National Holocaust Rememberance Day

            April/May 2012    
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Yom Ha'Shoah

By Michael Berglin

April is the month we remember those whose lives were extinguished during the most obscene episode of racial cleansing. Because of what happened during the period of 1933 through 1945, a new word entered the English language and that word is Genocide.

A new legal term was created and defined – that legal term is Crimes against humanity.

Anti-Semitism is nothing new on the world scene, but what makes the Holocaust very different is that is was organized down to the most elemental parts. The Nazis and their collaborators had the train times from various collection points to the death camps down to the minute. They accurately calculated the amount of Hydrogen Cyanide that was needed to kill 300, 400, 500, or as low as 10 people. They gave the working prisoners a total of 200 calories per day and the demonic SS knew right down to the very day that a prisoner would succumb to death.

A country that was the epicenter of European culture, the place that gave birth to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, the place that gave the world philosophy, the finest example of the arts dating back to the Middle Ages, and the reformation, became a nation of 64 million of the most maniacal of murderous prostitutes dedicated to a hatred this world has ever seen before. They willingly chose to "dance with the devil" and it was the backs of the Jews that became the unholy sacrificial alter of racial hatred.

The Holocaust was not a single event – it was many events with a surprisingly large number of cooperative countries. To include the United States which was best expressed by FDR when he said "It is a Jewish problem".

The Holocaust had initially a single seed that was planted during the Council of Nicea in 325 Common Era. The second seed was planted during the second Council of Nicea in 380 Common era when not being Christian was elevated to that of a Capital Crime, punishable, and preferably, by death. And so, the blood bath we call Anti-Semitism came into being in the most despicable and ugly means possible, culminating in what we call "Shoah".

The Holocaust was inevitable and nothing could stop it. Third and fourth century writers made sure of that, and they knew, with complete certainty, what they were unleashing to the known world, and beyond. The common tool these writers used was unrepentant dishonesty and lies, proving Hitler correct when he said that if you told a lie often enough, people would believe it.

The world knew, precisely, what Hitler was going to do for he promised the elimination of the Jews in his book Mein Kampf which was written when he was in prison in the early 1920s'. He told the world of his intentions and his book was translated into a number of languages, to include English, or if you prefer, American. The European Jewry's days were numbered.

By March 1942, 20% of Europe's Jews were dead, by March 1943, 80% of Europe's Jews were dead – whether by local pogroms or death in the concentrations camps so designed for their diabolical, macabre mechanism of mass murder at the behest of Jesus when he says in But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me (King James Bible)".

It is estimated that close to 6,000,000 Jews perished but we are beginning to realize that 6,000,000 are an underestimate and the number is closer to 7,000,000 men, women and children perished through out Europe and the bordering Slavic countries. There were local pogroms in which Jews were brutally beaten to death, burned to death, and hanged.

In America, conversely during that same time period, the police turned a blind eye to the beatings carried out against American Jews in our downtowns and urban centers. The constitutional rights of American Jews were trampled into the ground like yesterday's newspapers while America's own version of the Nazi party goose stepped in our urban areas with their right arms hoisted at a 45 degree angle singing "The Horst Wessel song". And the Klu Klux Klan paraded in our cities streets with pledges of harm to those who were supposed to have killed their messiah. The same America that says "all men are created equal"

Virtually all of Romania's Gypsy population was wiped out. Jehovah's Witnesses languished in the labor camps and Roman Catholics who disagreed with the Vatican's support of the Nazi government's policies against the Jews found their new homes in such places as Buchenwald, Dachau, or Auschwitz Camp One.

For the Jews and Gypsy's there was Auschwitz-Birkenau, Be Che Jasenovac , Majdanek, Sajmiste, Sobibor, and Treblinka. When prisoners arrived in the sealed cattle cars, their life expectancy was less than two hours. The ever expanding gas chambers were the last thing they saw before Cyklone-B was dropped in through chutes releasing deadly Hydrogen Cyanide into the sealed room. Death by Cyanide is excruciatingly painful, eternally long – 11 minutes, and hideous. Hoess, the commander of Auschwitz, remarked that after some of the higher ranking SS staff who came to inspect the whole processed were stunned into silent shock and horror when they observed the gas chambers in action.

Those who participated in the horrors said only "We were following orders", and the excuse of those who sat idly by and watched with a sustained crescendo of morbid curiosity, tacit approval, and with a silent nod of their heads was simply "After all, they [the Jews] killed Christ".

It is not enough to say casually, "we remember". It is not enough to say "We remember them" for each expression implies a passive attitude towards the most hideous example of man's inhumanity to man.

As a film maker whose documentation film of the Holocaust that now resides in Yad Vashem, I took an active role. I faced the ugly truth of the momentum of racial hatred against the Jews that has blackened humanity for over 1700 years. The emotional toll on both my wife and me was incredible and I'm not sure we are completely redeemed from the emotional toll that came from what we learned and wrote about. As Jews and as artists, our stance was, and always will be "We will never let you forget" and that is the attitude we all must take.

There are religious organizations that would and are trying to white wash the holocaust as a minor cultural class while still portraying the Jews as the killers of their savior. Their words and behaviors resemble Lady Macbeth after the killings were done.

There are organizations that state it never happened as they try to sanitize Hitler and his minions past, present, and future.

There are organizations that state they will pick up where Hitler left off while their narrow minded belief(s) rally around the swastika. There are countries who are calling for the mass murder of Jews once again. Earnst Zundal was quoted as saying to an older Jewish woman: "Next time we'll get you too".

To them, we, as a collective, must adopt an attitude and a course of action that says with full conviction "We will never let you forget".

To those who accuse Israel of being overly aggressive, we can only say that during the period known as "Shoah" the world itself gave birth to a new Jew whose anthem is "We will never let you forget" – nor will we let you repeat it".

Having said that, let us look at the Mourner's Kaddish with a newer perspective in relationship to those whose lives were prematurely ended during the "Shoah" as we express empathy, sympathy, compassion, and profound longing for all they could have contributed to this world rather than staring, with tearful eyes, into the ash pits of hell incarnate.

There are those who escaped judgment at Nuremberg and live in secrecy throughout the world – they will never forget and all live in fear of experiencing what Adolph Eichmann went through at the hands of Israel. We cannot have empathy for them, nor should we let up our search for them, nor should we abandon our cause in bringing them to Justice by what ever means we have at hand, whether it means justice in mankind's court, or justice in the court of God.

If we will never forget, neither will you. That is not a threat, it is a promise.


from the April 2012 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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