This a piece that was newly published On October 24,2022, for The New School’s online journal Public Seminar, responding to James Carroll’s epic six-part essay in that outlet, “Revelations of the War in Ukraine.” It was written by Robert Edwards a writer based in New York City (blogging at The King’s Necktie), and a former U.S. Army infantry and intelligence officer who served in Germany in the 1980s and Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.
Please read. And if you like this please like and follow his blog The King’s Necktie, where his brilliant and incisive writing never stops fighting the good fight. You will not be sorry! https://thekingsnecktie.com/
“Might the U.S. Military Support Nuclear Disarmament? Its senior leadership is uniquely positioned in the present moment to pursue a revolutionary possibility.”
It is stories like Gideon that make me want to give up doing blogs on the Holocaust, but paradoxically it also encourages me to continue with it. The reason why I want to stop is obvious. Every time when I see a picture of a beautiful innocent infant, knowing that child was murdered by an evil regime, I feel physical and mental pain. However, that is also the reason why I have to continue, to make sure it never happens again, although I feel like I and others are failing in that task.
There is not much to say about Gideon, how could there be he was only 1. He was born in the Hague ,Netherlands, on June 4,1942. On February 28,1944 he was transported to Westerbork but from there he was deported to Auschwitz on March 6,1944, together with 661 other men, women and children. Gideon was murdered in Auschwitz on March 6,1944.
There is more information about his family and especially about his mother and her family.
Fany Feingersch came as a German refugee from Celle to Zevenaar on 9 March 1939. She lived from March 9, 1939 to November 22, 1939 at the Jewish Youth Farm in Gouda, the villa Catharinahoeve with over two hectares of land. On April 1, 1940 she left for Rotterdam.
Fany’s parents, Isaak (Yitzkhak) and Rebekka (Rivka) Feingersch-Aswolinskaya, left Odessa,Ukraine for Germany in 1912. Because they had the Russian nationality, they were interned,seperately in Holzminden during the First World War. Once out of the camp they moved to Ovelgönne near Celle. There Fany was born in 1918. She was the fourth child; after her, a sister and five brothers are born.
Fany managed to reach the Netherlands together with her sisters Marie and Rosa. As a so called Palestine Pioneer, she had an agricultural education and lived in different places. Four of her brothers went to British Mandated Palestine. Her parents and two youngest brothers remained behind in Celle.
On August 30, 1939, Fany addressed a personal, handwritten letter to Princess Juliana, the Crown princess and future Queen of the Netherlands, pleading for her parents and youngest brothers to temporarily stay in a refugee camp in the Netherlands, The request was denied.
Fany married Wilhelm (Willy) Prager on December 3, 1941.
They lived above the pastry shop on Korte Poten in The Hague. Their son Gideon is born on June 4, 1942.
Fany was pregnant with their second child when she arrived in Westerbork on 28 February 1944, together with her husband, their son Gideon and Gerda Klein, her husband’s niece who lived with them at the time . On March 3, 1944 they are deported from Westerbork to Auschwitz (transport no. 89). Fany is murdered simultaneously with Gideon and Gerda on March 6, 1944.
Fany was 25 years old, Gideon was aged 1 and Gerda was 9 years old. Willy Prager survived the war. He was liberated in Dachau on April 29, 1945.
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What happened? You tell your people that Ukraine is nearly defeated. You tell the citizens of Mother Russia that Ukraine is only popular in the west.
But I was watching the Eurovision Song contest last night and I noticed this strange thing. Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra has won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin, Italy. It did get votes from all European countries
The same Russian threat actors that this week targeted Italian parliamentary and military websites and threatened to disrupt U.K. National Health Service (NHS) services, could now have the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final in their crosshairs.
The Killnet threat group had threatened to “send 10 billion requests” to the Eurovision online voting system and “add votes to some other country.” But even that didn’t happen, although there were some glitches in the transmission of some countries which have some loyalties to Russia, like Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Comrade Putin maybe you haven’t heard and seen the winning song, so here it is, especially for you.
I don’t think not too many people would have expected at the start of 2022, that Kharkiv would be dailyin the news in relation to battles happening in the area.
It is the second-largest city and municipality in Ukraine.Kharkiv was founded in 1654 as Kharkiv fortress, and after these humble beginnings, it grew to be a major centre of industry, trade and Ukrainian culture.
The 2n battle I am referring to is not in relation to the current war between Ukraine and Russia , but a battle which started on May 12,1942 during WW2.
The Second Battle of Kharkov, so named by Wilhelm Keitel, was an Axis counteroffensive against the Red Army Izium bridgehead offensive conducted from May 12 to May 28, 1942, on the Eastern Front during World War II. Its objective was to eliminate the Izium bridgehead.
On May 12, 1942, Soviet forces under the command of Marshal Semyon Timoshenko launched an offensive against the German 6th Army from a salient established during the winter counteroffensive. After initial promising signs, the offensive was stopped by German counterattacks. Critical errors by several staff officers and by Joseph Stalin himself, who failed to accurately estimate the 6th Army’s potential and overestimated their own newly-trained forces, led to a successful German pincer attack
The Soviets struck first. At 0630 hours, on May 12 an hour of artillery bombardment began, with the final 20 minutes joined by aircraft. At 0730 hours, the ground offensive began, meeting tough German defense from the start. By the end of the first day, the deepest penetration achieved by Soviet troops was merely 10 kilometers. Soviet generals realized that poor intelligence prior to operation led them to misjudge German strength in the region, which was twice as strong as they originally expected; part of that German advantage was possibly due to the Germans detected a possible Soviet attack, thus had bolstered strength at strategic locations. By the end of 14 May, both sides had suffered serious casualties. On the German side, the German 6th Army saw 16 of its battalions nearly wiped out.
By the end of May 24, Soviet forces opposite Kharkiv had been surrounded by German formations. Hemmed into a narrow area, the 250,000-strong Soviet force inside the pocket was exterminated from all sides by German armored, artillery and machine gun firepower as well as 7,700 tonnes of air-dropped bombs. After six days of encirclement, organized Soviet resistance came to an end as the Soviet formations were either killed or taken prisoner. The battle was an overwhelming German victory, with 280,000 Soviet casualties compared to just 20,000 for the Germans and their allies. The Second Battle of Kharkiv is know as a major Soviet setback that put an end to the successes of the Red Army during the winter counteroffensive.
The failure is often attributed to the Soviet inability to account for the military strength of the Wehrmacht as well as the reorganize their troops. The initial purpose of the attack on Kharkiv was for the Soviets to retake the previously captured strategic city of Kharkov assuming that they were now better prepared to deal with the German troops that had caught them off guard the previous year.
You tell us that you don’t want a war. You are only conducting this ‘military operation’ in Ukraine to create peace.
You say you want-Mir-I believe that is ‘Peace’ in the Russian language. But if this is really ‘mir’ then please do explain it to that poor man in Odessa, who went out to the shop just to come back home, to find that his Mother,Wife and 3 month old baby were murdered by your ‘mir’
Please do explain it to that man, and do it face to face, don’t hide behind your soldiers. Man up and face this man, person to person.
However I don’t believe a coward like you is able to do that. But I am giving you the opportunity to prove me wrong.
Your mir is a bloody one. Are you Vladimir Putin the leader of Russia? Or are you BloodyMir Putin, dictator and genocidal maniac?
You are telling the world that you have carried out this military mission in the Ukraine, to protect its citizens, to rid it of Nazis. However you have not fully explained to us what you consider to be Nazis.
I would love it of you could just clarify that matter to a simpleton like me. When you say Nazi, are you referring to the Ukraine’s Jewish president whose grandfather barely survived the Holocaust?
Or were you perhaps referring to the 10 year old school girl Polina, who was murdered on your orders?
Maybe it is the 2 year old Shpak who was murdered during a shelling ordered by you. Was he that Nazi you were referring to? Is that the type of funerals you want to see more in the Ukraine to achieve your goals?
Dear Comrade Putin, if you can’t explain it to me may you can explain it to Oleh,Shpak’s Father? Because he asked “I don’t know if there is a God. What is this all for? For what?”
Dear Comrade Putin, your actions look a lot like that of a nationalised German Austrian, he also said in the 1930’s that he wanted to liberated the people in the Sudeten land and Poland. But he was a Nazi, So are you perhaps a Nazi, Comrade Putin? If so, the only thing for you to do to rid the Ukraine from Nazis is by withdrawing your troops.
Perhaps that isn’t your goal. Perhaps you long to the Russia of the days of yore? Where it was still part of the USSR and maybe you want to rule like Czar Nicholas once did. Maybe you want to become the new USSczaR.
If you ask me that is what you want to be. But people will not remember you as a Czar. They will see you like cowards such as Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. That is what you real legacy will be.
Is that what you really want? It is not too late yet, you can still change that.
Sonja would have been 80 today. But as the title suggests she was murdered when she was only 5 months old. She was the product of love between two people.
Her parents were, Mother, Frederika van Amerongen-Veffer and her Father, Philip van Amerongen. Sonja’s Mother was a seamstress and her Father a butcher. Just regular people, not a threat to anyone.
Sonja must have been conceived in June 1941, the Netherlands was already occupied for more then a year at that stage. This might sound like an odd thought, but the Dutch Jewish community were already living in anxiety at that time. so even having sex wasn’t as normal as it was before, Every aspect of their lives was impacted by the Nazi occupation.
Clearly Sonja’s parents loved each other and Sonja was a declaration of that love. She was born in Amsterdam just like her parents. Her birth date was March 18,1942.
All 3 were murdered in Auschwitz on August 28 1942.Philip was first put on a transport to Mechelen in Belgium, on August 25,1942.He must have been transport immediately from there to Auschwitz.
Both Sonja and her Mother’s name are on the same transport list. It appears to me they were sent to Auschwitz from Westerbork.
I noticed another name on that list, Golda Barber-Lewinson, I noticed it because it links to the current war raging in Europe. Golda was born in Odessa which is now in the Ukraine. That is all what I will say about that.
Golda, her husband and their 7 month son were also murdered in Auschwitz, Golda was murdered a day before Sonja and her family. Golda’s son Alfred was murdered on the same day as Sonja.
Golda’s husband, Salomon, was murdered a few days later.
On Tuesday March 1,2022 Russian missiles damaged the Babyn Yar (also known as Babi Yar) memorial site. One might say what is the big deal? It didn’t hit a residential area, right?
Five people were killed in that strike which is an awful loss of life, any death cause by war is. But there is more to this. Babyn Yar has a huge historical importance especially in relation to genocide.
It was the site where over 33,000 people were massacred. In September 1941 by the Nazis.
On September 19, 1941, German forces entered the city of Kyiv (Kiev), the capital of Ukraine. Along with a large part of German-occupied Ukraine, the city was incorporated into the Reichskommissariat Ukraine which had been established on September 1 with Erich Koch as administrator.
Before the German invasion, some 160,000 Jews resided in Kyiv,Ukraine . Which was approximately 20 percent of the total population of the capital. Following the start of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, approximately 100,000 Jews fled Kyiv or were already serving in the Soviet military. By the time the Germans occupied Kyiv, there were about 60,000 Jews remaining in the city. Most of those who remained had been unable or unwilling to flee earlier. This included mostly women, children, the elderly, and those who were ill.
The implementation of the order was entrusted to Sonderkommando 4a, commanded by Blobel, under the general command of Friedrich Jeckeln.This unit consisted of SD and Sipo, the third company of the Special Duties Waffen-SS battalion, and a platoon of the 9th Police Battalion. Police Battalion 45, commanded by Major Besser, conducted the massacre, supported by members of a Waffen-SS battalion. Contrary to the myth of the “clean Wehrmacht”, the Sixth Army under Walter von Reichenau worked together with the SS and SD to plan the mass murder of the Jews of Kiev.
On 29 and 30 September 1941, a special team of German SS troops supported by other German units and local collaborators murdered 33,771 Jewish civilians after taking them to the ravine.
The commander of the Einsatzkommando reported two days later:
“The difficulties resulting from such a large scale action—in particular concerning the seizure—were overcome in Kiev by requesting the Jewish population through wall posters to move. Although only a participation of approximately 5,000 to 6,000 Jews had been expected at first, more than 30,000 Jews arrived who, until the very moment of their execution, still believed in their resettlement, thanks to an extremely clever organization.”
According to the testimony of a truck driver named Hofer, victims were ordered to undress and were beaten if they resisted.
The crowd was large enough that most of the victims could not have known what was happening until it was too late; by the time they heard the machine gun fire, there was no chance to escape. All were driven down a corridor of soldiers, in groups of ten, and then shot.
In the evening, the Germans undermined the wall of the ravine and buried the people under the thick layers of earth.According to the Einsatzgruppe’s Operational Situation Report, 33,771 Jews from Kiev and its suburbs were systematically shot dead by machine-gun fire at Babi Yar on 29 September and 30 September 1941.
The money, valuables, underwear and clothing of the murdered victims were turned over to the local ethnic Germans and to the Nazi administration of the city.Wounded victims were buried alive in the ravine along with the rest of the bodies.
The ravine at Babyn Yar was a killing site for two years after the September 1941 massacre. There, Germans stationed at Kyiv murdered tens of thousands of people, both Jews and non-Jews. Other groups of people who were killed at Babyn Yar included: patients from a local psychiatric hospital, Roma , Soviet prisoners of war, and civilians.
It is estimated that some 100,000 people, Jews and non-Jews, were murdered at Babi Yar
The killings at the Babyn Yar ravine continued until the fall of 1943, only a few days before the Soviets re-took control of Kyiv on November 6.
Putin invaded Ukraine under the premise that he wanted to rid the country from Neo Nazis. Yet the Ukrainian President is Jewish.
A spokesperson for the memorial told the Times of Israel that the air strike had caused damage to buildings in the Jewish cemetery located in the Babyn Yar complex, although a monument to the victims of Nazism was not affected. It may not have caused damage but it did desecrate the site and the surrounding Jewish cemeteries. If that isn’t an act by Neo Nazis then what is?
Putin’s logic appears to be to get rid of ‘Neo Nazis’ by committing acts of Neo Nazism himself.
With the current tension between Russia and the Ukraine, I couldn’t help being reminded of the 2016 Eurovision Song contest winner.
“1944” is a song written and performed by Ukrainian singer Jamala. It represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and won with a total of 534 points.
The lyrics for “1944” concern the deportation of the Crimean Tatars, in the 1940s, by the Soviet Union at the hands of Joseph Stalin because of their alleged collaboration with the Nazis. Jamala was particularly inspired by the story of her great-grandmother Nazylkhan, who was in her mid-20s when she and her five children were deported to barren Central Asia. One of the daughters did not survive the journey. Jamala’s great-grandfather was fighting in World War II in the Red Army at this time and thus could not protect his family. The song was also released amid renewed repression of Crimean Tatars following the Russian annexation of Crimea, since most Crimean Tatars refuse to accept the annexation.
These are the lyrics:
When strangers are coming They come to your house They kill you all and say We’re not guilty not guilty
Where is your mind? Humanity cries You think you are gods But everyone dies Don’t swallow my soul Our souls
Yaşlığıma toyalmadım Men bu yerde yaşalmadım Yaşlığıma toyalmadım Men bu yerde yaşalmadım
We could build a future Where people are free to live and love The happiest time Where is your heart? Humanity rise You think you are gods But everyone dies Don’t swallow my soul Our souls
Yaşlığıma toyalmadım Men bu yerde yaşalmadım Yaşlığıma toyalmadım Men bu yerde yaşalmadım
We could build a future Where people are free To live and love The happiest time
Where is your heart? Humanity rise You think you are gods But everyone dies Don’t swallow my soul Our souls
I couldn’t spend my youth there Because you took away my peace I couldn’t spend my youth there Because you took away my peace.
The song Russians has been going around in my head the last few weeks. Leaving aside the political message it is a beautiful song.
The melody was inspired by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s Romance melody from the Lieutenant Kije Suite.
In 2010, Sting explained that the song was inspired by watching Soviet TV via inventor Ken Schaffer’s satellite receiver at Columbia University:
“I had a friend at university who invented a way to steal the satellite signal from Russian TV. We’d have a few beers and climb this tiny staircase to watch Russian television… At that time of night we’d only get children’s Russian television, like their ‘Sesame Street’. I was impressed with the care and attention they gave to their children’s programmes. I regret our current enemies haven’t got the same ethics.”
Sting’s bandmate , Police drummer Stewart Copeland . the son of a CIA operative had a very different outlook. But as Copeland explained, no matter how cogent his arguments, Sting could refute them with an indefensible lyric like “Russians love their children too.” Said Copeland, “You can’t argue with a poet.”
The lyrics have dated a small bit mainly because of the names of the political leaders. But if you change those names to the current leaders, which I will leave up to yourselves to do’ it is quite a current song that reflects the reality at the moment caused by the Ukraine Russia crisis.
“In Europe and America there’s a growing feeling of hysteria Conditioned to respond to all the threats In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets Mister Krushchev said, “We will bury you” I don’t subscribe to this point of view It’d be such an ignorant thing to do If the Russians love their children too
How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy? There is no monopoly on common sense On either side of the political fence We share the same biology, regardless of ideology Believe me when I say to you I hope the Russians love their children too There is no historical precedent To put the words in the mouth of the president? There’s no such thing as a winnable war It’s a lie we don’t believe anymore
Mister Reagan says, “We will protect you” I don’t subscribe to this point of view Believe me when I say to you I hope the Russians love their children too We share the same biology, regardless of ideology But what might save us, me and you Is if the Russians love their children too”