Holocaust Diaries

Bizarrely enough diaries were not always used or recognized as evidence or as study material for the Holocaust. researchers tended to dismiss Jewish diaries as subjective and unreliable. Only in the last few decades the value of diaries have been acknowledged. To me there is nothing more powerful of the words of those who lived through the horrors.

Below are just some examples of diary entries.

Jacques Salamon Berenholc was a fourteen-year-old boy living in his home city of Paris when Nazi forces invaded and occupied the country in the summer of 1940. In summer 1942—both in the occupied northern part and in Vichy. French police were rounding up Jewish people and deporting them via Drancy to the killing centers

“Saturday, January 16, 1943
Things aren’t going well this morning. They made us leave the room to lead us into the corridors. There is another disinfection. It’s very unpleasant! I’m supposed to leave and I’m waiting impatiently for my release. Around 2 p.m., Joaquin comes to tell me that my release slip is at the director’s but he isn’t there yet to sign it. It would be really disagreeable to go to the disinfecting room before I leave, for my clothes would be completely ruined. Finally I arrange to go with the last persons. Just in case… Those who want to save their suits put them in my bag. I am loaded down like a donkey. […]

Toward 5 p.m., someone comes to inform me that I am free and leads me out with many shouts of “venga,” “come on.” It’s just enough time for me to say goodbye to friends. Papa and Victor are summoned to see Mama. At the prison office, I’m searched, my fingerprints are taken, I get my papers back, and I’m given my release slip.

When I saw Mama at the threshold of the door, we both burst into tears as we hugged each other.

Finally we left the place and caught the train that would take us to Caldas.

We got there around 6 p.m., and at the hotel all the women overwhelmed me with questions. Among them, I was very surprised to recognize Mlle. Henriette Weil, whom I have known since 1941. She slept in the same room as Mama, like the fiancée of Simon Gausfain’s fiancée, Mlle. Giselle Landesman.

After a good bath, I changed my clothes and ate. To eat at last with a real spoon on real plates and with a knife and fork.

After dinner, since two of the ladies were leaving the next day—one of whom, Mme. Pollock, was a friend of Mama—a young actress, a singer, gave a recital. She was wonderful and sang very well. She sang a song entitled, ‘Little Papa, when you come back.,

You can’t imagine how it depressed me.”

Dr. Aron Pik was a well-established physician living in Shavli (the Yiddish name for Šiauliai in Lithuania) with his wife and son when Nazi forces invaded the country in June 1941.

“For sixteen and a half years, I was the director of the internal and contagious diseases division of the city hospital […]

[But] despite my sympathies for [the Bolshevik regime], it suddenly created great unpleasantness for me. One of the reasons was that I had a mark on me, of which I was long unable to cleanse myself. That is: my official membership in the Zionist party and my occupying the post of Vice Chairman of the Shavli organization of general Zionists. Firstly, it was decided under the Bolshevik regime to remove me from the hospital, and the mayor had already informed me officially about the decision. After sixteen and a half years of work in the hospital, to be a “former” person, superfluous, this made a very difficult impression on me, even in this period of surprises and unexpected events. Fortunately, this decision was not immediately executed, thanks to an order from the health ministry that all doctors should for now remain at their positions. And so I remained a whole four months in the hospital, hanging between heaven and earth, and waiting each day with fear and anxiety for unpleasant news. This very matter ended in a completely unexpected fashion. One morning, I receive an official announcement from the health department that I am designated as the director of the central city policlinic—and Dr. D., who was considered a leftist because he was not a Zionist, replaced me in the hospital. And in this way, instead of being removed from public medicine and pushed into the legion of the “former people” and loafers, I received a very honorable position, with much responsibility, and I was entrusted with the supervision of the whole ambulatory-medical care of Shavli.

[…]

The arrival in Shavli of a great mass of [German] soldiers immediately affected my situation as the director of the policlinic. With no formalities, the German medical-surgical division broke into the policlinic, and their chief physician immediately began to “set up house,” as if he were at home. His first act was to make the policlinic Jew-free. At that time, Dr. B-n, Dr. V. (dentist), and nurse L-n were in the policlinic, all with typical Jewish physiognomies, with brown hair, made in the true image of God—and he went up to each of them and ordered them to make off as quickly as possible: “You are Jews, go off and disappear, I should not have to see you any more.” […]

It will not be redundant to record an episode that sheds light on the German chief physician mentioned above and illustrates the relationship between the German intellectual, if we can call him such, and the Jews—almost colleagues of his. This very “bearer of culture” did not satisfy himself with driving the Jews out of the policlinic—suddenly, he remembered the dentist V., and sent a Lithuanian nurse to his home with the accompaniment of a German soldier, in order to bring him back to the policlinic. And when the dentist V. arrived, the chief physician ordered him to go clean the street around the policlinic, to carry water, and other such “honorable” work for a whole day […]

I soon met Dr. V., the dentist, and after him Dr. B., who ran to me out of breath and very upset, in order to let me know what had happened to them and what was generally happening in the policlinic. Hearing this news, I, of course, considered it a foregone conclusion that the “noble” chief physician would “honor” me, too, with this type of welcome, and I decided to remain at home and finita la comedia.1 In this fashion, my management of the policlinic, which lasted about eight months, ended.

