Category Archives: History

Broken daily routines

How many of us take our daily routines for granted, not looking at everything we encounter and inspecting what we allow entering into our lives?

Today lots of people are facing a world they do not seem to cope with, them presenting more time for themselves, which for some might not be so easy to tackle. Being confronted with oneself is for many not the most pleasant thing. In the ‘previous world’ (some jokingly say BC = ‘Before Corona’), the world when there was no coronavirus, most people had their daily duties away from home, and now they seem stuck at home, many feeling prisoned in their own surroundings. Instead of just feeling free, having more time for themselves and their family.

Others who had already felt in isolation, because they belonged to people who had made their choice to be part of God’s World instead of being part of Man’s world, now seem to have become more isolated. Luckily this time in history they are not accused to be the cause of this disaster coming over man. In the past that has been different. In previous centuries it happened more than once that we, as the People of God, were targetted, as the ones bringing disasters on others. More than once it seemed the more we tried to do good, the more the enemy was and is coming against us.

This Passover we could not come together and as such many of us could have felt even more isolated than at other times. Though we can be pleased to hear most of our brethren and sisters took time again to thank the heavenly Father for His provision and continued their quest of looking for leaven in all their dwellings and in their minds.

We took at heart that the Father is telling the Bride to get rid of the leaven in our lives. If we are to be a bride without spot or wrinkle, then we should start learning how to identify the spots and wrinkles in our lives, for the purpose of getting rid of them.

In the days of our fathers in Egypt, through the plagues, the social system was so disrupted that they certainly experienced it. In this time of age many people do not see how disrupted our society is. Lots of people have become the slaves of this world and slaves of money and gadgets. They are blinded by the things of the world and have lost track of God.

We live widely in the four winds of the earth and the majority of people living in the industrialised world is not bounded by borders and every year take the time on several occasions to go abroad, some even very far away from home, to find pleasure and relaxation. Many even forgetting you can have that at home too. That is why we see so many in distress because they feel bound by lockdown, whilst now they should feel free from the worldly chains.

Until now, we could still choose to celebrate Pesach in the nations or in the land of Israel, but today we are tied to our local territory. The Elohim had asked to go into our inner chambers, and to close our doors after us; to hide for a little while until the wrath passes.  (Isaiah 26:20) This year as our forefathers did at several times in history, (the last time in Nazi-time) we could feel how it must have been, hiding, just being with a few, not able to feel that unity of a people chosen by God.

As in previous times this year we strongly could feel how The Adonai gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm. Once more we could feel the importance to always trust the Elohim Hashem Jehovah because He is forever our mighty Rock (Isaiah 26:3-4) this year, more than in other years we could fully set our minds on our Divine Creator. Now more than in other times we can feel how it is Him Who keeps us completely whole, steady on our feet, because we keep at it and don’t quit. Enough reason to call others also to believe in The One we do believe and to say

Depend on God and keep at it because in the LORD GOD you have a sure thing. (Isaiah 26:4-5)

Let us in this time of disease not be afraid of that disease to go out in the world, to help those in need. Let us be there for the elderly and sick, and help them by their shopping and by providing for the needs they might have.

Jehovah knew that there would come a time when we must remain in our place and He has provided that we can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth through the Spirit of Holiness that was poured out at the time. Let us also show others why they best come to our Bore, and come to see how Jesus is the way to our God, Who is the God above all gods.

Let us others know that they can trust God and should come to believe in the one He has sent. Jeshua out of the tribe of Judah has given himself as a ransom for mankind and taken over the Scepter and is confirmed as the Firstfruits. We have to let others know that because of Jeshua’s death and resurrection, those who have received faith have, become children of Israel according to the promise. We should show others how the time has come to accept that through his awesome work of redemption, the old has passed and the new has come  (Luke 5).

Let us then letting down doctrines that do not bring us as spiritual firstborns to our goal by those who are not spiritual firstborns. They are of no use to us, because the firstborn learns straight from his / her father and not from the other children in the household. We are banns and should listen to ‘our Man’ instead of people who do not know our Man (Jeremiah 31:9) The firstborn who chose Jehovah over the natural firstborn. Draw the line of the birthright according to the written Word.

Let us make God His Name known but also the name of His son who is the one who carries the Scepter. He is the one who teaches the teaching of the written Word by the outpoured Spirit of Holiness to those named after his name (Jeshuaists).

Even in lockdown we can continue to preach, having enough possibilities by internet and modern technology.

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Additional reading

  1. First time since Nazi-time no public gathering
  2. Importance of Tikkun olam

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Aalst Carnival and Unia analyses reports

Area of action: Society

Grounds of discrimination: Racism

In December 2018 Unia pressed in anti-Semitism hearings in the Belgian Senate for the reintroduction of an anti-Semitism watchdog. The organisation asked Minister Kris Peeters, at that time responsible for Equal Opportunities, to take the first steps towards an inter-federal action plan against discrimination and racism. Anti-Semitism remains a persistent problem. The calls being made by Unia in 2018 were in response to a large-scale survey of 16,000 Jews in twelve EU countries by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), a human rights agency of the EU.

The findings of the report make for a sobering read. They underscore that antisemitism remains pervasive across the EU – and has, in many ways, become disturbingly normalised. Already in 2018 an overwhelming majority of survey participants felt that antisemitism was getting worse. They also feared for their own safety, and that of their loved ones. Though we also could notice not only the monotheist Hebrews or Jehudi were targeted. Jeshuaists and Muslims, worshipping the same God were not loved either and felt the pressure. Jeshuaists and Jews belonging to different Judaic denominations protect themselves by not coming out to much in the open and by leaving their kippa at home, only discreetly displaying mezuzas, avoiding certain areas in their cities or skipping Jewish events.

The many graphs contained in the report reveal a sobering picture of Belgium. Except for France, Jews do not experience anywhere in the EU as much hostility on the streets as they do in Belgium. Among those surveyed, 81 percent mentioned public spaces as the place with the most hatred of Jews. The European average is about 70 percent.

“These are figures that require a structural approach in the form of a vigilance unit and a plan that overarches policy areas,’

stressed Unia director at that time, Els Keytsman.

Already in 2018, a shocking statistic sended a clear message:

in the past five years, across twelve EU Member States where Jews have been living for centuries, more than one third say that they consider emigrating because they no longer feel safe as Jews.

In the meantime, we know about many Jews and Jeshuaists who left Belgium.

Vlag van het Vlaams BelangMuch too many people seem to forget how antisemitic acts can have a profound impact not only on individuals and those close to them, but also on the Jewish community as a whole. Several manifestations may bring forward all sorts of the types of antisemitic acts which we see increasing since a decade and by the growing popularity of two Flemish National parties, the right-wing populist Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang, with a strong anti-immigrant message that succeeded the right-wing Vlaams Block, and the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA – New Flemish Alliance), a movement that self-identifies with the promotion of civic nationalism, which strives for the secession of Flanders from Belgium.

The last few years in Belgium and France we have seen an increase in desecration of Jewish cemeteries, vandalism of Jewish buildings or institutions, expressions of hostility towards Jews and Jeshuaists in the street and other public places, but also an enormous antisemitism in the media. It is incredible what we can find on the internet, including social media, where nobody seems to be willing or able to silence the hate-speech.
In 2018 antisemitism online was already seen as a particularly widespread problem: a large majority of all respondents in the 12 survey countries (89 %) consider this either ‘a very big’ or a ‘fairly big’ problem, and as many (88 %) believed that it had increased over the past five years. The percentage of respondents indicating that antisemitism on the internet is problematic is especially high (at least 90 %) in Belgium, France, Italy, and Poland. In Belgium and France, a majority of respondents rated almost all antisemitic manifestations that the survey asked about as ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big’ problem. These are also the countries with the highest proportion of respondents indicating antisemitism in general as a problem.

The majority of respondents of that survey are aware of legislation that forbids discrimination based on ethnic origin or religion – some 64 %–87 %, depending on the area, indicated knowing about it. They are most aware of anti-discrimination legislation in employment and least aware of protection related to housing. Most respondents (71 %) also say they are aware of an organisation in the country that offers advice or support for people who are discriminated against, but we should be aware that out of self-protection most Jews and Jeshuaists do not dare to react or bring the problem into the public. Respondents most often referred to Jewish organisations specialising in the safety and security of the Jewish community and/or antisemitism, and national equal-ity or human rights bodies. Lots of Jews and Jeshuaists lost their trust in the Belgian State and in Belgian politicians.

Fortunatelyserious incidents are today punishable by law. For example, in 2018 Unia was a civil party in the case against the vandal who caused serious damage in the Jewish quarter of Antwerp.

“Unia was also a civil party in the case concerning the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels.”

Last November Unia was calling for a more inclusive image for folkloric events and intangible heritage such as the pre-Lent merrymaking and festivity carnival. Unia said local organisers and partners can play an important role in this. That is one of Unia’s recommendations in a report drawn up following the controversy about the anti-Semitic float in the municipality Aalst, on the Dender River, 24 km (15 miles) northwest of Brussels.

Unia feels that dialogue and awareness must be a priority.

“What is offensive to one person is apparently folklore for another. Showing consideration for other people’s sensitivities can never be simply imposed by law. Only through dialogue can we take into account the feelings of others and learn to see things from their point of view. “

That is why Unia organised meetings between Belgium’s Forum of Jewish Organisations and a group of Aalst carnivalists.

“Their float – depicting anti-Semitic stereotypes – was unintentionally reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. We understand that many people were shocked by this connotation, and it led to a highly polarised conflict. We have seen that both parties now have an understanding of each other’s position and context. Talking to each other does not guarantee that stereotypes will never crop up again, but it is a start.”

It could have gone the right way, but this year, it uncovered the hidden agenda more clearly. From what was presented at the cortège was more than just laughing with something that bothered them. It was showing their disgust for another culture and other religion than theirs.

Much too often we hear the excuse

“For carnivalists, freedom of expression means the freedom to make fun of anything and anyone.”

Though, one should question how far one can go with mockery. Unia says

“Conversely, that freedom also means that you are bound to provoke controversy now and then, and you have to be able to deal with criticism.”

People from Aalst seem to have lots of difficulty with the criticism they received over the last twelve months.

Lots of events happening in Aalst real lovers of God would never come to know if they were not shown on television and brought into social media.
Thanks to social media, images of parades and festivities are reaching the general public on an unprecedented scale and are thus amplified and sometimes, or more than once, may be taken out of context. Moreover, while in the past, traditions were not called into question, this questioning has now become appropriate, Unia notes.

“As such, that is a positive thing. Folkloristic events can evolve according to changing attitudes and new insights, allowing them to become celebrations in which no one is left out”,

according to Keytsman.

We do find politicians and organisations for protecting civilians, should recognise historical similarities and see the dangers behind certain events, which, in the beginning may look harmless and childish, but have a very deep and dangerous undertone. Puerile actions may develop into actions out of frustration and dissatisfaction which generates aggression against certain population groups.

This year out of frustration, how they were treated by Unesco, everal people in the parade mocked the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), using Jewish caricatures as well.

But, from what we came to see and hear in the media, it went much further.

Unia promises to collect all the information and will investigate whether criminal offences were committed. For this, they are in contact with the prosecutor’s office and the police.

We wonder how Unia is going to act or take juridical prosecution against the group who had their float a sign labelled

“regulations for the Jewish party committee,”

and it included a not to misunderstand sarcastic:

“Do not mock Jews”

and a shocking

“Certainly do not tell the truth about the Jew.”

which clearly indicates they have formed an idea about Jews in general and do want others to believe that Jews have something to hide or do not want to have the truth about them told. This means those carnavalists understand the truth about the Jews is not or may not be told!?!

Rudi Roth, a journalist for the Antwerp-based Joods Actueel Jewish paper, said the expressions of anti-Semitism in Aalst this year were more numerous and prominent than last year. He called it a

“backlash effect.”

Coming closer to the event celebrities gave notice not having free time to come to the parade. Several politicians backed out of appearances with Aalst’s mayor, who has defended the parade displays.

According to Christophe D’Haese of the right-wing New Flemish Alliance, carnival is not an anti-Semitic event and should be seen in its context of

“everything is allowed”.

He said the event

“certainly has anti-Semitic elements,”

the likes of which he said had not been on display since the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945.

With good reason Rubinfeld said

“Aalst’s name is now associated with anti-Semitism,and that’s partly because of the mayor’s inaction.”

With questioning eyes, we are very curious to see whether Unia this year will make a real effort to go to court and make it clear that what has been shown this year in Aalst has been far out of proportion in our society and cannot be admitted.

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Preceding

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

Perhaps Anti-Semitism for lots of people isn’t always easy to see

What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups

A Jew and Muslim walking together side by side down USA city streets

Speaking up and Celebration of Purim

Numbers 10:10 Make Your Rejoicing Heard

Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België

Hoe ver kan men gaan om zich te beroepen op Vrije meningsuiting

Aalst Carnaval: Unia analyseert meldingen

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Perhaps Anti-Semitism for lots of people isn’t always easy to see

When looking at the recent heathen festival “Carnaval” it looks like for the majority of Belgians antisemitism isn’t always easy to see. Last year there were already anti-Jewish groups in the carnival parade and this year they multiplied like the Coronavirus, where not many spoke about.

Already for a few years now, we can see that in Belgium Anti-Semitism moved quietly through each of the lives of many Belgians — in a tweet, or a joke, or a conspiracy theory — seemingly not having just impact on those it directly touches. It impacts us all.

Strangely enough, it seems that a lot of Belgians do not seem to see or can not recognize anti-Semitic words, phrases, ideas, and caricatures for what they really are — hatred, bigotry, discrimination. I was not present at the carnival parade in Aalst, but what I could see on the Flemish television was something one could expect many years before World War II, but not after that horrible period. On one of the cars hung a pamphlet whit something which shocked me Só Much, that I did not write it down, for being able to repeat it here or to fill in a complaint against the hate message and the anti-Semitic words written on that car!

The call for Jews having to go to Israel and to hide behind the Wall can not be called Jewish-friendly. “Muur” (Wall) may be “Mier” (Ant) in the dialect from Aalst, but to present Jews as ants can only be called “a bit inappropriate”.

The major of Aalst and many people from Aals, saying one has to be able to laugh with and at people and circumstances, may call for questioning how far one may go with mockery with situations and with persons or religious groups.
Certainly, in these times of a horrific rise in anti-Semitism, politicians should point to the fact of such matters to their citizens and should try to bring them to their sense. Though, the major of Aalst always when he was given the word, seemed to put more oil on the fire by just to dismiss it as something that is not understood by many outside Aalst.

Together, we can identify and expose the hate that’s hiding between the lines. Those with any good feeling of ethics and decency should call for a reaction of  “Unia”, the centre “For equality, against discrimination”.

What is going on in this country should ring a bell for the democratic parties and should bring the European Union sound the alarm, calling the national government to take action.

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Preceding

The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium

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Find also

  1. Haat tegen verarming en tegen Israël nieuwe manier om Joden te haten
  2. Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België
  3. Prinsesjes en carnavalstoestanden #1 Aalst Carnaval 2019

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Relating

  1. The fight against anti-Semitism is also a fight for a democratic, value-based Europe
  2. Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance
  3. 2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe
  4. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking

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On Holocaust Memorial Day US Embassy Falsely Claims America Liberated Auschwitz

To take note:

United States Embassy in Denmark apologized for statement made > incorrectly claimed American troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp > Red Army troops reached its gates on January 27, 1945

  • incorrect statement = immediately met with scorn online => another example of Soviet erasure + insult to enormous sacrifice U.S.S.R. made to defeat fascism in Europe.
  • Wikipedia has been removing those same pictures, a fact discovered by Lithuanian journalist Vladimir Vodo. While the encyclopedia’s administrators argued that they might not technically be in the public domain, erasing images of the Russian liberation of Auschwitz on Holocaust Memorial Day is not an optically wise move.
  • Soviet Union = responsible for killing ~ four/five Nazis during conflict + suffered ~ 95 % of all Allied Army casualties. => scale loss enormous ~  26.6 million dead – ~ sixty-three times total American sacrifice in both Europe +  Pacific.
  • Latvia + Lithuania lost a similar number of people as entire United States. 
  • far from common knowledge in America > 2015 poll = just 11 % of Americans knew > Soviet Union contributed most to defeat of Nazi Germany,
  • Americans large majority picking U.S. = most important nation.
  • United Kingdom >Britons incorrectly believed they primarily defeated Soviet Union.

SALAM ALQUDS ALAYKUM - سلام القدس عليكم

By Alan Macleod

Source

he United States Embassy in Denmark has apologized for a statement it made earlier this week that incorrectly claimed that it was American troops that liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. In fact, Red Army troops reached its gates on January 27, 1945. “We acknowledge the important contributions of all Allied Forces during WWII and remember the 6 million Jews who perished during the Holocaust,” the correction read.

U.S. Embassy Denmark

@usembdenmark

I går skrev vi ved en fejl, at Auschwitz-Birkenau blev befriet af amerikanske soldater. Det var selvfølgeligt sovjetiske soldater. Vi anerkender alle de allierede styrkers vigtige bidrag under Den Anden Verdenskrig og mindes de 6 millioner jøder, der døde under Holocaust.

U.S. Embassy Denmark

@usembdenmark

Yesterday, we inadvertently wrote that US troops liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was of course liberated by Soviet troops. We acknowledge the important contributions of all Allied Forces during…

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Oswiecim

To remember

village of Oswiecim, more commonly known by German name as Auschwitz, ordinary S. Polish village with small Cavalry school, in swampy land, area covered by forests, about 40 minutes fr.ancient Royal Capital of Krakow.

Death Camps > Holocaust =/=  place you want to visit more than once.

  • Heinrich Himmler, Head of SS wanted to study habits + lifestyle Sinti people (belonged to an Aryan tribe)
  • Sinti housed in Birkenau = large industrial extermination camp, > Auschwitz I = very small in comparison.
  • After study > all gassed in one night / one survivor (sent to another camp day prior to mass execution).
  • could not imagine having family living in such a place > very common amongst SS Guards.
  • Camp Commander Höss hanged in 1947 by Polish Government.
  • site refurbished by SS  just after invasion of Poland > first opened in May 1940 > to house + kill Polish Intelligentsia, Polish Resistance Fighters + Russian prisoners + Resistance fighters from many other European countries, Priests + Nuns also. Later Jews form a contingent of prisoners. => ~ 70,000 people die at Auschwitz I Camp.
  • one building in particular = never forget > Camp Tribunal ~~ only sentence = death.
  • Prisoners quick trial to humiliate + degrade person = common for political prisoners, + inmate stripped naked > outside stone courtyard > knelt + shot behind the head.
  • different insignia prisoners > what class of prisoner
  • list of people not fit into political agenda of Nazi ideology = very long.<= criteria could be racial, ethnic, religious, political, medical, sexual orientation, general, etc… =/= restricted to Jews only
  • ~ 7 million Poles special target => Poland to be wiped out completely +  systematically,
  • Russians + other Slavic people targeted for extermination.
  • Opponents, resistants of any stripe, persons belonging to an opposition or a labour union, journalists, teachers, people suffering fr. physical or mental handicap = exterminated.
  • In Germany = hospitals emptied, families received an official death certificate with an invented cause of death.
  • Catholic Priests + Nuns not safe either,<=  old rivalries of Thirty year War between Catholics + Protestants playing out again > in Bavaria a Catholic stronghold repression was vicious.

 

  • Little library cards recorded in details lives + who they were = madness = ? killing people systematically =>understood humans capable of great evil which boggles the mind + becomes incomprehensible.
  • Birkenau – built on ruins of small village Brzezinka, swampy ground Birkenau or Auschwitz II = immense, cheap wood barracks lined up = opened in November 1943 > trains entered through infamous gate tower.
  • Dr.Mengele + his acolyte decided on the spot >  who would die now or be worked to death or who would be subjected to horrible pseudo-medical experimentation.
  • camp divided in neighbourhoods, all fenced in from each other.
  • Most prisoners at Birkenau = Jews + Gypsies with populations of Russian prisoners +  section for Czech & Slovak families. = one million people perished.
  • no human emotions involved = cold mechanization of death as a means to achieve a political goal enshrined in an ideology of hate > presented to the masses in Germany as well meaning & reasonable to ensure prosperity.

 

  • total numbers of dead =/= important =>  important = to remember people = just like you or me = ordinary people with jobs, families & friends, from all walks of life, from many countries, princes + paupers, of various religions + beliefs.
  • Nazi destroyed Europe, culture, education, humanity > whole way of life.
  • introduced into the world an evil we still live with today, that evil was not destroyed in 1945, it lingers, > in former Yugoslavia 1991-1995 + so many on-going conflicts.

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Preceding

An Anniversary forgotten

How a British ‘Master Spy’ Saved Thousands of Jews in the Holocaust

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Find also to read:

  1. Reformed Churches Muzzled but Protest at Barmen
  2. Through the Lens of Faith
  3. Nazi Germany
  4. the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served
  5. Black page 70 years Release – commemoration Auschwitz
  6. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  7. Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance
  8. Polish commemoration of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
  9. Seventy-five years ago on January 27
  10. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  11. 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
  12. 5th World Holocaust Forum
  13. Dedication ceremony for a memorial at Jerusalem’s Sachar Park in honour of the casualties of the Siege of Leningrad
  14. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking
  15. What’s the Future of Holocaust Remembrance?
  16. Christadelphians’ role in the rescue of Jewish children from Nazi Germany
  17. Christadelphians, the Kindertransport, and Rescue from the Holocaust

Larry Muffin At Home

You have heard of the village of Oswiecim in Southern Poland about 40 minutes from the ancient Royal Capital of Krakow. Today it is more commonly known by its German name as Auschwitz. I visited this village and the Death Camps about 5 times while in Poland. I did not know much about it at first, no more than the average person did through the usual media reports, movies and history that has been repeated so many times about the Holocaust. I went many times for official reasons to attend ceremonies or because our visitors wanted to see it. It is not a place you want to visit more than once.

280px-Oswiecim-rynek

Oswiecim, Southern Poland, today 

Oswiecim was an ordinary Polish village with a small Cavalry school, the school was closed at some point and then the buildings became a trade school which was in turn closed. The area is covered…

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An Anniversary forgotten

Today, because many do not know their history we can see we are coming in very dangerous situation where the 1930ies are in away coming close to a repeat and the past shall put a stamp again on those who do not agree with the populists of today.

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To remember

75th Anniversary of arrival of Soviet troops in Poland in offensive to defeat Nazi Germany and so called liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Camps.

  • Italian Jew & chemist Primo Levi, celebrated Italian author of poems, short stories for children, science fiction & on his own life experience, from Turin interned at Auschwitz from February 1944 > you had to find a way to do as little as possible to preserve your energy.
  • writes about his view of Germans & Germany + his own country Italy + its long period under Fascist dictatorship which led to Italian Jews like singled out +  after 1945 Italy continued & continues to this day to have in its political life the heirs of Mussolini’s ideals.
  • camps near Krakow cut off to the village of Oswiecim.
  • commemoration for  Sinti people + mass extermination of 2 August 1944 > Sinti + Roma came primarily fr. Germany, Austria, the Protectorate of Bavaria & Moravia, + Poland, with smaller groups arriving from France, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia/Croatia, Belgium, the USSR, Lithuania, and Hungary.  + Norway &  Spain.
  • about 23 thousand men, women, + children imprisoned in the camp. ~ 21 thousand registered in the camp (370+ children born there).
  • about 1,700 Polish Sinti + Roma murdered immediately after arriving at the camp, without being entered in the records.
  • approximately 23 thousand Sinti + Roma deported to Auschwitz > ~ 21 thousand died or murdered in gas chambers.
  • set up as of 1933 to exterminate all enemies of Nazi Germany => 1° all German Opposition political figures targeted, intellectuals + artists.  2° long list of enemies of the Reich + people declared to be sub-humans like Sinti + Roma people, Jews, priests, nuns, any religious denomination, resistance fighters, POW, homosexuals, + not fitting into Nazis book for a perfect society.
  • badge to identify group they belonged to + number tattoo on their arm.
  • large industrial death factory > sole purpose to exterminate the undesirable quickly
  • 75 years later, Auschwitz name in history books > Far too many docu-drama cheapened memory of atrocities to point of trivializing them.
  • ignorance + indifference

We must master the past otherwise the past will master us.

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Preceding

How a British ‘Master Spy’ Saved Thousands of Jews in the Holocaust

On Holocaust Memorial Day US Embassy Falsely Claims America Liberated Auschwitz

Oswiecim

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Find also to read:

  1. Reformed Churches Muzzled but Protest at Barmen
  2. Through the Lens of Faith
  3. Nazi Germany
  4. the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served
  5. Black page 70 years Release – commemoration Auschwitz
  6. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  7. Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance
  8. Polish commemoration of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
  9. Seventy-five years ago on January 27
  10. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  11. 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
  12. 5th World Holocaust Forum
  13. Dedication ceremony for a memorial at Jerusalem’s Sachar Park in honour of the casualties of the Siege of Leningrad
  14. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking
  15. What’s the Future of Holocaust Remembrance?
  16. Christadelphians’ role in the rescue of Jewish children from Nazi Germany
  17. Christadelphians, the Kindertransport, and Rescue from the Holocaust

Larry Muffin At Home

This past week was the 75th Anniversary of the arrival of Soviet troops in Poland in their offensive to defeat Nazi Germany and so called liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Camps. Currently I am reading a biography on Primo Levi, the celebrated Italian author from Turin who was interned at Auschwitz from February 1944. In the biography by Ian Thomson written in 2019 on the centennial of Primo Levi birth, we have a very good picture in Levi’s words of what that camp life was like, of the people he knew, of those who died and those who survived. We also read about the Germans at the camp who ran the factories for I.G. Farben and BASF. In order to survive Levi says; you had to find a way to do as little as possible to preserve your energy.

Levi had a long career in Turin as a chemist and he became…

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How a British ‘Master Spy’ Saved Thousands of Jews in the Holocaust

In 2005, the United Nations designated 27 January as an International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. On Monday 27 January 2020 it was a more special International Holocaust Remembrance Day because of the 75th anniversary of the Jewish liberation from Auschwitz.

Underneath you may find a list of articles looking at the commemorations and reactions which were made to those who were allowed to speak at those commemorations. In those articles you shall come to see how we are developing again to a dangerous situation where certain people with ‘other ideas’ and another religion than the ‘main stream’ are again considered as to be outcast and to be silenced or not having the right to speak.

When looking at that horrible period of cruelty and the many years that people stood aside not daring to open their mouth, we luckily may find also dome positive notes of people who dared to help others, risking their own life.

Despite the horrors that occurred at Auschwitz and other concentration camps, thousands of Jewish lives were spared because of the covert operations of unsung heroes.

One such man was Major Francis “Frank” Edward Foley CMG , a passport control officer for the British embassy in Berlin, who “bent the rules” and helped thousands of Jewish families escape from Nazi Germany after Kristallnacht and before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Frank foley.jpg

Major Francis “Frank” Edward Foley (1884-1958) recognised as a British Hero of the Holocaust and as a Righteous Among the Nations.

Though most saw Foley as a “low-level British bureaucrat serving in Berlin” just before World War II, [1 Gragg, Rod. My Brother’s Keeper: Christians Who Risked All to Protect Jewish Targets of the Nazi Holocaust, “Francis Foley,” (Center Street Publishing, 2017). ] he was actually a master spy in the MI6, the British intelligence service. He focused his efforts on the rise of German Communists, then on Hitler’s campaign to reactivate and expand the German military — until he learned what was happening in the Nazi concentration camps.[2 Gradd, 2017] He went on to secretly save thousands of Jewish lives.

To remember the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, we offer this reflection on Frank Foley’s selfless rescue missions, adapted from My Brother’s Keeper: Christians Who Risked All to Protect Jewish Targets of the Nazi Holocaust

***

Foley’s intelligence operation . . . revealed evidence that Jewish inmates imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps being erected throughout Germany were suffering horrors. Despite his protests, however, his London superiors waved away the accounts as ridiculous exaggerations. Foley then appealed to British immigration officials, asking them to expedite Jewish requests for asylum in Great Britain and its colonies, but encountered more bureaucratic apathy.

Frustrated but determined, Foley decided to help Germany’s Jews himself. Using his official cover as the British passport control officer in Berlin, he began issuing droves of passports to Jews seeking escape from Germany. Like Feng Shan Ho, his Chinese counterpart in Austria, Foley was motivated by more than just humanitarian concerns: his faith as a Christian compelled him to act, he believed—especially when so many of those who were persecuting the Jews claimed that they were Christians.

. . .

The pogrom against the Jews which left thousands of premises, homes and synagogues destroyed and therefore became widely known as Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass – its meaning taken from the smashed windows and shards of broken glass strewn across German streets.

After Kristallnacht in 1938, the desperation increased within Germany’s Jewish community. Determined to escape the Nazis and save their families, German Jews began showing up unannounced at Foley’s Berlin flat. As a passport officer, he did not have diplomatic immunity, and he knew what could happen to him if Nazi authorities learned he was issuing thousands of passports or personally harbouring Jews. Despite the danger, he continued his mission. . . . Every month, hundreds of Jews came to Foley seeking escape from Nazi Germany. He realized that most of them would be hauled off to concentration camps before they could be processed by the ponderous, bureaucratic British immigration system — so he developed a streamlined process that severely stretched regulations but still complied with British law.

As relations deteriorated between Nazi Germany and Britain and France, Foley realized that war was imminent and redoubled his efforts to help Jews escape Germany. When warfare erupted in September 1939, Foley disappeared — off on the first of many wartime espionage assignments in which he would distinguish himself as one of the key allied intelligence operatives of World War II.

Obituary of Leo Baeck

A few days before the war began, Leo Baeck, a leading German rabbi and one of Foley’s chief Jewish contacts, received a message to pick up a package from Foley’s office in the British consulate. Foley was gone when Baeck arrived, but the package awaited him. It was Frank Foley’s final outreach to the imperilled Jews of Germany. Inside were more than eighty British passports officially stamped and approved for travel outside Germany, each with the spaces for name and address left blank — to be filled in by escaping Jews whom Frank Foley had never met.

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Find also to read:

  1. Reformed Churches Muzzled but Protest at Barmen
  2. Through the Lens of Faith
  3. Nazi Germany
  4. the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served
  5. Black page 70 years Release – commemoration Auschwitz
  6. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  7. Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance
  8. Polish commemoration of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
  9. Seventy-five years ago on January 27
  10. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  11. 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
  12. 5th World Holocaust Forum
  13. Dedication ceremony for a memorial at Jerusalem’s Sachar Park in honour of the casualties of the Siege of Leningrad
  14. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking
  15. What’s the Future of Holocaust Remembrance?
  16. Christadelphians’ role in the rescue of Jewish children from Nazi Germany
  17. Christadelphians, the Kindertransport, and Rescue from the Holocaust

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Interned and tortured at Breendonk before deportation to Auschwitz and later Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen.

Catherine Annabel, who established in 2012 “Inspiration for Life” loves to write about the things that interest, challenge and move her. She is retired after many years working in higher education administration, most recently for the University of Sheffield.

She gave a talk at the 2019 Conference, Violent Spaces, of the Landscape, Space & Place group from the University of Nottingham, where she mentioned Winfried Georg Sebald who was born in Bavaria in 1944, in the last months of the war.

Born in Wertach, Bavaria Winfried Georg was one of three children of Rosa and Georg Sebald. From 1948 to 1963, he lived in Sonthofen, having his grandfather as the most important male presence in his early years, because his own father being in prison as a prisoner of war until 1947. His father had served in the Wehrmacht, but after he returned home, having spent a couple of years as a prisoner of war, the things that he had seen, and done, were never spoken of.

While at school in Oberstdorf the boy got to see images of the Holocaust. –  probably the liberation of Belsen – it looked unbelievable. No wonder that no one knew how to explain what they had just seen, because those who had to speak about it, where at the time of the events ‘part of the system’.

writes:

It was, in a way, what we’d now call a box-ticking exercise. Because, of course, the teachers were part of the context. Sebald, like many of his contemporaries, was unable to accept this collusive silence, and his increasing alienation from his homeland led to him working first in Switzerland and then moving to the UK, where he spent the rest of his life, teaching at UEA until his death in a car accident in 2001. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

Sebald’s work imaginatively explored themes of memory as they related to the Holocaust. His novels include Schwindel, Gefühle (1990; Vertigo), Die Ausgewanderten (1992; The Emigrants), Die Ringe des Saturn (1995; The Rings of Saturn), Logis in einem Landhaus: über Gottfried Keller, Johann Peter Hebel, Robert Walser und andere (1998; A Place in the Country: On Gottfried Keller, Johann Peter Hebel, Robert Walser, and Others), and Austerlitz (2001).

Catherine Annabel writes,

The Holocaust, indeed, became a presence in his poetry and his prose writing. It seems never to be very far away, invoked maybe by the name of a place, innocent in itself, but carrying the weight of history. In many of his works, it is addressed obliquely, but the figure of the refugee appears in several of his books.

Max Ferber, one of the four protagonists of The Emigrants, left his home in Munich (capital of Bavaria) in 1939, following Kristallnacht, his father having obtained a visa for him by bribing the English consul. We are introduced to Ferber via the narrator, who does not ask about his history, why or how he left Germany, until their second meeting, at which point Ferber tells how letters from his parents ceased, and he subsequently discovers that they were deported from Munich to Riga, where they were murdered. In Sebald’s final work, Austerlitz, the Holocaust becomes text, not subtext, foreground rather than context.

Sebald’s (fictional) protagonist, Jacques Austerlitz, is an architectural historian, with a particular interest in what he calls ‘our mightiest projects’ – fortifications, railway architecture, what they used to call lunatic asylums, prisons and law courts. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

We meet the narrator first in a carceral space – Antwerp’s zoo. After his first conversation with Austerlitz, he is moved to visit Breendonk, one of the fortresses that Austerlitz had mentioned.

But it is not the history of how such places were designed, the flawed theories of defence against enemy incursion, that confront him there, but the much more recent past, Breendonk’s conversion into a concentration camp in the Nazi era – a transit camp for deportation to Auschwitz, and a place of torture.

    • Originally built for the Belgian army 1906-13 to protect Antwerp – ‘it proved completely useless for the defence of the city and the country’
    • Covered by a five-metre thick layer of soil for defense against bombings, a water-filled moat and measured 656 by 984 feet (200 by 300 m)
    • Requisitioned by the Germans as a prison camp for political dissidents, captured resistance members and Jews
    • Infamous for prisoners’ poor living conditions and for the use of torture. Most prisoners later transferred to larger concentration camps in Eastern Europe
    • 3,590 prisoners known to have been imprisoned at Breendonk, 303 died or were executed within the fort itself and as many as 1,741 died subsequently in other camps before the end of the war. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

Sebald brings in a human witness here, the Austria-born essayist Jean Amery, born Hanns Chaim Mayer, who by his participation in organized resistance against the Nazi occupation of Belgium got detained and tortured by the German Gestapo at the Auffanglager Breendonk in Fort Breendonk, afterwards to be brought to other concentration camps, Auschwitz and later Buchenwald and finally being liberated at Bergen-Belsen in 1945. After the war the former Hanns Mayer changed his name to Jean Améry (the surname being a French-sounding anagram of his family name) in order to symbolize his dissociation from German culture and his alliance with French culture. He settled in Belgium, where he  lived in Brussels, working as a culture journalist for German language newspapers in Switzerland. He did not write at all of his experiences in the death camps until 1964, when, at the urging of German poet Helmut Heißenbüttel, he wrote his book Jenseits von Schuld und Sühne (“Beyond Guilt and Atonement”). It was later translated into English by Sidney and Stella P. Rosenfeld as At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and its Realities.

Haunted by nightmares of the horror he had witnessed he committed suicide in 1978.

Our narrator finds Breendonk to be a place of horror. The darkness inside is literal, but also metaphysical, and it becomes heavier as he penetrates further into the building. He begins to experience visual disturbances – black striations quivering before his eyes – and nausea, but explains that

‘it was not that I guessed at the kind of third-degree interrogations which were being conducted here around the time I was born’,

since he had not at that point read Amery’s account. Sebald is telling us that the narrator’s reaction to Breendonk is not, therefore, personal, not related in any way to his own experiences or even to things he had read, but intrinsic to the place, as if its use, or abuse, has changed its very nature, violence become part of its fabric.

Breendonk is the first of the trio of Holocaust sites around which the text is structured.

It’s built to a star shape, a six-pointed star. This was a favoured design both for fortresses, designed to keep invaders out, and for prisons, designed to keep wrongdoers in. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

According to Austerlitz this is a fundamentally wrong-headed design for a fortress, the idea that ‘you could make a city as secure as anything in the world can ever be.’ The largest fortifications will attract the enemy’s greatest numbers, and draw attention to their weakest points – not only that, but battles are not decided by armies impregnably entrenched in their fortresses, but by forces on the move. Despite plenty of evidence (such as the disastrous Siege of Antwerp in 1832), the responses tended to be to build the same structures but stronger and bigger, and with inevitably similar results. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

As the design for a prison, the star shape makes more sense. It does not conform to the original layout of the panopticon, but it does allow for one central point of oversight and monitoring, with radial arms that separate the inmates into manageable groups. The widespread use of existing fortresses as places of imprisonment for enemies of the Reich was primarily opportunistic, of course, but the ease of this transformation illustrates Austerlitz’s arguments quite well. {Marks of Pain: Architecture as Witness to Trauma in W G Sebald’s Austerlitz}

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the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served

“Are they really bringing people to workplaces to give them a better life?”

It was known or said that even if Jews were converted to the Christian faith, they remained “different” because of their bloodline. It was also known that many were jealous for the lifestyle and family feeling which could  be found in the Klal Yisrael or Jewish communities. Many goyim found the Jews separated themselves from the society, but they did not often see it were goyim who themselves gave enough reason not to mix too much with them.

Samuel Morgenstern was one of those shopkeepers who was one of the most loyal buyers of Hitler’s paintings in Vienna, by which Hitler could receive enough money not to be a tramp. Naturally there were also rumours Hitler could not stand Jews because he got a disease from regularly going to some ‘Jewish harlots’.

Portrait of Karl Lueger (ca. 1900), mayor of Vienna. He used anti-Semitism as a political strategy. Collection: Austrian National Library / painter: Alois Delug. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Rights: Public Domain

Hitler, Adolf: Mein Kampf

Mein Kampf, (German: “My Struggle”) political manifesto written by Adolf Hitler. It was his only complete book and became the bible of National Socialism (Nazism) in Germany’s Third Reich. It was published in two volumes in 1925 and 1927, and an abridged edition appeared in 1930. By 1939 it had sold 5,200,000 copies and had been translated into 11 languages.

It perhaps were not just rumours that the politician, co-founder and leader of the Austrian Christian Social Party, and mayor of Vienna Karl Lueger (1844-1910), used anti-Semitism as a political strategy, and that he was also praised as “the greatest German mayor of all time” by Adolf Hitler (In Mein Kampf) who did not mind following his ideas.

The prejudices about the role of the Jews in the Great War were incorrect, but as with many rumours, it spread like a virus. Many Germans did not want to believe how more than one hundred thousand German and Austrian Jews had fought for their homeland, one of them being Otto Frank, the German-born merchant best known as the father of Anne Frank, who witnessed the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

In the 1920ies our family members could already hear how our brethren were compared with germs. It was as if our people had been infecting generations for ages. That Hitler never thought his people were not strong enough to live according to the wishes of their god or according to the mitzvot of the Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Lots of our friends could not believe that those who said they were “Christian” and as such would, or should, be following the Nazarene Jewish rabbi who preached brotherly love, could do such atrocious things, as others told about them. Perhaps it was to set up Jehudiem against Christians, so that the goyim had all the reason to tell

religion is the cause of war.

The words spread that Hitler said that you cannot fight a disease without destroying the person who caused it, and as such according to him, the influence of the Jews would never disappear without removing the perpetrator, the Jude, from the midst of the Arian race.

Radical ideas paved the way for the mass murder of the Jews in the 1940s, but not many of the Bnei Yisroel or Chosen People of God wanted to believe the rumours at first.

In many families, like ours, it was the saying

“the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served”.

They heard about plans which would be taken, but they seemed so unbelievable that they could not be true or would have been exaggerated, as by a circling fire. Others were not so much at ease, and warned

“to be aware of a silent dog and still water”.

Should we look askance at him? Now we can easily say they had much better looked at him out of the tail of their eyes. By not believing the many rumours, lots were woken up with a start, when it was too late.

For a long time, many wondered if it was within the odds, whilst others said

“He is not likely to go.”

Others wanted to be a friend to all, forgetting that then they would be a friend to none. Many debates about what went on in Germany and Austria could bring lots of talks after the children were sent to bed. For sure that what was to be spoken about was not for children’s ears.

It was, and is still, known that there was and is, an existing prejudice that Jews associate with financial power and monetary gain. Many are also convinced Jews are “foefelaars“, who make their pile on the poor white people. Lots of Jews may be looked at as a ramay / nokhel, a fiddler or cheater whilst there was no oysnarn at all.

White movement propaganda poster from the Russian Civil War era (1919), a caricature of Leon Trotsky, who was viewed as a symbol of Jewish Bolshevism.

In many countries people also looked at the Jehudi as the originators or conspirators and spreaders of communism. The vast majority of the communist leaders at that time were Jewish. However, it is only a small part of the Jews that were communists, and what a lot of people did not see is that several Jews were promoting or aiming for social equality, this being considered by many liberals and capitalists a danger for the economy and consumption gain. During the war with the Soviet Union, from 1941 on, it will be the idea of the ‘Jewish communism’ (sometimes also called Marxian-communism or meant to be Jewish Bolshevism, also Judeo–Bolshevism) with terrible consequences. The population and the prisoners of war being brutally treated by the Germans.

When Hitler got into power rumours got stronger, but still many did not want to believe what went around. Others were smart enough to be at the safe site by sending their beloved far away from Germany and Austria. Some thought they would be safe in Holland, but how they were mistaken. Having gone to Holland luckily several managed to cross the channel and find a safe haven in the United Kingdom, but the others got taken and deported.

At the Schalkland, in the “Klein-Brabant” region, less than 25 kilometres from the centre of Brussels and 19 kilometres from Antwerp, to the south of the Dendermonde highway (Mechelen – Dendermonde) was build the “Willebroeck Fort” as a fortified defence to protect the port and city of Antwerp, which by Royal Order dated 12 January 1907 rechristened the fort “Breendonck Fort”. On september 20th 1940 Sturmbannführer Philip Schmitt brought his first victims to Breendonk. The Fort officially became the Auffanglager Breendonk, a transit camp; a major centre for the Sicherheitspolizei-Sicherheitsdienst (SIPO/SD), the german political police.

Words spread that in Breendonk the kaze-the mats were to be removed from the earth in which they were covered. Three or four men had to push a railway carriage that was loaded with the earth. It was not the best marterial the prisoners had to use. Of these vehicles, the wheels were worn out, having to be pushed on worn-out rails, so that a person would have more than it is possible. Was it a rumour or was it true that the SS guards, with their weapons beated on the upper arms, the backs of the heads of the unfortunate ones until the latter were exhausted, but also fell dead?

Former working site at the camp of Breendonk. The regime set up here by the Nazis hardly differed from that of an official concentration camp. The undernourishment and the forced labour wore down the body and mind. The ever-present physical cruelty sometimes caused the death of prisoners. Initially, the camp was only guarded by a few German SS and a detachment of the Wehrmacht. In September 1941, the Wachtgruppe of the SD arrived as back up. This time, these were no longer German SS but mainly Flemings.

Some of the prisoners were to be buried up to the neck, after they were first on a ferocious manner, beaten. The S, S. jailers were there, then settled for the pitiful earth at the face of them. The game lasted sometimes for 1 or 2 hours, and when the victims were about to die, they did not stop to punch and to death. During the singing of the song of Breendonk, the text of which these words were placed on the grave:

” Wir werden nie mehr Breendonk vergessen, das Paradies-tier Juden…’.”

Sturmbannführer (majoor) Schmitt had created and placed a pulley on the ceiling in a folterbunker (torture bunker or blockhouse) of the camp, to make, that the victim’s hands at the back tied up would be drawn to the ceiling.

After that, it was a pizzle of the shot, he was then beaten with a bullepees (bullenpees: baton between a whip and a stick made from dried penis of a bull). When the hoist was released, the unfortunate person fell on two angular boards. Kachelpoken or stove pokers were glowed for immediate use,… because the Jews were not worth the bullet. They had to be sent to death during work and by torture.

When the words rang true for most of the Jews still living in the region, it was too late to find a safe place for their children and for themselves.

After the camps in Belgium or Holland as “Musselmen” (completely emaciated) thousands were deported to Germany to find an end to their unbearable suffering, either of starvation, giving up, or in the gas chambers.

The remaining Jews in Belgium were unable to follow the course of events that their fellow believers underwent elsewhere. Their own concerns were too overwhelming for this and contact with neighbouring countries was too incomplete. The seeping job tidings were considered exaggerated …

Commissioned by the notorious member of Heinrich Himmler’s SS, the Nazi paramilitary corps, Adolf Eichmann, the Sicherheits polizei in Berlin, wrote the following urgent letter, in which the word “Secret” is not missing (22 June 1942):

“From mid-July and early August this year, special trains of 1,000 people each day are planned, first of all about 40,000 Jews from the occupied French territory,
Send 40,000 Jews from the Netherlands and 10,000 Jews from Belgium to employment in the Auschwitz camp.
“The circle of persons to be included extends primarily to Jews who are skilled in work, insofar as they do not live in mixed marriages and do not have the nationality of the British Empire, of the U.S.A., of Mexico, from the enemy states, from Central and South America, as well as from the neutral and related states.

“I may request willing access and assume that there are no objections to these measures on the part of the foreign office either.
Commissioned get. Eichman “

On 12 July 1942 the last restriction on freedom before the local raids started was put visible on billboards. From the onward Jews were no longer allowed to visit cinemas, theatres, sports grounds or public institutions. In the trams they were only allowed to stand on the front platform of the trailer.

Such regulations still did not unbalance many of the Jewish diluted community. According to many the German measures only wanted to deprive the Jews of public pleasures … (Few will then have immediately known that the first nocturnal masses in Paris on Friday July 17, 1942 raffle had taken place.)

Wimpel Organisation Todt.svg

Pennant for Organisation Todt

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2007-0074, IG-Farbenwerke Auschwitz.jpg

Woman with Ostarbeiter OT badge at Auschwitz

The second Jewish labour team was also confidently leaving the civil and military engineering organisation “Organization Todt” to Charleville-Mèzières (18 July), until on July 22 the second deception beared its bitter fruit.(It was the day that the memorial of the destruction of the Temple took place in Jerusalem in the evening – Tischa be’af – -). Jews were arrested without any excuse! When that day the trains from Brussels and Antwerp stopped at Mechelen as usual, Feldgendarmen were on the platform. All the Jews, both men and women, were taken out. The same happened at the Antwerp and Brussels North terminus stations. (The Brussels-North-South connection did not yet exist.) Their freedom had ended. Some went to Breendonk. Most were sent to the 18th century Dossin barracks, where between 1942 and 1944, 25,484 Jews, 352 Roma and Sinti were deported. Just over 5% returned from Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Kazerne Dossin, Goswin de Stassartstraat 153, B. 2800 Mechelen, where in the old barracks, visitors will find a memorial, which commemorates countless people who stayed there in despair and fear and who died later in unspeakable circumstances.

From the onward the Jews throughout Belgium were being seized by panic. Being an ode alone was therefore sufficient here to be arrested … The Jewish Council was powerless … followed by a reaction of partial sobering among the Jewish population. They forged new flight plans that were kept secret even from close acquaintances.
The panic mood was tempered after a few days. When  people received mail from the internees in Mechelen it all looked not as bad as the rumours went around.

They are not nearly as bad there … Fruits are missing … They may receive packages …

Faces from those who lost their life after being brought to the Dosin Kazerne in Mechelen

These days we remember all those who lost their life in a struggle to survive in a hatefull world.

Let us not forget how politicians can use disinformation and propaganda to mislead many and to create unwanted scapegoats.
We also may not let ourselves be fooled this time that it would not be as bad today with what was happening in the 1930ies. There are people who say

That can never repeat again

but after the Great War all people agreed also that such a horror should never take place again. Only a few years later the world found itself again in such time or terror.

This time let us be more careful, notice the signs of people bringing others on the wrong path, and react wisely to those who want us to believe we are ridiculous seeing ghosts or bad things in what are just jokes or carnavalesc activities.

 

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Preceding

Remembrance and freedom in the Netherlands – Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag

Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België

The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium

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Additional reading

  1. The Great War changed everything
  2. Reformed Churches Muzzled but Protest at Barmen
  3. 2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe
  4. Signs of the times – “An object of scorn and ridicule”

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Historians why not having your say?

A big problem with our present society is that lots of people do not know their history. Because they have no idea what went on, right or wrong in the past, they do not see certain dangerous trends.

I find historical teaching a necessary subject in the education of people and in the formation of a society.

People also have to understand that different views on a specific subject should be tolerated, but also be known. Therefore, I would love to find some people who would not mind to write on “From Guestwriters” about what happened in the past and how we have to look to the future in perspective what history can teach us.

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