“..Germans ..always in such a hurry. Death was always urgent with them. Jewish death. earth had to be cleansed of Jews. We already knew that. We just didn’t know that sharing ..planet for another minute was more than this super race could live with. ..air for them was befouled by Jewish breath ..and they must have fresh air.” Isabella Leitner.
There are some works you have to return to, to reprise the essential necessity of what has been written and what requires an evidenced gain from a futures proof. For me, to even to attempt to appreciate the calm dignity of those who Survived, I aim to ensure nothing I have said has caused such offence as to be somewhat spoiled in my effort. One such work by Isabella Leitner, is clearly a narrative in the category of its worth, and as it is her Memoir on Auschwitz, that effort needs continued retrieval from memory. That Book of Isabella’s: Fragments of Isabella has so impressed me and is from amongst the many such works that cascade us through on the varying themes that amount to The Holocaust term.
“..Auschwitz may be 100’s of kilometers from Hungary but it is part of Hungarian history. ..This Death Camp was ..scene of ..inhumane suffering ..humiliation and death of nearly 500,000 of our compatriots.” Janos Ader.
It is as relevant a read today as to the complexities of the hatred which drove Jews, and in particular the Jews of Hungary, toward as potent an extinction as we are likely to read. To be honest, my own first Book should have been forming merely the initial chapter in the delivery of my continuing and accusing narrative to the Catastrophe. What had been wrought upon the Jewish People was heightened as I became a witness to a 4 year old Jewish Child, Tovah ‘Tokele’ Olshak. Isabella too, who is profound in doing her utmost to inform us and deliver lessons we should adopt, does so word by word and chapter after chapter.
“..On ..basis of an image of this 4 year old Jewish Girl Tovah ‘Tokele’ Olshak ..I have based my entire work on The Holocaust ..within 3 published Books. Between many competing agencies not one can find her. I have an image ..presented to me ..of her Dead Body ..and an e-Mail from a Survivor who knew her. You find her in The Holocaust.” Patrick Dempsey.
The Holocaust, which the World should clearly recognise is the most unique, unparalleled and unprecedented assault upon any People, and that this World has ever known, was waged on a People because they are a Jewish People. Retrieving from memory, and back to my idea for that initial book, the effort has been emotively charged, due to the distortions some would wish to place upon the factual truth I have carefully sought to deliver. My own emotive reasoning is based largely upon what emerged from the Polish Town of Sokoly, and for those Jewish Survivors who were no longer allowed to live past their very Survival.
“..As our Children cried underneath ..gallows ..wrath of ..world we did not hear.” Natan Alterman.
I thought I had learned of what I needed to know, so as to write this 1st. Book on the Children of The Holocaust, it should be based clearly on what I knew the World knew. This has been my essential in why I chose to write this Book and I am constantly reminded that within a Catastrophe such as The Holocaust, a greater tragedy is as incomparable as the horror I write into the pages of my work. I choose therefore to deliver back to its protagonist, Hitler and his position in the Death Camps and why these annihilation centres reside within a Polish nation of 3,650,000 Polish Jews. Of Poland’s non-Jewish Citizens, they stand astride the death’s and murder’s of other than the ritually annihilated and Slaughtered Jews, and simply because they are Jews, but gained monetarily, substantially and in terms of property and lands from their own Jewish Dead.
“..Today I think that if for no other reason than that an Auschwitz existed ..no one in our age should speak of Providence.” Primo Levi.
This fact too is the testimony of my actual 1s. Book and also my 2nd., 3rd. and even 4th. Books for those Jews who stood as Jews and were separated out, incarcerated and destroyed for that very certainty. For those who saw to it, for those who saw it and for those who chose not to see The Holocaust strands of atrocity which was exacted in front of them, there is an accusation which is not fully measured by the sheer weight of loss of these 6,000,000 annihilated Jews of Europe. Also, and it is from an image of a 4 year old Jewish Girl, Tovah ‘Tokele’ Olshak, cruelly Murdered because she was a Jew, who had not fully managed to Survive Polish hatred. For this fact, it is my reason to constantly remind myself why I choose to write on The Jews of The Holocaust.
“..One of our companies held out for 40 minutes and another ..for more than 6 hours. ..mine set in ..brushmakers area exploded. Several of our companies attacked the dispersing Germans. Our losses in manpower are minimal. That is also an achievement. Yechiel fell. He fell a hero ..at ..machine gun. I feel that great things are happening and what we dared do is of great ..enormous importance. Beginning from today we shall shift over to ..partisan tactic. Three battle companies will move out tonight ..with two tasks ..reconnaissance and obtaining arms. Do you remember ..short range weapons are of no use to us. We use such weapons only rarely. What we need urgently ..grenades ..rifles ..machine guns ..explosives. It is impossible to describe ..conditions under which the Jews of the ghetto are now living. Only a few will be able to hold out. ..remainder will die sooner or later. Their fate is decided. In almost all ..hiding places in which 1,000’s are concealing themselves it is not possible to light a candle for lack of air. With ..aid of our transmitter we heard ..marvelous report on our fighting by ..Shavit radio station. ..fact that we are remembered beyond ..Ghetto walls encourages us in our struggle. Peace go with you ..my friend. Perhaps we may still meet again. ..dream of my life has risen to become fact. Self defense in ..Ghetto will have been a reality. Jewish armed resistance and revenge are facts. I have been a witness to ..magnificent ..heroic fighting of Jewish men in battle.” Mordechai Anielewicz.
The very idea for that first Book, which has not been shelved, nor has it been forgotten, as it is a work in progress, remains as a constant in my effort to bring more and more words of remembrance forward. I might also add, there are the many other Books I wish to write, so to add further to remembering what we all have lost. The tenets of the work I am engaged in, the ideal of its commentary, the remit of such a huge sense of loss, which resides permanently upon my Computer, is in a file which still searches for Tokele, continuously. From time to time I add snippets of information being gained, which also allows for me to write on what always matters, 6,000,000 Slaughtered Jews of Europe. In all of this I am awake to the prospect that was denied the Jews of The Holocaust to find sanctuary, find allies or at least the weapons necessary to fight the common evil of Hitler’s Reich.
“..pure myth ..Jews ..merely passive. ..Jews fought back ..to a degree no other community anywhere ..would have been capable of. ..they fought against hunger ..starvation ..disease ..a deadly Nazi economic blockade. They fought against murderers and ..traitors within their own ranks ..and ..were utterly alone in their fight. ..forsaken by God and ..man ..surrounded by hatred or indifference. ..there was much heroism ..little beauty ..much toil ..suffering ..no glamour. We fought back on every front ..biological ..economic ..propaganda ..cultural ..with every weapon ..possessed. In ..end ..ruse ..deception ..cunning beyond anything ..world had ever ..seen ..accomplished what hunger ..disease ..terror ..treachery ..could not. What defeated us ..Jewry’s unconquerable optimism ..eternal faith in ..goodness of man ..even a German ..a Nazi ..could never have ..renounced ..own humanity as to murder women ..’children’ coldly ..systematically. ..when we finally took up arms ..we inscribed in ..book of history epic of ..Ghetto Uprising.” Michal Berg.
Honestly, I have but one agenda, to bring to the working narrative I explore, as many of these 6,000,000 Jews as is possible to do so, out of the passivity all too often accusing them. The essential for me, as I have always been a writer, even aged 6/7 when I penned a book listing all I had read, or wished to read would fill my head with the words worthy of rethinking them. There is the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ivanhoe, Black Beauty, Huckleberry Finn, Oliver Twist and always the works of Charles Dickens to fill the more filled void. I gravitated toward social commentary as a concern for what should matter in human concern for the humanity we have each been lent. Moving from Dublin to Birmingham, I knew I would not be a writer on the Irish situation as it opened the door to accusations of some bias or other.
“..You cannot conquer Ireland. You cannot extinguish ..Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom ..then our children will win it by a better deed.” Patrick Pearse.
The Pub Bombings, and then allowing for innocent Irish to take the fall for an unsupported cohort could not be ignored though and so Ireland would not loosen its hold. I told a Publisher I could not face being accused of bias, as integrity must matter in all I would attempt to put onto paper. I was then presented with that image of a 4 year old Child, this was Tovah ‘Tokele’ Olshak, murdered for being a Jew. How could I not respond. With 6,000 years of seeking to consolidate their homeland, the Jews who survived The Holocaust realised the Promised Land of their forefathers. As all of Christendom clearly acknowledged, the spiritual home of the Jewish People became at once, the blood, sweat and toil for their renewed existence.
“..Ultimately ..we have just one moral duty ..to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves ..more and more peace ..and to reflect it toward others.” Etty Hillesum.
So when we get back to this 1st. Book, and the image of Tovah, she was to be presented on the Cover to that initial Book. Bear in mind also, that I had a desire to not only write about the Murder of an innocent 4 year old Jewish Girl, I needed to share an empathy with a Jewish People that was wholly absent during the period of their greatest need. I also needed to inform those Jews who Survived, that a non-Jew would spend the time to inform, accuse and research well what intolerable atrocity’s these 6,000,000 People faced, simply for being Jews. I thought long and hard about it and came to the conclusion, I could not identify in a work for these Jewish Children as victims yet.
“..On ..site where for 400 ghastly days ..blasphemy of Treblinka tormented human history there is now a monument. It shows in ..centre an enormous rock topped by a menorah to symbolise ..300,000 martyred Jews of Warsaw. ..rock is surrounded by huge slabs of concrete from which rises a forest of 1,000’s of granite pillars of varying shapes and sizes ..representing cities ..villages ..and shtetlach los in ..Holocaust. On 150 of them are carved ..names of ..localities from which ..murdered Jews came. ..massive pillars bear ..names of ..Country’s of ..victims origin.” Alexander Donat.
It was too troubling, on a personal level, as I would still require the years of experience necessary to do justice to such a more intense horror within and intensely grievous atrocity. But the thing for me now, and after all these years, the Jewish Children would be clearly identified as from amongst the 1,500,000 Murdered Jewish Children of the 6,000,000 Jewish People, who are The Holocaust. Also, and while we have the names of some 4,700,000 Jews who were Murdered, I know the faces of many of these Jewish Children intimately. In every sense I seek Always to Remember, Never to Forget, be it a single Child or as many of the 6,000,000 Jews that is physically possible. Whether we can be certain of the Death Camp or Killing Site, Belzec or Treblinka, Babi Yar, Ponary or Rumbuli, Jewish lives were mistakenly Slaughtered, victims of the greatest hatred ever to infest humanity.
“..Towards ..end of December 1942 there came to our workshop once a young dentist whose name I do not recall. He told us that he escaped from Belzec. This dentist was in Belzec ..3 months. Because of his profession he was detailed to a dentist brigade ..which numbered ..15 men. ..job was to pull out gold teeth and bridges from corpses yanked out from ..gas chambers.” Sanio Ferber.
We have many images of un-named Jewish Children, People who most probably are the lasting impressions from amongst the Murdered, we cannot identify. I do not know the fate of all of these Jewish Children I see in cold relief but I do know they were intended for destruction. I do know that the intention was to ensure NO Jew, Male, Female, Child, Infant or Baby would Survive the tenets of die Endlosung der Judenfrage, as Hitler had ordained them. What we know as The Holocaust Slaughter of some 6,000,000 Jews confirms for us that not a single Jewish Child should be allowed to Survive. While we are sure that 50/70 million lives are lost in World War II, we are all too certain that only 6,000,000 Jews were selectively chosen for extermination, and on an industrially managed scale, which cannot be that certain.
“..At ..first shots ..Cousin David climbed a tree ..wrapped his arms around ..trunk like a child hugging his Mother ..and that was ..way he died.” Ida Fink.
The cover to that 1st. Book would have been so different if I had stuck rigidly to what I was certain would present The Holocaust atrocity to the World that seemingly remained unconcerned. What was in my mind, the images of a Jewish Child, of Jewish Children, though fewer in number than the overall Catastrophe, still represents a monstrosity that must be continuously presented to all of our humanity. This atrocity, of a Child clinging to hope, and as a signifier of all that dissolves what civilisation should represent, confronts those of us so concerned with its enactment. The images of course are of groups of unknown Children, force fed through the grist mill of annihilation or an experimentation that was conducted by savage medics which would still end their lives.
Saturday August 19th. 1944 “..This human mass is heterogeneous. It is piled together here ..by force ..by violence ..in this small patch of dirty ..humid ground ..forced to live in ..most humiliating conditions and to endure ..most brutal deprivations ..that all human passions ..weaknesses have unleashed themselves ..taking on beastly forms.” Hanna Levy-Hass.
We then have the images of the Child created in words by those wo affected by their memory, we are gifting the memory we must hold onto. Beings, with no capacity for human concern, human beings who conducted themselves with such barbarity, not even a Child was spared. Throughout this initial search, the Children remain an unknown, their images pressing deeply upon me as I search to present History with the very presence that was so ritually destroyed in The Holocaust. It still occurs to me that perhaps there is this image of such a youthful presence, a 4 year old that would have spelled out more vigorously what I have been stating ever since. Today, as Israel has been borne through promises not kept and with Our conscience accused by 6,000,000 Slaughtered Jews, what must such an image present us with that would be any different now than then.
“..A dictator put an end to my freedom ..injected hate ..fear by his terrible tactics ..into ..majority of ..population and I became an outcast.” Halina Lustig.
As intolerable a hatred as was ever imagined and for such indifferences as humanity should not allow to be recognised, we affirm Israel’s status. What was finally to be honoured in 1948, which has not afforded a regional recognition of History restored, an inclusive State was declared, will never quash the pain and resentment human beings must feel for what was allowed to happen. It is not for history to deny, Israel did not demand the abandonment of any lands by any of those Citizens it would represent equally. The promise to those who would assist in building a memory to what is best in humanity from the detail of the worst of humanity should have been enough for all Citizens of the area to be accepting of such promise.
“..To ..Arab Kings and Presidents ..Poverty is killing us yet you are still searching for ..way to provide aid like ..armies of your predecessors in ..year of 1948 ..who forced us to leave Israel.” Fuad Abu Higla.
To be honest too, I never considered the level of bigotry and hatred directed toward my effort that would broadly accuse me of the bias I knew was not mine. What has been directed at this body of work, because of its concerning structure, which is the Slaughter of the 6,000,000 Jewish People, is disheartening. I am a forever optimist and allow nothing other than a human concern that studies nothing but the factual truth and the integrity it contains to spell out those words I use. It is essential to know that government is the Parent of Nations and those who go toward it cannot be failed by it. It remains consequential of human endeavour that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere for all that would be failed.
“..a time that will remain forever. ..hope was ..constantly ..life of ..Ghetto.” Vladka Meed.
It is true too that we are not born without concern, but are delivered in hope and that very relationship between us all ensures that any and all life is not disposable. That is why for me, the memory of what happened to 6,000,000 Jews, 1,500,000 of whom are Jewish Children, has to resonate with purpose for everyone so as to ensure their loss is not forever in vain. Children are Our most precious legacy in life and in Death, and they are our most intense and immense loss. For that very right to their life to be either callously taken from them or denied to them, and in the most terrifying way, is beyond a human understanding, a comprehension that will forever remain incomprehensible. For that reason, I am convinced of what legacy must be applied from the knowledge we must assuredly obtain from those who know what it means to be so savagely treated, the Jewish Survivor.
“..No human race is superior ..no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgements are wrong. Only racists make them.” Elie Wiesel.
Always to Remember, Never to Forget.