web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Yesterday’s Ashes, Today’s Crime

Inmates liberated from the Majdanek camp.

Inmates liberated from the Majdanek camp.
Photo Credit: Holocaustresearchproject.org

Sometimes when you read a news article, it has the power to stab you right in the heart. I saw the headlines, “Majdanek Museum Employee Charged with Anti-Semitism.” My first problem with this dates back over 10 years, to when I visited both Majdanek (Maidanek) and Auschwitz. These are NOT museums, people, these are/were death camps, concentration camps. These show the worst of humanity, then and now.

They took us to Majdanek first, a short time after we had arrived in Poland. I had already asked the Israeli guides why so much of what we were seeing had not been moved to Israel. The graves that were desecrated…not back then, but now.

First, before Majdanek, I saw this gravestone and I asked, “why haven’t we moved this cemetery to Israel?” The guides didn’t answer my question, but I left it alone. I was a parent and was supposed to know the answers.

The guides were there for our daughters – it was all about the daughters. I was there to help Amira and other girls; other parents did the same. In one place, the guides came over and said we were in a miserable little village where they hated Jews and were as likely to throw something at the girls as yell at them.

“Walk on the outside,” I was told by the guides and so the parents formed a border and as the girls talked with each other and moved forward, we watched on the sides – this was Poland to me…this, and the shattered gravestones.

And then we got to Majdanek – which is the easiest of concentration camps to understand because unlike the others, Majdanek was abandoned by the Germans – perhaps it was too small and they couldn’t kill enough people fast enough. I don’t remember the reasons – only that it was abandoned whole and remains to this day. Little is left to the imagination. If you want to see a gas chamber…this is where you go.

And as we approached the Har Effer…I realized that I didn’t know what “effer” meant. Har means mountain…effer? I asked Amira – we were walking closer and closer to this spaceship type of building. It took her a moment to think of the English word…”ashes.”

Mountain….Mountain of…Mountain of Ashes? I thought to myself in horror – no, it couldn’t be. No way – it is symbolic, right? Please God, let it be symbolic…it wasn’t. It isn’t. Once inside the “spaceship” – I faced a mountain of human ashes. And this time, I didn’t ask the Israeli guides why Israel had allowed these remains to stay there in Europe, “if we took it all home,” I said to one of them, “there isn’t enough room in all of Israel, is there?”

He smiled the saddest of smile at the greatest of truths. We could fill the land of Israel with the bones and ashes and gravestones of 6 million and still it wouldn’t be enough. Majdanek remains in my heart – my first experience with a death camp, a gas chamber, crematoria…and the ashes, so many ashes.

According to the article, a man who worked at the camp for 20 years, has been arrested for distributing anti-Semitic posters…and it only gets worse. He used the facilities at Majdanek to print some of them.

Each time I read a story like this one, I find I have nothing to say to the Poles, to Europe in general. Each time, I want to turn to the Jews – there in Poland still, those in France, and even England. Get. Out. Now.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Yesterday’s Ashes, Today’s Crime”

  1. Add a coI PROTEST THE TRIP TO AUSCHWITZ BY THE ISRAELI KENESSET AND OTHERS because a huge amount of money being spent. My father was in Auschwitz and my mother was in the work camp Skarzishko and Beuchenwald concentration camp during the Holocaust . Even though my wife and I visited Auschwitz and the other camps to verify that they existed, the Polish government still has not returned the land and homes owned by all my grandparents and relatives who were murdered by the Nazis. All children of these Holocaust survivors should protest and demand compensation. Would have been better to purchase food, medicine and pay the rent and obtain medical services for indigent holocaust survivors.
    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg mment…

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS in Quneitra
Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]
Latest Blogs Stories
The Palestinian Authority backed by EU funds, has sent Bedouin into the E-1 area of Maaleh Adumim to claim it is part of their fictional history.

The new “Begin Plan” is an impending nightmare, it rewards the Bedouins for brazen land-grabbing.

its a deal

There is absolutely nothing for Israel’s security in this American document.

A Jewish wedding.

Is it because of corrupt values and lack of meeting opportunities that we have a shidduch crisis?

Islamic Law

Israel is fighting the war that none of the Western world has the ability or courage to fight.

Finish the job! Sayyem et a missima!סיים את המסימה!

Life after 50? You better believe it! Tips on how to prepare and enjoy life after retirement.

While I am no fan of the two-state solution, I think I have a solution for the Gaza strip. Let me make it perfectly clear that in no way do I believe a Palestinian people, nation or Arab State ever existed in the history of the world and certainly was not occupied by Israel. If […]

Hamas targeted the Erez Crossing when it knew that Gazans and Israeli Arabs would be there, out in the open…

Does it really take Jewish innovation to come up with this idea?

If you don’t know who’s behind The terror in your mind The answer’s not hard to find, Blame the Jews

If feminism is mentioned at all, it is usually to condemn it as an anti Torah ideal.

“…people making jokes about turning this into a shelter rave, taking #bombshelterselfies…”

Marriage is not just about emotional fidelity but about financial fidelity as well.

So you want to blame Israel? First answer these 5 simple questions, and see if you even have a leg to stand on…

Hamas’s online Jihadi supporters and groupies are desperately trying to differentiate between their support for Hamas and supporting ISIS.

We all got degrees. We got married. We had families. We worked. We and were Koveih Itim

More Articles from Paula Stern
candles on tracks

I love that most of my kids don’t actually read this blog – it gives me a freedom.

KL Majdanek. Mglisty paŸdziernikowy poranek 2008

The smell may be gone, but the air remains poisoned by the hatred.

My son continues to move slowly towards the army while working to complete his final year in high school.

It’s a strange feeling to known that a missile is flying towards your country and there is nothing you can do about it.

I’ll start by explaining that in Israel, a common phrase is “yehiye b’seder” – it will be okay.

At one point the Dr. asked me if I was famous because of the blog…

There are ashes that remain in the ovens, ashes piled into a mountain in Maidanek.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/yesterdays-ashes-todays-crime/2014/01/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: