I am 91 years old ..a faded old beauty ..born in Jaworzno ..Poland. I came from a family of 8. My father and Mother Ichak and Rosalia Mehlman. Kind law abiding people along with my three sisters Eva 29 ..Regina 28 ..Salusia 12 years old ..my nephew Willy 6 ..my niece Frieda 6 months old ..that I never saw. ..In 1942 was slaving ..starving ..infested with lice ..eaten by bedbugs in a Concentration Camp in Czehoslovakia ..for 3 years until ..blessed day when we 350 very lucky young innocent girls ..were liberated by ..raggedy tired but victorious Red Army. ..God bless all liberators of this time in history.” Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, there can be no excuse nor reasoning for what you, nor all your Jewish Neighbours in Jewish Jaworzno now mourn. The Jewish People of Europe, who were forced to suffer and endure because of the apparent hatred led by one man are all part of the memory you hold preciously. For your pain, the world stood by and now must endure a posterity filled with the guilt of the many. But firstly, I wish to provide some basic facts about this Town called Jaworzno which afforded you your early comfort only for it to be so brutally taken from you. The Town lies in a Silesian Province of Southern Poland. It is some 22 kilometres Southeast of Katowice and about 301 kilometres Southwest of the Polish Capital, Warsaw. It has been in existence as a cross roads to the East since the 13th Century and has prospered since it opened its first Coal Mine in 1767. By 1795 Austria had gained sovereignty of the region after annexing it from Poland. By the end of the 18th. Century there were close on 100 Jews residing within Jaworzno’s Township and this steadily increased to close on 1,000 Jews. All the while mining was still to prove the stable and productive enterprise throughout the 19th. and early 20th. Century. By the turn of the 20th. Century, by which time the Town had become a City, Jewish persistence was growing. Patrick.
“..Natalie Mehlman Scharf Survivor of Concentration Camp Gabersdorf part of Camp Gross Rosen now part of Poland. To ..deniers I tell you deny as much as you want. ..only thing that will ever set you free from ..hatred that you have for my Jewish People is not ..shameless lies that you spread about us. This the Truth! For Truth Shall Make You Free.” Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, the Jews were steadily being absorbed into the community and by the outbreak of the First World War, of the 13,000 residents of Jaworzno there were more than 1,300 Jewish Citizens and 12 of their members were on the City Council. Tragedy however was about to bite and by the time Hitler Invaded Poland September 1st. 1939, there were more than 1,800 Jews who lived in the City and could then be targeted for such unprecedented suffering, the unparalleled hatred against them, purged their number. Here, with the German occupation history saw the Ghettoisation of local Jews and so many other Jews from the surrounding areas. These Jews came from Chorzkow, Katowice and Siemianowice and were eventually moved into the Jaworzno Ghetto. Hitler’s carefully phrased Jewish isolation and their segregation’s came into focus, and in the latter part of 1940 the Jews were met with restrictions. Focus upon the Jews, and with their ability to interact with their local neighbours curtailed, the move toward annihilation commenced. This brutality began with sporadic assaults and the confiscation’s of all manner of goods and Jewish property’s were pilfered. As well as all of these assaults, the Murders of the burgeoning growth of these contained Jews became far too regular an occurrence. Patrick.
“..Monday August 28th. 2017 07:00am. Dear Patrick ..In june 1942 my whole family was still alive. In march 1943 most of them were gassed and burned in Auschwitz a town a walking distance from Jaworzno near Krakow were I was born.” Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, and it does me no service to have to point out that on the night of July 12th. 1942 more than 2,092 of Jaworzno’s Jews were rounded up and transported towards the Auschwitz and Birkenau complex and their Destruction there. Fewer than 12 of these Jews from this transport were admitted to the Auschwitz Camp, the remainder were Murdered in the Birkenau factory of death. Here too the fate of the last Jews of Jaworzno is intertwined with what remained of the Jews of Silesia, as these were amongst the last Ghetto’s still to be liquidated, those Ghetto’s in Bedzin and Sosnowitz. Tragically, far too few Jews from Jaworzno or the surroundings areas had Survived the early onslaught against their personal integrity. If these Jews were not Murdered by der Einsatzgruppe, who operated their aktionen in the vicinity of the City, transports to Ghetto’s awaited the Jews of Jaworzno and they were removed further afield and the end result was never going to alter their fate as death and destruction was never far from them. Patrick.
“..I was grabbed by ..SS April 17th. 1942. And never saw my dear kinfolk again ..and now ..deniers ..marching Nazis with arms and permits and trump defending them ..they had permits there were nice people amongst he said. Americans not just ..media ..fair Americans ..good folks in our land speak up.” Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, the following year after much of Jaworzno had been devastated by this Hitlerite ritual, and now along with the Bedzin (Bendin) Transport of August 1st. 1943, this transport contained the last x2 remaining Jewish Family’s of Jaworzno. These Jaworzno Family’s were amongst 2,000 Jews drawn from the Bedzin Ghetto itself, from Gleitwitz and Kattowice and the surrounding regions. All are transported toward Auschwitz and the Birkenau Death Camp, where certain death for all too many of them could not be prevented. Of these x5 transports of 2,000 Jews each, that is in excess of 10,000 Jews, there were 1, 689 Jewish People who were not immediately directed toward Birkenau and were saved from being gassed. Whereas the remaining 8,400 of these Jews, including the last Jewish Families of Jaworzno, the Jews from Bedzin, Gleiwitz and Kattowice as well as the remnants of Silesian Jewry, here they were all to be extinguished at Hitler’s bestial behest. Other’s who also suffered, now seek to offer to posterity a small piece of the History that is now missing from those who were the Jews of Jaworzno. Patrick.
“..I will tell you how Hitler exterminated our entire family. ..March 1940 ..they arrested Mendele and took him to Berlin. ..2 years in jail ..released ..sent ..to Fiaski near Lublin and after 6 months to Majdanek and from then on there was no sign from him.” Aron Krakauer.
Dearest Natalie, I have no need to point out to you what you already know, but Hitler had clearly identified with the raw materials to be gained in pursuance of his twin aims, the War and The Final Solution. He saw in its promise a sustained war effort that would allow him his final resolve of that very Jewish Question which was to proceed at all costs, and would annihilate all too many of your People, 6,000,000 of them. Unhindered and unhampered by any other concerns, the youth of Germany was squandered in obligatory defence of a failed ideology, and make no mistake, they were in awe of the idea of supremacy over other’s and the feted idiocy that was Hitler. Hitler of course had established many layers of perversion to gain his ultimate aim, the Destruction of the Jews of Europe. Here at Auschwitz and more especially Birkenau, and even amongst its many sub-Camp, the destruction of your People was managed and achieved. One of these sub-Camps as you know was here at Jaworzno and Hitler could clearly exploit the already brutalised and starving Jewish labour force, but could also achieve a further financial gain on top of that. Patrick.
“..I have suffered a lot. I ..don’t know how I survived.” Aron Krakauer.
Dearest Natalie, as there are those who do not know how they Survived Jaworzno, which was so near to the Jewish embattled population which arrived at the very doorsteps to their own destruction in the Gas Chambers at Auschwitz/Birkenau, I guess you must often wonder how You Survived. Well be thankful that you did so that in your presence you can relay what it is we are in need of knowing. Life of course became an even more temporary reprieve for those Jews Hitler could exploit further, but ultimately all Jews would be assigned the same fate, annihilation. Here though, on June 15th. 1943 the labour camp at Jaworzno was doing just that fixed aim of Hitler and his Reich where the Camp was opened to exploit the Coal reserves in the area. Production of this Coal, which stoked the very furnaces of the destructive processes at Auschwitz/Birkenau, has no consolation for anyone who now reads of this. In the person of Aron Krakauer, a former resident of Jaworzno and Survivor of Auschwitz, who informs us of the very fate of his own Parents, Wolf and Lieba, and his siblings Mendele and Mentze who did not Survive, the similarity’s to your own story must seem an acute and deeply cutting reminder. Patrick.
“..Our Dear Mother Lieba was sent ..July 1942 to Auschwitz ..our Dear Father Wolf ..August 1943 to Auschwitz and Dear Mentze also ..same at ..end of 1943. ..In January 1945 she was still there ..when ..Russians came closer they evacuated ..camp deep into Germany and on ..way ..shot ..90% of ..survivors.” Aron Krakauer.
Dearest Natalie, while I don’t EVER claim to know all the answers, which is why I have no wish to create the impression I am any authority on The Holocaust, I have learned so much that is wrong with Humanity, and this has been learned in 20 years of studying The Holocaust. How can it be for a People, knowing that so many were saved, and yet, they were not allowed to Survive the approaching liberation they felt was their only escape. For me then, I merely put words to an acknowledgement that those, like Yitzhak Arad, Professor Bauer, Yisrael Gutman and Lucy Dawidowicz, all of these who are clearly the enlightenment I have sought and the resolve of the questions I have yet to ask. There have always been 6,000,000 reasons why this odyssey of mine has been important for me and questions keep pouring out from within, and from those willing to ask of me, What do I know? But I cannot know what it is those I mention here must know and with certainty that with their own surety and with a front row seat to all the inexplicable horrors I flick through on a daily basis, I beseech their authorship and plough through their words to offer me my own wordings. It is with You, and their understanding of what I seek to comprehend, which is set in a Memorial to 6,000,000 of their fellow Human Beings, all Murdered because they too were Jews that I place my trust in what research must look like and the evidence it thus far provides. Patrick.
“..My family was gassed and burned in Auschwitz Poland. My dear late husband Bernard Benny Scharf ..only survivor of his family and I met in 1946 Fell in love and came to our blessed land in 1947. We have 2 children ..Jeffrey I. Scharf M.D. Andrea R. Scharf Gal ..3 Grandsons.” Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, I had struggled with my 4th. Book on The Holocaust of the Jews of Europe as I have endeavoured to ask various questions all the way through the writing process. Many of these questions still cannot be asked as I survey the vista that opened up for you as you Survived. Certainly for those, like Yourself, who have guided my awareness of the terrible dilemma of retelling, I cannot deliver words that would amply compensate you for your loss, let alone for those whose 6,000,000 fellow Jews represents an entire Human Community. However, while communicating with Elie Wiesel I was struck by his determined approach and his suggestion that I should seek to not deliver a version of The Holocaust that was anything but an historical account. This has left me struggling to proceed with what would have been my 4th. Book, containing an attempt at a literary endeavour. This sought too to revisit Babi Yar, the most devastating single event within this destruction of the Jewish People, so as to deliver a narrative full of the sense of pain and abject despair for those Jews forced to endure and die in horrendous circumstances. There are many like me who also seek to acknowledge that the guilt of so many in what transpired, that they too must feel as I do, the lesson’s to be learned cannot be gained without Justice attributed to your suffering, and that is before we can approach the entire atrocity of the 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, who alone are The Holocaust. Patrick.
“..persistent commemoration of 6,000,000 Polish victims of genocide ..a figure which includes ..3,000,000 Polish Jews ..testifies to ..ease of appropriating ..Jewish dead as one’s own.” Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, this cause of mine is seemingly supposed to retrieve the Murdered Jews from the absence of any concern or compassion for their obvious status as the Chosen People to be totally annihilated. Iwona is correct in her evaluation that in seeking to merit Polish losses there is an attempt to abrogate the Jewish loss. That said, how could anyone let alone I ever come close, ever, to understanding the magnitude of feeling each word wrenched from the deep seated experience of the Jews who suffered, endured and then Survived, how can we ever begin to appreciate the lessons they willingly deliver for us all. I can merely borrow the words of the Survivor and attempt to ensure that I do share my concern with a form of care for them they will recognise. I will lend back to all of those who wish to experience what History has yet to learn from. My journey to the x6 Death Camps Hitler had established in German Occupied Poland will not end my search. Until my understanding of the complexities of The Holocaust is fully understood it continues. If it allows me to comprehend why one man can so direct his hatred onto so many other’s and how his results are now to be measured in the Destruction of 6,000,000 Jewish People, then I will know a little more of what yo know. Patrick.
“..figure of 6,000,000. ..grants ..dead Jew ..status of a Pole ..in a post-mortem acceptance of ..Jews’ membership in ..Polish family. ..this renders a reading of ..past which makes that past unrecognisable.” Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, this status for the Polish Jew was not an entitlement to anything other than death under the vagaries of all of Hitler’s directives to ensure their brutal destruction. This however, should not be applied to the position of the Pole, and though Poles were also murdered, but is seconded to an erstwhile position which would allow for them to Survive at the cost to ALL Polish Jews. We cannot simply reconstruct the past by inferring differing scenarios to suit the claims of falsified details we have no wish to recognise. For that reason also, I stand for the integrity of the past which must steel the present to ensure the future is both honest and true. I am left bereft too of any understanding as to how this World stood so idly by without acknowledging the knowledge of it all. Lamely, and while ensuring that they kept that knowledge in house and away from a World that would damn them for doing so, 6,000,000 Jews were progressed along the conveyor belt toward a mechanised and industrial level of destruction! Patrick.
“..Jew not only appears to be mourned on a par with others ..which he was not ..he also appears to have always belonged ..which he did not.” Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, for me therefore, if the Slaughter of The Jews of Europe is to be the defining expression which is, The Holocaust, then we need to guard against all efforts to impose other’s into the position totally reserved for these Jewish People. Take BabiYar for instance, which pronounces that expression more fully in its isolation of that very terror to be visited upon Kiev’s Jews. Over a x2 day period, between September 29th. and September 30th. 1941, and the evidence all points to the acknowledged brutality aimed at 33,771 Jews, it does not state any other’s were included? Once we begin to accept that the totality of The Holocaust was always intended to be the total destruction of all Jews, how can we ever mark such memory with distortion of that fact. Of course, beyond that time period we know as these x2 days, other’s became victims of Hitler’s outrage. These other’s though, they exist in terms that state World War Two’s analysis, but we know these 50 to 70 million were not part of a coordinated effort to ritually slaughter them all. Patrick.
“..destruction of ..Jewish Community ..when reclaimed as ..loss of Polish lives ..acquires a sense of trauma which it did not have.” Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, also, and surely those like you Natalie, the ‘Survivor’ is not only the Jew who emerged from within the ravine at Babi Yar, but is the Jew who emerged from within Hitler’s immediate grasp also? I know full well that many nationals from many states were under the Hitler cosh, but it was for the Jews that Hitler reserved the most serious blow! With that level of unequivocal certainty, I cannot begin to know, nor would I propose to know the despair of any Jew who faced this terrible, on going ordeal and ‘genocide’. But for me there is this tangible link with which my humanity stretches to meet the overall trauma and I know of and share that desperation and feeling of abandon through my far reaching study. My research has not gilded any soft comparison’s of atrocity which was levelled at the Jewish People and a human empathy which feels shame for those who stood so idly by is part and parcel of my deliberate effort to Remember what was done and why it was allowed to be achieved. I carefully calculate from all of this, that any Jew who came out of the Death and Concentration Camps, who emerged from the Ghetto or who crawled away from the Killing Sites that were BabiYar, Rumbuli, Tuchinka or Ponary, that Survivor Jew is the bearer of an extraordinary insight into an intolerable evil and we must surely learn from them. These Survivor’s too are also the accuser’s of our indifference to their plight. Patrick.
“..sharing in suffering ..together with assigning all ..blame to ..Nazi’s ..helps eliminate questions about ..Poles’ action and inaction towards ..Jews.” Iwona Irwin-Zarecka.
Dearest Natalie, what is intelligent in having such knowledge, when the lives of 6,000,000 Jews have been wilfully destroyed, and at the behest of a simple tyrant. Can it be that such intelligence is greater than the sum total of abandoned lives, because simply, these were Jewish lives. The obvious answer is written in the vaults of government buildings throughout the World which carefully restrained its objections and criticism’s of Hitler’s regime and the unfolding catastrophe for the Jewish People. For me, this is an ever spiralling curve of learning, and I have yet to catch the tail end of what is known, by those who knew, know and were made aware of what The Holocaust is! So if we then accept, for argument sake, that Hitler’s intention was indeed to destroy all of World Jewry, and as The Wannsee Conference clearly insists, then from inception of Hitler’s very own Final Solution to an almost complete accomplishment of that fundamental demand, some 6,000,000 Jews paid too heavy a price with their lives. Patrick.
“..lives of ..Poles went on like before. ..They ate ..worked ..loved ..had children ..cows were grazing in ..fields ..Polish children ..My former friends were playing evenings in ..snow ..while we Jews at 4:00 pm had to be in our homes ..waiting in dread for ..morning.” Natalie Mehlman Scharf.
Dearest Natalie, we must also accept within that remit to Destroy 11,293,300 Jews of Europe, and with that to be resolved, and while Hitler gained such impetus from a World’s indifference to the Jewish plight, then we too are historically blighted with an acquiescence in the gravest crime ever to be inflicted upon the Jewish People! What we thus gain from the perspective of Hitler’s hold on power, as when the function was initially perceived that the Jews could indeed be destroyed, and all the way until 1945 when that intention was applied, Jewish choice was removed from the Jewish People. What choice there was, to die with some form of dignity or search through the searing pain and anguish watching the bludgeoning horror to be inflicted upon those they loved, is not a choice to be made. In everything I have sought to achieve therefore, and it is hoped I have not drained The Holocaust of its substance as Wiesel might contend, but I hope I have delivered my own eulogy that is substantial enough to administer toward 6,000,000 losses. Patrick.
“..In ..beginning there was silence ..no words. ..word itself is a breaking out. ..reacquired consciousness of having been diminished.” Elie Wiesel.
Dearest Natalie, a question which has struck me ever since I first constructed My own conscious words for Remembering the Jews of The Holocaust has always seemed to enquire as to what or how the Jews will read my words, and will they be considered differently? The contention is certain, and that no one should doubt my effort is a concern, I choose my words with reverence for a memory that is largely lost, as not all Survivor’s are able to recall all 6,000,000 of their fellow Murdered Jews. My own sense of the tragedy allows for use of those contorted words and articulations brought to the fore and alongside a Jewish tradition I have sought to import words which are then exported to add a measure of shamed condolence for what Humanity must now acknowledge. Despite Elie Wiesel’s surety that, even though the narrative of fiction can shatter the silence and deliver information, there is little by way of the integrity of such horror that evidential knowledge must require. But for others, who are so enabled to add a choice, which for any Jew within reach of Hitler’s murderous grasp, did not exist. So as we look to Sophie’s Choice are we the:
“..jaded reader surfeited with our Century’s perturbable feast of atrocities will be spared here a detailed chronicle of ..killings ..gassings ..beatings ..tortures ..criminal medical experiments ..deprivations ..entries into ..historical account.” William C. Styron.
and whereas, there is this seeming choice over one Child or the Other, the Jews at the doors of the gas chambers had no such choice. The same inexorable lack of choice persists through The Holocaust. Did the Jews attack a guard and hope that if they survived would they still leave their Child, their Spouse, their Family or other’s to the vagaries of a more vengeful retaliation. Or does the Parent, Son, Daughter, Relative or Friend console their charge knowing that their last moments are to be filled with a fraction of hope, a certain element of joy and even a brief happiness from a loving knowledge shared amongst themselves. So while I offer no apology for the often times graphic depiction’s to be given so much space, my words truly are a consequence of a very aware and acute accusation of those acts which deliver up the very graphic detail set to confront us. Those who watched and those who saw amidst the cacophony of grief to be heard, must not lack the integrity sought to deliver us their own testimony to such events! Patrick.
“..you were saved not ..to live ..you must give testimony ..be courageous when ..mind deceives you be courageous in ..final account only this is important.” Zbigniew Herbert.
Dearest Natalie, herein lies the antithesis of everything the Holocaust should mean for me and for everyone. The blending of brutal narrative with emotional reconstructs of those words omitted from 6,000,000 mouths, must give testimony above and beyond what recollection truly recalls. Yet, there are those far more capable than I to render my efforts speechless, wordless and without the fuller perspective to be gained from those knowledgeable enough to truly know. For me, without more than a little emphasis placed upon the true tragedy, the wholesale Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jewish Men, Women and Their Children, my effort would appear perfunctory. My own comprehension alone, of the very detailed facts I seek to describe, would clearly present and prevent my ability to write with the capability of transforming those words into a meaningful text that has the efficacy of what confronted the Jews of Europe fully installed within them. Patrick.
“..I want to tell ..story ..of .little girl ..crying deep ..inside me who is still afraid. ..you ..Grandmother ..I’ll have to write about you. I’ll have to let you die ..again. ..forgive me.” Roma Ligocka.
Dearest Natalie, for those listening to what was heard and of those who ignored the evidence of such experience which stands as the accusation of time, I ask for forgiveness for bearing down on you all with words piercing in atrocity and vehement in horror. Such horror as does shine its atrocious light in so many works of words by Survivor’s, whose own accusation is replete with that knowledge gained from personal experience, and while my words are seconded to theirs, I have every wish that they are both complimentary and reverential. Their own experience therefore is a knowledge I choose to use the words from so as to admonish further those who did so little to prevent such atrocity being played out in and amongst far too many Jewish Community’s in far too many Nations and States. Here, I remember what Nelly Sachs recounts:
“..My mother held me by my hand. Then someone raised ..knife of parting ..So that it should not strike me ..My mother loosed her hand from mine. ..she lightly touched my thighs once more ..her hand ..bleeding ..As I was led to death I still felt in ..last moment ..unsheathing of ..great knife of parting.” Nelly Sachs.
Dearest Natalie, for those Jews within Hitler’s reach, who looked to us, as ‘christians’ or even as Catholics, they saw such a fall from grace for what should have been deemed a civilised humanity, whatever faith was had, fell short of what it was intended to convey. The Holocaust is a catastrophe that is unequalled in all of history, and we learn to accept that in order to pay attention to what transpired that might be repeated. Not just that, our failure to stand against this pernicious evil, which runs concurrent as it does alongside this greatest genocide ever inflicted upon a single People, is as criminal an act as it is morally reprehensible. So for the Jewish People who would emerge from within the dragnet of Hitler’s clear goal to destroy them all, these all must be included amongst the list of Survivor’s, and of an intention to murder them which did not mean only those Jews restrained in the Ghetto’s, contained within the Camp system or those Jews lined up alongside the pits and ravines of extinction. Patrick.
“..While I am writing I become ever more infused with ..greatness of ..idea for which I am ready to devote my whole life. ..work is complicated ..demanding extraordinary efforts of ..mind. ..physical exhaustion is nothing against ..intellectual pleasure it provides. You forget all ..troubles ..of life ..rise to ..heights of sublime ideas.” Simon Dubnow.
Dearest Natalie, that was stated by a man clearly identifying with the legacy of such destruction, he rose to the challenge to document the magnitude of the atrocity. The late arrival to the search clearly remains outside that term which held the Jews within The Holocaust’s reach. Though we remain as outsiders, such invested ideas so caked in horror, all adding to the sheer volume of the atrocity which so overwhelms and exhausts in measures unequal to the human soul, must always relay its terrible message. Like I have said, I cannot know what The Jew of The Holocaust knows, but I can know of their experiences from a moral perspective. For me, I am certain that any Christian and moral duty should have sought to deliver all Jews away from harm. We, who remain the accused by dint of our wish to understand, have set about accepting that responsibility so that our future generations do not have to? I think it is argued in Yehuda Bauer’s worthy book, Jews for Sale, that The Final Solution to a Jewish Question was Hitler’s responsibility alone, and it should be given over to him in all manner of exercises in which we seek the truth. Patrick.
“..Were I not a Jew ..I would not be an artist at all. ..I know quite well what this small people can accomplish. ..When it wished ..it brought forth Christ and Christianity. When it wanted ..it produced Marx and Socialism. Can it be ..that it would not show ..world ..art.” Marc Chagall.
Dearest Natalie, Marc Chagall can reminisce here about what the World has been given by your small race of People. But I constantly digress to a period where such is your loss, and our great impoverishment, that 6,000,000 Murdered ‘small people’ has masked the developer, hidden the science, thrown away the researcher, not known those that could cure and failed to recognise in the individuality so liberally destroyed, that the saving grace of all humanity was also destroyed. Tragically, the outcome for the Jews of Europe must become the responsibility of all those who seek to ensure that we clearly acknowledge the wrong done to these Jewish People. In doing so, we must not alter the interpretation this places on the part which the World played in allowing this all to happen. Whether the World now seeks to attribute the destruction of 6,000,000 Jews to some unintended functioning is immaterial to the fact that the World lost 6,000,000 Jews to a terrible accounting. At Deaths door the fate of the Jewish Community should not have been aligned to its national identity. These Jewish People should have been allowed to amble on through History as a member of the Human Race, with all those guarantees to life as their fundamental right. Patrick.
“..historical consciousness was ..basis of ..Jewish national idea ..with ..loss of ..physical characteristics of nationhood ..we are held together ..by ..community of historical fate.” Simon Dubnow.
Dearest Natalie, there are those who might suggest antisemitism had a hand in this final accounting and costing in Jewish lives? Well we should at least render antisemitism a deliberate fabrication and lest we completely forget, God sent His only Son to die for us. So God is culpable in the Crucifixion, not the Jewish People and as such, the Jewish People cannot be blamed for what a relied upon Christian God demanded. But who ever has a God who remains to be believed, as the Smoke rose over Birkenau, as the pyres raged in all other Death Camps, in the Killing Sites and those places constantly being eradicated of its Jewish People, fear walked amongst all Jews and filled them all with trepidation. Think then how any Man can conjure with a title for a Book that has Jews for Sale as its header, and reason that humanity can be too easily sold. With such an idea firmly fixed we might then approach a small detail of what Professor Bauer wishes to share with me, with You, with this World and with History and it is an understanding of why we must never forget! Patrick.
“..Smoke rose. ..God watched and fear walked in ..cool of ..day.” Itamar Yaov-Kest.
Dearest Natalie, quite often I find myself repeating a sentiment or choosing from the words of those who walked in fear. I have held dear for quite sometime, and it is difficult not to allow this to become overly sanitised, when in fact it is a sentimental reflection upon what is lost that so touches my inner being. I have no problem with allowing sentiment to enter this arena of words, for how else is one meant to approach the ravages of a People without an urgent surety written in emotional feeling. It is for that reason that I restate, The Holocaust has NEVER just been a part of History for me, and has ALWAYS been an affront to my person, as a Human Being. I have been entrusted with certain memories, gained from this research, which I pass along in Remembrance of those Jews lost to us but recalled. From Jewish Community’s completely extinguished, and in order that we never forget them, names have been extracted from oblivion! I wonder too should the recorded accounting become limited to those languages only allowed to the Jews. Should we temper our approach, or by reversing the illegal obligation to speak outside the national discourse, limit the recollections to those languages not tarnished by such intolerance’s as we see in detailing Polish experiences. Patrick.
“..Speaking Polish was prohibited. ..One day my mathematics teacher caught me in ..very act of ..crime ..during his class. ..What he said ..in ..final analysis one could forgive Poles ..speaking Polish ..but not a Jew.” Bronislaw Grosser.
