We are about to receive the Torah (the essence of G-d’s message to us), on the Holiday Shavuot this week. I wanted to share a little piece of my own recent Journey, heading towards the Mountain to receive the Word of G-d… Human beings are infinite. Our fears and disappointments may allow us to hide from our own powerful energy, but truly, we are infinite. Sadly, many of the trappings of this world, including the Words we depend on for our deepest communication are finite and limited. To say that your child is “extraordinary” or that a sunset is “beautiful” doesn’t even begin to describe the depths of that which we witness, or to express the breadth of our emotionality. (more…)
This 15 minute video tells the story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising through the voices of the survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Two Canadian fighters – Anna Heilman (of Ottawa) & Baruch Spiegel (of Montreal)- appear in the film. Both took part in the heroic uprising and their testimony in the film is quite eloquent.
Survivors and U.S. troops at the entrance to the Dachau concentration camp. Picture from National Archives, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives.
Auschwitz might be the most famous camp in the Nazi system of terror, but it was not the first. The first concentration camp was Dachau, established on March 20, 1933 in the southern German town of the same name (10 miles northwest of Munich). Although it was initially established to hold political prisoners of the Third Reich, only a minority of whom were Jews, Dachau soon grew to hold a large and diverse population of people targeted by the Nazis. Under the oversight of Nazi Theodor Eicke, Dachau became a model concentration camp, a place where SS guards and other camp officials went to train. (more…)
Dr. Samuel Kassow is an American historian of the history of Ashkenazi Jewry. Dr. Kassow was the Charles Northam Professor at Trinity College for many years. He is a consultant to the Museum of History of Polish Jews which is on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto.
He is the author of Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive From the Warsaw Ghetto and Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive. On October 12, 2011. Dr Kassow delivered two lectures to March of the Living staff, focussed on the themes of Child Survivors and Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust.
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yad Vashem’s Dr. Robert Rozett reminds us that Hitler exploited democracy to come to power. Elections alone do not mean a society protects the civil liberties of the individual, their dignity or even their right to life; but those values must be ingrained in society to prevent future crimes against humanity.
A man stands next to flowers on slabs of the Holocaust Memorial to commemorate the victims of the Nazi regime at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Berlin, Jan. 27, 2013.Photo by AP
Eighty years ago, at a time of entrenched and worsening crisis, Adolf Hitler came to power advocating the politics of hatred, violence and fear. In the early 1930s Germany was still in the long drawn-out throes of its devastating defeat in the First World War. This was exacerbated by the deteriorating economic woes that struck Germany as hard as any of the nations of the globe. Despite this ongoing and deepening crisis, Hitler did not seize power through a putsch, as many believe, but was named chancellor by the ruling elite following freely held elections. (more…)
January 27, 2013 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day Marking the 68th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz
On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, discovering the largest Nazi killing center in Europe. Auschwitz has become a symbol of the Holocaust, representing the depths of man’s inhumanity to man. Eighteen governments have legislated January 27 as an annual Holocaust Memorial Day. In November 2005, the United Nations passed a resolution to mark January 27 as an international day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust, and urged member states to develop educational programs to impart the memory of this tragedy to future generations. Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies will be organized on the international, national, regional and local levels, including in universities and schools.
Times of Israel, November 16, 2012, By Matt Lebovic
In a new documentary, the descendants of Nazi Germany’s inner circle grapple with atrocities orchestrated by their own close relatives
Bettina Goring spent a lifetime coming to terms with a horrific family legacy. As the grand-niece of Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man, Goring sometimes heard of atrocities committed by her late uncle Hermann, Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe chief and key proponent of genocidal policies.
Though Bettina was born years after her notorious uncle’s 1946 suicide, she feels a strong sense of guilt for his sins and those of other Nazi family members. Until 2004, she never spoke about being related to the portly, morphine-addicted Reich Marshal, a topic considered taboo in her family. (more…)
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, built on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, will honor and celebrate 1000 years of Jewish life and culture in Poland. This film documents the Museum’s development from its groundbreaking in 2007 and includes footage of volunteers building the replica of the 17th-century Gwoździec Synagogue, a keystone of the Core Exhibition. The film is a succinct and engaging portrait of an enormous work in progress, including breathtaking helicam views of the building exterior. In the film, Dr Elie Wiesel explains why the Museum, opening in 2013, is so important: “The Museum is a geographical place of memory, and you cannot be in the place of the Ghetto Uprising and not feel something very deep. There were 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland; 1,000 years of activity, of extraordinary aspirations and endeavors and dreams and metamorphoses; 1,000 years, which must be studied and communicated and shared.” (Published September 7, 2012)
Many pivotal works about the Holocaust remain inaccessible to Hebrew readers, particularly those that don’t fit the Israeli national narrative. As a result, Israelis miss out on an important internal debate
The Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Photo by AP
The publication of the Hebrew translation of Raul Hilberg’s work, “The Destruction of the European Jews,” is good news. Widely considered a foundational text of the history of the Holocaust, and believed by many to be one of the most important works in the entire field, it appeared in English 1961 but took nearly 50 years for a Hebrew translation. In the 1960s, Yad Vashem rejected the very book it is now publishing. It was not the only publisher to do so. (more…)