“.. Not all victims were Jewish in this place but all Jews were victims.” Elie Wiesel.
My permanent motto stands for the Jews of The Holocaust and for very good reason, I ensure Always to Remember, Never to Forget. This clearly, has set me on a path where my focus remains upon 6,000,000 Jews who were so intentionally destroyed. These innocent Jews, Slaughtered solely because they were Jews has taught me well of the graver wrongs that are inherent within hatred. For me, when People stand by and allow hatred to be expressed, watch as it is entertained and stand aside as it is given full vent to its pernicious and dreadful end our duplicity as such makes us complicit in what that hatred then expresses itself as.
“..By clumping Jews together with Soviet citizens ..commemoration turned into empathy for ..Soviets at large rather than specifically for ..innocent Jews who were ..targets of ..majority of ..deliberate mass civilian killing.” Felicia Carmelly.
In this fact, and no matter how precise the exacting detail we will have, history cannot be seen shading areas of the truth so as to evade our appreciation of the fact that we condoned the expression as it converted into an outright annihilation process for 6,000,000 Jews. And while the fuller truth will always evade us, in relation to the totality of the loss, we continue our search in order to discover as many of those lost as we can find. Regardless of the evidences, despite the detailed testimony’s and given the monumental effort from eye witness accounts, we look deeper and search further than we have ever done in this science of History.
“..I follow on from what Elie Wiesel assures us and stress that while not all Nationals within Nations are guilty of the crimes of The Holocaust ..not all nationals within those nations are innocent of ..very crimes we uncover and bear witness to.” Patrick Dempsey.
Researching a broader spectrum of that vista, and in order to infill any or all of those gaps. we have an urgency in those immediate, first hand recollections we seek. Of course, we come to the moments of today when we realise there are so many fewer memories that we can salvage from this obliterated past. That said, such is the overwhelming evidence of The Holocaust, it is being sanctioned as the most uniquely unparalleled and unprecedented Genocide in All of History. But for us to be concerned with all that transpired in such a negative and consistent route toward an inexorable brutality and crucially devastating destruction, our search is increasingly more important to today.
“..Gypsies had been murdered in a proportion similar to ..Jews ..about 80% of them in ..area of ..countries which were occupied by ..Nazis.” Simon Wiesenthal.
With the continuous blurring of these truths over time, the very veracity of what we have learned still cannot confiscate what it is that we now set before the bar of history. This then, the distorting attempt, moving on from what could never be advanced as denial, was my early lesson at having to counter the untruth’s facing The Holocaust lesson. The negative aspects of the frustrating effort for all of History, which persuaded me to focus my intention where it belonged on The Holocaust and with 6,000,000 Jews whose extinguished voice called out for a chance to speak.
“..Government and with it ..great majority of ..German people ..are very conscious of ..appalling suffering brought to ..Jews in Germany and ..occupied territories. ..German people in their overwhelming majority ..disgusted by ..crimes perpetrated against ..Jews. ..in ..name of ..German people appalling crimes were committed ..that demand from us moral and material reparation ..not only as far as damages to ..individual ..but ..with regard to Jewish property.” Konrad Adenauer.
I had been writing for a long while, attempting to find the vehicle for the words which seemed to be parked up, waiting for that sudden flourish of any expression that I could deliver. I found that expression in both a grief and its loss which I could extract from my own experiences in a small way and transfer this to paper in a more focused way. I read copious amounts of works, concentrated upon the very Survivor who could deliver their message for us and was deeply touched by the words of Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz. Lucy’s words, which leapt out at me all the way back at the very beginning of this odyssey, was a watershed moment.
“..history ..as a way of knowing ..past ..has survived ..partianship ..ideological distortions ..attempts to extinguish its light and even to murder its practitioners ..and it will continue to do so. Its most terrible chapter ..murder of ..European Jews ..will surely remain recorded.” Lucy S. Dawidowicz.
In the pages of her Book: The War Against the Jews 1933 – 45, which she penned in 1975, this work struck a deep emotional chord. That I added to the personal grief and sense of loss I had been feeling personally, and for so long, galvanised all of a sudden into words I could identify with and recognise as empathetic and sympathetic to a Jewish struggle in demise. For me too, fixed as I was that in History, only the factual truth can hold the integrity of its Science together, here was one of The Holocaust’s most eloquent Writer’s assuring me that nothing that is History can be distorted by what is not history.
“..anyone ..attempting to write ..on ..nature of Nazism ..will not be able to express ..truth ..Nazism’s cruelty and barbarism. ..no writer among ..gentiles is qualified for this task. ..a Jewish writer who lives ..life of his people ..who feels ..suffers their agony ..cannot find a true path here. Only one who feels ..taste of Nazi rule ..only one who ..bared his back to ..lashes ..only ..a writer ..if he is a man of sensitivity ..might be able to.” Chaim Aron Kaplan.
For more than 20 years, even prior to Hitler’s intervention into Poland, the focus of all of Hitler’s vitriol and hatred was levelled at the Jews. Hitler’s expressions of hatred were aimed at the Jewish People and that contempt for human life was concentrated upon the Jews of the Jewish Faith. Then in 1939, with a further 3,650,000 Polish Jews on his doorstep, the clearer emphasis of that hatred moved along with a more widely expressed territorial demand. This would then become Hitler’s Weltanschauung and it was a view which would take his legions out of earshot and close proximity of a witnessing civilisation.
“..I pray ..Jew ..non-Jew alike may unite in ..resolve that evil forces will never again be permitted to set one people against another.” Alicia Appleman-Jurman.
The steps into an act of clear brutality and savagery, which was then completely unbounded by the norms of those borders that were both negated of human decency and the moral efficacy of ethical behaviour, they were meant to provide a better prospect of more secrecy. However, with the advancement of the Invasion of Poland on September 1st. 1939, this now delivered many more millions of prospective witnesses. With these Polish Jews then added to the crucible of a solution that was as yet to be fully resolved, though it was more clearly recognised, what is secured for all posterity is a reason to recollect what would be readily witnessed.
“..By ..time we reach ..75th anniversary ..liberation of Auschwitz ..there may be almost no survivors left. But they are coming now ..because they want to bear witness ..to stand there and say ..we outlasted Hitler. We made it.” Ronald Lauder.
It is clear too, that when Hitler opened up his Weltanschauung to the possibility of resolving the fuller issue of obliterating more than 12,293,300 Jewish European lives, Hitler had moved all levels of his Reich toward achieving his ultimate aim. The Final Solution of The Jewish Question was ultimately running concurrently with that view of a World to be invested with the virus of hatred Hitler espoused, more Jews were brought closer to their own demise than a knowing World could countenance. When, on June 22nd. 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, this would bring Hitler closer to the completion of this ultimate goal.
“..Operational Situation Report USSR No. 10 ..Einsatzgruppe B ..Renamed on July 11th. Einsatzgruppe C. ..17th Army Command has suggested ..use first of all of ..anti-Jewish ..anti-Communist Poles living in ..newly ..occupied areas for self ..cleansing activities. On July 1st. 1941 Chief of Security Police and SD issued ..following order to all Einsatzgruppe ..Order No. 2 ..Poles residing in ..newly ..occupied Polish territories may be expected ..to be anti-Communist and ..anti-Jewish. ..cleansing activities have to extend first of all to ..Bolsheviks and ..Jews. As for ..Polish intelligentsia and others ..decisions can be taken later. ..It is therefore obvious that such Poles need not be included in ..cleansing action ..especially as they are of great importance as elements to initiate pogroms and for obtaining information. ..This depends ..of course ..on local conditions.”
Then emerging from die Endlosung der Judenfrage eventually what became recognisable as The Holocaust had consumed its Jewish prey on such an industrial scale, the mechanics were such, they were invented purposefully to achieve Hitler’s aim. It becomes clear from the many edicts issued too, be they word of mouth proclamations or physical evidences of how Hitler’s whims were transferrable into real time, the Jewish destruction moved in pace with the more extreme efforts of Hitler’s protestations. When we read such as this OSR No. 10, that Poles were not considered in the same vein as the Jews, the exclusive nature of the Jewish presence in geared toward total destruction.
“..German authorities ..now carrying into effect Hitler’s ..intention to exterminate ..Jewish people in Europe.” American State Department.
The Jewish People, then exclusively targeted for complete annihilation, in both the first and final phase of Hitler’s plan for them, had no alternative to what had been envisioned for them as Jews targeted by Hitler’s extreme view. Of course, and while exclusivity exists in the realm of The Holocaust, by which all Jews were Victims, it is clear that not all victims of the War Hitler waged were Jewish. However, The Holocaust was an exclusive effort, and detailing as such for solely detailing Jews for their confinement within its grasp. These intended victims of the systematic and sought out effort were always intended to be the Jews of Europe.
“..no conceivable chronicle of any kind could succeed in turning 6,000,000 dead people into a political argument.” Hannah Arendt.
With that in mind, we have need to remind history that Jews have Never hidden the fact that Hitler made victims of other than the Jewish People. It is abundantly clear too, and I make reference to just a few of the foremost writers on The Holocaust, and many of whom are Jewish Survivors, to appraise you of this effort on their part. There is a picture which emerges still though, and it is with the Jewish People as the concerted effort for Hitler’s abject hatred for the Jews. With their systematic Slaughter, which was Hitler’s focus since he first sought to articulate his enmity for the Jewish People, words could not conceal the deeply held conviction of this hatred.
“..I saw a flood once in ..mountains. Wooden huts ..torn from their foundations were carried above ..raging waters. One could still see lighted lamps in them ..Men ..Women ..Children in their cradles were tied to ..ceiling beams. Other huts were empty inside ..but one could see a tangle of arms waving from ..roof ..like branches blowing in ..wind waving desperately toward heaven ..toward ..river banks for help. At a distance ..one could see mouths gaping ..but one could not hear ..cries because ..roar of ..waters drowned out everything. And that’s how ..Jewish masses flowed to their destruction at ..time of ..deportations. Sinking as helplessly into ..deluge of destruction. And if ..for even one of ..days of my life ..I should forget how I saw you then ..my People ..desperate and confused ..delivered over to extinction ..may all knowledge of me be forgotten and my name be cursed like that of those traitors who are unworthy to share your pain.” Rachel Auerbach.
It is apparent that only the Jewish People are then to be seen as the focus of all and every effort of Hitler’s Reich future aims. No matter what it is we fail to say, no matter how we fail to say it, we cannot allow for the dilution of a genocidal term which was to treat 6,000,000 Jews with such disdain. It would appear that far more respect could be visited upon the Jewish destruction than was to be done well after we recognised their waning life was taken away. From amongst us, as we became increasingly more aware of what was being visited upon the Jewish People, our own absence from the realm of concern was growing more indifferent.
“..The Holocaust ..Shoah in Hebrew is ..most tragic era in ..history of ..Jewish People 1933 – 1945 when ..Germans and their collaborators perpetrated genocide against them.” Dr. Yitzhak Arad.
The Holocaust term itself belongs to the Jewish People in both the words acted upon and the deeds then enacted. The Holocaust is a term framed around a hatred so embedded in much of European society, it was all too easy for Hitler to inflame those who bought into it. Within every sphere of Hitler’s world view, Hitler became an influence in what was directed against the Jews. That all too many nations and all too many of their nationals were so coerced that they became duplicitous in what Hitler demanded for the Jewish People. Far too many people, who were willing to adopt the very tenets of hatred from Hitler did so with impunity.
May 23rd. 1942 “..imprisoned were some Gypsies ..Auerswald terms Gypsy Jews.” Emmanuel Ringelblum.
That they then moved an entire Continent into dealing with and placating The Final Solution of The Jewish Question is tantamount to the surrender to debased inhumanity as has ever been witnessed. Then, as we delve into the depths of a Catastrophe, which exploited a 2,000 year hatred, there lay exposed an indifference amongst non-Jews which combined to deliver these 6,000,000 Jews toward an extinction we were loathe to intervene in. We know from the History of the time that much that was being concealed achieved what it was intended to gain, a passivity of approach that would envelop a World in the most heinous act of abandonment ever enacted.
“..Through a maze of time ..hitler’s decision of November 1918 led to Operation Barbarossa. There never had been any ideological deviation or wavering determination. In ..end only ..question of opportunity mattered.” Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz.
At a time too when the Jews were unsure of the systematic nature of what was to assail them, there were people like Emmanuel Ringelblum who was certain of that fact. It is true also that other people’s were treated equally badly, and though the fate of the Jews eclipsed this, every burden and hatred would appear to prefix this treatment of so many with the example set aside exclusively for the Jews of Europe. The treatment of the Gypsy has been no less heinous, though the systematic nature of their destruction was predicated upon the Jews serving the first and foremost position of intended victims of Hitler’s.
“..a decision was made ..to exterminate ..Jews to ..last man. ..entire Jewish people were condemned to death. No such decision was made to kill any other group in this way ..although ..Gypsies come closest of all to ..Jewish tragedy.” Elie Wiesel.
It is essentially true that while the many vestiges of a Lalleri, Medvashi, Roma or Sinti presence was to be witnessed attempting to survive even in the Death Camps, their position was subordinate always to the call for Jewish extinction. No one attempts to minimise the deaths of other’s nor diminish the terrifying ordeal of anyone faced by Hitler’s threat to them. But what had assailed the Jewish People, even given the incremental stages engaged with to bring the solution to it’s final resolve, cannot be compared with. The total annihilation of these 6,000,000 Jews was administered to and accomplished in accordance with the dictates of the will of Hitler who urged them upon his Reich.
“..War ..annihilation of ..Jews were interdependent. ..disorder of war would provide ..hitler with ..cover for ..unchecked commission of murder. He needed an arena for his operations where ..restraints of common codes of morality and accepted rules of warfare would not extend.” Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz.
For 100’s of years the christian World sought to have Jews conform and convert to the views held against them. This conversion, in terms of how Hitler would administer to them, proved insufficient to save any Jew from an extinguished life. As perhaps we might recognise in the case of Edith Stein, a Jew first and foremost, and despite her conversion to the same version of a belief system even held by Hitler, Edith was sacrificed upon the altar of antisemitic hatred even popes nor christianity sought to assuage. Once conversion had proved insufficient to diminish the Jewish presence in over 5,000 years of adherence to a Judaic belief system, an alternative force was brought to bear.
“..From now on ..do not answer by your name. ..felt like ..not ..human person anymore. ..shaved our heads ..I felt so ashamed. And also when they told us to undress and to shower ..they made us feel like ..animals. ..men were walking around ..laughing and looking at us. And you take a young girl at that age ..who had never been exposed to a person ..to a man ..and you stay there naked ..I wanted ..ground to open ..and I should go into it. We were packed like sardines. ..beds were bunks ..3 layers. I was on ..top layer. If one person wanted to turn ..we all had to turn. They gave me ..little rations of hard ..dried up bread which was half mildew ..I could hardly eat it. ..a tin can of soup ..so rotten and vile ..when I tasted it I couldn’t eat it. .. I just ate ..bread and drank a little water ..which was just rust running out from ..sink that they had over there. ..finally ..got so hungry ..knew I had to eat ..soup ..so vile. ..so terrible. I never ate anything like that in my whole life. ..If I want to survive I have to eat ..soup. ..So I started eating ..soup. And I ..forcing ..soup down my throat ..big tears coming down my face. Eating ..crying ..eating ..crying ..this is how I was in Birkenau. Every day ..I woke up and I would find 1 ..2 people who wanted to end their lives and couldn’t take it anymore. ..throw themselves to ..electric wires ..make an end of it. ..every once in a blue moon ..couldn’t take it anymore. ..try to sneak out of ..barracks late at night and I would see ..sky. ..talk to myself ..can’t believe ..stars ..looking down at us in this Hell ..this camp ..same stars ..shining at ..outside of ..world. ..other people ..looking at ..same stars ..they are free. ..to do what they want to do. ..living a good life. ..we are ..in Hell ..human beings worse than animals. ..nobody is doing anything about it. ..young as I was ..asking myself these questions. ..Where is ..world ..Why isn’t ..world doing anything about this ..I would question god ..Where is god ..How can He let us be killed like that ..after I cried myself out real good ..I would go back to ..barracks.” Lily Appelbaum.
The Ghetto, in effect, became the very tool of many states and nations in seeking to remove both the body of the Jew from view and indeed the view of Jewish influence. The Jewish People, expelled from amidst the civilisation of all of society became the catalyst by which Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich and Eichmann made certain of the corralling of the Jews within Europe. Such stricture was so very often for the Jewish People an indefensible crime against all sense of morality, and even though many of the Jews had sought to enjoin and even attempted to adhere to the constrictions of communities they were amongst, this did not preclude them from being the victims of 2,000 years pogroms.
“..I lived through ..war ..Warsaw Ghetto ..Majdanek ..Auschwitz ..Ravensbrueck ..Neustadt-Glewe. ..Hope is last to die consists of recollections ..my first extensive work.” Halina Birenbaum.
Also, and with the Jewish position of being outsiders in a moral vacuum, a space that is always an uncharitable and unethical approach to humanity, still left the Jews holding to their faith. Judaism was so steadfast and still remained as an adherence to the very morality that the Jewish People themselves were being denied during Hitler’s rampage through History. In all of their existence, the Jewish People have been the targets of what has diminished nations for such hatred they were espousing. The right to persist, at least as a human being, has all too often been denied to the Jewish People by concurrent civilisations wishing to confront, contain and detain them. For me personally, it is difficult to conform to any belief system which would sponsor such an inhumane outrage.
“..In ..Autumn of 1939 planning began for transfer of ..Austrian Jews to ..Lublin District ..Poland. ..organised by Eichmann.” Abraham Margaliot.
Here though, I do not wish to create any impression that my study of The Holocaust brought me to any conclusion relating to my disbelief. However, my own refusal to see any belief system as valid has been enlarged by the calculated destruction of 6,000,000 Jews as a World’s conscience was severely controlled. Through discussions with Survivor’s, who held strongly to their faith, it remains difficult for me to comprehend the absence of a system which recognises any god at its head. The advocates of such systems always point to the god given right of choice for those who chose to Slaughter these 6,000,000 Jews.
“..For a variety of reasons ..women’s situation was a good deal worse than that of ..men ..physical endurance ..coupled with work more arduous and degrading ..agonies of disrupted families ..and ..haunting presence of ..crematoria ..located right in ..middle of ..women’s camp ..inescapable ..undeniable ..ungodly smoke rising ..to contaminate every day ..every night ..every moment of respite or illusion ..every dream and timorous hope.” Primo Levi.
But what choice was there, or was even given to any of these 6,000,000 Jews that was other than a choice to conform to a fate that was clearly designed for them. The long held institutional belief that conversion or removal must then make way for extermination is an absence of what a godhead must mean. I as ardently reject the Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews as much as I dismiss those who profess a faith that is capable of the most devastating pogrom in all of History. I have been brought to the altar of a History so cruel and barbaric that I see no emergence of a god nor a place for any religion which can look the other way. I am done with all the pretence that a World in conflict could not direct an effort toward saving 6,000,000 Jews nor a religious institution so transfixed by Hitlerian obsession, they abandoned their own codex of moral compassion and ethical righteousness.
“..Despite ..recent outpouring of popular and scholarly books on Hitler ..no work has yet been produced that satisfactorily explains Hitler’s obsessive ideas about ..Jews ..readiness of ..German people to accept these ideas ..and Hitler’s ability to harness an enormous apparatus of men ..institutions ..facilities just in order to murder ..Jews. Hitler has proved to be an elusive and unrewarding subject for conventional biography because ..explanations for ..baffling mystique he exercised ..for ..power he came to wield ..and for his unspeakable accomplishments are not to be found in ..facts of a banal life ..but in ..ideas and feelings that created ..symbiosis between him and ..German people. Their mutuality and interdependence thrived ..as Hitler first expressed and later gratified ..Germans’ most arrogant and abominable ambitions. He relieved their deepest fears and anxieties and ..near ..end ..disburdened them both of guilt and responsibility for ..wickedness they had given him warrant to commit.” Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz.