Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Wise1, Dec 15, 2004.
Witness - The World Service - today:
BBC Two. Holocaust Memorial Day, Tonight 7pm.
Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, more than 200 survivors attend a unique commemoration to mark Holocaust Memorial Day
More from BBC News tonight
edited: added more info.
Helen Lewis: Belfast plaque for Holocaust survivor - BBC News
Dance teacher and Holocaust survivor Helen Lewis has been honoured by a blue plaque at a Belfast arts centre.
Mrs Lewis, who died in 2009, aged 93, wrote a book, A Time To Speak, about her experiences in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
After World War Two, she moved to Belfast and became a pioneer of modern dance in Northern Ireland.
The plaque was unveiled on Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday, which remembers the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust under Nazi persecution during World War Two, as well as those killed in other genocides.
The theme this year is how life can go for those left behind after a genocide.
The dual memorial days continue to confuse, I feel.
Not that you can't/shouldn't have a thought any time of the year, but the 27/01 one seems to have spread from the UK to the UN without quite gaining solid international traction yet, and the 'Yom Hashoah' one that falls in April-ish seems to be the most widely noted in the US and Israel.
I like the anniversary of a camps' liberation as a symbol, since it avoids the implication that the great grimness was an exclusively Jewish phenomenon, but the other one appears to be based on a more specifically religious calendar (?) So I can't see that changing.
Any scope for ever unifying the two? Punching the message up a little maybe. Or perhaps more clarity in spreading the fact there are two from journos etc
Never noticed there were two.
Then again I don't pay much attention to Holocaust stuff, too depressing.
Unfortunately, here is Donald's statement in the US.
The White House raised eyebrows on Friday when it issued a statement to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, that did not mention Jews, Judaism or antisemitism.
The statement read:
It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.
Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.
In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.
The Holocaust was the systematic genocide of European Jewry by Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. More than six million Jews were murdered, along with Gypsies, gay people, political dissidents and others that the Nazi regime found undesirable.
On Twitter, Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League wrote that the statement “misses that it was six million Jews who perished, not just ‘innocent people’” and described it as “puzzling and troubling” that there was no explicit mention of Jews.
In past statements and speeches commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Barack Obama explicitly referred to the “unique” nature of the Holocaust and “the scourge of antisemitism” and to the murder of six million Jews.
The oversight by the White House comes as the Trump administration is still adjusting to the transition of power. The night before the statement on the Holocaust was issued, the White House issued a daily schedule that repeatedly misspelled the name of the British prime minister, Theresa May.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment. However, Fred Brown, a spokesman for the Republican Jewish Coalition, said in a statement “it’s outrageous that people are using Holocaust Remembrance Day for partisan reasons or to try and settle scores. The horrors of the Holocaust are not to be taken lightly. Today is about remembering the millions of Jews who suffered at the hands of hate, and the heroes who died fighting it.”
Who Were the Five Million Non-Jewish Holocaust Victims?
Of the 11 million people killed during the Holocaust, six million were Polish citizens. Three million were Polish Jews and another three million were Polish Christians. Most of the remaining victims were from other countries including Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Holland, France and even Germany.
Why Did Hitler Kill 11 Million People?
First we need to examine Hitler’s egocentric and maniac ideology. Hitler, who was Chancellor of Germany during the Holocaust, came to power in 1933 when Germany was experiencing severe economic hardship. Hitler promised the Germans that he would bring them prosperity and that his military actions would restore Germany to a position of power in Europe.
Hitler had a vision of a Master Race of Aryans that would control Europe. He used very powerful propaganda techniques to convince not only the German people, but countless others, that if they eliminated the people who stood in their way and the degenerates and racially inferior, they - the great Germans would prosper.
Neighboring Poland - The First Target: “All Poles will disappear from the world.... It is essential that the great German people should consider it as its major task to destroy all Poles.” Heinrich Himmler
Hitler’s first target was Germany’s closest neighbor to the east, Poland. An agricultural country with little military power. Hitler attacked Poland from three directions on September 1, 1939 and in just over one month, Poland surrendered -- unable to defend itself against the powerful German prowess.
In Poland, Hitler saw an agricultural land in close proximity to Germany, populated by modest but strong and healthy farmers. Hitler quickly took control of Poland by specifically wiping out the Polish leading class -- the Intelligentsia. During the next few years, millions of other Polish citizens were rounded up and either placed in slave labor for German farmers and factories or taken to concentration camps where many were either starved and worked to death or used for scientific experiments.
The Jews in Poland were forced inside ghettos, but the non-Jews were made prisoners inside their own country. No one was allowed out. The Germans took over the ranches, farms and Polish factories. Most healthy citizens were forced into slave labor. Young Polish men were drafted into the German army. Blond haired children were “Germanized” and trained from an early age to be Nazi supporters.
Every European country, even Germany, had those who did not believe in the Nazi ideology and who were willing to die for their beliefs. Perhaps no other group stood so firmly in their beliefs as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Hitler felt particularly threatened by this strong group of Christians because they, from the very beginning, refused to recognize any God other than Jehovah.
When asked to sign documents of loyalty to the Nazi ideology, they refused. Jehovah’s Witnesses were forced to wear purple armbands and thousands were imprisoned as “dangerous” traitors because they refused to take a pledge of loyalty to the Third Reich.
Learn more about the persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses, CLICK HERE.
Like the Jews, the Roma Gypsies were chosen for total annihilation solely because of their race.
Even though Jews are defined by religion, Hitler saw the Jewish people as a race that he believed needed to be completely annihilated. Likewise, the Roma Gypsies were a nomadic people that were persecuted throughout history. Both groups were denied certain privileges in many European countries. The Germans believed both the Jews and the Gypsies were racially inferior and degenerate and therefore worthless.
The Gypsies were also moved into special areas set up by the Nazis and half a million of them - representing almost the entire Eastern European Gypsy population - was wiped out during the Holocaust.
Learn more about the persecution of Gypsies, CLICK HERE.
Every European nation had its courageous resisters. Poland’s Underground army - made up of children, teenagers, men and women - was responsible for defending the lives of thousands of its Jewish and non-Jewish citizens. Many were killed for their acts of courage against the Nazis.
Even though most German citizens were supportive of Hitler’s plan to control Europe, there were German citizens who died because they refused to go along with Hitler’s plan.
Priests and Pastors Died for Their Beliefs
Hitler wanted not only to conquer all of Europe, but Hitler also wanted to create a new religion and to replace Jesus Christ as a person to be worshipped. Hitler expected his followers to worship the Nazi ideology. Since Catholic priests and Christian pastors were often influential leaders in their community, they were sought out by the Nazis very early. Thousands of Catholic priests and Christian pastors were forced into concentration camps. A special barracks was set up at Dachau, the camp near Munich, Germany, for clergymen. A few survived; some were executed, but most were allowed to die slowly of starvation or disease.
Pink Triangles for Homosexuals
Because Hitler’s plan for a great Master Race had no room for any homosexuals, many males from all nations, including Germany, were persecuted, tortured and executed. Hitler even searched his own men and found suspected homosexuals that were sent to concentration camps wearing their SS uniforms and medals. The homosexual inmates were forced to wear pink triangles on their clothes so they could be easily recognized and further humiliated inside the camps. Between 5,000 to 15,000 homosexuals died in concentration camps during the Holocaust.
No Place for the Disabled
The Nazis decided that it was a waste of time and money to support the disabled. During Hitler’s “cleansing program”, thousands of people with various handicaps were deemed useless and simply put to death like dogs and cats.
Sterilization for Black Children
Prior to World War I, there were very few dark-skinned people of African descent in Germany. But, during World War I, black African soldiers were brought in by the French during the Allied occupation. Most of the Germans, who were very race conscious, despised the dark-skinned “invasion”. Some of these black soldiers married white German women that bore children referred to as “Rhineland Bastards” or the “Black Disgrace”. In Mein Kampf, Hitler said he would eliminate all the children born of African-German descent because he considered them an “insult” to the German nation.
“The mulatto children came about through rape or the white mother was a whore,” Hitler wrote. “In both cases, there is not the slightest moral duty regarding these offspring of a foreign race.” The Nazis set up a secret group, Commission Number 3, to organize the sterilization of these “Rhineland Bastards” to keep intact the purity of the Aryan race. In 1937, all local authorities in Germany were to submit a list of all the mulattos. Then, these children were taken from their homes or schools without parental permission and put before the commission. Once a child was decided to be of black descent, the child was taken immediately to a hospital and sterilized. About 400 children were medically sterilized -- many times without their parents’ knowledge.
Death or Divorce - A Choice for Many
Many husbands and wives of Jews in Germany were forced to choose between divorce or concentration camps. Hitler would not allow “interracial” marriages. Those that chose to remain married were punished by imprisonment in camps where many died.
Non-Jewish Victims of the Holocaust
'I survived two concentration camps'
93-year-old Eva Behar was in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.
93-year-old Eva Behar was taken to Auschwitz from her home in Romania in 1944. What can we learn from her experiences?
Saturday 27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day, when people all over the world reflect on the world's genocides. The Holocaust is still the worst genocide in modern history.
Filmed, Produced and Edited by Emily France, Additional Camera: Elise Wicker
Holocaust Memorial Day
She survived the horrors of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, where most of her family were murdered by the Nazis.
But it was on the County Down coast that Rachel Levy began to recover from the Holocaust.
She was among a small number of Jewish orphans brought to live in a farm near Millisle in the immediate aftermath of World War Two.
BBC News NI met her as she returned to the town for the first time in 72 years.
The Jewish refugee settlement farm had been set up in 1939 for young Jewish refugees fleeing Europe on the 'kindertransport.'
Mrs Levy, however, was among a group of 39 teenagers brought there in 1946, after the war ended.
All were concentration camp survivors.
There is a permanent memorial outside the school, marking the town's role in helping holocaust survivors
Now 88, Ms Levy remembered encountering the notorious Nazi doctor Jozef Mengele at Auschwitz.
"He presented himself as a very kind man, but he wasn't," she said.
"He was cruel and he was involved in lots of experiments that are too horrific to talk about.
"He selected who would live and who would die, and those who would die were going to the gas chambers."
Memories of Millisle
During her visit, Mrs Levy visited pupils at Millisle Primary School.
Outside the school is a large, striking sculpture of a gold star - a permanent memorial to the town's role in helping survivors of the Holocaust.
Pupils sang for her and read poetry, while she spoke to them about her life.
She told them that she had been "lucky" to be brought to Millisle.
"We were well looked after," she said.
"Because we had all been in concentration camps we were undernourished and small for our ages, and we needed help.
"There were dormitories that we slept in, and a dining room and a beautiful view of fields.
"We relished the food served to us and there were cooks to serve the food.
"We started to feel that we were alive."
memorial outside Millisle Primary School
Later, Mrs Levy settled in London where she taught, married and had two children.
She said that it was important that the children in Millisle Primary were learning about the Holocaust.
"I find that they are so knowledgeable about things and want to learn," she said.
"One just hopes that it's the beginning of a life that will be different for them, and that we won't have the horrific things that are still happening in this world.
"The future generation is, hopefully, going to be better than my generation.
"The very fact that they are interested, and they will take that away and improve life, is very important."
Mrs Levy's return to Millisle was organised by the Executive Office and Ards and North Down borough council to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
From Gloucester Citizen 26 February 1946, via FindMyPast:
Separate names with a comma.