Click here to watch: Netanyahu Vows ‘No Second Holocaust’
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu compared the existential danger posed by Iran to Israel with the Nazi war machine, and vowed that a Holocaust will not take place again. He ended his speech with a quote from the Book of Numbers, Chapter 23: “The people will arise like a lion cub and raise itself like a lion; it will not lie down until it consumes prey, and drinks the blood of the slain.”
Click here to watch: Archaeologists Find Treblinka Gas Chambers
The first-ever archaeological excavations at the Nazi death camp Treblinka in Poland have revealed new mass graves, as well as the first physical evidence that this camp held gas chambers. The camp had been bulldozed in 1943. To cover their tracks, the Nazis went so far as to plant crops and build a farmhouse on the leveled ground. Presented in a new documentary, “Treblinka: Hitler’s Killing Machine,” which aired Saturday on the Smithsonian Channel, the excavations revealed brick walls and foundations from the gas chambers, as well as mass graves and massive amounts of human bone, some of which was close to the ground’s surface or exposed to the elements. Historians estimate that about 900,000 Jews were murdered at the camp over just 16 months.
The Nazis began deporting Jews to Treblinka in July 1942, mostly from the ghettos of Warsaw and Radom. There were two camps: Treblinka I was a forced-labor camp where prisoners were made to manufacture gravel for the Nazi war effort. A little more than a mile (2 kilometers) away was Treblinka II, the death camp, where Jews were sent on trains. The victims were told that they were going to a transit camp before being sent on to a new life in eastern Europe. The deception was elaborate: Nazis erected a fake train station in the remote spot, complete with false ticket-counter and clock. “There was an orchestra set up near the reception area of the camp to play,” archaeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls told Live Science. “It was run by a famous composer at the time, Artur Gold.” The gas chamber was the subject of the teams’ second dig. The excavations revealed a brick wall and foundation. There were two sets of gas chambers built at Treblinka, the first with a capacity of about 600 people, the second able to hold about 5,000. The gas chambers were the only brick buildings in the camp, Colls said. The digs also revealed orange tiles that matched eyewitness descriptions of the floor of the gas chambers. Each tile was stamped with a Star of David, apparently in order to fool the victims into believing that the building was “a Jewish-style bathhouse.”
The Jewish deportees were split into two groups, one of men and the other of women and children, and ordered to undress for “delousing.” After handing over their valuables and documents, the victims were sent to the gas chambers, which were pumped full of exhaust fumes from tank engines. “Within about 20 minutes, some 5,000 people inside would be killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. Corpses were initially buried in mass graves, but later in 1942 and 1943, Jewish slave laborers were forced to reopen the graves and cremate the bodies on enormous pyres,” adds Live Science. After the war, Treblinka was turned into a memorial. Out of respect for the victims, no excavation was allowed there, until Colls and her colleagues won approval from Polish authorities as well as Jewish religious leaders to conduct a limited dig.
Source: Arutz Sheva
Although God has our back, in the dangerous neighborhood we live in, technology like this really comes in handy.
Werner Christukat, 89, has been indicted for participating in the 1944 massacre perpetrated by the SS in Oradour-sur-Glane. He says he wasn’t directly involved. Seventy years after the fact, there are more questions than answers, and proof is elusive.
“There was this boy,” says Werner Christukat. “He came walking over the hill. A small blond boy with a bicycle and he wanted to go past me and into the village. I can still picture it exactly. I stopped him and wanted to chase him away, but then the junior squad leader came up and started yelling at me…”
The events described by Christukat took place almost 70 years ago, but he has never forgotten them. Yet ever since Nazi hunters paid him a visit last year, he has been combing through his memory for additional images: during the day when he sits in his sunroom in his knitted vest surrounded by pictures of his grandchildren; at night when he wanders sleeplessly through his dark home.
Everything is coming back. “Not a night goes by in which I don’t think of Oradour. In front of me, I can still see the church through the treetops. I hear a bang and then the screaming of women and children. … I can’t get it out of my mind. I felt so dreadfully sorry for them. But the worst is that I couldn’t save the boy.”
In the summer of 1944, Christukat was 19 years old, a machine-gunner with the Waffen-SS and trained to obey orders. He had only just arrived in France a short time before. “My honor is loyalty. A German soldier fights chivalrously,” he says. “I believed that stuff from Adolf Hitler.”
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An SS Soldier and the Massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane
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For almost 50 years Germany has worked “shoulder to shoulder” with Israel to secure its future, and “part and parcel” of a secure future is a Jewish state of Israel living alongside a Palestinian state, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday.
Merkel, before meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at his Jerusalem residence, said that her government had been “working assiduously” for a two-state solution and that she herself had been championing the idea.
“We want to see progress,” she said shortly after arriving for a 24-hour visit along with almost her entire cabinet.
Today, we remember the oldest Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz Sommer, who just passed away at the age of 110. In tribute to Alice, we share with you some of her amazing words of inspiration, positivity, and love.
Please share this to keep her memory and wisdom alive.
Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest-known survivor of the Holocaust, died Sunday morning in London at age 110, a family member said. Herz-Sommer’s devotion to the piano and to her son sustained her through two years in a Nazi prison camp, and a film about her has been nominated for best short documentary at next week’s Academy Awards.
“We all came to believe that she would just never die,” said Frederic Bohbot, producer of the documentary “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.” ”There was no question in my mind, ‘would she ever see the Oscars.’”
An accomplished pianist, Herz-Sommer, her husband and her son were sent from Prague in 1943 to a concentration camp in the Czech city of Terezin — Theresienstadt in German — where inmates were allowed to stage concerts in which she frequently starred.
An estimated 140,000 Jews were sent to Terezin and 33,430 died there. About 88,000 were moved on to Auschwitz and other death camps, where most of them were killed. Herz-Sommer and her son, Stephan, were among fewer than 20,000 who were freed when the notorious camp was liberated by the Soviet army in May 1945.
Yet she remembered herself as “always laughing” during her time in Terezin, where the joy of making music kept them going.
“These concerts, the people are sitting there, old people, desolated and ill, and they came to the concerts and this music was for them our food. Music was our food. Through making music we were kept alive,” she once recalled.
“When we can play it cannot be so terrible.”
Though she never learned where her mother died after being rounded up, and her husband died of typhus at Dachau, in her old age she expressed little bitterness.
“We are all the same,” she said. “Good, and bad.”
Herz-Sommer was born on Nov. 26, 1903, in Prague, and started learning the piano from her sister at age 5.
Alice married Leopold Sommer in 1931. Their son was born in 1937, two years before the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia.
“This was especially for Jews a very, very hard time. I didn’t mind, because I enjoyed to be a mother and I was full of enthusiasm about being a mother, so I didn’t mind so much,” she said.
Jews were allowed to shop for only half an hour in the afternoon, by which time the shops were empty. Most Jewish families were forced to leave their family apartments and were crammed into one apartment with other families, but her family was allowed to keep its home.
“We were poor, and we knew that they will send us away, and we knew already in this time that it was our end,” she said.
In 1942, her 73-year-old mother was transported to Terezin, then a few months later to Treblinka, an extermination camp.
“And I went with her of course till the last moment. This was the lowest point in my life. She was sent away. Till now I don’t know where she was, till now I don’t know when she died, nothing.
“When I went home from bringing her to this place I remember I had to stop in the middle of the street and I listened to a voice, an inner voice: ‘Now, nobody can help you, not your husband, not your little child, not the doctor.’”
From then on, she took refuge in the 24 Etudes of Frederic Chopin, a dauntingly difficult monument of the repertoire. She labored at them for up to eight hours a day.
She recalled an awkward conversation on the night before her departure to the concentration camp with a Nazi who lived upstairs and called to say that he would miss her playing.
She remembered him saying: “‘I hope you will come back. What I want to tell you is that I admire you, your playing, hours and hours, the patience and the beauty of the music.’”
Other neighbors, she said, stopped by only to take whatever the family wasn’t able to bring to the camp.
“So the Nazi was a human, the only human. The Nazi, he thanked me,” she said.
The camp’s artistic side was a blessing; young Stephan, then 6, was recruited to play a sparrow in an opera.
“My boy was full of enthusiasm,” she recalled. “I was so happy because I knew my little boy was happy there.”
The opera was “Brundibar,” a 40-minute piece for children composed by Hans Krasa, a Czech who was also imprisoned in the camp. It was first performed in Prague but got only one other performance before he was interned.
“Brundibar” became a showpiece for the camp, performed at least 55 times including once when Terezin, which had been extensively spruced up for the occasion, was inspected by a Red Cross delegation in June 1944.
The opera featured in a 1944 propaganda film which shows more than 40 young performers filling the small stage during the finale.
Herz-Sommer’s life inspired two books: “A Garden of Eden in Hell” (2006) by Melissa Mueller and Reinhard Piechocki, and “A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor” (2012) by Caroline Stoessinger.
In 1949, she left Czechoslovakia to join her twin sister Mizzi in Jerusalem. She taught at the Jerusalem Conservatory until 1986, when she moved to London.
Her son, who changed his first name to Raphael after the war, made a career as a concert cellist. He died in 2001.
Source: Times of Israel