Age 6

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Age 6, I should have the whole world open to me

Age 6, there is still so much for me to do and to see.

Age 6, like all my friends I want to go to school.

Age 6, and sometimes I want to play the fool.

Age 6, I have yet so many games to play.

Age 6, so many words I still have to learn and say.

Age 6, my greatest ambition is to become seven

Age 6, I was murdered and sent to heaven

Age 6 , I am Jacqueline Bernheim killed in Auschwitz on May 22, 1944.

Age 6, with my family and friends I will be no more.

 

 

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Richard Strauss-Nazi collaborator or victim of circumstance.

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For people who don’t know classical music the name Richard Strauss, but for music and movie fans they know the music of the man. His composition “Also Sprach Zarathustra” made famous by the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”

In the early 1930s, Strauss did not join the Nazi party. For reasons of expediency, however, he initially cooperated with the early Nazi regime in the hope that it would promote German art and culture. Much of Strauss’s motivation in his conduct during the Third Reich was, however, to protect his Jewish daughter-in-law and grandchildren from persecution. Strauss used his considerable influence to prevent them from being sent to concentration camps.

In 1933, Strauss wrote in his private notebook:

I consider the Streicher-Goebbels Jew-baiting as a disgrace to German honour, as evidence of incompetence—the basest weapon of untalented, lazy mediocrity against a higher intelligence and greater talent.

Strauss privately criticized Goebbels and called him “a pipsqueak”. But, in 1933 he dedicated a composition, “Das Bächlein” (“The Little Brook”), to Goebbels, in order to gain Goebbels’s aid in extending German music copyright laws from 30 years to 50 years.

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Strauss defied Nazi bans on performances of works byMendelssohn. Debussy and Mahler.He also continued to work on a comic opera, Die schweigsame Frau, with his Jewish friend and librettist Stefan Zweig. When the opera was premiered in Dresden in 1935, Strauss demanded that Zweig’s name would appear on the theater billing, much to the ire of the Nazi regime. Hitler and Goebbels avoided attending the opera,  it was stopped after 3 performances and subsequently banned by the Nazi regime.

On 17 June 1935, Strauss wrote a letter to Stefan Zweig, in which he stated:

“Do you believe I am ever, in any of my actions, guided by the thought that I am ‘German’? Do you suppose Mozart was consciously ‘Aryan’ when he composed? I recognise only two types of people: those who have talent and those who have none”

This letter to Zweig was intercepted by the Gestapo and forwarded to Adolf Hitler. Richard Strauss was subsequently fired from his post as Reich Music Chamber president in 1935. The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics however still used Strauss’s Olympische Hymne composed by Strauss in 1934.

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Much of Strauss’s motivation in dealing with the Nazi regime was, however, to protect his Jewish daughter-in-law Alice and his Jewish grandchildren from persecution. Both of his grandsons were bullied at school, but Strauss used his considerable influence to avoid his grandsons and daughter in law being sent to concentration camps.

In 1942, Strauss moved with his family back to Vienna, where Alice and her children could be protected by Baldur von Schirach, the Gauleiter of Vienna, he had been an admirer of Strauss.

Although Alice and her sons survived the war, members of Alice’s immediate family were deported to Terezín in what is now the Czech Republic, and when Strauss’ letters begging for their release fell on deaf ears the composer personally drove to the camp in an attempt to use his influence to get them released. It was futile: not a single one escaped the Nazi concentration camp alive.

I believe he was a victim of circumstances, in order to protect his family and his art he had to sometimes ally himself with the Nazi regime.

Richard Strauss died on 8 September 1949, absolved of any Nazi affiliations.

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The killing wasn’t enough

A Jewish woman who is concealing her face sits on a park bench marked Only for Jews, Austria, 1938

The Holocaust didn’t start with killing, it started with dehumanizing Jews and other “undesirables”. Convince the population that those deemed by the Nazi regime as inferior, were just that,inferior.

Throughout the war they humiliated Jews, just killing wasn’t good enough they had to be mocked and ridiculed also, for they were considered to be sub human so basically the SS and others could do as they pleased.

The picture above is of a Jewish woman sitting on a bench in Vienna, designated as a “For Jews Only” bench.

It wasn’t only the Germans it was every one who had bought in to this Nazi ideology that mistreated Jews.

Slovak soldiers humiliating Lipa Baum, during the deportation of the Jews of Stropkov.

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SS officers and camp guards humiliating a Jewish man

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Vienna Jews being forced to scrub the sidewalks here are being overseen by Hitler Youth boys, including some very young boys.

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The picture below is of a German woman and a Jewish man surrounded by Nazis. The woman is holding a sign saying. “I am locally the biggest pig and I only get involved with Jews”

The Jewish man is holding a sign saying “As a Jewish Boy I only take German girls into my room”

This was a German-Jewish couple the picture was taken in Hamburg 1935

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Three Jewish businessmen are forced to march down a crowded Leipzig street while carrying signs reading: “Don’t buy from Jews. Shop in German businesses!

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Sources

Yad Vashem

United States Holocaust Museum

 

Adolf Hitler-My Fair Lady

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I know that may of you will be scratching your head thinking”Where is he going with this?” when you look at the title.

But please bear with me.

Last night I was watching a documentary about the early days of the Nazi party and mainly about the relationship between Dietrich Eckart and Adolf Hitler.

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Eckart who had been a play writer prior to WWI and had far right political views and was a fervent anti-Semite.After World War I, Eckart edited the antisemitic periodical Auf gut Deutsch (“In plain German”).

Auf gut Deutsch

In 1919 he founded with Hermann Esser, Gottfried Feder and Karl Harrer,  the German Workers Party.

Harrer was appointed Chairman but Eckart knew they needed a front man to lead the party.A worker who knew how to talk,who did’t need much brains and was preferably a bachelor so they also could attract women to the party. In fact the term Eckart used was ‘Messiah’ he stated that Germany needed a new ‘Messiah’.

He met this man on September 12 1919, Adolf Hitler, Hitler who had been part of a team of agents and informants hired Karl Mayr,00mayr head of the Education and Propaganda Department.Mayr worked closely with Ernst Röhm, the Chief of Staff of Colonel Franz Epp, the leader of the Freikorps in Munich. Ernst Röhm, suggested that Adolf Hitler should be recruited as an informer.

Hitler  was sent  to spy on the German Workers Party who were meeting in a Munich Beer Hall.

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Rather then spying on Eckart and his friends,Hitler liked what he heard and got up on a table and started a speech.

When Eckart heard the speech he  was convinced he found the man they needed. He took Hitler to meetings and fund raising events. He bought a suit for Hitler and a trench coat. Hitler wasn’t very sophisticated, He would sometimes ramble on about his own ideas during fund raising events, his eating habits were appalling and he would often talk with his mouth full. Eckart decided to become his mentor.

This where my idea of the comparison to “My Fair Lady” arose from, The musical is based on a play by the Dublin born George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion. The plot line of the play and musical is.

“Professor Henry Higgins is so sure of his abilities that he takes it upon himself to transform a Cockney working-class girl into someone who can pass for a cultured member of high society”

Hitler eventually became the leader of the party with the new name NSDAP (The National Socialist German Workers’ Party -German: Nationa lsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei).

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I know this blog is probably a bit unusual but I do think it is important to show frauds and charlatans for what they really are. There was nothing original about Adolf Hitler.

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February 24 1941 Gallup Poll

gallup poll

I have always been fascinated by polls(I know it’s sad) more specifically how questions are asked in polls and how just wording the question slightly different can completely change the outcome of the poll as was the case in February 1941.

On 24 February 1941 a Gallup poll was published asking Americans, “Do you think the United States should try to keep Japan from seizing the Dutch East Indies and Singapore?” 56% said yes, 24% said no, 20% expressed no opinion.

invasion

A different version of the question asked, “Do you think the United States should risk war with Japan, if necessary, in order to keep Japan from taking the Dutch East Indies and Singapore?” 46% said no, 39% said yes, 15% gave no opinion.-

Funny enough not much has changed when it comes to polling.

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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.

 

Tulip Bulbs and Bicycle dynamo- Surviving WWII, Dutch style.

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Without trying to boast too much about my fellow Dutch folks,it is generally known that the Dutch are very inventive  and creative. Two skills which really came to fruition during WWII and especially the last few months of the war.

‘ As a result of the failure of ,Operation Market Garden’ the northern provinces had to endure a very harsh winter and famine.

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With the exception of a few pockets of German resistance at the southern border regions, most of the south was liberated in September 1944.

Vrijheid

For the North it was a different story After the national railways took heed of the request of the exiled Dutch government’s appeal for a railway strike starting September 1944 to further the Allied liberation efforts, the German occupiers  retaliated by placing an embargo on all food transports to the North and West Netherlands.By the time the embargo was partially lifted in early November 1944, allowing restricted food transports over water, the unusually early and harsh winter had already set in. The canals froze over and became impassable for barges.

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Over 20,000 people died during that time known as ‘the Hungerwinter’

Those who survived did so in part by eating what was still available: tulip bulbs. The government even published recipes to cook a nutritious meal with them. Below is one of those recipes.

Ingredients
1 cup of brown beans.
1 cup of tulip bulbs.
Onions (if available).
Curry-surrogate (if available).
Salt to taste (if available).
Marjoram to taste (if available).
Oil.

Preparation

  1. Cook the beans and bulbs until done.
  2. Let them cool and mix them together until you get a smooth paste.
  3. Fry the onion with the curry surrogate and add to the paste.
  4. Add salt and marjoram to taste.
  5. Form little balls of the paste and bake them in as little oil as possible

Throughout the war there were many power outages but that didn’t stop the Dutch. I remember the stories of my Mother and her siblings on how my Grandfather and some of the older siblings made sure that there still would be some light. But this was not only done in my family but by many families across the country

It was both easy and effective, easy as in setting it up, it did actually took some physical power to generate the energy.

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A bicycle was put in the room and the back wheel would be taken off or at least secured to the floor to ensure the bike would remain stationery, very much in the same way as an modern exercise bike works, then the bike would be mounted by a senior male member of the family and he would start cycling. The Bicycle dynamo would convert that energy into light from the bicycle light.

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Dutch Ancestry Coach

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The Jetten Family-Risking their lives to safe others.

familie-jetten

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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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”

Hitler,_Göring,_Goebbels

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.”

PeterLorre

 

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.

Joseph_Mueller_(Priester)

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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HOLOCAUST TEACHER RESOURCE CENTER

 

 

 

 

Who needs the Moon anyway- when the US wanted to nuke the Moon.

A-Trip-to-The-Moon_5

Project A119 was the designated name by the US Air Force to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon.

The project was called “A Study of Lunar Research Flights” aka ” Project A119 and was developed by the U.S. Air Force in the late 1950s.

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The aim was to intimidate the Soviet Union, who at that time were winning the space race, by seeing the nuclear flash from Earth.

The explosion would of course be best on the dark side of the moon for the best possible effect.

One of the leaders of the project, physicist Leonard Reiffel, figured  hitting the moon with an intercontinental ballistic missile would have been relatively easy to accomplish, including hitting the target with an accuracy of approximately two miles.  The accuracy would have been particularly important as the Air Force wanted the resulting explosion to be clearly visible from Earth.

The Soviet Union had successfully launched the Sputnik 1 on October 4th 1957, and the US was in need of some morale boost.

sputnik

Project A119 was cancelled though in 1959, for fears that a failed explosion on the moon might have might have adverse effects on Earth.

Thankfully the used a different approach by sending the first man to moon , a decade later,

Moon

 

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