Now I sit at home idle, without work, and have free time, over and beyond, to write out in greater or lesser detail my unhappy memories. In any case, one is afraid to go out in the street, to distract oneself a little, unless there is an important reason to go—in order not to run up against the hatred of our propaganda-filled masters, the Lithuanians […]”

Henryk Goldszmit, a Polish Jewish doctor known for his children’s books. under the name Janusz Korczak. He was the director a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw from 1912 until his death in 1942. Korczak’s diary provide a glimpse into the doctor’s state of mind in late July 1942 as Nazi authorities began a massive wave of deportations from the ghetto. The featured entries reflect his concerns over the children’s mental health I will be doing a blog on him quite soon but for now this is an excerpt from his diary.

“Night, July 18

During the first week of our last stay at the Goclawek summer home, the result of the consumption of bread of unknown composition and make was a mass poisoning which affected the children and some of the staff.

Diarrhea. The excrements boiled over in the chamber pots. Bubbles fonned upon the surface of the pitch-like matter. Bursting they exuded a sweetish-putrid odor, which not only attacked the sense of smell but invaded the throat, eyes, ears, the brain.

Just now we have something similar, but it consists of vomiting and watery stools.

During the night, the boys lost 80 kg among them — on the average a kilogram per head. The girls — 60 kg (somewhat less).

The children’s digestive tracts worked under heavy strain. Not much was needed to precipitate a disaster. Perhaps it was the inoculation against dysentery (five days ago) or the ground pepper added pursuant to a French recipe to the stale eggs used for Friday’s pate.

The next day, not so much as a single kilogram of the losses in weight was made up.

Help for those vomiting, moaning with pain, was administered in near darkness — with limewater. (Unlimited dental chalk for whoever wanted it, jug after jug. In addition, a drug for those suffering from headaches.) Finally, for the staff, sparingly — morphine. An injection of caffeine for a hysterical new inmate following a collapse.

His mother, wasting away of ulcerated intestines, was unwilling to die until the child had been placed in the Home. The boy was unwilling to go until the mother had died. He finally yielded. The mother died propitiously, now the child has pangs of conscience. In his illness, he mimics his mother: he moans (screams), complains of pain, then gasps, then feels hot, finally is dying of thirst.

“Water!”

I pace the dormitory to and fro. Will there be an outbreak of mass hysteria? Might be!

But the children’s confidence in the leadership prevailed. They believed that as long as the doctor was calm there was no danger.

Actually I was not so calm. But the fact that I shouted at the troublesome patient and threatened to throw him out onto the staircase was evidence that the man at the helm had everything under control. The decisive factor: he shouts, so he knows.

The next day, that was yesterday — the play. The Post Office by Tagore. Applause, handshakes, smiles, efforts at cordial conversation. (The chairwoman looked over the house after the performance and pronounced that though we are cramped, that genius Korczak had demonstrated that he could work miracles even in a rat hole.)

This is why others have been allotted palaces.

[This reminded me of the pompous opening ceremony of a new kindergarten in the workers’ house at Gorczewska Street with the participation of Mrs. Moscicka (Wife of the prewar President of Poland) — the other one.]

How ridiculous they are.

What would have happened if the actors of yesterday were to continue in their roles today?

Jerzyk fancied himself a fakir.

Chaimek — a real doctor.

Adek — the lord mayor.

(Perhaps illusions would be a good subject for the Wednesday dormitory talk. Illusions, their role in the life of mankind. . . .)

And so to Dzielna Street.

The same day. Midnight

If I were to say that I have never written a single line unwillingly, that would be the truth. But it would also be true to say that I have written everything under compulsion.

I was a child “able to play for hours on his own,” and with me “you wouldn’t know there was a child in the house.”

I received building blocks (bricks) when I was six. I stopped playing with them when I was fourteen.

“Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Such a big guy. You ought to be doing something else. Reading. But blocks — what next. …”

When I was fifteen I acquired the craze, the frenzy of reading. The world vanished, only the book existed. . . .

I talked to people a lot: to peers and to much older grownups. In Saski Park I had some really aged friends. They “admired” me. A philosopher, they said.

I conversed only with myself.

For to talk and to converse are not the same. To change one’s clothes and to undress are two different things.

I undress when alone, and I converse when alone.

A quarter of an hour ago I finished my monologue in the presence of Heniek Azrylewicz. Probably for the first time in my life I told myself positively:

“I have an analytical, not an inventive, mind.”

To analyze in order to know?

No.

To analyze in order to find, to get to the bottom of things?

Not that either.

Rather to analyze in order to ask further and further questions.

I ask questions of men (of infants, of the aged), I question facts, events, fates. I am not so pressed for answers; I go on to other questions — not necessarily on the same subject.

My mother used to say:

“That boy has no ambition. It’s all the same to him what he wears, whether he plays with children of his own kind or with the janitor’s. He is not ashamed to play with toddlers.”

I used to ask my building blocks, children, grownups, what they were. I did not break toys, it did not interest me why the doll’s eyes closed when it was put down. It was not the mechanism but the essence of a thing, the thing for itself, in itself.

Writing a diary or a life story I am obliged to talk, not to converse.

Now back to euthanasia. The family of a suicide. Euthanasia to order.

An insane man, legally incapacitated, incapable of independent decision.

A code comprising a thousand articles is needed. Life itself will dictate them. What is important is the principle: it is pennissible, desirable.

On a beautiful remote island, serene, as in a fairy tale, in a fine hotel, boarding house, a suicide casts the die. Is living worthwhile?

How many days or weeks are necessary to decide? A life following the patterns of contemporary magnates? Perhaps work?

The hotel service. Duties in shifts. The work in the garden. The length of stay?

“Where is he?”

“He has left.”

To a neighboring island or to the bottom of the sea.

Should there be a rule:

“The death sentence will be carried out in one month, even against your will. For you have signed an agreement, a contract with an organization, a deal with temporal life. So much the worse for you if you recant too late.”

Or the death — liberation comes in sleep, in a glass of wine, while dancing, to the accompaniment of music, sudden and unexpected.

“I want to die because I’m in love.”

“I long for death because I hate.”

“Take my life because I am capable of neither love nor hate.”

All this exists, but in crazy confusion, festering, filthy.

Death for profit, for a fixed payment, for convenience, to oblige.

Most intimately connected with death are sterilization, and the prevention and interruption of pregnancy.

“In Warsaw, you are free to have one child; in a small town, two; in a village, three; in a frontier village, four. In Siberia, ten. Take your choice.” “Free to live but childless.”

“Free to live but unmarried.”

“Manage by yourself; pay the taxes exclusively for yourself.”

“Here is a mate for you. Pick one out often, out of a hundred girls.”

“You may have two males. We allow three females.” Hurrah! lots of jobs, files, agencies, offices! (An iron machine does the work, provides accommodations, furniture, food, clothing. You are concerned only with organizing.)

A new method of land cultivation or livestock breeding, or new synthetic products, or the colonization of regions today inaccessible — the equator and the North and South Pole. The total population of the earth can be increased to five billion.

Communication has been established with a new planet. There is colonization. Mars, perhaps the moon will accept new immigrants. Perhaps there will be even more efficient means of communication with a distant neighbor. The result: ten billion men like you and me. The earth has the last word as to who, where to, how many.

Today’s war is a naive, though insincere, shoot-off. What is important is the great migration of peoples.

Russia’s program is to mix and crossbreed. Germany’s is to gather together those having a similar color of skin, hair, shape of nose, dimensions of the skull or pelvis.

Today, specialists feel the stranglehold of unemployment. There is a tragic quest for a dish of work for physicians and dentists.

Not enough tonsils waiting to be cut, appendixes to be taken out, teeth for filling.

“What to do? What to do?”

There is: acetonemia, pylorospasmus. There is: angina pectoris.

What will happen if we find that tuberculosis is not only curable but cured with a single injection, intra-venal, intramuscular or subcutaneous?

Syphilis — test 606. Consumption, 2500. What will be left for doctors and nurses to do?

What will happen if alcohol is replaced by a whiff of gas? Machine No. 3. Price, ten zlotys.1 A fifty-year guarantee. The dose as prescribed on the label. Payable in installments.

If sufficient daily nourishment were contained in two .t-bion pills, what about the chefs and the restaurants?

Esperanto? One daily newspaper for all peoples and all tongues. What will the linguists do, and above all, the translators and the teachers of foreign languages?

The radio — perfected. Even the most sensitive ear will detect no difference between live music and a “canned, conserved” melody.

What’s going to happen when even today we need disasters to provide work and goals for just one generation?

We cannot go on like this, my dear friends. Because unprecedented stagnation will set in, and foul air such as no one has ever encountered, and frustration such as no one has ever experienced.

A theme for a short story.

Tomorrow begins a radio contest for the master violinist of the year, playing this or that symphony or dissonance.

The whole world is at the loudspeakers.

An unprecedented Olympic contest.

The fans of the violinist from the Isle of Parrots experience moments of terrible suspense.

Comes the final night.

Their favorite man is beaten.

They commit suicide, unable to reconcile themselves to the fall of their idol.

There is a Che kh ov story: A ten-year-old nanny is so desperate for sleep that she strangles the screaming baby.

Poor nanny — she did not know what else to do. I have found a way. I don’t hear the irritating coughing, I heartlessly ignore the aggressive and provoking behavior of the old tailor.

I don’t hear it. Two o’clock in the morning. Silence. I settle down to sleep — for five hours. The rest I shall make up in the daytime.

I would like to tidy up what I have written. A tough assignment.

July 21, 1942

Tomorrow I shall be sixty-three or sixty-four years old. For some years, my father failed to obtain my birth certificate. I suffered a few difficult moments over that. Mother called it gross negligence: being a lawyer, father should not have delayed in the matter of the birth certificate.

I was named after my grandfather, his name was Hersh (Flirsh). Father had every right to call me Henryk: he himself was given the name Jozef. And to the rest of his children grandfather had given Christian names, too: Maria, Magdalena, Ludwik, Jakub, Karol.

Yet he hesitated and procrastinated.

I ought to say a good deal about my father: I pursue in life that which he strove for and for which my grandfather tortured himself for many years.

And my mother. Later about that. I am both mother and father. That helps me to know and understand a great deal.

My great-grandfather was a glazier. I am glad: glass gives warmth and light.

It is a difficult thing to be bom and to learn to live. Ahead of me is a much easier task: to die. After death, it may be difficult again, but I am not bothering about that. The last year, month or hour.

I should like to die consciously, in possession of my faculties. I don’t know what I should say to the children by way of farewell. I should want to make clear to them only this — that the road is theirs to choose, freely.

Ten o’clock. Shots: two, several, two, one, several. Perhaps it is my own badly blacked out window.

But I do not stop writing.

On the contrary: it sharpens (a single shot) the thought.”

sources

https://www.ushmm.org/collections/bibliography/diaries

https://perspectives.ushmm.org/collection/holocaust-diaries

Report on the Holocaust-December 1942.

Following is the transcript of the report from the World Jewish Congress on the annihilation of Jews in Europe which was issued on December 1,1942. I just want to make it clear that these are not my word. Bizarrely we live in a time where I feel compelled I have to mention this, because despite the fact they are the words of people who witnessed it and lived in that time, there are people now who will be offended by it because it is not political correct.

WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS December 1st, 1942.

(BRITISH SECTION).

————

ANNIHILATION OF EUROPEAN JEWRY.

HITLER’S POLICY OF TOTAL DESTRUCTION.

“The Jews of Europe are being exterminated by the Nazis. It is not merely that atrocities are being committed against the Jews. They are being quite literally slaughtered in masses, in pursuance of a systematic plan and in accordance with a deliberate policy.

This is Hitler’s ‘final solution of the Jewish problem of Europe’. He has openly proclaimed his design. He is now executing his policy with a diabolical fiendishness unknown in the whole history of human savagery.

2,000,000 is the barest minimum number of Jews murdered, tortured and deliberately starved to death in Eastern Europe. The number is probably much greater.

It is now clear that the mass deportation of Jews from France, Belgium, Holland and other Western European countries, has been for the purpose of concentrating all the Jews of Nazi occupied Europe chiefly in Poland for the purpose of facilitating their mass massacre.

On the 27th November 1942, it was stated at the Polish National Council in London that at the beginning of last September about 1 ½ million Jews have been murdered in an organised way. About half a million were deported to the U.S.S.R. in 1940, and of the rest of the peace-time Jewish population of Poland, several hundred thousand Jews have died of starvation, disease and frightful living conditions imposed by the Nazis.

Several hundred thousand Jews have been murdered in the Nazi occupied areas of the U.S.S.R. and in the Ukraine.

Almost the entire Jewish population of the Baltic States have been exterminated.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews of Roumania have been deported to Transdniestria and there massacred.

In addition, scores of thousands of German, French, Belgian, Dutch, Czechoslovak and Yugoslav Jews have been deported to Poland and the occupied areas of the U.S.S.R. for mass slaughter.

Many transports of Jewish deportees from Western Europe do not reach their destination. The victims, crammed into closed cattle-trucks, either die of suffocation or disease on the way or are done to death by their captors.

It is known that at the beginning of last August train-loads of Jewish deportees reached Germany from Belgium, Holland and France. The compartments were filled with dead and living Jews crowded together.

POLAND HAS BECOME THE NAZI SLAUGHTER-HOUSE FOR THE JEWS OF EUROPE:

Massacres of Jews have been going on from the first say of the German occupation. The holocaust took on a formal design, under an explicit policy, in March 1942. Himmler then gave orders for the extermination of 50% of the Jewish population of the so-called Government-General. The extermination was to be completed by the end of 1942.

Not satisfied with the speed and extent of the mass massacres, Himmler, in July last, decreed the total destruction of all the Jews concentrated in Poland.

It is from approximately this date that the large-scale deportations of Jews from Western Europe began. The massacres started on July 21st 1942, when German Police cars invaded the Ghettoes, shooting the inhabitants indiscriminately and at sight. On that date all the Jewish members of the Jewish Council of Warsaw were arrested on bloc as hostages.

On July 22nd 1942, the Nazis ordered the deportation to Eastern Poland and the Ukraine of all Jews irrespective of the age and sex. The daily quota of deportees was fixed at 6,000. Later this quota was increased to 10,000. Victims were dragged from their homes or seized in the streets in organised manhunts.

Jews were congregated in the squares. Old people and invalids were driven to cemeteries and shot in droves. Others were loaded into trucks, 150 persons being crowded into the space normally holding a maximum of 40. The trucks were then driven off. Hundreds died of suffocation.

This process is now going on continuously. The floors of the trucks are covered with a thick layer of lime and chlorine sprinkled with water. The doors are locked. Often the trains remain on a siding for a day or two or longer. The fumes of lime and chlorine, the lack of air, water and food, cause hundreds of deaths, with the result that dead and living remain packed side by side.

On arrival at their destination, 50% of the deportees were found dead. The remainder were taken to the special camps of Treblinka, Belzec and Selibor, where they were shot. Neither children nor babies were spared. By the end of September 1942, 250,000 Jews had been thus exterminated.

The deportations are described by the Nazis as “the re-settlement of the Jews”. The “re-settlement” is a final one in the sense that few, if any, of the “re-settled” Jews remain alive.

THE WARSAW GHETTO:

In March 1942, according to official German statistics, there were 433,000 Jews packed into the Ghetto – the area walled off by the Nazis which formerly contained about 200,000 Jews.

According to ‘Arbeitsamt’ – the official Nazi Labour journal – only 40,000 Jews are to be left in the Warsaw Ghetto. These are the highly-skilled workers who the Nazis require for their war industry.

For September 1942, the Nazis distributed 120,000 ration cards for the Warsaw Ghetto. In October, the number issued was only 40,000.

The same process of elimination and massacre is going on in all the other Ghettoes of Poland. The reports state that the Ghetto of Lodz which formerly contained about 250,000 Jews has been entirely cleared of Jews.

NAZI METHODS OF EXTERMINATION:

Besides the Firing Squads, the Nazis are now facilitating mass executions by the use of electrocution and lethal gas chambers in which Jews are crowded and ‘eliminated’.

An electrocution station has been installed at the Belzec Camp. Transports of deportees are de-trained near the execution place, sheds with a metal plated floor. The sheds are then locked and an electrical current passed through the metal plates. Death is almost instantaneous.

A large digging machine for mass graves has been recently installed at Treblinka.

In Chelm, 10,000 Jews have been gassed recently.

The Germans have organised special Extermination Squads – Vernichtungskolonne – whose task is to round up and kill Jews on sight. The Squads fire indiscriminately into windows of Jewish houses.

The above summary takes no account of suicides, the insanities of mothers whose children are seized or murdered, and the innumerable outrages and atrocities resulting in the deaths of many thousands of Jewish men and women.

source

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/holocaust/annihilation/

Martin Sealtiel, born May 19-1935. Murdered September 3-1943

It is strange sometimes how little you can find out of a person, yet you can still tell a story about him.

Martin Sealtiel was born on May 19,1935. There are no pictures of him. The only indication that he was born was a newspaper announcement in a local newspaper, placed on May 20-1935 by his parents. The announcement was of the birth of their son Martin. Born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In neighbouring Germany, the first section of the Reichsautobahn, connecting Frankfurt and Heidelberg, was opened by Hitler in Darmstadt.

Weather wise May 19,1935 was not a pleasant day. The temperature that day was between 3.9 °C and 13.0 °C and averaged 8.0 °C. There was 1.9 mm of rain during 2.0 hours. There was 8.6 hours of sunshine (54%). The average windspeed was 3 Bft (moderate breeze) and was prevailing from the west. T

Martin’s parents, Esther Sealtiel-Waterman and David Sealtiel, got married on January 31,1934.

The family lived in the Cronjéstraat 17 in Amsterdam. Martin’s dad was a sales rep for a Metal company. Martin’s mom sold lamp shades which she made herself.

On May 10,1940 Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands. Although the lives of Jews didn’t change too much initially, gradually laws were introduced with the aim to eradicate every Jew in the Netherlands. The Nazis nearly succeeded.

On July 17,1943, the Sealtiel family is deported to Westerbork transit camp. On August 31,1943 Martin and his Mother are both transported to Auschwitz in Poland. They arrive on September 3,1943, they are both murdered on arrival. Martin was aged 8 at the time.

Martin’s dad ,David, is sent to a labour camp Warsaw,Poland. Here he has to clear rubble and debris from the ghetto. He died on June 30,1944 off pneumonia(at least that is what is death cert says) just over 9 months after his wife and son were murdered.

The whole Sealtiel of the Cronjéstraat 17, wiped away because of the warped ideology of Nazism.

I wish I could say that this was the only family, but that would be a lie. Millions were murdered and not only Jews. Homosexual, people with a disability, people with a different political point of view, Jehovah Witnesses and others were subject to the evil of the Nazis.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/207967/martin-sealtiel

https://westerborkportretten.nl/westerborkportretten/martin-sealtiel

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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

$2.00

A TRAGIC LOVE STORY

Kapo

++++courtesy of HSA-Holocaust Social Archive++++++++++++++++

She was the troubled daughter of the rabbi of Warsaw’s great synagogue; he was the son of a Polish Jewish leader. As neighbors they used to play together as children, but when they grew up, each went on their separate way. The leader’s son became a communist who fought in the Brigade in Spain, and did not immigrate to Israel with the rest of his family. The daughter of the rabbi married a successful lawyer and they were among the aristocratic Bohemia of Warsaw and were the parents of a single child, born after 11 years of marriage.
After the Nazi occupation, the spoiled boy arrived in the Warsaw ghetto, learned how to walk through cracks in the wall and bring food from the garbage cans. His mother called her former nanny who took him to her village, where she introduced the blue-eyed and blond-haired boy as her nephew, but warned him not to expose his body in front of other children.
The leader’s son was captured in France and sent to Auschwitz, where his friends asked him to represent them because he was a jurist and proficient in languages. In fact, he became a Kapo, and to this day, there are differences of opinion about the degree of cruelty he discovered in this position and the part he took in the resistance and camp’s underground.
The Rabbi’s daughter’s husband perished in the camp, and after the liberation she arrived in Jerusalem weighing 35 Kg. With the help of her family, she found her son in a village in Poland. She brought him to Israel but was unable to raise him and he was sent to ‘Kibbutz Ramat David’.
The leader’s son was arrested and tried in Paris as a collaborator with the Nazis, and some claim that the fact he opposed Stalin played a part against him. His father left all his pursuits and fought for his credit. After the trial ended and he was found ‘not guilty’, he came to Israel and lived in his parents’ house in Jerusalem, where he met again with the daughter of the rabbi and they fell in love. She started gaining weight and the two talked about getting married and the boy’s return from the kibbutz.
The leader’s son wanted to join the IDF but was refused because of his past, and was recruited only after the war of independence started. In a battle in Ramat-Rachel, an order of withdrawal was issued but the leader’s son stormed at the enemy in what appeared as a suicidal action, and was killed.
When the rabbi’s daughter heard of his death, she declined his parents’ offer to mourn with them, went to her home and took her own life.
Away from besieged Jerusalem, the child who knew in his life, wealth, hunger in the ghetto, life in a Polish village and a kibbutz was left orphaned and alone.

From the fascinating book “Kapo in Auschwitz” by Professor Tuvia Friling.

Link to the book’s preview:
https://www.academia.edu/26350561/A_Jewish_Kapo_in_Auschwitz_History_Memory_and_the_Politics_of_Survival
Link to the book’s reviews:
https://www.academia.edu/36873051/A_Jewish_Kapo_in_Auschwitz_-_Book_Reviews
Link to purchase the book:

 

Source

https://www.facebook.com/groups/HSA.Archive

 

The young people who fought back.

 

I have many weaknesses ,one of them is that I have a very low tolerance or even no tolerance for people who have a warped sense of entitlement. I know I shouldn’t be intolerant and just rise above it , but I find that very hard at times.

Especially when it comes to the snowflake generation or millennials. A millennial is described  as “a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.Or people born between the years of 1981 to 1998. I have to say not all of these people do have that sense of entitlement, there are many very decent people among them. It is only a minority of millennials but is a very vocal minority, They appear to have a problem for every solution. Generally they have not experienced any hardships but yet they claim their lives are much worse then that of the generation before them.

Then I come across stories of extremely brave young people like Mordechai Anielewicz,Mira Fuchrer and Rachel (Sarenka) Zylberberg(all pictured above)zob

These 3 young people ,who were in the same age bracket as the millenials, all died this day 76 years ago in Warsaw, May 8,1943. They were all members of the  Jewish Combat Organizationor ZOB in Polish), a resistance movement in occupied Poland, which was instrumental in engineering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

 

The youth groups that were instrumental in forming the ŻOB had anticipated German intentions to annihilate Warsaw Jewry and began to shift from an educational and cultural focus to self-defense and eventual armed struggle

Their headquarters  was a bunker based on Ulica Miła 18 (or 18 Pleasant Street in English)

I am not going too much into the details of the group. I leave that up to all of you to do the homework on that, Because there is so much information on them.

Suffice to say that Mordechai Anielewicz was the leader of the ZOB and Mira Fuchrer was his girlfiend. Together with their friend Rachel  Zylberberg they played a pivotal role in the uprising at the cost of their lives.

On the 8th of May they were in the bunker with a group of about 120 fighters, when the bunker was discovered.s They were surrounded by the Nazis but the young resistance  fighters refused to surrender. Many of them committed suicide.

bunker

These heroes should never be forgotten.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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

$2.00

 

The end of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising

Dworzec_Gdański_i_płonące_getto_1943

I often like to play with words for example when you take Warsaw and switch some parts of the name you get an accurate description of what the city went through during WWII . Saw War and Was raw.

Warsaw saw the war in its rawest  and most brutal form. It is also one of the few cities that fought back. The Warsaw ghetto uprising was  revolt that occurred from April 19 to May 16, 1943,by Jews in the ghetto and members of the Polish underground.

The uprising commenced on April 19 when the Ghetto refused to surrender to the police commander SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop, who then ordered the burning of the Ghetto, block by block. This is what Stroop said about fighters in the uprising in his report .

Strp012_Jurgen_Stroop_report_p5

“When we invaded the Ghetto for the first time, the Jews and the Polish bandits succeeded in repelling the participating units, including tanks and armored cars, by a well-prepared concentration of fire.  The main Jewish battle group, mixed with Polish bandits, had already retired during the first and second day to the so-called Muranowski Square. There, it was reinforced by a considerable number of Polish bandits. Its plan was to hold the Ghetto by every means in order to prevent us from invading it.  Time and again Polish bandits found refuge in the Ghetto and remained there undisturbed, since we had no forces at our disposal to comb out this maze.  One such battle group succeeded in mounting a truck by ascending from a sewer in the so-called Prosta [Street], and in escaping with it (about 30 to 35 bandits).  The bandits and Jews – there were Polish bandits among these gangs armed with carbines, small arms, and in one case a light machine gun – mounted the truck and drove away in an unknown direction”

By May 16th an estimated A total of 13,000 Jews had died, about half of them burnt alive or suffocated.  It was the largest single revolt by Jews during World War II.

General Stroop reported after the destruction of the ghetto that 56,065 Jews had been taken; of those 7,000 sent to the Treblinka killing center, and the remainder deported to forced-labor camps and the Majdanek camp. Some of the resistance fighters succeeded in escaping from the ghetto and joined partisan groups in the forests around Warsaw.

Below some pictures of the uprising.

Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_03

Askaris_im_Warschauer_Getto_-_1943

wg

Ghetto Resistance

Warsaw3

 

 

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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

$2.00

Sources

USHMM

Wikipedia

The shoemaker and the Bride of Auschwitz.

shutterstock-333292880

This is a short poignant story but it has so much in it.A story of hope,survival,death, bereavement and most of all a story that tells us that life is a very precious thing. It is also a stark reminder that we have to remain vigilant to ensure that evil doesn’t win.

It is the story of Sonia K, and her sister, Jewish Holocaust survivors. I don’t know the sister’s name nor do I know Sonia’s full last name but this is really irrelevant.

170818125543-sonia-k-holocaust-survivor-1-full-169

Sonia and her family lived in Warsaw in 1943, when the Nazis found them in hiding. Warsaw Ghetto  was burning at the time, they were given a choice either to leave or die in the Ghetto. Although they knew where they would be going to, they decided to take that option. Sonia K said about it “Life is a very precious thing, and you hang onto it as much and as long as you can.”

Her parents and brother were murdered.

When Sonia and her sister arrived in Auschwitz, their heads were shaved and their arms were tattooed.1389.3 Holocaust G

Those who had arrived were put in selection rows of 5. Sonia and her sister were in row 4. A Nazi passed by and called out” Who here is a shoemaker?” although Sonia who was 17 at the time and wasn’t a shoemaker, lifted her hand. She said about that that she wasn’t sure who lifted her hand, if it was God almighty our her parents who had died, she didn’t know. But anyway her hand was raised and she also prompted her sister to raise hers. The Nazi guard believed them.

They were then assigned to work in a so called ‘shoe commando’, where they were separating and taken apart the shoes of murdered people.

Auschwitz_shoes_of_the_murdered_1945

One morning while going to work, Sonia saw a train arrive from Hungary, heading straight to the gas chambers. One of the women on the train must have been picked up on her wedding for she was wearing her bridal gown.gown

People were told they were going to the showers but they were all gassed, including the young bride. It is an image that will stay with Sonia until the days she dies, she said on an interview on CNN.

While allied troops were approaching Auschwitz in January 1945, Sonia and her sister were send  to other camps and then on a death march. Sonia barely survived the march, her sister and adopted sister had dragged Sonia along, Anyone who would stop on the death march would have been killed.march

In April 1945 they were liberated by American troops. Sonia K is now a citizen in the US.What profoundly saddens me is the fact that a brave soul like Sonia has to witness ,the start of what easily can become a repeat of what she had to endure. on the news when racist bigots call out chants like “Jews will not replace us” Capture

There is a significant difference between then and now. Now we don’t have an excuse to let this happen again because we have the luxury of hindsight.

Finishing up with a quote from Sonia “Silence is the first thing after hate that is dangerous, because if you are silent it is an approval of what is going on”

Many thanks to Norman Stone for pointing me to the story

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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

$2.00

Source

CNN

They paid a high price-The heroes of the Warsaw uprising.

1 uprising

On April 19, 1943, the Warsaw ghetto uprising began after German troops and police entered the ghetto to deport its surviving inhabitants. By May 16, 1943, the Germans had crushed the uprising and left the ghetto area in ruins. Surviving ghetto residents were deported to concentration camps or killing centers..

So many times have I heard the argument “Why didn’t the Jews fight back” In the Warsaw they did fight back and they paid the ultimate price for it. I am not going into individual accounts for to me they were all heroes.

But as so many times before there are very few living heroes.

13,000 Jews were killed in the ghetto during the uprising (some 6,000 among them were burnt alive or died from smoke inhalation). Or died trying to escape the fire, in the picture below you can see a man jumping out of the window from a multi-story building.1024px-Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_-_26568

Of the remaining 50,000 residents, most were captured and shipped to concentration and extermination camps, in particular to Treblinka.

Jürgen Stroop’s internal SS daily report for Friedrich Krüger, written on 16 May 1943, stated:

“180 Jews, bandits and sub-humans, were destroyed. The former Jewish quarter of Warsaw is no longer in existence. The large-scale action was terminated at 20:15 hours by blowing up the Warsaw Synagogue. … Total number of Jews dealt with 56,065, including both Jews caught and Jews whose extermination can be proved. … Apart from 8 buildings (police barracks, hospital, and accommodations for housing working-parties) the former Ghetto is completely destroyed. Only the dividing walls are left standing where no explosions were carried out.”

Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_-_NARA24

Stroop’s report is one of the most disturbing pieces of reporting of the Holocaust. It is just so ‘matter of fact’ as if they are minutes of meetings or reports of an ordinary working day, rather then committing mass executions and genocide. If the title of the report “There is no more Jewish residential district in Warsaw”

Stroop_Report_-_Cover_Page_(Polish_Copy)

But because of the detailed description of the actions taken in the report it became a blessing in disguise,for lack of a better word. there were 4 copies but only 2 were discovered after the war, Both copies were introduced as evidence at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, sharing the document number 1061-PS, and used in the trial as “US Exhibit 275”

The assistant prosecutor dealing with the persecution of the Jews referred to it as “the finest example of ornate German craftsmanship, leather bound, profusely illustrated, typed on heavy bond paper … the almost unbelievable recital of the proud accomplishment by Major General of Police Stroop.Jürgen_Stroop

Although they must have been aware they had little or no chance of succeeding the people in the Warsaw ghetto said “enough is enough” and decided to act and paid a heavy price for that action. But they did it with their heads held up high, Let us never forget the heroes of Warsaw.

1024px-Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_07

Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_-_IPN35

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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

$2.00