944. In August ..total cremation reached a peak one day of 24,000 ..still a bottleneck occurred. Camp authorities needed an economic and fast method of corpse disposal ..dug six huge pits beside Krema V ..reopened old pits in ..wood. ..late 1944 ..pit burning became ..chief method of corpse disposal. ..pits had indentations at one end from which human fat drained off. To keep ..pits burning ..stokers poured oil ..alcohol ..large quantities of boiling human fat over ..bodies.” Filip Muller.
All these would be a further wrong levelled against the Memory of those Jews who were ritually Murdered. The World that allowed this to happen to 6,000,000 of the Jewish People has yet to learn the lesson that Intolerance of any description is wrong! What I cannot describe, without knowing with any degree of experience, is the trauma felt by those Jews Murdered. Nor can the perpetuating effects this all has for those who Survived be lessened by our failings to attempt to do so. In the shadow of all that was taken from them, the Survivor gives us their Testimony. Relentlessly though, over and over we demand all from the Survivor to further our own gain. Whether it be from a desire at comprehending what happened or to offer a more sincere acknowledgement of what an indifference had allowed to happen, our effort must be maintained!
“..German people could have tried to save those people ..but maybe they were afraid for themselves. I feel afraid when I hear people say The Holocaust never happened. I feel nothing but pity for ..ignorance of such people ..shame on them ..they should know better. ..1,500,000 ..Jewish Children were murdered by ..Nazis 1,000’s of other innocent children perished because they were considered not worthy of a life. Why would I hate these people? That would make me ..same as them and I will never be that.” Tomi Reichental.
We demand too that the Survivor tell us of their horror. We seek to know of the feeling of a terror we cannot even begin to imagine. We research for meaning to the brutality we have yet to comprehend. All of this is so that we too can know of their pain! Theirs has been an ordeal they cannot leave behind. It is especially true while there is this insatiable appetite from us to come to terms or even to comprehend that such a Genocide took place in our Parents time! That recognised, and while there are those of us who choose to Remember, let us Never Forget what it is exactly that we are demanding of those who truly Know, what it means to be the Survivor!
“..reports that ..transports of ..Jews only twenty percent arrive. ..With a blood guilt that cannot be atoned for ..and cannot be forgotten.” Helmuth von Moltke.
For us, whether we are Writers, Researchers, Historians or Academics, the Survivor must relive their horror for us to come to terms with what they have suffered! They must then continuously sense the feeling of abandonment that must have overwhelmed them! They must feel compelled to revisit the despair that confronted them! We constantly demand their Knowledge so that we too can gain from it! But despite their obvious anguish, and regardless of their trauma, and without even considering their internal pain, they are still asked to deliver to us on a constant basis, all that we ever need to Know of The Holocaust of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe!
“..I walk in Auschwitz ..in ..tracks of ..abandoned shoes ..of ..extracted teeth ..of ..cut off hair ..of ..misplaced baggage in order to find ..last moments of my family ..The Schneider Family.” Yossi Sarid.
How then do we best honour The Survivor? Surely this is by remembering the lessons they have brought to us to learn from! By relaying to others, that in their evidence we have become witness to some of the most heinous and hideous crimes ever perpetrated against human beings in all of history, a lesson should be learned. With our attempt then to digest and approach a semblance of comprehension, what the Survivor has imparted is a warrant for all of History to endorse. The legacy of the Survivor will only add to humanity, with the knowledge we have gained from their personal experience, but only if we truly learn from their added testimony.
“..enemy is strong ..crafty ..exterminating us to a plan.” Yitzhak Rudashevski.
What we now know, of what the Survivor learned through personal experience, through pain, suffering, and on toward their eventual Survival, should enable us to prevent the future perpetration of this previous atrocity. What we have though is their shocking Testimony to add to a knowledge we have now gained. What we can now provide for the future is a platform for that essential which should be brought to those who all need to learn the Survivor’s lesson. Can we, from our vantage point, avoid a passage in time we must continually impart to those who are in search of what we have both diligently and dutifully learned?
Always to Remember, Never to Forget!