I will be your voice

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Dear Marta Weisz, you don’t know me and I don’t know you but yet I pledge to be your voice.

You were a product of love between 2 people, but you were killed by a product of hate.

I say product because when you were born you produced a feeling in your parents which can not be described by any pen. Suffice to say it was heavenly.

You also produced the willingness in others to abandon their moral compass and to kill you, although they knew it was wrong.

My pledge is to be your voice because yours was silenced aged 2 in Auschwitz. What happened to your parents I don’t know, but I presume their voices were silenced too.

And if they survived do not feel anger towards them for not speaking, for surviving without you was not a blessing but a punishment, even though they did nothing wrong.

I will be their voice too.

Why so called ‘cultured’ and ‘sophisticated’ men butchered so many like you is hard to fathom for me.

All I can do is be that voice of the souls who perished so this will never happen again, although I know that it is.

 

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The Jetten Family-Risking their lives to safe others.

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It is a question I often ask myself “Would I do it, would I risk my life and the life of my Family to safe others? ” Honestly I don’t know. Risking my own life is one thing, but risking the lives of my Family is a different ballgame all together.

And yet that is exactly what the Jetten family did and especially their oldest Daughter Truus.

The Jetten family lived in the South East of the Netherlands in the province of Limburg near the city Roermond. To give a geographical indication of the area,below a map. As you can see it borders to Germany.

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When the war broke out, Mr. and Mrs. Hiegentlich were living with their three sons in Roermond, Limburg, where they owned a textile business. There, they employed a young girl, Truus Jetten, as secretary. Her parents owned a farm in the nearby village of de Weerd.

Cesar Hiegentlich did assiste many Jewish refugees who fled Germany since 1933 to either stay in the Netherland or move further afield to the UK or USA. Because of the discussions he had with the refugees,Hiegentlich had a good understanding on what the fate of the Jews would be0

After the “aryanization” of the Hiegentlichs’ business, the family left Roermond for Amsterdam. In 1942, the Hiegentlich grandparents contacted Truus and asked if her parents would agree to shelter their granddaughter Rosalie, born in 1938, on their farm.

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Without hesitation the Jetten family agreed. Truus whowas just 17 traveled to Amsterdam to collect Rosalie who was 3 years of age at the time.Truus renamed Rosalie to Lieke. and tookher back to the Jettsn’s farm. Hub and Maria Jetten had nine children, the youngest only a few years older than Rosalie, who was treated as their tenth child. Truus had helped initiate a rescue project creating a network of local people prepared to harbor Jews.

As the  war progressed the entire Jetten family was involved in assisting and housing fugitive Jews. Sometimes as many as 23 people were hidden on their farm waiting for a permanent hideout. Truus was pivotal in bringing people, mainly children, to the farm and her sister Ella helped her mother run the home and provide for the ever-growing household.

Among the many Jews who were afforded shelter on the Jettens’ farm were Rosalie’s aunt, Gedula Blum-Grunewald; the two young Cohen de Lara sisters; Mr. de Groot, his sons, and his sister Kitty; and sixteen-year-old Marietje de Man.

In August 1944 Truus moved to the more southern city of Heerlen where she started a course in midwifery. On Sept 17 1944 Heerlen was liberated.

Schaesbergerweg.-Heerlenaren-verwelkomen-hun-bevrijders.

In 1944, Roermond and its environs, situated at the confluence of the Roer and Maas Rivers, became a war zone being defended by the Germans and the Jettens themselves became refugees. The entire household moved to Horn, to the home of Maria’s brother, Paul Hendrix, where they stayed in the cellar. After the war, Rosalie’s mother, who survived, came to collect her daughter. Rosalie  maintained a close relationship with the Jettens after the war.

On November 30, 1997, Yad Vashem recognized Hub Jetten, his wife, Maria  Jetten-Hendrix, and their daughters Truus Maria El Biyadi-Jetten and Ella Muysers-Jetten as Righteous Among the Nations.

 

onderscheiding

 

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Source

Heerlen Vertelt

Yad Vashem

Mein Krampf- Laughing away the Holocaust.

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I am staring off by saying I know I will be getting angry comments, saying how disrespectful  I am. How do I know this?

I did post a blog before with the title “Holocaust and Humour” after I published it,a lot of people complained and even called it disgusting, When I asked if they read the blog the all said “no” they had only seen the title and that was enough, But each of them came back and praised the blog after reading it.

For this blog it will probably be the same, some will see the title(not even realizing that it starts with Mein Krampf-My Cramp- rather then Mein Kampf)

I can assure you nothing in this blog will be disrespectful in fact the opposite will be true.

Even in the darkest of times many holocaust victims were able to resort to humour as a coping mechanism to deal with the horrors that surrounded them on a daily basis

In the ghettoes, Hitler’s  self proclaimed “masterpiece” was referred to as Mein Krampf (My Cramp).His theory of the “Master Race” was the subject of many jokes. Following are a few of them.

“There are two kinds of Aryan, Non Aryan and Barb-Aryan”

“Aryan, blond like Hitler, slender like Goering and tall like Goebbels”

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The following jokes were heard in the Ghettoes, however I don’t know by whom, But they were recalled by survivors after the war.

“A young boy was asked in the Warsaw Ghetto. What would you like most of all if you were Hitler’s son?

He answered: “to be orphaned.”

“Hitler visits an astrologer  and asked Am I going to lose the war?”
“Yes,” the astrologer said.Then, am I going to die?” Hitler asked.
“Yes.”
“When am I going to die?”“On a Jewish holiday.”
“But on what holiday?”
“Any day you die will be a Jewish holiday.”

Peter Lorre, the famous actor who played the  murderous villain in the Fritz Lang directed movie M in 1931. He resided in Vienna and  was invited by Goebbels to come to Berlin, Goebbels was not aware Lorre was Jewish. Lorre friendly declined the offer and replied. “There isn’t room in Germany for two murderers like Hitler and me.”

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Anyone who mocked the Nazi regime would face harsh punishment, including the death penalty. A young Catholic priest Josef Müller, made a joke and was executed for it.

Müller was arrested after repeating a satirical joke about a dying German Wehrmacht soldier  on his deathbed, who asked a  nurse  to lay a portrait of Hitler on his one side, a portrait of Göring on the other. Then, he gasped: “Now I can die like Jesus Christ. between two thieves” Müller was interrogated and temporarily taken into custody on 6 September 1943 under charges of comparing Hitler and Göring with the two criminals crucified alongside Jesus Christ.

The indictment against Müller called this joke “one of the most vile and most dangerous attacks directed on our confidence in our Führer. . . . It is a betrayal of the people, the Führer, and the Reich. Although he was interrogated and tortured several times he would not divulge where he got the joke from. He was executed by guillotine n September 11 1944.

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Auschwitz survivor Emil Fackenheim simply said “We kept our morale through humour”

 

In the summer of 1943 a satire was performed in Dachau concentration camp. The play lasted for several weeks.The main character was Count Adolar, a thinly disguised Hitler, The satire was written by Rudolf Kalmar.

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He survived the camp and became a popular actor in East Germany after the war. Another survivor, described the effect of this satire on the camp inmates: “Many of them, who sat behind the rows of the SS each night and laughed with a full heart, didn’t experience the day of freedom. But most among them took from this demonstration strength to endure their situation. . . . They had the certainty, as they lay that night on their wooden bunks: We have done something that gives strength to our comrades. We have made the Nazis look ridiculous.

 

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Source

HOLOCAUST TEACHER RESOURCE CENTER

 

 

 

 

When I grow up, I am going to be….

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When I grow up, I am going to be a Doctor or a Pilot or Police man.

When I grow up, I am going to be a Baker, or a Carpenter or a Fire man.

When I grow up, I am going to write great stories and everyone in the whole wide world will read them.

When I grow up I am going to travel all over the world. I will go to China and Japan.And to Switzerland,Luxembourg and Italy. I will visit New York,London,Rome and Jerusalem.

When I grow up, I will get lost and lots of money and take my parents on a cruise ship , where we will have dinner every night at the Captain’s table. And I will laugh at my Father when he is trying to dance the Foxtrot with my Mother.

When I grew up , the world will be open to me and I can be whatever I want to to be.

But I am only 5 and evil men don’t want me to become anything. I am only a number to them, and not Srul (Hersch) Goldberg. I am 5 and I was killed in Auschwitz.

 

Picture source

Central DB of Shoah Victims

 

Gabrielle Weidner-Forgotten Hero

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The more I do these WWII stories the more I realize how littIe I  actually know.. It was by chance I came across the name Gabrielle Weidner. Today when I tried to open a page on her it came up blank, just like my brain.I never heard of her or her brother Jean nor had I heard of the resistance group he had founded “Dutch-Paris” a group of Dutch,Belgian and French resistance fighters.

But this blog is about Gabrielle Weidner although she was Dutch she was born in Brussels, Belgium on  17 August 1914.

The second child born to a family that included her older brother Jean, and younger sister Annette. Her father was a minister who taught Greek and Latin at what is now Saleve Adventist University in Collonges, France, .

As a devoutly religious girl, she was living and doing church work for the Seventh-day Adventists in Paris at the outbreak of World War II. With the ensuing German occupation of France, she fled with her brother Jean , South to Lyon, in the unoccupied part of France. Following the 22 June 1940 signing of the agreement with the Nazis to create Vichy France, she returned to Paris while her brother went to Lyon where he established the “Dutch-Paris” underground.

In Paris, she resumed her work for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, from which she secretly with the help of her brother and other volunteers coordinated escapes for Dutch-Paris. As a significant contributor to the French resistance she has been responsible for the rescue of at least 1,080 persons, including 800 Dutch Jews and more than 112 downed Allied airmen.

On February 26, 1944, the Gestapo arrested Ms. Weidner and was sent to Fresnes Prison.

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Ms. Weidner was forced to endure physical and mental torture at Fresnes prison in Paris. Shortly after she was moved to a Ravensbrück sub-camp where she passed away on February 17, 1945 due to malnutrition

 

Her arrest had come about after a female courier who against all rules carried a notebook with a great number of names of the resistance in it. After being tortured extensively the courier did succumb to pain and divulged the names.

On 24 May 1950, Gabrielle Weidner posthumously received the Dutch Cross of Resistance for her efforts in the war. On the Dutch Orry-la-Ville honorary cemetery (north of Paris), her name is recorded on a plaque dedicated to the Dutch resistors.

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Sources

Adventistreview.org

Raoulwallenberg.net

WWII Internment camps in Britain

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“Collar the lot,” is what Churchill said about the citizens of enemy nations living in the UK, it didn’t matter if they were friend or foe,.

During the Second World War (1939 – 1945) a number of internment camps for civilians from enemy countries were established on the Isle of Man. These were based at Peveril Camp, Peel (on the west coast of the island) and Mooragh Camp, Ramsey (on the NE coast of the island). Some civilians lived in the pre-war guest houses at Douglas and other Manx towns. Prisoner of War camps were established at Base Camp, Douglas and one nearby at Onchan.

During the war, thousands of people were held in internment camps on the Isle of Man.

Some were political detainees or suspected spies, but many were innocent refugees who had nowhere else to go.

Throughout the UK citizens from Germany,Italy and Austria,including Jews who had escaped these countries from Nazi perscuion, were rounded up and transferred to the Isle of Man.

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At the outbreak of World War Two there were around 80,000 people in Britain who were considered potential “enemy aliens”.

It was feared there might be people acting as spies, or people willing to assist Britain’s enemies in the event of an invasion.The UK government asked the Isle of Man to accommodate people at camps in Douglas, Ramsey and Peel.

Political prisoners were detained in high security camps, but most internees – including many Jewish refugees – were free to go shopping, swim in the sea and attend classes.

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One of the internees was Rabbi Werner van der ZylRabbi_Werner_van_der_Zyl. a rabbi in Berlin and in London.He was a founder and President of Leo Baeck College, London; President of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (now known as the Movement for Reform Judaism); and Life Vice President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.Van der Zyl came to Britain in 1939. During World War II the British Government interned him at Kitchener Camp in Sandwich, Kent and then at Mooragh Internment Camp  on the Isle of Manas an “enemy alien”. He was released from internment in 1943.

Fred Uhlman was born in Stuttgart, Germany, into a prosperous middle-class Jewish family. He studied at the Universities of Freiburg, Munich and Tübingen from where, in 1923, he graduated with a degree in Law followed by a Doctorate in Canon and Civil Law.uhlman

On 4 November 1936, he married Diana Croft, daughter of Henry Page Croft (later Lord Croft), against her parents’ strongest wishes, and they remained close and happy for nearly fifty years.

They set up home on Downshire Hill, in London’s Hampstead and it became a favourite cultural and artistic meeting place for the large group of refugees and exiles who, like Uhlman, had been forced to flee their homeland. He founded the Free German League of Culture, whose members included Oskar Kokoschka and Stefan Zweig, though he parted company with it when he felt it coming under communist domination.

Nine months after the outbreak of the Second World War, Uhlman, with thousands of other enemy aliens, was, in June 1940, interned by the British Government, in Hutchinson Camp on the Isle of Man.  He was released six months later and reunited with his wife and with his daughter, born while he was interned.

Photograph of internees in a yard at Hutchinson Internment Camp [c.1940-1] by Major H. O. Daniels

 

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Sources

BBC

The Telegraph

The smile of an Angel

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The smile of Henri Fragman , how Angelic.

Those eyes tell so many stories.

The story of a 5 year old who got his hands dirty playing in the mud, even though his mother told him to stay clean because she was about to serve dinner.

The story of the boy who loved to play hide and go seek. He was the best because he had a secret hiding place, no one would ever find him. It was in his own room under the bed, and although his dad would often check there during the game, he never ever found him.

The eyes who say I just took a cookie from the cookie jar while you weren’t looking.

The smile that clearly hides some playful mischievousness.

A smile of a little boy whose biggest ambition is to go outside and kick a ball

A smile of an Angel hated by a regime.

A smile of an Angel deemed not to be worthy staying alive.

A smile that was ended on August 21, 1942,

Little Angel Henri Fragman murdered age 5 in Auschwitz

 

Picture courtesy of ancientfaces

Eduard Krebsbach- Just doing a Job

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Primum non nocere is the Latin phrase for “First do no harm” It is part of the Hippocratic Oath including the promise “to abstain from doing harm” .

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians. It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. In its original form, it requires a new physician to swear, by a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards. The Oath is the earliest expression of medical ethics in the Western world, establishing several principles of medical ethics which remain of paramount significance today. These include the principles of medical confidentiality and non-maleficence. Although the ancient text is only of historic and symbolic value, swearing a modified form of the Oath remains a rite of passage for medical graduates in many countries.

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Eduard Krebsbach (b. 8 August 1894, d. 28 May 1947) received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Bonn. He worked for many years as a pediatrician, before applying for membership in the SS in 1937. The following year he was inducted into the SS as Untersturmführer (SS Captain). Between the fall of 1941 and the fall of 1943 Krebsbach served as SS Sturmbannführer (Major) and Standortarzt (Chief Physician) of the SS and the Police at the Linz, Steyr, Wels and Gusen satellite camps of the main Konzentrationslager (concentration camp) commonly referred to as KL Mauthausen-Gusen.

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In this period Krebsbach initiated the practice of mass execution of prisoners that he judged unworthy to live or unable to work. This was performed by lethal injections (Spritzen) of phenol directly into the heart, thus he killed or supervised the murder of at least 900 prisoners, for which he earned the nickname among inmates “Dr. Spritzbach”. Lethal heart injections continued to be administered at the Gusen camp twice a week even until April 1945.

Following the end of World War II he was arrested and given the death penalty during the Dachau trials conducted by the US military on 13 May 1946 and was executed by hanging on 28 May 1947 at Landsberg Prison in Landsberg am Lech.

The following is from the court record of the Dachau trials (quoted in Hans Maršálek, “Die Geschichte des Konzentrationslagers Mauthausen”, p. 174):

“Krebsbach: When I started work I was ordered by the head of Office III D to kill or have killed all those who were unable to work, and the incurably sick.

Prosecutor: And how did you carry out this order?

Krebsbach: Incurably sick inmates who were absolutely incapable of work were generally gassed. Some were also killed by gasoline injection.

Prosecutor: To your knowledge, how many persons were killed in this way in your presence?

Krebsbach: (no answer)

Prosecutor: You were ordered to kill those unfit to live?

Krebsbach: Yes. I was ordered to have persons killed if I was of the opinion that they were a burden on the state.

Prosecutor: Did it never occur to you that these were human beings, people who had the misfortune to be inmates or who had been neglected?

Krebsbach: No. People are like animals. Animals that are born deformed or incapable of living are put down at birth. This should be done for humanitarian reasons with people as well. This would prevent a lot of misery and unhappiness.

Prosecutor: That is your opinion. The world does not agree with you. Did it never occur to you that killing a human being is a terrible crime?

Krebsbach: No. Every state is entitled to protect itself against asocial persons including those unfit to live.

Prosecutor: In other words, it never occurred to you that what you were doing was a crime?

Krebsbach: No. I carried out my work to the best of my knowledge and belief because I had to.”

KZ Mauthausen, Ewald Krebsbach

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The wave is upon us

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This blog has nothing to do with the Holocaust and equally everything to do with the Holocaust. Nothing because the event took place decades and everything because it shows how easy it was to get a sophisticated nation turn into sheep following a wolf.

It took the title from a quote from the 1981 movie “The Wave” a movie although acting wise not a masterpiece but the message it gave was powerful.Many times I hav wathed it and several time when I was a kid in school.MV5BMWFlMTQ0YWQtYmU5Yi00OGY4LWJlMzAtYTllYjkxNzNhMGIwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjM3ODA2NDQ@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,654,1000_AL_

The movie was based on  an experimental social movement created by California high school history teacher Ron Jones to explain how the German population could accept the actions of the Nazi regime during the Second World War..

Ron Jones, the teacher, had arrived there straight from training college. He soon became famed for his unorthodox methods: making students at the almost all-white school use different toilets to demonstrate apartheid, for instance..

Jones, finding himself unable to explain to his students how the German population could have claimed ignorance of The Holocaust, decided to demonstrate it to them instead. Jones started a movement called “The Third Wave” and told his students that the movement aimed to eliminate democracy. The idea that democracy emphasizes individuality was considered as a drawback of democracy, and Jones emphasized this main point of the movement in its motto: “Strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action, strength through pride.”

Lesson-Plan-show

Day 1

Jones writes that he started the first day of the experiment with simple things such as proper seating and extensively drilling the students. He then proceeded to enforce strict classroom discipline by emerging as an authoritarian figure and dramatically improving the efficiency of the class.

The first day’s session was closed with only a few rules, intending to be a one-day experiment. Students had to be sitting at attention before the second bell, had to stand up to ask or answer questions and had to do it in three words or fewer, and were required to preface each remark with “Mr. Jones”.

Day 2

On the second day, he managed to meld his history class into a group with a supreme sense of discipline and community. Jones based the name of his movement, “The Third Wave”, on the supposed fact that the third in a series of waves is the strongest. Jones made up a salute involving a cupped hand reaching across the chest toward the opposite shoulder and resembling a Hitler salute and ordered class members to salute each other even outside the class. They all complied with this command.

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Day 3

The experiment took on a life of its own, with students from all over the school joining in: some students who did not take the history class but had a free period decided to join the class. On the third day, the class expanded from initial 30 students to 43 attendees. All of the students showed drastic improvement in their academic skills and tremendous motivation. All of the students were issued a member card, and each of them received a special assignment, like designing a Third Wave Banner, stopping non-members from entering the class, or the like. Jones instructed the students on how to initiate new members, and by the end of the day the movement had over 200 participants.[3] Jones was surprised that some of the students started reporting to him when other members of the movement failed to abide by the rules.

Day 4

On Thursday, the fourth day of the experiment, Jones decided to terminate the movement because it was slipping out of his control. The students became increasingly involved in the project and their discipline and loyalty to the project was outstanding. He announced to the participants that this movement was a part of a nationwide movement and that on the next day a presidential candidate of the Third Wave would publicly announce its existence. Jones ordered students to attend a noon rally on Friday to witness the announcement.

Day 5

Instead of a televised address of their leader, the students were presented with an empty channel. After a few minutes of waiting, Jones announced that they had been a part of an experiment in fascism and that they all willingly created a sense of superiority like German citizens had in the period of Nazi Germany. He then played them a film about the Nazi regime to conclude the experiment.

Although it is easy to point the finger of blame to all Germans but the experiment shows how easy it is to brainwash a group. Within 5 days the dynamics in this high school completely changed without any propaganda machinery behind it.

This could have happened anywhere.

 

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I am 3

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My name is Julia Bricht, I am 3.

When I am four I will go to school and learn all sorts of things and play with my friends.

When I am 6 I will go the big school and will get to know more people and learn even more things.

When I am 12 I will go to the high school and become a star pupil and I will be wise and educated.

When I am 18 I will go to University and will study to become a Doctor or an Architect and maybe I will write books.

Or maybe I will not go to university but art college and become a painter, dancer or a beautiful singer.

When I am 24 I will get married to a wonderful man and we will have children and we will be happy and travel to see the world.

But I am 3 and I am murdered in Auschwitz.