Why do we commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day? We do this in order to Remember that 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, Men, Women and Their Children were Murdered in a cold and calculated, systematic and methodological manner. So if we choose to Commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day we must Remember the very reason for the day and its specified purpose! We are also duty-bound to recognise the depths of hatred and depravity to which Humanity can descend in order to elaborate upon what it is that sets us above the Animal kingdom! For The Jewish Survivor of that attempt to deprive them of a life, it is a day when they must relive the terror, retell the horror and enable those of us who wish to do so, to come to terms with what the World allowed to happen! Despite all the mealy mouthed platitudes concerning the conduct of a War, humanity cast aside the Jews of Europe with little consideration given to these innocent Jews! So this Holocaust Memorial Day, please Remember the 6,000,000 Jews whose Murders we seek to fix in the consciousness of World History. For 6,000,000 Jews of Europe! We can do no less?
“..As for Israel ..I feel at home as I have never felt anywhere else. ..truly ..promised land ..a land I can be proud of ..proudly give my life for. A place where one can think ..speak freely ..free of ..constant fear of arrest ..where a policeman ..is a servant ..not an overlord. I came home ..a home at last.” Frida Michelson.
Today, in a State, free from the stench of The Death Camps and The Killing Sites of Europe but engulfed by the Atrocity which occurred, The Jewish Survivor walks more freely around Israel, a nation built upon the guilt of a lost humanity. Truly created by a shamed World, which stood idly by as these 6,000,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children were sought from our midst and were Slaughtered, within Israel an Arab, Christian or Jew is free to walk within that State and alongside each other, together and more free than any Jew can reside now in any other Nation. All in Israel are free from any sponsored Religious Intolerances! People are free to endorse Political and Secular views and are unencumbered by the forms of Intolerances the Jewish Survivor witnessed and was subjected to in the midst of a final solution. But before we can even begin to accept the final reckoning, that was a final resolve for those we now see as Survivors, we must assess the presence of a Jewish Community that had persisted within the framework of all of Europe for 1,000’s of years.
For the time span we are concerned with, from the rise of Hitler to the Destruction of The Jewish People in The Holocaust, we must dissect statistics. Here Simon Wiesenthal is more accurate than most:
“..Murder of 6,000,000 Jews must never be reduced to a statistic.” Simon Wiesenthal.
and so we must never see these People as numbers even when those who have Survived those Destroyed have numbers branded upon them! So for a period that sees the Annihilation of 6,000,000 Jewish People, all because they were Jews, and only because they were Jews, we can look to certain statistical collators like:
The American Jewish Yearbook of 1932:
Which shows a Total of some
15,192,218 Jews who lived in the World! This was made up of
9,418,248 Jews who were resident in Europe, with
4,624,787 Jews who had resided in America, and
585,791 Jews who lived across Asia, while
538,609 Jews lived in Africa and then there were some
24,783 Jews who lived in Australia and New Zealand.
With this as the consensus, at least from amongst reasonable people, not just academics and scholars, we can assess a Jewish loss. These collators, who are credited with an integrity required to safeguard history from review or revision stand aloft with a veracity the deniers will never match. This statistical analysis pre-exists The Holocaust and as such cannot be declared in any way corrupted by Hitler’s future intentions. The ultimate threat therefore, which Herr Hitler posed toward the Jews of Europe is cruelly exposed as a final solution which ultimately morphed systematically into a final resolve, The Holocaust. As measure after measure was applied to isolate, expel and then destroy the Jews of Germany initially, and then all Jewish People from the whole of Europe, the Jews as a body of People will be removed entirely from the body of the German people and then removed entirely from actual existence.
Here though, immediately prior to Herr Hitler’s aggressive war, which commenced with the Invasion of Poland on September 1st. 1939, the Jewish World Population had risen to some 16,600,000 Men, Women and Their Children. Here still was a chance for the Jews of Europe to be given clear and categorical assurances of their right to life by the Free World! But these were the People of The Jewish Faith, demonised by Hitler and castigated by 2,000 years of Religious intolerances. These were the Jews who had previously Survived Pogroms and all manner of human indifferences. So when it becomes the ultimate realisation for History that we are to be eventually talking about the Destruction of 6,000,000 Jewish People, History must note with care and concern for what the world had allowed to transpire! While intolerance can become an accusation, world indifference can be its accuser and a growing awareness, a knowledge of what had been commissioned against the Jews is an accusation for History still to rectify.
The American Jewish Yearbook of 1947:
By 1946 the World Jewish Population had been drastically reduced to about 11,000,000 People of the Jewish Faith. With this as an assessment of the years between 1932 and 1946, we are faced with the surety that at least 5,600,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children have been Eradicated and otherwise Annihilated! That said, meaningful growth in the World Jewish Population would have to be taken into account, which should have added significantly to the figures mentioned here, and perhaps to a ratio of 1/11 that might add to that Jewish presence?
