April 11, 2010, - 3:31 pm
Today is “Yom HaShoah,” Holocaust Remembrance Day. Remember the Six Million Jews who were rounded up, tortured, and murdered by the Nazis. But if you cannot also remember the millions of live Jews today in Israel under attack from the New Nazis–Muslims, then your “remembrance” of those who became ashes, lampshades, and other versions of dead, is a waste and of no use.
My maternal grandparents, Isaac and Adele, survived, but both of their families were wiped out, as were most of my fathers parents’ families. Isaac and Adele, both now gone, met at Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, where they were emaciated inmates. It is the camp where Anne Frank and her sister were sent and murdered by the Nazis. After they were liberated, it became a displaced persons camp, and my grandparents married and lived there. My mother was born there. Below is a photo of my grandmother and her fellow seamstresses prior to being sent to the camps. Some of them were murdered by the Nazis. Others ultimately worked in a camp where they were lucky to be spared because of their sewing skills. They were forced to repair Nazi uniforms.
Please also watch this sad footage taken upon the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by British troops. Compare how fat the disgusting female German Nazi SS guards at the camp are with the skin and bones dead Jews they throw into a pit.
My Grandmother (2nd Row, 3rd From Left)
& Her Fellow Yellow Star Wearing Seamstresses
My grandfather used to tell the stories–the amazing stories–of how he cheated death, time after time, in those years, after his entire family was murdered by the Nazis. He was in and out of labor camps, death camps, and he was lucky to survive. One night he hid in a neighbor’s hayloft and, at night, snuck to the neighbor’s house to ask for water. He heard the neighbor telling friends he was going to turn my grandfather in for a bottle of whisky. Both of my grandparents lost all of their teeth and wore an entire set of dentures the entire time I knew them. But that wasn’t the half of it. They suffered tremendously and saw much death and destruction. Friends, family, everyone and everything they once knew destroyed . . . all because they were Jews.
Above is touching and important audio (with important accompanying video), which I’ve posted before–an NPR story featuring a BBC report from Bergen-Belsen upon its liberation, with the weak, surviving, freed Jewish inmates singing HaTikvah, “The Hope.” It is the Hebrew anthem of the Jewish people, which became the national anthem of a newly established country, just a few years later–Israel.
As I noted when I previously posted this audio:
The song was written in 1886 by Naphtali Herz Imber, from Galicia–an area of Poland, from which my family emanated. It is especially touching to hear these Holocaust survivors sing the song, when many were close to death and had already seen their entire families murdered by the Nazis. In English, here are the lyrics:
As long as within our hearts, the Jewish soul sings;
As long as forward to the East, To Zion, looks the eye;
Our hope is not yet lost.
It is two thousand years old; To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.
Clearly these Holocaust survivors, barely alive, got it. If you remember the Holocaust, but don’t see the same impending dangers to the Jewish people in Israel, the land of Zion and Jerusalem, from Islam’s Nazis, then you really don’t remember at all. You’ve forgotten.
Tags: 6 million, Bergen Belsen, Concentration Camp, Holocaust, Israel, Nazis, remember, six million, Yom HaShoah