And What Would You Have Done.
“..We all know how we were ..we were all lost. ..drifting in a world of bitter memories ..trying to hold on to sanity ..not to give in to despair.” Alicia Appleman-Jurman.
Believe me, no Jew should be asking any other Jew this question. There are 6,000,000 responses that are sufficient enough to qualify the Jewish silence. However, each and every Jew has an awareness that no other being in humanity can come close to understanding. That said, they have to deal with so many who were silent and so much silence that it screams of the complicity of too many Nations, far too many nationals and a glut of the guilty in The Holocaust, as yet unaccountable.
Sunday October 11th. 1942. “..Everyone knows ..what happened in Warsaw ..Slonim ..it is already time to count ..cities where ..catastrophies did not occur. ..understand ..better to be sent to Wolkowsk than ..Treblinka.” Ephraim Barash.
For me, No Jew had any choice whatsoever even if their accusers might suggest differently. When I remember back to reading Lawrence Langer, who asserts that such was this absence of choice, I am more certain than ever that All Jews had these choiceless choices. If we are to use such terms to describe the fate of the Jewish People in The Final Solution of The Jewish Question, then we must suggest this accurately with the truth. For what emerged as The Holocaust, adding terms with meaning and significance can increase a comprehension still yet to be understood.
“..Everywhere I go ..I want people to know where I’m from ..my background ..where my family came from because of ..struggle they had to go through. Every week when I play and I see ..Israeli flag ..it brings me a lot of pride and I think it’s because of what my grandparents had to go through. Not just them but everybody during World War II and The Holocaust. That brings me anger but what I’m trying to do is bring ..anger and do something meaningful.” Laetitia Beck.
Such is the uniquely unprecedented and unparalleled nature of the catastrophe, it is the gravest atrocity ever to face the Jewish People at the behest of too many within humanity. In any study of the depths and margins in which such a disaster is defined, it is essential to remind us that not all victims were Jews, though All Jews Were Victims. There is no discernible conflict or conflict in this, Hitler’s final solution was a question that the Jews of Europe were to answer with their lives for.
“..Since ..campaigns of murder were conducted with ..strictest secrecy ..there was considerable temptation to delude one’s conscience into believing that ..deeds committed outside any social control never happened. Who was ..to ask at home ..what was done to ..unknown Jew in ..forest near Minsk or behind ..barbed wire of Auschwitz.” Hans Buckheim.
What we know in all that we have yet to comprehend of The Holocaust, is that the Jewish People had been given no choice in how they were expected to live. Their route toward death was accorded them in the many sites set aside for their destruction and even in death that death, the shower was a death sentence, a mockery imposed upon them by a cruelty beyond human comprehension. But the fact remains that human beings did this to human beings and simply because these were Jewish human beings set aside by hatred for destruction.
Friday, 7th. April 1944. “..millions of Jews ..captured ..who knows where they are. ..We have come ..from place where your brothers are. ..Two thousand years have we brought into this world children ..doomed to suffer.” Moshe Flinker.
In this truth there is no version, The Holocaust remains merely a factual veracity which maintains the standard the scientific search in history must demand. The sought after distortion of any element of that fact will deviate the line of essential obedience to the truth our trajectory demands. The decisions the Jews made in the midst of this conflagration, while they might appear crucial in terms of how they were affected by them, a jackboot stood astride them armed with whip, gun, rifle and aboard a gas chamber which consumed more than we will ever know.
“..Let me explain that even though I had been in Auschwitz I did not know about ..gas chambers. Can you imagine that. We thought ..when we were there ..that our parents and ..children were taken to camps which were much better. We assumed that they couldn’t live through ..camp we were in. It was not until a large contingent from Auschwitz came to Belsen that I had to give up that idea that they were safe. I met 2 women in their 30’s who spoke Hungarian and they asked if it was true that ..Hungarian transports were so severely selected people to ..camps and ..others to be gassed. I said ..What are you saying. ..And they looked at me as if I were foolish ..but they didn’t want to destroy my hope and so didn’t try to explain. I ran back to ..tent and collapsed. I think I cried for weeks. I finally realized that everybody was killed.” Maria Frank-Abrams.
So the crucial decision is a pertinent one and one which remains outside the body of the Jewish People for whom the choice had been designed for them. I often pointed to the Parent who would deliver the last moments of Love and Devotion to the Child who had been their everything from inception. I had spoken to so many Survivor’s whose loss of a Parent was such, they would have held them up all the way toward oblivion just to be with them and feel their last moments as a unified one. For too many Jewish Children, 1,500,000 of them and far too many Parents and Adults, 4,500,000 of them, all choice was taken away from these 6,000,000 and that cannot resonate with:
And What Would You Have Done
” ..Did you make sure to scrape the ashes of friends and relatives from the furnace?
And did you haul the cart in the snow
To the heap of ashes of those cremated before them?
Were the words “You’ll certainly live as long as the furnaces send smoke aloft, because you’re needed,” directed at you?
And when you were covered with those ashes, did your mouths report what had happened in the language of the barracks?
That extra soup, is it the price of the labor of your spade
And the double ration-the price of the sweat that you gave forth?
And was it to you that the words “Only some time later, at an unknown time,
After the coal, the miner of the coal also comes” were directed?
Not you, not me! We were not put to that ordeal!
You may scrape furnaces every night
And push the cart to its side in your dreams.
But to have the slightest inkling of what happened in that man’s heart, you cannot.
Rather, from time to time you may turn your eyes heavenward, as if reflecting,
And what would you have done.” Gunther Anders.