The singing stopped but the voice remains.

magda

When a nation destroys its own culture it does a lot more then destroying  the cultural fabric , it also destroys the soul of the nation, especially when it comes to the musical cultural heritage. When it murders the artist who perform this cultural legacy, a part of that soul will be lost forever.

Magda Spiegel  was a German contralto, who was born in Prague in the now Czech republic, she was a member of the Frankfurt Opera ensemble and was murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

One Of her best known performances was that of Adriano in Wagner’s Rienzi ,when the Frankfurt opera company visited the Netherlands in 1934, according Peter Hugh Reed in The American Record Guide  .

The irony (for lack of a better word) was that Wagner was Hitler’s favourite composer.

Magda Spiegel

Although Magda was killed in the gas chambers and her body was burned, her voice was preserved in several recordings.

Physically the singing was stopped but her voice remains.

 

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Sources

Opera Arias.com

Find a Grave

Operanostalgia.be

 

 

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I miss you.

Marianne

I miss you , even though I don’t know you and we’ve never met.

I miss you ,because you could have been the composer who composed my favourite piece of music.

I miss you, because you could have been the poet who wrote my favourite poem

I miss you ,because you could have been the painter who painted my favouite painting.

I miss you, because you could have been the author who wrote my favourite book.

I miss you, because you could have been the comedian who maked me laugh the most.

I miss you, because you could have been the director of my favourite movie.

I miss you, because you could have been the teacher who taught me right from wrong.

I miss you, because you could have been the chef whose recipes I like the most.

To me it doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish,Catholic,Protestant,Muslim,Buddhist or Atheist. All that matters to me is that you are a human being. Just like me, like the words of a song, from flesh and blood you were made.

But there were those who had a different opinion on that, A twisted, evil opinion. They did not want you to live, They killed you brutally.

In my thoughts I see you.

In my prayers I remember you.

I miss you Marianne Nunes Vaz, born 31 May 1935 in Amsterdam. Killed 5 Feb 1943 in Auschwitz.

I miss you although we never met, but in my heart I have a place for you.

Auschwitz experiences.

aUSCHWITZ

No one of us can ever imagine how it felt to be in Auschwitz. Except for those who survived it.

Below are just some quotes from survivors

Silvia Vesela -Slovak Jewish  Auschwitz Survivor

“It’s a really humiliating feeling when your personality is being taken away. I don’t know whether you can understand it. You suddenly mean nothing. We were treated like animals.”

Dario Gabbai-Auschwitz Sonderkommando

“When they opened the door…I see these people that half an hour before were going into the gas chamber, I see them all standing up, some black and blue from the gas. No place where to go. Dead. If I see my eyes, the only thing I see is standing up, women with children in their hands.”

“Could you imagine what was done with the children and the families? They didn’t know what to do, scratching the walls, crying, you know, and everything else. They were killing for the sake of killing, that’s the only thing I can say.”

Georgy Semenyak-Captured Red Army soldier

“They never considered us humans. They could kill us or beat us up for no reason. Of course we were sure that it was unjust.”

Jerzy Bielecki-Polish Catholic Escapee from Auschwitz

“Everyone was moaning and yelling because of the cold it was an incredible sound, I never heard it before. Naked they enter the gassing chamber.It was a devilish, hellish
image.”

women and children

So few survived and of those few survivors there only a handful left to tell their stories. But soon they will be gone too. It is up to us to continue their stories. As someone once asked me “When should we stop talking about the Holocaust?” I replied “Never”.

No matter how many threats I get, and no matter how often Facebook bans me for posting these blogs. I will continue until my body says stop.

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A pair of shoes

shoes

The saying goes”If you want to get to know somebody? Walk a mile in their shoes.”

These shoes were found in Auschwitz and are on display in the Jewish Museum in London. I don’t know if is the actual shoes which are on display or of it is just a photograph.It doesn’t really matter

All that matters is that they once belonged to a human being, just like you and me.

A human being that needed air to breathe, food to stop the hunger and water, tea, coffee or any other beverage to quench a thirst.

A human being who needed shoes to protect their feet and keep them dry and warm.

All of these things we take for granted. We don’t even give it a second thought.

However the human being who owned these shoes was deprived from all those basic daily needs. Even the shoes were taken from him or her, when they arrived in Auschwitz.

I do not know if the shoes belonged to a man woman or child or if the owner of these shoes survived the hell that was Auschwitz. More then likely he or she was murdered.

Even if they survived we would not be able to walk a mile in their shoes because we could not possibly fathom the life they had.

This is just one pair, but there were millions and millions more of them. Millions of miles to be walked, an impossible task, an impossible thought.

 

1018;518 not just numbers but all individual stories.

Auschwitz

The most disturbing aspect of the Holocaust is the numbers of people being killed. No one of us can even begin to imagine the horror.

Many knew their fate before they got killed. They were put on transports on journeys that sometimes would take days. Journeys under unfathomable inhumane conditions, many would already die during the journeys. The ones who survived the journey only survived to be killed immediately after they arrived at any of the death camps. Or otherwise to be slowly worked to death or killed as part of experiments. Eventually some of those who survived to be liberated, still died because of the weakened state their bodies were in, and even getting proper food would cause such a shock to the system that it killed them.

On June 23 1943 1018 Jews were transported from Drancy, near Paris. to Auschwitz. Of those 1018,518 were killed immediately in the gas chambers. Each one of them an innocent human being. All individual stories, stories like the one of Arthur Goldstein who had been German Jewish journalist and socialist politician. In 1933 when the Nazis took power he fled to Paris. 10 years later the state he had served before as a politician condemned him to death. He was one of those 518 of the Drancy transport who was murdered in the gas chambers on June 25,1943.

I would love to tell the individual story of all the 6 million Jews, 312,000 Serb civilians, 250,000 people with disability, 1.8 Million non Jewish Poles, and all those other victims like homo-sexuals, Gypsies, Soviet POW’s, Soviet civilians and so many others. But it would be impossible for only one man to tell these individual tales of bravery and sacrifice.

One task that lays on all of our shoulders is to make sure we never ever forget and we do not allow for some individuals to rewrite history to accommodate their own political narrative.

gas chambers

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Source

USHMM

 

I don’t hate you..

gIDEON

I don’t hate you. I don’t even understand what that word means.

There are things I don’t like, like Spinach. I’d rather have an ice cream or a lolly pop.

Hate is a concept made by grown ups, not by children like me.

I only see the good in people.

Why should I hate you? I don’t even know you.

Yet you hate me and you don’t know me either.

Your hate for me is so strong that your desire is to kill me.

Granting me one more sunrise is too much for you to bear< why?

I don’t hate you, but you hate me.

I am Gideon Prager born 4 June 1942 in the Hague. Murdered 6 March 1944, in Auschwitz.

Dr.Robert Ritter and Eva Justin

Ritter

One lesson that many people haven’t learned from the Nazi era is that scientist don’t always have the best interest of humanity at heart. They often are driven by their own curiosity rather then what’s best for their fellow man. Yet people often follow their advise blindly, without questioning motives or who funds the research carried out by scientists. This week I heard a newly elected politician say during an interview on the radio”Why wouldn’t we trust scientists?” A statement like that scares me. Not because I am anti scientists, far from it, science has made so many positive changes in our lives, but it scares me because it is accepted without being questioned. Science is like any other thing in life, don’t just accept things because someone says it is the right thing to do.

Dr.Robert Ritter was a German scientist. The Nazis established the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit  in 1936. Which was  headed and run  by Dr. Robert Ritter and his assistant Eva Justin.

Their task was  to conduct an extensive  in-depth study of the “Gypsy question  and to provide the regime with the data which would be used for policies to set up a new Reich “Gypsy law”. After a substantial fieldwork in the spring of 1936. The research consisted of interviews and medical examinations to ascertain the racial classification of the Roma, the Unit concluded that the majority of  Romani,  were not of “pure Gypsy blood”,  and posed a danger to German racial purity and should be deported or eliminated.

BLODD

Ronert Ritter, who was  a psychiatrist,with a background in child psychiatry and the biology of criminality, hoped to determine the links between heredity and criminality. With funding from the German Association for Scientific Research and access to police records. In 1937  he began to systematically interview all the Gypsies living in Germany.

In a report of his research findings in 1940, Ritter concluded that 90 percent of the Gypsies native to Germany were “of mixed blood.” He described such Gypsies as “the products of mating with the German criminal asocial sub-proletariat.” He further characterized Gypsies as a “primitive” people incapable of real social adaptation.”

Eva and Robert

Eva Justin was an anthropologist, she specialised in so-called scientific racism. (a pseudo-scientific belief that verifiable evidence exists to support or justify racism (racial discrimination).

Justin was one of the first Registered Nurses to earn a PhD. She was able to speak the  Romani language, which earned  her the trust of Roma and Sinti people. Her doctoral thesis was titled “Lebensschicksale artfremd erzogener Zigeunerkinder und ihrer Nachkommen” (fates of alienated educated gypsy children and their descendants)

romani

The children that Justin studied had been selected for deportation. However the transport was delayed to facilitate the conclusion of  her research and until she received her PhD. The children were then sent to the Gypsy family camp at Auschwitz on 6 May 1943. Just over 3 weeks later on May, 30 1943, Josef Mengele  became  chief medical officer of the Romani family camp  at Auschwitz. Some of the children were subjected to his experiments and most were eventually killed in the gas chamber. Approximately 39 or 40 children that Justin had studied were sent to Auschwitz , and all but four died before the end of the war, many before her thesis was published.

She was present when the Sinti and Roma deportations to concentration camps were organized.

ANTHRO

Despite the de-Nazification of Germany after World War II, Ritter was not required to take responsibility for his actions during Nazi rule.

In post-war West Germany, Justin worked as a psychologist for the Frankfurt police, even acting as a consultant to the legal system for compensation cases for Holocaust survivors.She died from cancer in 1966 in Offenbach am Main, a city on the outskirts of Frankfurt. In 1958 the Frankfurt district attorney initiated an investigation into Justin’s wartime actions, but the investigation was closed in 1960.

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

USHMM

Bundesarchiv

 

Heinz Sommerfeld-Transport Ek no. 1458 (28. 09. 1944, Terezín -> Auschwitz)

Heinz

Around this time of year many 17 year old kids are getting ready for school exams. And although they may think it is unfair that they have to sit for hours and hours, to do their exams(I know I thought it was unfair). They don’t actually realize how lucky they are.

Education, even though it is a basic human right.it is not a certainty and it should be seen as a privilege when it is given to you.

I am sure Heinz Sommerfeld would have loved to have done his exams when he was 17, but he never got the chance. His biggest worry was staying alive, and because of an evil regime he did not succeed in that either.

He was born in Berlin on March 26th, 1927. On January 5th, 1939, aged 11, he  came to the Netherlands as a refugee without his parents on a  Kindertransport. (children’s transport)

Kinder

When he arrived in the Netherlands he was first in an orphanage in Amsterdam, but in November 1939 he was put in foster care with the Lipschits family in Maastricht . However a few months after the Nazis invaded the Netherlands he was moved again to an orphanage, this time in Utrecht.

In February 1942 he was deported to Westerbork. On January 20th, 1944 he was put on the train to Theresienstadt, from where he was deported to Auschwitz on September 28th, 1944 on transport 1458. A total of 2499 persons were registered on that transport. Heinz was one of them.

The train arrived in Auschwitz on September 29th,1944. What happened to the other 2498 I don’t know, but Heinz was murdered in the gas chambers upon arrival.

He was murdered not because he was bad but because he was perceived to be different, He was Jewish that was enough for the Nazis to kill him.

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The parallel universe in Auschwitz.

Villa

I was struggling with the title but to be honest I can’t think there is another way of describing it.

An estimated 1.5 to 2 million children were killed during the Holocaust. How many were killed in Auschwitz is not clear but if you consider that for example on October 10,1944 800 gypsy children were gassed, it will give you some indication of how many children were killed in the 5 years the camp was in operation.

auschwitz

Yet some children had a great time in Auschwitz. They lived a very idyllic live, without a care in the world. They had nice clothes,plenty of food,toys and were able to play outside and even go for a swim. These 5 children lived in a parallel universe compared to those children who lived only a few yards away from them.

They were the children of Rudolf Höss, the longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz.

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After ordering to kill children in the camp Rudolf Höss, would go home and play with his own children, Their villa was adjacent to the camp and the gate of the garden would actually come out in the camp.

The villa was so close you could see the prisoner blocks and old crematorium from the upstairs window.The family decorated their home with furniture and art taken from prisoners as they were selected for the gas chambers. It was a life of luxury only a few short steps from horror and torment.

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children

 

Most of Höss’s children denied that the Holocaust ever happened. His Daughter Brigitte did not deny that atrocities took place or that Jews and others were murdered in the concentration camps, but she doubted that millions were killed.

In 1972 she moved to Washington with her Husband.Where she got a job in a Fashion salon which was owned by a Jewish couple who had fled  Nazi Germany after the Kristallnacht in 1938.

Höss’s grandson Rainer, is the only member of his family to publicly denounce his grandfather. He has been involved in several documentaries highlighting the evil acts of his grandfather.

Once he was asked what he would do to his grandfather, he answered ” I would kill him myself”.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

BBC

Daily Telegraph

Mail On line

Independent.co.uk

Jerusalem Post

 

 

The Green Triangle -The first prisoners in Auschwitz

gREEN

Many people believe that the industrialized scale killing of Jews, Homosexuals,Roma and others in Auschwitz started immediately when the camp had opened.

But the fact is that for the first few weeks there were only 30 prisoners. On May 20,1940 the first 30 numbers were assigned to  German prisoners who had been designated as professional criminals.

They were known as “greens” after the green triangles they were required to wear on their prison clothing.

Up to the 14th of June these were the only prisoners in Auschwitz. The prisoner assigned number 31 was the first political prisoner. He was Stanisław Ryniak a Polish political prisoner who had arrived on June 14,1940 with the first mass transport to Auschwitz.

31

Stanislaw survived and died aged 88 on February 13, 2004.

The first gassings started at September 3, 1941.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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