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The Scribblings of Behind the Aegis - Archives
Posted by Behind the Aegis in Jewish Group
Fri Jul 23rd 2010, 11:10 PM
It's been called history's longest hatred. The last aging survivors of Auschwitz see everywhere evidence that virulent Jew-hatred did not die in the Berlin bunker with Hitler. Indeed, in 2010, victims of the Shoah see their suffering denied, their legacy perverted and inverted.

The president of the European Jewish Congress recently put it bluntly to European Parliamentarians: "Jews are afraid to walk the streets in Europe with Jewish signs. Synagogues, Jewish schools and kindergartens require barbed-wire fences and security and Jewish men, women and children are beaten up in broad daylight . . . Jews are being forced out of many European cities, like Malmo, . . . because of the atmosphere of hostility and violence."

This week along with other Jewish leaders, we with Secretary Hillary Clinton and Hannah Rosenthal, Special Envoy on Anti-Semitism at the State Department to discuss the crisis. Enroute to the nation's capitol I listed some of the key sources of the moral pollution:

Holocaust Denial: Even without its looming nuclearization, Iran brings to bare the full weight of state-sanctioned Holocaust Denial. This is the springboard energizing Tehran's campaign to justify to Muslims worldwide demonizing Jews and deploying genocidal rhetoric and action against the Jewish state-through Iran's sponsorship of Jew-hating proxies--Hezbollah and Hamas--and, according to Interpol, the Mullahcracy's direct involvement in a murderous attack on the Jewish communal headquarters in Argentina.
Holocaust Relativization In Eastern Europe, there's a campaign to scrap January 27th--International Holocaust Memorial Day--and merge it with a commemoration for victims of communism. The state-funded Museum of Genocide Victims in Lithuania--mandated to "collect, keep and present historic documents about forms of physical and spiritual genocide against the Lithuanian people"--omits over 200,000 Lithuanian Jews murdered by the Nazis with the help of local collaborators--apparently because Jews, then or now, aren't real Lithuanians.

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Posted by Behind the Aegis in Editorials & Other Articles
Fri Jul 23rd 2010, 10:50 PM
With just three months remaining until the midterm elections, tea party billboards are cropping up along Indiana interstates, local groups are hosting favored candidates, and activists are passing out copies of the Constitution at county fairs. All good civic activity.

It also has been the season of Sarah Palin, who has spread her endorsements across the land, a calculating stamp of approval proven persuasive among loyal Republican primary voters. Palin mostly chooses tea party challengers over establishment GOP candidates, but she also makes practical choices, as in Iowa where she endorsed former Gov. Terry Branstad over a tea party opponent. A November victory by Branstad will provide Palin with a friendly governor in the nation's first presidential test, should she decide to run.


Now, if you attend some tea party meetings in Indiana, a different kind of challenge is emerging. On the information tables, along with candidate brochures and handouts from right-wing blogs, is a stack of DVDs, one of them titled "Rothschild's Choice: Barack Obama and the Hidden Cabal Behind the Plot to Murder America."
As described in breathless narration over ominous, pounding, suspenseful music, the cabal is made up of Jewish financiers and billionaires, run today by Lord Jacob Rothschild, the 4th Baron. Along with Jewish-run secret societies and globalist organizations, their control of Barack Obama has turned him into a water boy to their causes.
Obama is a Zionist puppet, goes the argument, supported by Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Barney Frank -- all Jews, all part of the banking system, all tools of the conspiracy. "David Axelrod," says the narrator, "That's right, he had a Jewish campaign manager."

more (2 pages)
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Posted by Behind the Aegis in Latest Breaking News
Tue Jul 20th 2010, 01:46 PM
Source: AP

With every step toward the gate, Jerzy Bielecki was certain he would be shot.

The day was July 21, 1944. Bielecki was walking in broad daylight down a pathway at Auschwitz, wearing a stolen SS uniform with his Jewish sweetheart Cyla Cybulska by his side.

His knees buckling with fear, he tried to keep a stern bearing on the long stretch of gravel to the sentry post.

The German guard frowned at his forged pass and eyed the two for a period that seemed like an eternity - then uttered the miraculous words: Ja, danke - yes, thank you - and let Jerzy and Cyla out of the death camp and into freedom.

It was a common saying among Auschwitz inmates that the only way out was through the crematorium chimneys. These were among the few ever to escape through the side door.

