Tag Archives: Belgium

Paper Flowers~How To

In Belgium there is a long tradition at the coastline to “sell” paper flowers for shells.
Exchanging shells for paper flowers is a beautiful tradition that should not be lost. In schools today, the tradition of making paper flowers is not given much attention, so it is not bad to look at examples from other countries.

Unlike other countries the paper flowers are not for the Día de los Muertos, but for celebrating life. So no Mexican version of Halloween but an explosion of colour and life-affirming joy.

 

Find also to read:

Day of the Dead~ Did You Know?

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Related

  1. History and Future
    Mexican Folk Art
    Day of the Dead (1957)

    All Saints’ And Souls’

  2. Blues of all Shades

    Custom Día de los Muertos leather jacket

Mws R Writings


How to Make Paper Flowers for Day of the Dead

Step-by-step instructions for making paper flowers for Day of the Dead. How to make paper flowers easy, how to make tissue paper flowers, Mexican paper flowers. #tissuepaperflowers #paperflowers #Mexicanpaperflowers #dayofthedead

Day of the Dead is coming up on Sunday and Monday. We set up our alter last weekend and are beginning to decorate it with candles, incense, and pictures of loved ones who have passed. Today I will place a little jar of salt on the alter to represent the earth and to cleanse the spirit. The final piece will be the colorful addition of large paper flowers.

Step-by-step instructions for making paper flowers for Day of the Dead. How to make paper flowers easy, how to make tissue paper flowers, Mexican paper flowers. #tissuepaperflowers #paperflowers #Mexicanpaperflowers #dayofthedead

In Mexico, enormous fresh marigolds in red, orange, and yellow are used to decorate the graves and alters but paper flowers are also popular and are often strung together to make elaborate garlands which are draped overhead and along the edges of the gravestones.

Step-by-step instructions for making paper flowers for Day of the Dead. How to make paper flowers easy, how to make tissue paper flowers, Mexican paper flowers. #tissuepaperflowers #paperflowers #Mexicanpaperflowers #dayofthedead

I amnot, not, not a crafter so believe me when I tell you they are very simple to make. All you need is one package of colorful…

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Europe’s catastrophic flooding was forecast well in advance – what went so wrong?

Almost 200 people dead and many others still missing. Billions of euros’ worth of damage. Communities devastated. Thousands of homes destroyed and their occupants traumatised.

Hannah Cloke  advises the Environment Agency, the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, local and national governments and humanitarian agencies on the forecasting and warning of natural hazards. She is a Council member of the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council, a fellow of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, a fellow of the Centre for Natural Hazards & Disaster Science in Sweden and is also affiliated to Uppsala University in Sweden. Her research is funded by the UKRI Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

I am a flood forecaster who helped to set up the forecasting system that was used to predict the recent floods in Germany and surrounding countries. I saw days in advance that they were coming. I read reports of rainfall and river levels rising. And then I watched with growing horror as the death toll surged.

The European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), which I helped to set up, is part of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service. It provides early information on flooding to national and local authorities across Europe. I work closely with people there in my role as an independent flood scientist at the University of Reading to improve and analyse EFAS data. I don’t work in the team that issues early flood information to authorities, but looking at the data with colleagues, I could see early on just how serious the floods looked.

Forecasts on Friday July 9 and Saturday 10 for the Rhine catchment, covering Germany and Switzerland, had shown a high probability of flooding that would begin on Tuesday July 13. Subsequent forecasts also showed the Meuse in Belgium would be affected. The forecasts in the following days showed that there was little doubt that a major flood was coming.

EFAS sends out bulletins of early information which are designed to be read, understood and acted on by experts. They are not directly available to the public. Public flood warnings come from the national and regional weather, environment and civil protection agencies, and EFAS information needs to be used by these authorities alongside their own forecasts.

The first EFAS bulletin was sent to the relevant national authorities on Saturday July 10. More updates continued over the following days as more precise predictions became available. Formal flood notifications were issued to authorities in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg, as well as the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the European Commission throughout Monday and Tuesday. As the event neared and uncertainty in the forecast shrank, the predicted start of the flooding was pushed to Wednesday for smaller rivers and Thursday for the larger downstream rivers. Around 25 individual warnings were sent out to parts of the Rhine and Meuse.

The German weather service, DWD, had independently forecast extremely high rainfall too and issued warnings for more than 200 mm of rain in the same areas several days ahead of time, saying that flooding was possible. Regional warnings were also issued, for example by the Environment Agency in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the areas hit particularly hard by flooding.

The floods that did happen matched the scale and distribution of those that were forecast several days before. I was very surprised, therefore, that so many people died, given that authorities knew about the event and had sufficient warnings to get people to safety before the floods began.

Where flood warnings fail

Clearly, tragically, the whole system designed to save lives by ensuring people act on warnings before floods arrive, did not work as it should have done. It may be that individual parts of the system worked exactly as they were designed, and it is certainly true that forecasts were accurate, and there were some warnings issued through official channels. In some areas, many authorities did act in time, to evacuate people, erect temporary flood defences, and move vehicles to higher ground. But this clearly did not happen everywhere.

In the middle of an election campaign, some German leaders in national and regional government still seemed to defend the locally-devolved nature of disaster management in Germany, insisting that the warnings were adequate and agencies did their work well. It is like claiming that the maiden voyage of the Titanic was a success because 99% of its engineering worked perfectly throughout. While their arguments may be true on an individual scale, unless those in power admit that the system ultimately failed, they risk failing to learn lessons and put others at risk in the future.

Science, in large part, is about helping people see the invisible. What is the use of a perfect forecast if the people it is supposed to warn cannot see the danger they are in? Effective flood warnings require people to be able to see into the future and imagine their house full of water, to assess the likelihood of that happening, and to see the multiple paths they could take to keep them, their family, and their property safe.


Read more: Report from Europe’s flood zone: researcher calls out early warning system gridlock amid shocking loss of life


I recently took part in an exercise encouraging scientists, from senior professors to school pupils, to trace the path of water in a river through time using just their imagination. Weeks later, we are seeing what happens when people cannot visualise the threat of a river ripping down their street, or a lake appearing in their house. These are the elements of flood warnings that must improve.

As climate change increases risks from heatwaves, fires and floods, we need to not only slash emissions but prepare ourselves for the problems we already have in store. Even with sufficient decarbonisation measures – which we are still yet to see from any major government – there is no avoiding the consequences of a hotter, more turbulent environment.

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Suggested further reading

McEwan, L., Garde-Hansen, J., Holmes, A., Jones, O. & Krause, R. (2016). Sustainable flood memories, lay knowledges and the development of community resilience to future flood risk. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42, 14 – 28. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12149.

Alexander, M., Priest, S. & Penning-Roswell, E. (2017). The risk of ill-informed reform: The future for English flood risk management. Area, 50, 426 – 429. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12393.

Forrest, S., Trell, E. & Woltjer, J. (2018). Civil society contributions to local level flood resilience: Before, during and after the 2015 Boxing Day floods in the Upper Calder Valley. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44, 422 – 436. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12279.

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Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue

Probably we are looking at more than 150 victims of the heavy rain and flooding which took parts of Germany, Belgium and the South of the Netherlands. Authorities said late Thursday that about 1,300 people in Germany were still listed missing, but cautioned that the high figure could be due to duplication of data and difficulties reaching people because of disrupted roads and phone connections.

In Belgium, Pepinster, Theux, Chaudfontaine, Spa, Liège a.o. got enough water to forget draughts for months. Most of the drowned were found around Liege, where the rains hit hardest. Skies were largely overcast in eastern Belgium, with hopes rising that the worst of the calamity was over.

Please find this report about the flash floods this week which followed days of heavy rainfall, sweeping away cars and causing houses to collapse across the region.

“Some parts of Western Europe … received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days. What made it worse is that the soils were already saturated by previous rainfall,”

said Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization.

Those who keep saying Climate chance is an invention of revolutionaries and lefties, should have a better look of how our weather becomes unpredictable.

Extreme weather events are hitting Europe more frequently as climate change warms the continent, experts agree.

2020 was Europe’s hottest year since records began over 300 years ago, according to analysis of global weather stations by Berkeley Earth, and eight of the 10 hottest ever years have been in the past decade.

The continent’s average temperature is now roughly 2C warmer than it was at the start of the 20th century – an increase that has come with a growth in extreme weather.

For example, warmer air holds more water which, in turn, can lead to extreme downpours.

Please find to read and watch another video > Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue by Frank Jordans

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Plastic Free July is coming

In Belgium the government has already done somewhat to avoid plastic waste. Nowhere in shops and supermarkets, plastic bags are presented. Vegetables can be bought by placing them in the basket without a bag, or with paper bags provided by the shop, or in the reusable cotton bags.

Ear buds and a lot of body-care and make-up items are now all made of paper. But for the reusable cups, it is striking that they are not yet sufficiently reused … So there is still a lot of work to be done.

 

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Preceding

Plastic world under control

Helping end plastic waste

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Additional reading

  1. Freshwater, marine and coastal pollution
  2. The European Union – the environmental challenges and your voice
  3. Stepping forward with public commitments for Making different sectors carbon neutral by 2050
  4. Green Deal: new EU rules on limiting importing and exporting plastic waste

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Further related

  1. Plastic Pollution
    Too Much Plastic Waste on the Beaches
  2. How ‘Forever’ Can Be Destructive
  3. Plastics Waste in the Time of CoronaPlastic and Ocean
  4. Global Plastic Waste Contributors
  5. Plastic waste’s poisonous journey through food chain
  6. Ocean Plastic: Women Who Bear the Brunt, Women Who are at the Front
  7. The Future of our Oceans: Are we getting ‘Hung Up’ on the wrong issue?
  8. Formations of different Plastic
  9. Are your clothes feeding the fish?
  10. Just Keep Recycling: How Can We Save Our Oceans From Fashion Pollution?
  11. Reducing Our Plastic Waste Footprint
  12. What Is Plastic Waste & Why It Is The World’s Biggest Problem?
  13. These Four Plastic Items Make Up Almost Half Of All Ocean Trash
  14. Drive to rid world of plastic bags in spotlight
  15. EU bans some single use plastics
  16. Different Plastic Types & Which Types of Plastic can be Recycled?
  17. Microbes in cow stomachs can help break down plastic
  18. New method turns biodegradable plastics into foam to combat pollution
  19. An End to Pennsylvania’s Preemption on Local Single-use Plastic Laws?
  20. 5 Sneaky Plastics To Avoid This Plastic-Free July
  21. A Guide To Plastic Free July
  22. Thousands Sign Petition To Ban Plastic Packaging For All Non-Food Items

Recycle IT

What can you do this July?

Plastic Free July®is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics? Choosing to refuse plastic packaging in July might be an option for you!

Ask you family, friends, sports club or office to commit stop buying or using items packed in single-use plastic. Swap to a reusable alternative. For example, you could swap out takeaway coffee cups for a reusable one, you could start buying plastic-free toothbrushes or use a personal reusable water bottles and so on.

Plastic Free Poster 1

Can you Refuse’ Single Use Plastic?

Each year in July people all over the world aim to exclude plastic bottles, cutlery, fruit packing, coffee cup lids and other common…

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A looming danger for youngsters

It looks like CoViD-19 is going to be here around for many more months and companies are feeling the pressure of more difficult months to come. (Worldwide at the moment 16.341.179 infected, 650.792 deaths)

Some companies already make misuse to re-organise or restructure their business. Several layoffs are in the air.

Shannon Allen, a Second Year Undergraduate student studying Sociology at the University of Portsmouth, gives some advice to her peers at her blog Bloggit. she gives some key tips for gaining experience, especially in digital marketing, and seems herself also on the lookout for groups or media posters, perhaps to find like-minded young women who will literally chat about anything and everything!

She also started volunteering with a local volunteering centre, and with good reason brings this under attention, because many more people should find such a way to use the free time they have now in lockdown. Also, for those who work now from home, a lot of time has come free because they do not have to lose so many hours in traffic for going to work.

For the other free time and for meeting others, at night, she writes

Often, when I see my friends there is alcohol involved, often leading up to a night out. As the clubs have remained shut in England, this has been off the cards so we have had much more trips to the park or the beach, and nights in watching Disney+ and playing on the Nintendo Switch. It is so important to spend quality time with people, especially as after next year we probably won’t see each other very often as we start the next chapter of our lives. {Boost the positive vibes!}

We only hope she does not come together any more with more than 5 people, who would always be the same people from the same circle or bubble. In Belgium and France we have seen too many youngsters gathering in all sorts of venues like nothing is at hand and corona would not exist. Such irresponsible attitude is totally disrespectful to all health care providers.

Instead of clutching or to stick together those youngsters could meet more via social media and use more time to take some extra schooling.

Miss Allen writes

Over lockdown, I have been trying to complete as many online courses as I can. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

which is a very good idea which we would promote very much.

A good place to look for these, if you’re looking at digital marking related ones, is the google digital garage and futurelearn*. I have also started an 3 day internship with ‘Brightside’, in ‘Business, Operations and Marketing’, which was free to join and you also gain a certificate from! It involves networking with business professionals and learning key skills within this business realm. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

LinkedIn Logo 2013.svgFor sure what is going to be very important in the coming months is to make sure there are job securities to look at. As such it is not bad to make yourself already be known on the business and employment-oriented online service LinkedIn and to search for job/ voluntary roles and groups

LinkedIn is a great way to start, it tailors role ads to your cv, depending on your experience and where you live. It is also a great place to find groups to join that post related content. Following tags is the simplest way to start, for example I follow #digitalmarketing which is regularly updated with interesting posts. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

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Ed.note:

File:MOOC poster mathplourde.pngMassive open online course (MOOC) aimes at unlimited participation and open access via the web

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Related

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  2. Getting Through
  3. Every child must believe in himself!
  4. The Right to Education
  5. 18 Reasons to Volunteer Your Time
  6. The Best Idea I’ve Ever Had
  7. Get involved
  8. Virtual Volunteering – 10 ways you can make a difference even while social distancing!
  9. Renew the contract
  10. My Animal Sanctuary Volunteeting Experience
  11. My Experience as a Peace Corps Health Extension Worker – Part 2
  12. Volunteering Makes Our Lives Better!
  13. Listening Across Generations
  14. Has being in lockdown made you think about how to live more simply?
  15. Volunteer to help at Croydon Animal Samaritan’s shop, 136 Cherry Orchard Road @scrumblesuk
  16. NCS Programme 2020
  17. Elaine Brown gives her time to uplift Cobb County children in need
  18. It’s time to rest and I find that hard to do when there is so much to do and people – my people, my peers – are being abandoned by this government.
  19. Work Readiness Opportunities
  20. Creating Community and Togetherness

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Hosting a Virtual Seder During a Pandemic

Dear readers,

Hopefully, you are all in good health.

On April 02 there are 5,552 people registered in Belgium that are infected with the novel coronavirus who are receiving treatment in Belgian hospitals.
That there are only 1,143 deaths of the CoViD-19 virus at the moment is thanks to the exceptional precautions that the government has taken and which a large part of the population adheres to.

The coming week brings us, what in normal circumstances would be the busiest time for gatherings, in our effort to remember how God has liberated us, and to make sure that the younger generation would come aware how we always should remember how God Helps and Guides His People.

14 Nisan is normally the Day of The Memorial Meal.
This year that shall be different from all other years.

In Lockdown times, best not to meet too many people and to keep social distance, nowhere in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal shall there be an open public Memorial Meal or Pesach Seder.

While you might not be able to physically gather around the seder table this Passover, do not forget that you can come together online.

Check out our 10 tips for creating a meaningful and fun seder experience for your family and friends, near and far.

  1. Use the same Haggadah. 

    You could make and can use a Haggadah you could send out by e-mail beforehand and/or screen-share it with your guests, or encourage everyone to print their own copy.

  2. Designate an e-Moses.

    It can be very helpful to pick someone to lead the virtual seder. Make sure this person has experience successfully using Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc..

    He can play Moshe and let us remember how Moshe ditched his desert aesthetic and returned to the Egyptian palace to deliver God’s message, with the help of his brother and hype man, Aaron.

    Telling the exodus story he may not forget to bring forth how Moshe spoke about God commands and how God clapped back at the Egyptians. Children perhaps can have drawings made of the pathway formed between the walls of water and the Israelites who made it to the other side without harm.

  3. Make a “seating and speaking chart.”

    This year there can best not swapped places. Best is to have everybody all night using the same place at the table, and if possible having enough distance between each household member.

    But this year we should also account for the virtual seated next speaker. Figure out ahead of time who is going to read what. Throughout the seder, text the person you’d be sitting next to.  Be careful when all speakers are on there shall be too much echo and everything could become too chaotic. Therefore, let everybody stay muted and follow an order of speaking plus having put up an arm or (funny) sign requesting to speak.

  4. Maintain that there are no excuses for why people can’t attend.A danger of such critical times as these, is that people come a bit lazy or like to avoid their religious obligations.
    Unless, you know, they don’t have internet and/or a device to connect to it. Anyone can be part of your Passover experience.
  5. Have a practice run.The organiser best has several contacts beforehand with those who would take care of the surprises.Also, send instructions for accessing your virtual platform of choice ahead of time so nobody holds up the seder by not knowing their Wi-Fi or other password.For those who do not have their computer enough secured and therefore had best their camera taped, they have to be encouraged to take the stickers or tape off their cameras.
  6. Eat and drink with measure spread over the long time of gatheringAs usual at a seder have the different courses interrupted by animated talks, readings from Scripture and prayers.
  7. Work with what you have.

    With all the panic shopping, it can be intimidating to venture out to get everything you need. That’s OK. Get what you can and improvise the rest.
    Our people have survived greater quandaries with a little ingenuity and determination.If you can’t get matzah, cut some cardboard into squares or large circles (you can even put dots on them with a marker for texture, but do not consume—this is purely decorative). Swap out sriracha for horseradish. Use literally anything green. Squish trail mix into a charoset-like paste.Use a regular plate as a stand-in for a seder plate. It’s the thought that counts.
  8. Bring a little Purim to Passover.

    Never forget to make the long evening pleasant enough or entertaining enough to the children. Remember this night should be a night of remembering and giving it further to the next generation.Nobody would be against making some good fun and nobody would object to have people being dressed up as Moses, Aaron, Miriam, etc.Got kids? Great, they can be the frogs. Or the lice. It depends how stressed they’re making you.
    Got teens? Do the whole seder using Snapchat filters, then do a TikTok dance break in the middle of the seder for added social media cred. But only if, like, you know the choreo.
  9. A night different from all other nightsAlso do not forget that 14 Nisan is ‘super special’.Laugh a little hysterically and cry only a tad when you get to the Four Questions and someone has to ask, “Why is this night different from all other nights?”
  10. A Liberation to celebrate

    Do your best, have fun and remember that though we are in isolation to protect ourselves, friends, families and fellow human beings everywhere, we are still free to be Jewish or Jeshuaist and celebrate our heritage and salvation by the Highest and Strongest!

Let us not forget to show our love to God by remembering what He has done and still does, and let us show our love to others by taking enough precautions to keep everybody safe and in good health. Even when we might be very isolated in our own cosy home, let us feel the union with brothers and sisters all over the world, and let our prayers be with them all.

Please pray:

I will seek to make this world a better place, for all people, today and tomorrow. To this, in their memory, I pledge myself. Ani ma’amin. Am Yisrael chai.

A Jewish community eating the symbolic Passover food during the Seder evening, the evening before the Passover festival (picture-alliance / dpa / Robert Fishman)

As you come to the end of the seder, remember that this uncertainty, while it already feels like 40 years of wandering in the desert, is temporary. The Israelites made it eventually. So will we.

Next year, in person!

For 2020:

Keep safe and well, having a lovely Passover seder.

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Preceding

CoViD-19 warnings

Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~

Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~

Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

Mel Brooks saying “go home” to Max Brooks

Christian Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown

Love in the Time of Corona

Recrafting our World

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Reminders

  1. The unseen enemy
  2. Under-reporting the total number of coronavirus cases
  3. Coronavirus on March 11 declared a global pandemic on March 31 affecting more than 177 countries
  4. No idea yet for 14 Nisan or April the 8th in 2020 Corona crisis time
  5. Only a few days left before 14 Nisan
  6. First time since Nazi time no public gathering
  7. Voor het eerst in jaren weer een Pesach in isolatie
  8. Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
  9. A meal as a mitzvah so that every generation would remember
  10. A night different from all other nights and days to remember
  11. Let’s Think About Redemption Differently
  12. At the Shabbat HaChodesh: readings about blood, liberation and purification
  13. Zeman Chereisenu – the time of our freedom
  14. Ki Tisa – Torah Portion
  15. Egypt, Moshe and Those who never felt they belonged there
  16. In Every Generation: The Return of Anti-Semitism – Pesah Day 1, 5779
  17. The Most special weekend of the year 2018
  18. Call to help others
  19. How should we worship God? #7 The Breaking of Bread
  20. How should we worship God? #8 Love one another

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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.

+

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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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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Just a thought for this month of Changing colours in Western Europe

The North and West of Belgium may look like a country full of bricks, full of houses with here and there some green trying to stay straight and alive. Where there can be found trees and fields the landscape is changing to red, yellow and golden colours. In the little gardens we may have mushrooms are the living proof we are in fall.

From the Schmidlin Family Farm we hear that at their place, in the Pacific Coast Range of Northern Oregon,

Fall seemed to only last a week this year in the Pacific Northwest.

the vibrant hues of the trees as the leaves turned from greens to wild splashes of color was only in full display a short while.

Trees with leaves ready to fallStorms that came in from the ocean sent wind and rain driving sideways at times. They lashed at the vegetation and ripped the tender stems of the leaves right off the trees that are drifting into slumber in preparation for the cold ahead. {From Vivid To Bare}

For the moment in Belgium we did not receive our portion of Autumn storms, but the temperature indicators do not seem to know where to go, one day cold the other day warm (? 17° C) for the time of year.

This year in Flemish Brabant the trees started already becoming brown in July (because of the water shortage for two years already), though in the South of France in September we could find lovely green colours and later in October them starting to give way to red, yellow and gold. They want to show the world they are strong and not yet willing to give away the crown they may be in the sky. Whilst mother earth cries unto them they sing their song in the wind, calling for memories and tricking us into lovely walks in nature.

At some places in Europe the birches are master of the surroundings. At the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve it won’t be long until they lose their leaves, so the  park strongly advise to get out there now – or we’ll miss the best autumn colours!

Loch Kinord has been looking especially pretty with the yellow birches. There’s just something about reflections on water that makes things extra-beautiful. {Golden Autumn Days – Muir of Dinnet NNR}

How long did we looked forward to sunny and warm days, and how quickly they are gone. Though at for some years, at certain times in Belgium it looked like we only had two seasons, a wet one and a wetter (and colder) season. With global warming we are treated with more extremes, hotter days but also more heavy winds and rainstorms. Some parts in West Europe receive in a few hours the amount of water which would normally fall there in three months. Without any concession, the water takes everything it can grab and drags it along into the depths or miles further to throw it on one large scrap heap. Cleaning up is all what rests for those who could survive the sudden torrent.

Is it not water then there are the flames which love to lick the earth and get tourists flee their resorts of rest. That way the flames get those fleeing people thinking about the drought and how they too are responsible for what is going on with nature which seems to have lost its wheel.

Is it the slow speed by which this year wants to announce the coming Winter, that I may be feeling a little bit down? Or is it my awareness that mankind has not treated his surroundings very well? Is it me feeling like man has lost his connection with mother earth or not willing to take care of it any more?

Though Fall brings us such magnificent colours and when we look at the many blogs and at Instagram, we are treated with an incredible world of magic. But that magical colourful world is something which seems to be far away from the industrialised economical world of West Europe. Most people not receiving enough time to go to the parks and to enjoy the changing nature.

The trees call out and reach to the people down there. But they do not seem to hear or seem not wanting to see. Even when youngsters already for months call those in charge of governments to become aware that we should turn our way of life and have to make serious measure to protect our earth.

Let those voices on the streets in the big cities know that their honest cry is heard, by those who can live in that beautiful nature, which seems to be  strangled by industry and by profit-seeking investors. The trees may be leaning in close to encourage another and want to give the people who live around them the lovely sweets of a year of pride standing high above the earth and streaming water. Now

it’s as though
Heaven itself conjoins with Earth. {Encouragement}

Is it not that the youngsters of today could also need some encouragement? Or should they become the driving force to get those older people coming to change their attitude of life? Perhaps the roles have to be switched and in this age it have to be the younger ones to bring the older ones to the senses?

It is just my (feeling down) thought for today.

 

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Find some Autumn reflections and lovely pictures at

  1. Encouragement
  2. Golden Autumn Days – Muir of Dinnet NNR
  3. virginia hikes: Mount Pleasant loop, October 24 2019
  4. Fahnestock Flora
  5. Spectacular Color along the Parkway

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Additional reading

  1. Temperatures rising
  2. Air-conditioning treath and HFCs extremely powerful heat-trappers
  3. Global watershortages and Worsening food security conditions
  4. June – July 2019
  5. Stepping forward with public commitments for Making different sectors carbon neutral by 2050
  6. Reducing effects of environmental disasters
  7. After the Summer-holiday thinking even more about God’s creation

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Related

  1. It’s getting hot in here!
  2. Global Warming
  3. Time to Care Before More Islands Disappear
  4. Global warming is no joke
  5. A Forecast for a Warming World: Learn to Live With Fire
  6. Industrial Carbon Storage/Removal
  7. The terrifying truth about Global warming
  8. What a Melting Arctic Circle Means for Us
  9. Concerns for the future of the Arctic
  10. New assessment related to Arctic Climate Argument
  11. Clear evidence the Pentagon has no idea how the global climate system functions
  12. Global Warming
  13. Arctic impact has showed our world is in danger
  14. Marianne Williamson: We Need ‘World War II Level Mass Mobilization’ to Fight Climate Change
  15. Tirol: Will Austria stand up for its environment and against Climate Change by refusing the Oetztal & Pitztal ski area merger?
  16. Caring for the Earth

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Ecological affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Welfare matters, World affairs