Archive for the 'Nazis' Category

28
Apr
14

Yom HaSho’a – Holocaust Remembrance Day


I am the son of Holocaust survivors. Prior to WWII, my parents were a successful young middle class couple with a seemingly bright future ahead in Lodz (Poland). My father was a department manager at the Ettingon Brothers textile dye manufacturing plant in town and my mother was a nurse at the Jewish hospital. In 1939, as the Nazi troops marched into town, their world was plunged into darkness and horror. The Germans tore my then 3 year old brother Yitzchok ben Yaakov (alav haShalom), from my mother’s arms and I never got to know him.

By courtesy of the same murderers – and their collaborators – I never was held by any of my grandparents, nor any of my uncles, nor any of my aunts, for neither was I to see them alive. The blood of innocent Jews has not fully dried up on European soil, yet – for the last seven decades since the war ended – there are those those who vehemently deny the stark historical truth, while survivors are still around, while Germany’s own archives record the persecution, enslavement and murders…

Yesterday, the 27th of April, was the sad anniversary of the massacre of those whose only crime was to have been born Jewish in a Europe that thirsted for a hated scapegoat, in a Europe where – in spite of a number of courageous gentiles who endangered themselves and their families to hide and save Jews – prejudice, ignorance and greed melded into one simple cause: Annihilate the Jew!

At around noontime, this past Sunday, the annual Holocaust Observance Day was held in front of the Iranian Mission to the UN on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan’s East Side.

Jeffrey S. Weisenfeld, opened the proceedings, as he introduced the various speakers…

kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

Malcolm Hoenlein

Jeffrey S. Weisenfeld

Speakers included, members of a Russian Jewish organization of survivors, elected politicians, community leaders, rabbis and more. While almost everyone spoke eloquently and from the heart, two of them really stood out:

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Weiss (with whose religious hashkafot I hardly agree), spoke eloquently and forcefully about the existential danger to Israel (and Jews in general!) that Iran’s current regime represents. He reminded us that in 1994, Hezbollah (Iran’s Lebanese puppet) was directly responsible for blowing up the Buenos Aires Jewish Center (AMIA), killing 87 and wounding 100, two years after Islamic Jihad claimed credit for bombing the Israeli Embassy (in the same city) killing 29 and wounding 250.

For the record, in October 2006 Argentinian prosecutors Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martínez Burgos formally accused top officials within the government of Iran with orchestrating the bombing and Hezbollah for carrying it out. Their indictment stated that the decision to approve the bombing was ultimately made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but other senior government members were also part of the discussion, including then-President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahijan and National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rouhani (Iran’s current charming, smooth-talking-terrorist President!).

Meanwhile, diagonally across the street, Iran’s supporters had their own counter rally… A small group comprised of individuals dressed like ultra-Orthodox learned Rabbis (some were even holding talmud tractates, which they – at times – would glance into), a group – who – in reality, is nothing more than the erev rav – a fifth column; a group made up of individuals who long ago forfeited their Jewish souls as they sold themselves to that putrid Iranian little maggot – Mahmoud Ahmedinajad – in exchange for funding for their organization (Neturei Karta). There are many videos, many photos online of these guys hugging, kissing, and cavorting with the Iranian murderer of his own people (did we forget already?!?). Yes, Ahmedinajad, the very one who – as a university student – was part of the mob that stormed the American Embassy in Teheran and held American diplomats captive while humiliating them daily for 444 days (i.e. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-r04SQ97_Q). Notice, in the video, who sits directly to the right of Ahmedinajad and see the photo below…

Rabbi Beck, leader of Neturei Karta USA, and part of his group with one of them proudly waving the Iranian flag...

Rabbi Beck, leader of Neturei Karta USA, and part of his group as one of them proudly waves the Iranian flag…

As I crossed the street to photograph their infamy, one of them screamed out at me: “The Zionists killed 6 million Germans and 6 million Jews.” I’ll let you, gentle reader, draw your own conclusions about such a statement and the one who uttered it…

Rabbi Weiss compared the Neturei Karta to the Jewish kappos (Jews who – in order to save their own lives, in the concentration camps – collaborated with the Nazis, sometimes ruthlessly), for their support of Iran, their support of Hamas and Yasser Arafat (while he was alive) and the prayers on behalf of the arch terrorist as he lay dying of AIDS in a sanatorium in France. He concluded his speech by leading the audience in stirring renditions of Shlomo Carlebach‘s (Z”L) Am Yisroel Chai and Od Avinu Chai.

He was followed by an even more electrifying speaker…

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Boteach just came back from a week in Rwanda, where he was a guest of President Paul Kagame during the commemorations of the bloody massacre that took place there during the infamous Rwandan civil war. He too spoke of the existential danger to Israel, the Jews and the US, if the Ayatollahs are allowed to build a nuclear arsenal. He disagreed however with Rabbi Weiss‘ equating the kappos with Neturei Karta. However ruthless the kappos‘ behaviour may have been, they had no choice, Rabbi Boteach said, for they feared for their lives! The Neturei Karta who claim to be devout Jews, who claim strict adherence to the Torah and Hakodosh Boruch Hu‘s everlasting law, do have a choice yet they openly and proudly collaborate with our enemies for the sake of a handout…

CS

02
May
11

Yom Hashoa – Holocaust Remembrance Day


I’ve always had mixed feelings about Yom Hashoa, on the one hand it would have been preferable to honor our martyrs on the individual anniversaries if only these were known, on the other hand not only are most death anniversaries unknown, many of the 6,000,000 left no one to even remember them. No one to remember, nothing more than the indelible blood stains on the souls of their murderers, on the souls of those who publicly and privately rejoiced, on the souls of those who turned a blind eye, on the souls of those who perhaps winced and forgot it, on the souls of those who deny history…

As I reread my last year’s post (The Proper Way to Die), my eyes swell up, though I’ve read and heard this story many a time, I doubt I could say anything new here so forgive me for posting it again…

In a world where there are Holocaust deniers, where European cities (in deference to Muslims living there) have decided to do away with Holocaust commemorations, in a world where schools in the UK find it expedient (in the interest of a misguided, pernicious, “Political Correctness”) to ignore important historical facts (such as the Holocaust), I thought I should tell a simple story today Yom Hasho’a – the day that commemorates the Holocaust.

There are 6,000,000 stories of those that died, I cannot tell them all! Many of these are known, some (most, like their protagonists and their families) have totally vanished from the human mind, from any surviving record. Some are stories of unbelievable strength, others are more mundane but all unequivocally show an unconquerable spirit. A spirit that no Nazi power could break, no enemy before, no enemy after can destroy.

This is the Story of Rabbi Zvi Michelson, one of Warsaw’s oldest rabbi’s who at the age of 79, became just another of the 700,000 Jews killed in the death camps of Treblinka.

Early in 1942 the Germans first began their systematic raids in the Warsaw ghetto, snatching Jewish men, women and children from the warrens in which they had been “resettled” and transporting them to the extermination camps.

In the very first of these raids, the Germans aided by Ukrainian soldiers surrounded the house in which Rabbi Michelson lived, shouting through the megaphones that all those inside were to come out into the courtyard. All the Jews in the building obeyed the German command – except for Rabbi Michelson, who refused to budge. Those who would remain in their rooms, he reasoned, would soon be routed out by the German soldiers. Their travail would not last long; they would be gunned down on the spot, and their bodies would be flung into the street. There, chances were that other Jews would find them, pile them upon the carts that creaked through the ghetto alleys to collect the dead and bury them in accordance with Jewish law. Those who would go to the Germans in the courtyard, on the other hand, would be loaded by the storm troopers onto trucks and taken to the death camps. There they would die, too, but not without suffering. Even worse, from what the rabbi had heard, they would not be buried at all but cremated, in violation of the Torah. And so Rabbi Michelson prepared himself to meet death as he felt befitted a man of age and tradition. He put on his phylacteries, draped his tallith (prayer shawl) around his spare body, bolted the door of his room and waited for the Germans to come.

...to be murdered at Treblinka...

But things did not happen the way the rabbi had expected. Yes, the Germans, accompanied by a Jewish ghetto policeman, kicked open the door and burst into Rabbi Michelson’s room. But when the storm troopers saw the old man with the long flowing white beard standing upright before them, stern of countenance and draped from shoulders to feet in his snowy-white, silver -bordered prayer robe, they were immobilized by awe, indeed by a fear, such as they probably never knew before. Years later, the ghetto policeman, who survived the war, was to tell the end of the story. “Why, it is Moses himself!” the policeman heard one of the Germans mutter. With that, the German silently turned and led the others out of the room, slamming the door and leaving Rabbi Michelson untouched.

Alone in his little room, the rabbi could hear the babble of the crowd in the courtyard below, mingled with the raucous shouts of the German soldiers. From his tiny window, he could see the others from his house being shoved into onto huge German army trucks. And a thought far more frightening than death came to Rabbi Michelson. True, he had been granted a a miraculous reprieve. But for how long? When the Germans would recover from their surprise, they would return and shoot him. That is how he would die, and he would die alone. In effect, by refusing to leave his room he had run away like a coward; he had deserted his brethren. Which, he asked himself, was the proper alternative – to die alone, with the chance that he alone might be found by some survivors outside and be given proper burial, or go out to his brethren and be with them on their last journey? Which was the proper way to die?

It did not take Rabbi Michelson more than a moment to make his decision. He turned from the window, adjusted his tallith, and strode from the room. With firm steps, he descended the stairs and marched out into the courtyard. There he joined the others on their way to the Umschlagplatz, the assembly point from where they all were to be taken to Treblinka. He remained a source of comfort and inspiration to his brethren, and when the end came, he shared their fate. He is among the millions who have no graves, but he has a lasting memorial in the annals of valor and uprightness.

(from The Unconquerable Spirit – by Simon Zucker and Gertrude Hirschler)

Being the son of Holocaust survivors (the younger sibling of a brother I never got to meet, killed at age 3 for the heinous crime of having been born a Jew), I’ve heard hundreds of stories of unbearable horrors and indescribable courage, stories that show the greatness and the baseness of human beings, stories that reveal deep character flaws and hidden jewels but… neither can I retell them all here nor would you, gentle reader, bear to read them all. Therefore I chose one story to stand as a monument to all the known ones and all those that shall forever remain buried… like the people who lived them…

Perhaps a better title would have been a Proper Way to Live….

CS

11
Apr
10

The Proper Way to Die


[On April 16, 2007, I posted what follows here. Today being Holocaust Day I thought it appropriate to repost it on The Kosher Scene. CS.]

In a world where there are Holocaust deniers, where European cities (in deference to Muslims living there) have decided to do away with Holocaust commemorations, in a world where schools in the UK find it expedient (in the interest of a misguided, pernicious, “Political Correctness”) to ignore important historical facts (such as the Holocaust), I thought I should tell a simple story today Yom Hasho’a – the day that commemorates the Holocaust.

There are 6,000,000 stories of those that died, I cannot tell them all! Many of these are known, some (most, like their protagonists and their families) have totally vanished from the human mind, from any surviving record. Some are stories of unbelievable strength, others are more mundane but all unequivocally show an unconquerable spirit. A spirit that no Nazi power could break, no enemy before, no enemy after can destroy.

Nazi German extermination camps in occupied Poland (marked with black and white skulls)

This is the Story of Rabbi Zvi Michelson, one of Warsaw’s oldest rabbi’s who at the age of 79, became just another of the 700,000 Jews killed in the death camps of Treblinka.

Early in 1942 the Germans first began their systematic raids in the Warsaw ghetto, snatching Jewish men, women and children from the warrens in which they had been “resettled” and transporting them to the extermination camps.

In the very first of these raids, the Germans aided by Ukrainian soldiers surrounded the house in which Rabbi Michelson lived, shouting through the megaphones that all those inside were to come out into the courtyard. All the Jews in the building obeyed the German command – except for Rabbi Michelson, who refused to budge. Those who would remain in their rooms, he reasoned, would soon be routed out by the German soldiers. Their travail would not last long; they would be gunned down on the spot, and their bodies would be flung into the street. There, chances were that other Jews would find them, pile them upon the carts that creaked through the ghetto alleys to collect the dead and bury them in accordance with Jewish law. Those who would go to the Germans in the courtyard, on the other hand, would be loaded by the storm troopers onto trucks and taken to the death camps. There they would die, too, but not without suffering. Even worse, from what the rabbi had heard, they would not be buried at all but cremated, in violation of the Torah. And so Rabbi Michelson prepared himself to meet death as he felt befitted a man of age and tradition. He put on his phylacteries, draped his tallith (prayer shawl) around his spare body, bolted the door of his room and waited for the Germans to come.

But things did not happen the way the rabbi had expected. Yes, the Germans, accompanied by a Jewish ghetto policeman, kicked open the door and burst into Rabbi Michelson’s room. But when the storm troopers saw the old man with the long flowing white beard standing upright before them, stern of countenance and draped from shoulders to feet in his snowy-white, silver -bordered prayer robe, they were immobilized by awe, indeed by a fear, such as they probably never knew before. Years later, the ghetto policeman, who survived the war, was to tell the end of the story. “Why, it is Moses himself!” the policeman heard one of the Germans mutter. With that, the German silently turned and led the others out of the room, slamming the door and leaving Rabbi Michelson untouched.

Alone in his little room, the rabbi could hear the babble of the crowd in the courtyard below, mingled with the raucous shouts of the German soldiers. From his tiny window, he could see the others from his house being shoved into onto huge German army trucks. And a thought far more frightening than death came to Rabbi Michelson. True, he had been granted a a miraculous reprieve. But for how long? When the Germans would recover from their surprise, they would return and shoot him. That is how he would die, and he would die alone. In effect, by refusing to leave his room he had run away like a coward; he had deserted his brethren. Which, he asked himself, was the proper alternative – to die alone, with the chance that he alone might be found by some survivors outside and be given proper burial, or go out to his brethren and be with them on their last journey? Which was the proper way to die?

It did not take Rabbi Michelson more than a moment to make his decision. He turned from the window, adjusted his tallith, and strode from the room. With firm steps, he descended the stairs and marched out into the courtyard. There he joined the others on their way to the Umschlagplatz, the assembly point from where they all were to be taken to Treblinka. He remained a source of comfort and inspiration to his brethren, and when the end came, he shared their fate. He is among the millions who have no graves, but he has a lasting memorial in the annals of valor and uprightness.

(from The Unconquerable Spirit – by Simon Zucker and Gertrude Hirschler)

Being the son of Holocaust survivors (the younger sibling of a brother I never got to meet, killed at age 3 for the heinous crime of having been born a Jew), I’ve heard hundreds of stories of unbearable horrors and indescribable courage, stories that show the greatness and the baseness of human beings, stories that reveal deep character flaws and hidden jewels but… neither can I retell them all here nor would you, gentle reader, bear to read them all. Therefore I chose one story to stand as a monument to all the known ones and all those that shall forever remain buried… like the people who lived them…

CS




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7,650 other followers

Calendar of Posts

August 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Archives

Visit our friends at the Kosher Wine Society

Noach: Stranded and Branded

Buy the book…

Category Cloud

18 Restaurant baking baking recipe baking recipes BlogTalkRadio cheese Chef David Kolotkin Chef Jeff Nathan Chef Lévana Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum chicken chicken recipes cookbook authors cookbooks dairy cuisine dairy recipes Esti Berkowitz fine dining fine kosher dining fine kosher dining in Manhattan fine kosher restaurants fine restaurants fish fish recipes Geila Hocherman Gotham Wines & Liquors Internet Radio Irving Schild Jack's Gourmet Jewish history kosher kosher baking kosher baking recipe kosher baking recipes kosher beef kosher beef recipes kosher cheese kosher chefs kosher chicken dishes kosher chicken recipes kosher cookbook authors kosher cookbooks kosher cookery Kosher cooking kosher cooking classes kosher cooking demos kosher cuisine kosher dairy kosher dairy cuisine kosher dairy recipes kosher desserts kosher dining kosher dining in Brooklyn kosher dining in Manhattan kosher dining in NY kosher fine dining kosher fine wines kosher fish kosher fish recipes Kosher food kosher Israeli wine kosher Italian cuisine kosher meat dishes kosher meat recipes kosher meat restaurants kosher meat restaurants in Manhattan kosher Mediterranean cuisine kosher parve recipes kosher poultry dishes kosher poultry recipes kosher recipes kosher restaurant review Kosher restaurants kosher restaurants in Brooklyn kosher restaurants in Manhattan kosher restaurants in New York City kosher restaurants in NY Kosher Revolution Kosher Scene kosher soup recipes kosher wine kosher wines Lévana Lévana Kirschenbaum meat recipes parve recipes Passover Pomegranate Supermarket poultry poultry recipes Prime Grill Royal Wine Corporation Shavuos Shavuos recipes Susie Fishbein The Kosher Scene The Kosher Scene Radio Show Uncategorized Wine

BlogTopSites


<a href="//www.blogtopsites.com/food-drink/" title="Food & Drink Blogs" target="_blank"><img style="border:none" src="//www.blogtopsites.com/v_158881.gif" alt="Food & Drink Blogs" />
<a target="_blank" href="//www.blogtopsites.com" style="font-size:10px;">blog sites


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,650 other followers

%d bloggers like this: