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Remembering Auschwitz – Part one

January 26th, 2010
12:27 PM ET
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. karlo

    the horror of nazy germany is something i will never be able to understand.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  2. Erin

    I remember my father, Austin Uiska, telling me stories of being liberated from a Germany war camp when he was 8 years old. He and his twin brother had been interned in a camp where children were used by Nazi officers as deterrants against bombings by the Allies. Upon being freed, a generous American soldier leaned down from his tank and gave my father a banana. After having subsisted on sawdust bread and apples my father wasn't able to eat such rich food, and vomitted. He never forgot that kind gesture however.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  3. Angelika Bertrand

    The world needs to know of the horror that the Holocaust has caused us. I am German-American. I have studied about the Holocaust for many, many years. I do not understand, why the older generations of my German people, were so indulged with the uprising of the Nazi regime and Adolf Hitler. The younger generations, us, are trying to ask the questions Why did this happen? Why did the allies not intervene sooner. Every one knew what was going on. Did they not? How will the Jewish nation, ever forgive my country, for what they have done? I listened to a Holocaust Survivor. I walked up to him afterwards. I chatted with him in German. I asked him the same question :"Will you forgive me , for what my country has done to you. " He looked in my eyes, and hugged me and said :"Young lady, no one should take this huge burden up on themselves. I had tears in my eyes. " I hope this will never , ever happen again. My grandfather, who is now passed away, was put by the Nazis in a Russian prison camp, cause he did not want to serve in the Nazi party. For that he suffered 8 harsh years, until when they transported him to the French prison camp in Marseille, he was liberated by the American military. I hope our Jewish brothers and sisters can forgive us. Shalom Shalachem.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  4. Larry Schwarz

    My family was lucky,my father left in a kindertransport and my grandparents got out to.But now I hear The American Nazi party is involved in the adopt a highway program,where they are cleaning up a highway in a Denver suburb and their signs are posted.Im not sure if they got a court order or if The City of Denver just agreed saying its their first amendment right.I do not live in Colorado but Im sure Denvers jewish community has expressed their outrage to city officals
    The signs are offensive to the memory of my father,my grandparents,thesix million,and the survivors still alive today.
    The first amendment right should not extend to hate groups putting up and signs that offend people.The fact that the signs were posted by the nazi party is offensive to me.Is this the mentality of Denver officials..

    January 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  5. naiade

    I visited the Holocaust museum in Washington and cried for three days, remained upset for three months. I visited Yad Vashem in Israel, had uncontrollable crying periods for a week and remained upset for the rest of the year. I feel it as my duty to – at least once – try and visit Auschwitz....I just don´t have the courage.....

    People just don´t seem to learn; when I insist on the importance of "thinking for yourself" instead of simply "following or believing", as well as the importance of acting according to what you think is right, people laugh at me and wonder why I care about something so "trivial"....

    I get more and more depressed every day by the way people behave and honestly think that it is just a matter of time before we have another similar catastrophy at hand...most certainly in a different form, for man is very inventive when it comes to finding ways for being evil, but there will be definitely one coming....and afterwards the world wil wonder again how this could have happened....sad...extremely sad...

    January 27, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  6. Federico Pollicina

    I visited Auschwitz in 2005 and I am italian I felt shame how humanity treats another human being .
    The jewish in Italy were not prosecuted until the fall of the govern and the mostly coward King of Italy ran away and left a complete caos , the the geman took over and aprox 8 to 9 thousand were reported .
    In 2006 I was in Torino that was heavely bombed by the allies , I was at that time maybe 3 years old .
    I visited a underground museum and there were recording from peoples usiong the underground , and I was please that the bombings of Torino brought the gentiles and jewish closely together .
    I hope I will never meet a person who denies the Holocaust , never again never again

    January 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  7. MommaM

    My father landed on D-Day as part of the American Army. Growing up he always told us to remember what happened – to never let anyone deny there was a Holocaust. He saw the dead and also the survivors. He hoped that by remembering the past it would not happen again in the future. Let us pray it does not.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  8. Remember them all

    Oliver J. Hart once said – "Give us the fortitude to endure the things which cannot be changed, and the courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to know one from the other."
    May the world say a prayer for all those that died during the Holacost but remember them forever in your hearts and minds so that it may never happen again.
    A prayer for all of those who perished in both Hebrew and English.

    A Holacost Prayer:

    God full of mercy who dwells on high
    Protector of widows and father for the fatherless
    Please be not silent and show no restraint
    on behalf of the Jewish blood that has been spilled like water.
    But grant perfect rest on the wings of Your Divine Presence
    In the lofty abode of the holy, pure and valiant
    who shine as the brightness of the heavens
    to the souls of our brothers and sisters
    Six million Jewish
    men, women and children
    Who were put to death, slaughtered, burned,
    starved, buried alive
    Or who suffered other forms of unnatural death
    at the hands of the accursed Nazis
    and their associates – may their name be wiped out!
    In Auschwitz, Treblinka, Maydanek, Malthausen
    and in other death camps in Europe
    And who gave up their lives in order to Sanctify God's name.
    Because we are at one with their memory
    and we pray for the elevation of their souls
    Their resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden.
    Therefore, shall the Master of mercy care for them
    under the protection of His wings for all time
    And bind their souls in the bond of everlasting life.
    O Earth! Do not conceal their blood
    and let there not be a resting place for their cry
    In their merit shall the remnant of Israel
    return to its rightful place
    And as for the holy ones, their righteousness
    shall be in front of the Lord as an everlasting memory
    They will come in peace and will rest in peace
    They will meet their rightful destiny at the end of days
    and let us say Amen.

    Another prayer – in Hebrew.

    English Translation:
    Exalted, compassionate God, grant perfect peace in Your sheltering Presence, among the holy and the pure, to the souls of all our beloved who have gone to their eternal home. May their memory endure as inspiration for deeds of charity and goodness in our lives. May their souls thus be bound up in the bond of life. May they rest in peace. And let us say: Amen.

    Holocaust Kaddish recited by Manny Saks and Robert Vegh
    We rise: Yitgadal
    Auschwitz
    v'yitkadash
    Lodz
    sh'mei raba
    Ponar
    b'alma di v'ra khir'atei
    Babi Yar
    v'yamlikh malkhutei
    Maidenek
    b'chayekhon uv'yameikhon
    Birkenau
    uv'chayei d'khol beit yisrael
    Kovna
    ba-agal uviz'man kariv
    Janowska
    v'imru amen.

    Y'hei sh'lama raba min sh'maya v'chayim aleinu v'al kol yisrael v'imru amen. Oseh shalom bimromav ya'aseh shalom aleinu v'kol yisrael v'imru amen.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  9. garry white

    There was an experiment in 1963 here in the USA on blind obedience to authority by Milgram. He was a social psychologist. The results of his research shows that what happened in Auschwitz could happen here in the USA. Go to this web site to learn more:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    There is an old saying.....learn from history or you will live the horrors of the past.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  10. paul from canada

    in march ,1986 i had cut a newspaper article out of a popular newspaper that said , " last month adolf hitler died i la paz bolivia, i think it gave his age which i do not remember, the reporter continued for one million USD he would show you where they buried him, if you did not believe him he would let you dig him up, if you still did not believe him, he would let you talk to his wife, if you still did not believe him he would give you your money back, there has been many theory,s on what happened to adolf hitler or where he went, we do know that even though the nurenberg trials convicted second line authority,s the real hard core ones were not at the trials , it is noticeable that the first line nazis criminals crossed from germany into italy, where the vatican supplied them with passports and they were take by submarine through the heavily guarded rock of gibralter enterance to the ocean and on a sixteen hundred mile curved trip to south america, we also know that bolivia is a land locked nation and the germans were given refuge there in exchange for helping the nation of bolivia build a navy, which operated out of a south american country,s port, the nurenberg trials were a miscarrige of justice as the top criminals were let escape and convicted the second line that took orders from the first line ones , which at the trials were in absentee, its a very strange world we live in, we know that the catholic popes were self confined to vatican city when thier right to rule the state as well as the church was taken away from them, and the goverment would rule the country and the pope would rule the church, it was hitler that pressed mussolini to sign a agreement with the church (popes ) to give them thier freedom to travel, to go out and in vatican city at thier will, did the disappearance of the top nazis criminals come about to repay bthier debt? this article is not intended to humiliate or embarrass jews , catholics or any other race or religion, if this is in line with what you have heard or read please write article for us to read, what happened to those jewish people was horrible in the least expression, so many years have passed maybe we will start getting some truth out of the other side of the story, regards

    January 28, 2010 at 12:08 am | Reply
  11. Angelika Bertrand

    Hitlers remains are unknown where they are. So to above Paul from Canada , do not believe such schames. Hitler killed him self before the Berlin headquarters, when the allies arrived. He himself killed him self and so his girl friend Eva. The others that where with him, killed them selfs too. There was a family that was closely associated with Hitler, they had six children of various ages. The mother decided, that she would rather kill her six children, then render them to the allies. So sad. Cause those children were innocent. Just for your information.

    January 28, 2010 at 1:49 am | Reply
  12. Angelika Bertrand

    And to add for more information. If I correctly remember reading, it also stated, that Hitler himself authorized those closest to him, that his remains were to be set on fire and burned. So nothing of him and his girl friend could be regonized. Studied European History and avid reader on the subject of Holocaust.

    January 28, 2010 at 1:51 am | Reply
  13. Mateusz Michalec

    I was born in Poland, Szczecin. but left to canada as a boy.
    I recently know what Death feels and smells like.
    My grandparents would always tell me stories show pictures, video. and so on.
    But i went back to Poland in 2006 and went to Auschwitz.
    I will not go again, ONCE is enough. but it was a really hard day to get through. Rooms full of Hair, Toothbrush's, Shoes, anything you can think of, their was a ROOM full of it.
    The cold feeling down your spine when you see a picture and than realize that you are standing in the very place that picture was taken.
    but it is Def something everyone should go see, i believe.

    January 28, 2010 at 2:29 am | Reply
  14. Tarah Stewart

    May we never forget!

    January 28, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  15. catrina velez

    The horrors of Auschwitz, Birkenau and other Nazi death camps must NEVER be forgotten. But spending hundreds of millions of dollars to preserve ALL the buildings on the 450 acre site seems to be a poor choice. I hope that a complex of iconic buildings and gas chambers will be preserved, as a Holocaust Memorial-Museum, and the rest left to crumble as a fitting monumnet for the ideologies that produced this horror. Let's raise money to help modern Israel. If most of Auschwitz goes back to Nature, there will be flowers, trees, deer and migrating birds. The souls of the victims, the survivors and their descendants will see that the place is being healed.

    January 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  16. Ed

    What about the fact that a Jewish chemist named Fritz Haber led the production of poison gas use in Armenian Christian genocide during WWI? Haber, a Jew, led the imperial German military development of poisons, directly participating in genocide for the sake of German ally Turkey at the time.
    Communists Friedrich Engels and German-Jewish-heritage Karl Marx (despite his adult avowal to atheism) also called for a political holocaust/genocide against such peoples as the Bretons, Scottish Highlanders, Serbs, and more, whom they referred to as "Voelkerabfaelle," translated as "nation people trash." You can read this in their 1849 "Neue Rheinische Zeitung" newspaper, which Karl Marx edited.
    I am NOT condoning these ideas whatsoever, but to add some balance of facts to the ideas these people of Jewish heritage added to building the Nazi Holocaust. It is a historical failure to ignore these facts upon which the Nazis and Soviet communists based their ideas and practices on mass killings.

    January 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  17. Angelika Bertrand

    Let's put it this way. The genocites was another aspect to the Holocaust. remember Hitler was just plain old nuts in his head. I do not know where his racial ideaology came from, nor do I care. But in his eyes, every body was an enemy to his thoughts. Nevertheless, Gippsies were killed, handicapped people were killed. Catholics were killed, even Protestants. Nobody was immune to his perverse killing ideas.

    January 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  18. Fred

    After countless discussions of whether it was right or not, my wife and I took our (then) 9 year old daughter to Auschwitz and surrounding camps.

    As a history buff I had always read and tried to keep informed on the subject. Prior to travelling, as a family, we watched a few mild documentaries in preparation for the trip.

    Walking though the camp, I tried to explain things as best as I can to my daughter while continually (internally) monitoring her reaction – ready to pull he out if it became overwhelming. The procession leads you through rooms pile with shoes, then glasses, then suitcases, etc. My daughter absorbed the sites, listened patiently and questioned often. She is mature for her age, yet I was surpised how well she handled everything – until we hit the room and display of human hair. In her mind, I could sense the fact that she make think a person may have numerous pairs of glasses, shoes, suitcases ,etc. However, it immediately hit her that there is a one-to-one match between the bundled hair and a once living, breathing person. The small braided pony tails, possibly from little girls close to her age didn't go unnoticed either. It was not long before we all continued the tour with tears in our eyes and crying like babies. As a final tribute to the day, we watched Schindler's List when we returned to the hotel.

    My daughter now understands how cruel man can be and, hopefully, there will be enough of her and future generations to never repeat this depressing period of humanity. Unfortunatelly, ethnic cleansing continues and will likely continue long into the future.

    My daughter, now age 10, has visited more than 30 countries in the past 5 years. The most memorable was that trip. Although it is not the 'fun' family getaway, and not for everyone, I advise that each of us make a point to visit at least once in our lifetime. We owe it to humanity.

    January 29, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  19. catrina velez

    There is talk of raising $175,000,000 to preserve the infamous buildings at Auschwitz, to commemorate the victims of Naziism who were murdered there, and also to keep the world informed so that such a horror can never occur again. But such horror has already occurred again, with the 1990's genocide in Rwanda, and ongoing right now in Darfur, Sudan. To argue that fewer victims have been killed in these current genocides than the uncountable millions lost in World War II is specious, not even ONE more human being should be lost to any kind of genocide, whether its roots are anti-Semitism, anti-Christianity, or Islamic jihad. I hope that if such a sum of money is raised, that the bulk of it will go to Israel, the constant target of Islamic fanatics. Some iconic Aushwitz buildings should be preserved, with the museum that displays relics of its victims, but the rest should crumble as Nazi ideology has crumbled, and go back to Nature as a place of flowers, trees and migrating birds, never to be built upon again....

    January 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Reply

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