Dearest Natalie, it has always been my understanding that a Teacher teaches and does not deny the ability to learn to anyone. So while I have been given an opportunity, which seeks to take back from those who refuse to teach what it is essential for all to learn, and that is an obligation to teach the meaning of toleration for all. Within this search for toleration I managed also to promise to a Survivor, and before I introduced myself to you Natalie, that I would at least visit all x6 Death Camps which Hitler had established in German occupied Poland. I completed the last leg of that journey recently and as the time approached and Chelmno and Treblinka come fully into view, I knew I had much more to share and achieve. Then, depending upon the acceptable assessment to be fully made, on my journey to Chelmno and Treblinka, in Auschwitz and in Birkenau, at Majdanek, in Sobibor and within Belzec I knew I would be in the presence of 1,000,000’s of Jewish souls plucked from existence. It is these who inspire my need to further expose the World to intolerable indifference’s which have become annihilatory. Patrick.
“..How can I see you ..standing alone ..amid storms of grief ..without feeling my heart shake.” David Vogel.
Dearest Natalie, Clearly, the grasp on life for 6,000,000 Jews was an eradication ensured by the rhetorical hatred of one man whose vented rage contorted to a final resolve which was eventually accomplished by many who aspired toward similar held hatreds as Hitler associated himself with. I have also, and always, clearly stated that I am not a complete authority on The Holocaust of The Jews of Europe. Surely Natalie such distinction belongs to the many fine Writers who experienced what it is I seek to know. It is an experience you too have endured on behalf of somehow saving humanity from further disgrace! In that, I have never equated anything that I have personally experienced with anything I have adapted from The Holocaust. Any such detail that so tormented a People, which so brutalised all too many of them and then radically dealt in the Destruction of 6,000,000 of them for being Jews, how could I possibly know a fraction of what that was like. However, from any sense of perspective I can gain, then that is where my work begins and my words end. Patrick.
“..suffering and ..testimonies when told by Holocaust Survivor’s ..are a song ..a hymn of praise ..a testimony to ..eternity of ..Jewish People and ..greatness of their spirit.” Israel Spira.
Dearest Natalie, by April 1943, more than 340,000 Jews, along with 20,000 Poles, Gypsies and Czechs are murdered at the Chelmno Death Camp with Gas vans used for their destruction. Some estimates, as low as 152,000 Jews, suggest was all that were Murdered there. But estimates though, as high as 360,000 Jews having been murdered here have also been made. Estimates however, cannot form the basis of any relevant account that will afford an finite response. The Humanity of that Jewish presence that has destroyed here at Chelmno, that was so abruptly brought to an end elsewhere in The Death Camp System or at The Killing Sites, cannot ever be allowed to give way to what cannot and must not be forgotten. There is this bond between us and those 6,000,000 Murdered Jews, which must remain convinced of the growing lessons that are to be learned positively from the example that this vengeful atrocity has set. Patrick.
“..I learned about friendship in Auschwitz. When I was cold ..strangers shielded me with their bodies from ..blowing winds ..they had nothing else to offer but themselves.” Arnost Lustig.
Dearest Natalie, that has always been the premise of my study, research and writing for as long as the image of Tokele has been set before me. Actually, that is wrong! I studied WWII History and came across a picture of coffins designating the Slaughter of the Jews of Europe, so my empathy for these Jewish People, who are The Holocaust, has been simmering since that time. At some stage in the future I will refine the words of kinship and add to the meaning I wish to engage in with Remembrance for those, like You Natalie, whose suffering was perpetuated by the completely inadequate response to that very suffering we cannot ever comprehend. For now Natalie, please allow me to extend the hand of friendship to the words which inspire me to recall, Always to Remember, Never to Forget and the last words for the time being Natalie are to be your words! Patrick.
“..taking of my brother and my brother in-law ..March 42 ..left my Mother ..Father my 4 Sisters and my self completely broken ..minimal rations constant wailing ..fear ..who will be next of us to be taken. ..Taken where. ..To be beaten ..cut ..raped ..we were like dirt in ..street to be swept away.” Natalie Mehlman Scharf.