This would signify that we should have expected the growth in the Jewish World Population in that 15 year period, would be somewhere in the region of some 1,400,000 Jewish Persons! Within Europe there remained but 3,642,000 Jews of that pre-war Population of some 9,740,000 (In line even with Heydrich/Eichmann’s own Wannsee assessment, and this means a loss of 6,098,000 Jews Murdered under Hitler’s regime. Such was the implicit nature of German methodology, a conference was called for in which all of Germany, its People and bureaucracies would become complicit in the crimes being conducted and to be presented to a World made aware. This, The Wannsee Conference has, as its own estimates show, and the protocol does just that in its breakdown of those very Nations whose Jews Herr Hitler has clearly earmarked for Destruction.
The Official Wannsee Conference Figures as produced by Eichmann at the time, expose the Jewish People to the German machinery of Destruction, and it is systematic, concerted and destructive!!
The General Government 2,284,000 Jews.
Unoccupied France 700,000 Jews.
The Eastern Territories 420,000 Jews.
Bialystok 400,000 Jews.
Occupied France 165,000 Jews.
Holland 160,800 Jews.
Germany 131,800 Jews.
Bohemia & Moravia 74,200 Jews.
Greece 69,600 Jews.
Austria 43,700 Jews.
Belgium 43,000 Jews.
Lithuania 34,000 Jews.
Denmark 5,600 Jews.
Latvia 3,500 Jews.
Norway 1,300 Jews.
Estonia Free of Jews.
The Official Wannsee Conference Figures!!
Russia 5,000,000 Jews.
(with Ukraine and Byelorussia)
Hungary 742,800 Jews.
Rumania 342,000 Jews.
England 330,000 Jews.
Slovakia 88,000 Jews.
Italy 58,000 Jews.
Turkey 55,500 Jews.
Bulgaria 48,000 Jews.
Croatia 40,000 Jews.
Switzerland 18,000 Jews.
Serbia 10,000 Jews.
Sweden 8,000 Jews.
Spain 6,000 Jews.
Ireland 4,000 Jews.
Portugal 3,000 Jews.
Finland 2,300 Jews.
Albania 200 Jews.
TOTAL 11,293,300 Jews to be Murdered!
That Wannsee declared these 11,293,300 Jews were to be Destroyed, it should suggest those who emerged from underneath the totality of Hitler’s expectation and his hate filled demand, they must be considered to have Survived Hitler’s intention. However, on the question of Who is actually a Survivor, there is to be no hard and fast rule! Nor is there an easy answer to this, despite my attempts to assure myself it was rather simple, in a methodological way! By definition I would suggest any Jew who avoided the intention of Hitler to have them Slaughtered is a Survivor. When we consider that The Wannsee Conference had sought the Destruction of 11,293,300 Jews, and given that 6,000,000 of those were Murdered in The Holocaust, there is a precedent for accepting there are 5,293,300 Jewish Survivors.
From Hitler’s clear intention to have all Jews of Europe Murdered, those who were not Annihilated are Survivors! For a long time though, I have only considered the Survivor to have been those Jews who emerged after having remained in situ. Whether that position was from a hiding place in Towns, Cities or Ghettoes, whether they were detained within the confines of Death and Concentration Camps, whilst awaiting their own final solution, and when luck saw them escape, emerge, Survive, this can be recognised more accurately as the Jewish Survivor than say the 4,000 Jews of Ireland! But these Jews of Ireland were indeed Hitler’s intended targets, but they never quite came under the physical yoke of Hitler’s resolve. All of these are Survivors! Though those who finally emerged from the midst of the Catastrophe, from the Camps, Pits and Ravines, from the Ghettoes or in hiding are the truer Survivors in the sense of a criteria set by Hitler and his Nazis.
But one should not exclude any Jew who does not fit such a categorised template but still managed to live out Hitler’s call for their final solution! There is a deep concern that while we attribute such emphasis to the relative study of statistical analysis, the fate of a People is somehow sidelined. If we take for instance that between 1933 and 1945, the period that we will identify as The Holocaust period, few Jews of Europe managed to escape the clutches of Hitler and The Final Solution. While Countries continually sought to close their Borders to Jewish Refugees, and émigré status was applied only to some other Jews, the consequences for ALL Jews of such a mean spirited process, resulted in 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, Men, Women and Their Children being Murdered.
200,000 Jews Escaped to America,
125,000 Jews Escaped to Palestine,
70,000 Jews Escaped to England,
50,000 Jews Escaped to Argentina,
27,000 Jews Escaped to Brazil,
25,000 Jews Escaped to China
14,000 Jews Escaped to Bolivia, and
14,000 Jews Escaped to Chile.
This represented 425,000 Jews who were saved out of the 11,293,300 Jews targeted by The Wannsee Conference. Though saved from ultimate Destruction, are these Jews as recognisable as the Jewish Survivors who emerged from within the Killing Sites, the Death Camps or even the Ghettoes of Hitler’s Reich? While we are engaged in the decisive matter to attribute a status to those Jews who are still alive after World War II, it is to those Jews who were presented with a life and death choice, with a decision to make or a circumstance to consider, it is these Jews for whom we owe a narrative to The Holocaust that we so demand! Also, and despite what Hitler had intended for them all, let us Remember that the Catastrophe for these Jews of these European Nations stands as an accusation of not only what happened to them, but what the World allowed to happen to them:
Albania 591 Jews were Murdered,
Austria 65,000 Jews were Murdered,
Belgium 24,387 Jews were Murdered,
Bulgaria 7,335 Jews were Murdered,
Czechoslovakia 260,000 Jews were Murdered,
Denmark 116 Jews were Murdered,
Estonia 4,000 Jews were Murdered,
Finland 15 Jews were Murdered,
France 90,000 Jews were Murdered,
Germany 171,000 Jews were Murdered,
Greece 69,221 Jews were Murdered,
Holland 106,000 Jews were Murdered,
Hungary 559,000 Jews were Murdered,
Ireland 8 Jews were Murdered,
Italy 15,000 Jews were Murdered,
Latvia 85,000 Jews were Murdered,
Lithuania 135,000 Jews were Murdered,
Luxembourg 720 Jews were Murdered,
Norway 758 Jews were Murdered,
Poland 2,800,000 Jews were Murdered,
Romania 469,632 Jews were Murdered and
Russia 1,100,000 Jews were Murdered.
This analysis, though it can never be conclusive, shows that the Jewish loss to the nations mentioned amounts to some 5,962,783 Jews who were Murdered and clearly, when we look to the assessment finally made for Historical reference, we have 6,000,000 Murdered Jews of Europe as an accepted point at which we can attempt to comprehend the Catastrophe. Adolf Eichmann is not far off the mark with his euphemistically termed ‘resettling’:
“..By resettling ..Jews out of ..European economic area to a yet to be determined territory. In ..framework of this ..5,800,000 Jews will be affected.” Adolf Eichmann.
The message from The Holocaust is clear to me and should be so for all of Humanity and it is that Intolerance breeds contempt for all of Human existence. Rwanda has proved we did not learn the lesson appropriately. Serbia and Croatia proved too that Intolerance has a stranglehold upon humanity no longer confined to the Jewish People. 6,000,000 Jews of Europe found that to their cost, what we today must prove can no longer be tolerated. It is a fact too, that for those who sit with bigots, they develop a newer racism and in any of its forms, racism is the putrefaction of the humanity in all people!
“..Willingly or not we come to terms with power ..forgetting that we are all in ..ghetto. ..that ..ghetto is walled in. ..that outside ..ghetto reign ..lords of death ..and that close by ..train is waiting.” Primo Levi.
The terrible events in Paris recently have proved, alongside what ‘fundamentalists’ have set out to inflict upon communities world wide, that the train waiting outside the wall is taking innocent lives to their deaths, and they are not all Jews being Murdered. However, Elie Wiesel’s contention still stands, and while not all victims will be Jews, All Jews Will Be Victimised. We must act more strongly, and with a combined effort that is inclusive of all those the fundamentalists insist they speak for, to resist the clamour for more and more Intolerances! Paris, where ordinary working people have since found to their cost, that though the Train from the Jewish Ghetto has long since departed with its cargo of Jews, no one people, no one Religious grouping is safe from the intolerable accusation and resolve that is Intolerance!
The grist mill of The Death Camp has been removed from this newer arena and the experience gained by der Einsatzgruppe in the field, has been utilised on the streets of Paris, Sydney and wherever innocent people strive to live peacefully with their neighbour! For me, The Holocaust Survivor holds the key, not simply in the requirement to Survive in the cauldron of competing hatred, but in their ability to afford us a solution as to how to persist against such indifference to Human life! The Jewish Survivor has much to contend with, not least our insistence that they remind us how they were betrayed by us. How they were shunned by us. How they were badly treated by us. How they were brutally beaten by us. How they were starved by us. How they were reduced to intolerable conditions by us. How they were isolated by us. How they were boarded on trains by us and how the lords of death were allowed by us to deliver 6,000,000 of their brethren, those who did not Survive, to Destruction.
Holocaust Memorials are for those who are the reason we have a Holocaust to contend with. The Holocaust Memorials are Jewish by definition, as defined by those 6,000,000 Jewish People who are no longer able to voice their concern or status as a living being. Genocides will perplex the World to come, but History will know The Holocaust Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe now has a day, Remembering that the liberation of the Auschwitz & Birkenau Death Camp on January 27th. 1945 now marks a Catastrophe that we will Remember on Their behalf! It is Holocaust Memorial Day for a reason and 70 years on from the greatest Catastrophe ever to be inflicted upon mankind, when 6,000,000 Innocent Jews of Europe were Murdered, they have a Day on which we will Remember them. That date is: