I think the best way of telling the stories of the Holocaust , is to bring it down to a personal level , so that people can find some association with it, although it is impossible to fully comprehend the horrors.
What makes it difficult is just to pick one of the millions who were murdered. To tell one story and show that these people were not just victims but were above everything else human beings.
The story of Julius Hirsch resonated with me on several accounts on a personal level.
Julius Hirsch was a German international footballer. Many football (as in soccer) fans will know that any match between the Netherlands and Germany, the 2 European arch rivals.are filled with passion and emotion. On Sunday, March 24, 1912 a match between these 2 nations ended in a 5-5 draw.
Four goals were scored by Julius Hirsch in that match.
Julius Hirsch was Jewish ,on April 10 1933, exactly 35 years before I was born, he read in a newspaper that all Southern German clubs would ban Jewish members, including his club KFV , which he then left after over 30 years as a member. In a letter to his club he demanded that it should not be forgotten that, even though Jews were now the whipping boys of the nation, many of them had given their life blood for the German nation and were true patriots, as shown by their deeds and word.
In 1943, he got the orders to register for the “Employment of Labor in the East”. On March 1, 1943, Julius Hirsch was deported to Auschwitz along with eleven other Baden Jews. It was the last deportation from Karlsruhe to Auschwitz. On March 3, 1943, he sent a card to his daughter Esther for her 16th birthday. He had sent iy from Dortmund,one of the stops en route to Auschwitz: “My dearest! I arrived safely, and everything is well! I am headed to Upper Silesia, which is still in Germany. Heartfelt greetings and kisses, your Juller!” It was to be the last anyone heard from Julius . His exact date of death is unknown. In 1950, a German district court declared him dead and set the date of death on 8 May 1945.
Julius was not just a footballer, he was one of the best of his nation. For a country which traditionally puts its sports people on such a high pedestal. They cared very little for some of their best just because they were Jewish.
So many talented and cultural geniuses were murdered because of a warped ideology.
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