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Posted by Behind the Aegis in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Jul 19th 2010, 11:52 PM
The New York Times is reporting today what we've been telling you here at the Upshot for months: Evangelical and Catholic leaders are getting behind President Obama's push for comprehensive immigration reform and are trying to convince Republican senators to join in.

The story flags an interesting wrinkle in evangelical support, however. If the gay-rights movement succeeds in influencing immigration reform, religious leaders could head for the door.

Democratic Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Mike Honda say they want a measure tacked onto immigration reform that eases the reunification process for same-sex couples where one member of the couple is an immigrant. But, as suggested in the Times, this could alienate the socially conservative religious leaders trying to convince their congregations to support reform:


Edit to add a hat tip to puzzlingpond!
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Posted by Behind the Aegis in GLBT
Fri Jun 11th 2010, 10:37 PM
Thousands took part in Tel Aviv's gay pride parade Friday, including several politicians, among them opposition leader and Kadima chairperson Tzipi Livni.

Livni addressed crowds at the parade's opening at Gan Meir park on Tchernichovsky Street, where she said that Israel could "not afford the fear that turns into hatred of the other."

"These days, there is a sense that Israel has become a sealed pressure cooker, that would be easy to be swept away by internal hate toward Arabs and gays," Livni said.

"I have heard people express political fears – as if sexual identity were a political identity, as if new immigrants, religious communities, or any other human society, did not have gays or lesbians aomng them," Livni said.

Livni added: "Because the tendencies of the body and heart are not political, the protection of the community is not within the realm of any one political group. It is a matter of human beings respecting each others."

(there is a slideshow, but damned if I can find it!)
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Posted by Behind the Aegis in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Apr 30th 2010, 03:49 PM
Update: Tells paper Aryan stands for noble and he is not racist; Letter on hate site proves he knows significance of 14, 88 and lied to Washington Post

A Virginia Department of Transportation worker who told the Washington Post that he had no clue that his since-revoked vanity license plate contained a "coded racist message" has posted numerous internet messages denying the Holocaust and attacking President Obama as "muslime scum."

Last week, Carl Franzen reported for AOL News, "Personalized or vanity license plates typically fall somewhere between sentimental and silly, but this week, a photo of license plates containing a coded message of white supremacy made the rounds on the Web before the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles formally recalled them."

The Washington Post's Brigid Schulte spoke to Melanie Stokes, a member of the state's committee charged with vetting personalized license plates explained why 14CV88 was revoked.

bunch more of his BS
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Posted by Behind the Aegis in Israel/Palestine
Fri Apr 23rd 2010, 12:03 AM
A group of Muslim extremists in the Gaza Strip that is opposed to Hamas
has called on Al-Qaida in Yemen to target Jews there in an effort to drive them from their country -part of what the group described as its war against Jews.

According to e-mails sent by a person identifying himself as Ali Hussein, who says he represents a group of Shi'ite guerrillas in northern Yemen opposed to Al-Qaida, a Salafi group based in the Gaza Strip and calling itself the "Abu Amir" group is allegedly calling for attacks on Jewish leaders in northern Yemen. As proof, Hussein sent a scanned hand-written note naming the Jewish targets in Yemen.

In another letter from Yemen, the Salafists detail their extremist views and request that Al-Qaida targets Jews, and also Hamas activists, because "the group has completed the work of the Jews by killing members of our group and we would like to deter Jews around the world through you by asking you to kill Yemenite Jews or do anything that you consider right, especially not allowing the representatives of the Hamas government to move about Yemen."

Another letter states that an Al-Qaida operative in Yemen, who goes by the name of Abdullah al-Hajj, is funding the activities of the Salafis in the Gaza Strip through Egyptian sources, including the transfer of arms into the Strip for their use.

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Posted by Behind the Aegis in Israel/Palestine
Fri Mar 12th 2010, 01:47 AM
Source: Telegraph

Criticism of Israel and Zionism led to a rise of anti-Jewish sentiment around the world in 2009, the US said on Thursday in a report that denounced "new forms" of anti-Semitism.

Published: 12:14AM GMT 12 Mar 2010

"Traditional and new forms of anti-Semitism continued to arise, and a spike in such activity followed the Gaza conflict in the winter of 2008-2009," the State Department said in an annual report.

"Often despite official efforts to combat the problem, societal anti-Semitism persisted across Europe, South America, and beyond and manifested itself in classic forms," it said.

Such incidents, it said, involved attacks on Jews or places of worship as well as desecration of cemeteries and accusations of undue Jewish influence on government policy and media.

"New forms of anti-Semitism took the form of criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy that crossed the line into demonising all Jews, and in some cases, translated into violence against Jewish individuals in general," it said.

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Posted by Behind the Aegis in Jewish Group
Tue Mar 09th 2010, 05:02 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has issued a new report that reviews civil, political, and social rights in the Latin American nation, expressing concern about reports of anti-Semitic incidents targeting the Venezuelan Jewish community.

The report cites written testimony from B’nai B’rith International Assistant Director of the Center for Human Rights and Public Policy Adriana Camisar, who noted several anti-Semitic incidents, including graffiti that had appeared on Jewish buildings in Venezuela with slogans such as “Child Killer,” “Jews Out,” and “Jewish Dogs.” Camisar also noted a growing number of swastikas on Jewish institutions.

“This report provides conclusive evidence of the Venezuelan government’s hostility toward Jews,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “The fact that Caracas did not cooperate at all with the report, even denying IACHR inspectors into the country for first-hand observation, demonstrates how closed and repressive Venezuela has become.”

An independent arm of the Organization of American States, the IACHR noted numerous violations of democracy and human rights in addition to issues of anti-Semitism.
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Posted by Behind the Aegis in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Feb 09th 2010, 05:59 AM
The winner of SuperBowl XLIV was the New Orleans Saints. Another SB seemingly comes and goes. Yes, it was the most viewed TV program to date. Yes, it was an exciting game to watch. Yes, the commercials and half-time show were...well, sucky (IMHO). However, the "win" was so much more.

Win or lose, we, in New Orleans (NOLA) were ready to show our love for the Saints with a parade (later today, Tuesday). The win on Sunday for the 'Who Dat Nation' will make the parade that much more festive; though, in this city, funerals can be festive! The Saints did so much more than "win a football game." They showed the US, perhaps the world, that New Orleans is not lost. We are not "down and out." We are survivors and we are fighters and it is not just NOLA, the 'Who Dat Nation' is more than just New Orleans. The residents of the Gulf Coast, NOLA included, have struggled to rebuild, rediscover, and recover. The Saints' win will now shine a spotlight on us again. They will see what we have done and what still needs to be done. The country will once again be reminded of the tragedy of almost 5 years ago...and sadly, that tragedy wasn't just a hurricane, but the response to the disaster.

From this win, we will see increased tourism, a huge amount of our "bread and butter." The city will see more attention to the STILL uncompleted levies. The nation will see the reminders of destruction throughout the Gulf Coast. Our people will be able to tell the assholes who say we are "still whining," we have real reasons to complain and it isn't to be confused with "whining." The victory will remind people some wounds don't heal quickly. This year, the SuperBowl wasn't just a "football game." It meant so much more.

I came to this city, NOLA, 9 months after Katrina. My partner and I were welcomed to this city with open arms. We were applauded in a few places because we chose to move here so soon after Katrina. Seriously, people actually clapped! Some bought us drinks; shook our hands; hugged us. It was surreal. After a few months, we realized what kind of place NOLA was. It is far more than just a "party town." It was a place determined to return; to be whole again; to be as festive and fun as before; it was a place for us to call home!

I am simply a "transplant." If I feel this amount of pride in my city, I know those who are from here are bursting!

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Posted by Behind the Aegis in Editorials & Other Articles
Wed Jan 27th 2010, 03:20 AM
Seventy-four years ago, in July 1936, a Jewish journalist from Prague named Stefan Lux burst into the hall of the League of Nations in Geneva. Like many European Jews at the time, Lux was driven to anguish and even madness by the world's indifference to the eruption of anti-Semitism throughout the continent and especially in Nazi Germany. The international community, though, reacted indifferently to the scourge. Indeed, the League was engaged with a long list of issues -- most notably Italy's annexation of Ethiopia -- but not the mounting mortal threat to European Jews. Desperate to draw global attention to Jewry's plight, Lux staged the ultimate demonstration: He ran to the podium, shouted, "C'est le dernier coup!" -- This is the final blow! -- and, producing a pistol, shot himself dead.

Lux's sacrifice was, of course, futile. Wrought by anti-Semitism, his death could be counted among the six million Jews -- together with twice that number of Poles, Christian clergy, homosexuals and Gypsies -- slaughtered in what we collectively call the Holocaust. Still, history's greatest atrocity might have been easily averted had the League of Nations interceded in time or even at all. Subsequent acts of genocide in Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur were met with similar detachment. Nevertheless, the international community is today largely united around the conviction that silence in the face of mass annihilation is unconscionable. A prominent example of this conviction was rendered by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 in designating January 27 -- the anniversary of Auschwitz's liberation -- as the International Day of Holocaust Commemoration.


Anti-Semitism, too, remains rampant in many parts of the world, including Europe. The United Nations has also made a significant contribution to the fight against this oldest of hatreds by recognizing anti-Semitism as a form of racism. Still, immense efforts must be mounted to prevent the airing of TV programs based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and to dispel pernicious myths such as Jewish dominance of international finance and the media. Younger generations, in particular, vastly removed from the realities of World War II, must be reminded that the road originating in venomous words led to the ovens of Auschwitz.

By devoting substantive resources to the fight against anti-Semitism and, more broadly, acknowledging the continuing perils of genocide, the Obama Administration has set an example of how other countries can work to prevent 21st century recurrences of the Holocaust. The United Nations and other world bodies have also recognized the danger and have rallied to meet it. Much more energy must be channeled, however, and awareness raised, on the hatred of Jews and other minorities and its potentially murderous consequences. Stefan Lux -- whose name, fittingly, is Latin for "light" -- tried to expose the horrors emanating from indifference. We, more than seven decades later, must never lose sight of that beacon.

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Posted by Behind the Aegis in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jan 27th 2010, 03:07 AM
As the number of survivors in the UK dwindles to 5,000, Stuart Jeffries commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day by hearing the stories six of them have to tell.

Sixty-five years ago tomorrow, the largest Nazi killing camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was ­liberated by the Soviet army. The Holocaust Day Memorial Trust will celebrate the anniversary of that event. So what, you might be thinking. Another anniversary, ­another wall of newsprint. What, really, is the point of continuing to commemor­ate­ something that happened a lifetime ago? There are three good reasons. One is, as all the survivors of the Holocaust I interview in the following pages told me, that the slogan "Never again" has become a sick joke, degraded by the genocides in Cambodia (1975-79), Bosnia (1992), Rwanda (1994) and Darfur (2003- today). We have learned too little and let people die en masse not for what they did but for who they were – just as happened in the Nazi death camps.

Second reason: this is one of the last years we are going to have many Holocaust survivors in Britain to share with us what they went through. The Holocaust Day Memorial Trust estimates there are 5,000 survivors left in the UK. It's urgent that we hear their – often ­incredible – stories before they die. When the war in Europe ended on 8 May 1945, there were 200,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors, according to one source (Zoe Waxman's 2006 book Writing the Holocaust, Oxford University Press).

But Jews weren't the only victims, nor the Holocaust's only survivors: the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, for instance, defines Holocaust survivors as "any persons, Jewish or non-Jewish, who were displaced, persecuted or discriminated against due to the racial, religious, ethnic, social and political policies of the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945. In addition to former inmates of concentration camps, ghettos and prisons, this definition includes, among others, people who were refugees or were in hiding." The museum has a registry that includes more than 196,000 records related to survivors and their families. Any estimate of the number of Holocaust survivors immediately after the war, though, is likely to be wrong, not least because no one then had as their first priority counting up the number of people who survived the death camps.


'We saw the chimneys. Rumours said it was a crematorium. I didn't know what that meant'

One morning after war broke out in September 1939, Zigi Shipper woke up to find his father standing by his bed. "He told me the Germans were coming and he had to go away." How could he leave you, I ask? "Like a lot of people in Łódz , he thought the Nazis would only be after men of fighting age, not children and women. Nobody thought they would want to kill all Jews. How wrong we were. But still, my father ran away to Russia, thinking that was the right thing to do."

Zigi (short for Zygmunt) was nine. "That was the last time I saw my dad," he tells me in his living room in Bushey, Hertfordshire. His father ­returned to Poland later in the war but could only get as far as the Warsaw ghetto. What happened to him? "I ­presume he died. I have been to all the museums and I can't find a trace of him. He might have died in the Warsaw ghetto or Treblinka . Finding ways to die was not difficult for a Jew."

Zigi was raised by his grandparents in the ghetto in Łódz that the Nazis ­established in November 1939. His mother, divorced from his father before the war, had moved to Belgium. "I presumed she was dead." He was wrong.

Food was so scarce in the ghetto that Zigi's grandfather became weak and died. Death was everywhere: "When I was 10 I stepped over dead bodies in the ghetto without much feeling." Ghetto life took on a routine for him and his grandmother. He worked in a metal factory producing munitions. But the routine was broken when, in 1941, the Nazis began to round up Jews for what they called "resettlement". On one of these raids, Zigi was slung into a lorry. "I managed to jump off – I ran and ran and luckily, no German saw me."

Memories of the Holocaust: Zigi Shipper

'When someone fell, you felt lucky you were next to him. The dead always had something useful'

Towards the end of the war, Harry Spiro was walking one day with 3,000 other Jewish prisoners from ­Rehmsdorf labour camp to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia when he dived into a ditch to avoid ­allied bombs falling from the sky. This was one of several so-called death marches that took place between April 1944 and April 1945 when prisoners were driven by their captors to avoid the British and American allies ­approaching from the west and Soviet troops from the east.

Why was it called a death march? "Three hundred people out of 3,000 who set off arrived at Theresienstadt," says Harry. "The majority were killed because they couldn't walk. If you fell over, the SS man would very calmly say, 'Get up, otherwise I'll shoot you.' And then if you repeated it, they would shoot you."

As Harry lay in the ditch, he noticed that there was something in the field he could eat. "They were white beetroot or ­turnips and I got one and put it in my pocket. One boy came up to me and said, 'Give me a piece.' I said, 'No.' He said, 'If you don't, I will tell everyone what you've got and they will crush you to death.' I cut off a piece and gave him it. He kept coming back for more. The third time, I told him, 'Ask again and I'll give you a knife, not beetroot.'"

Harry chuckles and his wife Pauline does too. We're sitting at the couple's dining room table in Radlett, Hertfordshire. The beetroot story has an ­unexpectedly happy ending. "That boy was Harry Balsom and after the war we became business partners and friends. He was Harry, so was I. He got married to a woman called Pauline, and so did I. We ran a firm of tailors ­together."

Memories of the Holocaust: Harry Spiro

'We ran because we heard the ghettos were being liquidated and that lorries were coming for the Jews'

Sabina Miller never did find out what happened to the young woman she only knew as Ruszka. They both spent the winter of 1942-43 ­sheltering in a hole in the forests of northern Poland. It had been dug earlier by partisans and was the best ­accommodation the two women could find. "We couldn't go home because we had no home and we felt safer there in the woods than risk being betrayed to the Germans."

Sabina fled the horrors of the Warsaw ghetto in her teens; later she ended up working on a farm run by a Lithuanian man. He used to horsewhip the Jewish women labourers if they didn't work hard enough. There she met Ruszka, and together they finally ran away, to shelter in the forest. "We ran not ­because of him but because we heard that the ghettoes were being liquidated, and we heard that lorries were coming for ."

We're sitting over tea and cakes in Sabina's warm kitchen in the flat in west Hampstead, London, where she has lived for nearly 50 years. What was it like in that freezing hole? "You couldn't walk into it. You slid inside and then tried to keep as warm as you could. I think we had pinched a blanket from somewhere that kept us warm. But we were frozen and lousy. We looked like animals. My feet were so swollen I couldn't wear boots." Sabina nods towards her feet. "Later I had to have an operation on my foot. They amputated part of my toe."

The only thing that Sabina had to ­remind her of her past life with her family in Warsaw was a little washbag containing a few photographs and a postcard from her sister. The postcard, Sabina believes, had been thrown by her sister from a train heading towards a death camp and was picked up by someone who posted it to the farm. "I don't know that for certain. Maybe she jumped from that train. Maybe she's alive." All that seems unlikely, Sabina admits. But, nearly 70 years after the card was, perhaps, thrown from the train, she holds on to that hope.

Memories of the Holocaust: Sabina Miller

'When I heard what happened to my father, I was alone. I cried for 24 hours'

One morning, four days ­before Christmas in 1942, Nazi soldiers went to the synagogue in the Polish town of Piotrków, where 560 Jews were crammed, and ­demanded that 50 strong men ­accompany them to the woods. The men were told to dig five pits and then shot. In one week in October, 22,000 Jews (out of a population of 25,000) had been sent from Piotrków to the Treblinka gas chambers, so the men were under no illusions what they were digging.

The following morning, the SS took the rest of the people in the synagogue in groups of 100 to the woods. They were told to undress next to the pits and then they were shot. Among the victims was Ben Helfgott's 37-year-old mother and his eight- year-old sister, Lusia.

Twelve-year-old Ben was working in a glass factory outside the ghetto and so regarded as "legitimate" by the Nazis. His 11-year-old sister, Mala, somehow escaped the roundup and his father had a permit to live in the Piotrków ghetto. But his mother and Lusia were seen as illegals and so went into hiding, fearing that they would be ­murdered. Then the Nazis offered illegals like Ben's mother asylum. It was a ruse, but she and Lusia came out of hiding and were held in the ­synagogue. It was hardly a place of sanctuary: for amusement, guards would shoot in through the windows, killing and wounding people.

Ben's father managed to get a permit for the release of his wife, but could not organise one for Lusia. He begged his wife to come home, but she refused. She wrote to her husband: "You look after the two children and I will have to look after the youngest one."

Nearly two years later, with the ­Russian army advancing across Poland, Ben and his father, along with 300 other Jewish men, were taken from ­Piotrków to Buchenwald concentration camp. It was the first of three concentration camps in which Ben was held during the war. Ben was 14 when he saw his father for the last time, before he was transferred from Buchenwald to Schlieben concentration camp, where hand-held anti-tank weapons were produced.

Memories of the Holocaust: Ben Helfgott

'They looked like ordinary railwaymen cramming people in. Why were they doing that?'

Two young Dutch men walked into a nursery school in Amsterdam one day in 1944 and asked for Martin Stern. The teacher told them he hadn't come in that day. "I put up my hand and said: 'But I am here.' Stern, now a retired immunologist, is recalling that fateful moment as dusk gathers outside his sitting room in Leicester. "The poor woman was trying to protect me. I'll never ­forget the look on her face as I was led away." He was ­arrested, aged five, ­because his father was a Jew.

Martin and his one-year-old sister Erica were taken to Westerbork transit camp in the Netherlands, where they were housed in wooden huts, each one crammed with as many as 800 people. "The food consisted of vegetables unfit for sale. Old runner beans that hadn't been stringed were nicknamed 'barbed wire' by the boys I was with because they were painful to eat."

Martin's parents were Germans who had fled to Holland before the war. His non-Jewish mother died in hospital shortly after giving birth to his sister. His father was hidden by courageous farmers near Amsterdam airport after the German invasion of Holland, only to be captured by Nazis after a shoot-out in which he apparently killed two of them. There is a photograph of ­Martin's father on the sitting room wall, taken before he left Germany. It shows a young, smartly dressed man with, you might think, a bright future. "As you can see, he was well-to-do," says Martin. "He died a skeleton of a man on 25 March 1945 in Buchenwald."

Martin and Erica were looked after by two separate Dutch families for two years before they were arrested. "I lived near the Anne Frank house," he says. After Martin's abduction from nursery school, Cathrien and Jo (short for ­Johannes) Rademakers, who had looked after Martin, were themselves arrested. For the crime of caring for a five-year-old Jewish orphan, Jo was sent to Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg, where he died. All his wife got back were his spectacles.

Memories of the Holocaust: Martin Stern

'We were prepared to die there but it turned out to be a mock execution - a piece of Nazi cruelty'

In Birmingham, after the war, ­people would ask Auschwitz ­survivor Kitty Hart-Moxon about the tattoo on her forearm: "Is that your boyfriend's telephone number?" "People simply knew nothing," says Kitty. "If I did say what happened to me and my mother, ­people would say: 'That sounds far fetched.' I would explain that I saw thousands walk into a gas chamber and never come out. But they could not get their heads round it. They found it impossible to comprehend that there was massacre on a huge scale, that thousands were murdered deliberately."

What was worse was that no one wanted to know. She and her mother had arrived at Dover in late 1946 to be met by her uncle, the husband of her mother's sister. "He said: 'I don't want you to talk about anything that happened to you. I don't want to know.' My mother and I became very angry at being silenced."

Did you ever receive counselling? Kitty favours me with a justifiable ­sardonic look as we sit in her living room in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. "Counselling? No. My mother and I sorted ourselves out by countless ­discussions about what had happened to us." Kitty wrote two books about her experiences: I Am Alive (1961) and Return to Auschwitz (1981). She also has made award-winning films about her return to the death camp and about her time after Auschwitz. Kitty, a ­retired radiographer, has been speaking for decades in schools, colleges, ­universities to all who are prepared to listen. In 2003 she received the OBE for her work on Holocaust education

She was born Kitty Felix in 1926 in ­Bielsko, a Polish town where Jews, Czechs, Poles and Germans mixed. She recalls a blissful sporty childhood with her brother Robert – hiking in the mountains in summer and skiing in winter. She was educated by nuns and was oblivious to antisemitism until she and her Jewish swimming team were stoned during a competition. A few days prior to Hitler's invasion on 1 September 1939, Kitty's family fled eastward to elude the Wehrmacht but were overtaken by the Nazis and became trapped in the Lublin ghetto. After many attempts, the family escaped and obtained non-Jewish documents.

Memories of the Holocaust: Kitty Hart-Moxon
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Posted by Behind the Aegis in Latest Breaking News
Tue Jan 19th 2010, 05:15 AM
Source: Ha'aretz

No matter what, nobody enters the attic." This was the unbreakable rule that defined the childhood of 75-year-old Albert Johan Reeders from Amersfoort, Holland. On Wednesday, his parents will posthumously be awarded Yad Vashem's highest honor, for harboring two Jews whom they hadn't previously known for three years during the Holocaust.

Israel's national Holocaust museum decided to name André Reeders and Aaltje Reeders-Wittermans as Righteous among the Nations for taking Sally and Claire Gimnicher-Hirsch - a married couple - into their home near Amsterdam in 1942, at the request of the Dutch resistance movement.

Unlike most cases involving Dutch households taking in persecuted Jewish families, the two families had had no prior knowledge of each other. Yad Vashem's inquiry into the case showed that their cohabitation through strife, occupation and want led to an unusual friendship which lasted long after the war.

"My parents had about two hours to decide whether to take in this couple," said Abert Reeders. He will accept the award for his parents, who died more than twenty years ago.

The Reeders had five children. If caught harboring the Gimnichers, the entire family might have met a curt execution by German soldiers. The parents told their children never to let anyone from outside the family into the attic, where the Gimnichers were living.

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Posted by Behind the Aegis in Latest Breaking News
Tue Jan 19th 2010, 05:08 AM
Source: Ha'aretz

Israeli teams on Monday rescued a woman who has been trapped for six days under the wreckage of Port-au-Prince's university in Haiti, Channel 10 reported.

The woman was transferred to receive medical treatment at the IDF's field hospital, which was set up following the deadly earthquake that shook the country on Tuesday.

Israeli rescue teams were called on by international forces to aid in the rescue of victims trapped in the rubble of the 4-story university building in the southern part of the capital.

According to Channel 10, the international teams knew of two people trapped in the wreckage of the university building, and managed to rescue one of them. The Israeli team was asked to aid with pulling out the other - a female student at the university.

The Israeli team used special equipment to begin lifting parts of the rubble and carefully but quickly managed to create an opening, preventing the whole structure from collapsing. The team was able to see the woman through the opening and successfully rescue her.

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There is always hope! For all the destruction, there is still hope others have survived and are waiting...
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Posted by Behind the Aegis in Jewish Group
Wed Jan 13th 2010, 04:24 PM
The American Jewish World Service (AJWS) launched a campaign to collect donations following Tuesday?s massive earthquake in Haiti, which registered a 7.3 on the Richter scale.

Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital Wednesday after the powerful earthquake flattened the president's palace, the cathedral, hospitals, schools, the main prison and whole neighborhoods. Officials feared thousands - perhaps more than 100,000 - may have perished, but there was no firm count.

With a per capita income of $3.60 per day, Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere. Thus, its population is especially vulnerable to natural disasters, such as this massive earthquake. Based on initial reports of widespread devastation and a high number of casualties, AJWS anticipates that the immediate and long-term needs will be profound and is coordinating with its in-country representatives to respond immediately.

"We are assessing where the gaps in service are and putting a process in place to help specific communities that might not be immediately served otherwise," said AJWS's vice president for programs, Aaron Dorfman. "Because of the economic and political situation in Haiti, disasters like this have devastating consequences throughout the country. Our long-standing partnerships with grassroots organizations in Haiti allow us to reach the poorest and most remote populations with the speed necessary to save lives."


Donations to AJWS's "Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund," which can be made at, will enable AJWS's network of grantees in Haiti to meet the urgent needs of the population based on real-time, on-the-ground assessments.

To contribute to the relief funds in Toronto, go to the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto site at or call 416-635-2883.

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