web analytics
October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Alan Moskin: Speaking Out So We Never Forget

Yankovitch-071913-uniform

Do you think the United States government knew more than what they told people?

From what I read and learned after the war, I am convinced that President Franklin Roosevelt knew about the concentration camps. It appeared he felt the Jews were not a priority and he did nothing to help. This was very disturbing and hurtful to me on a personal level because I, and everyone I knew, had always loved and admired F.D.R.

You told me that when you encountered survivors, you said “Ich been a Yid”? What was their reaction?

It was very weird because I didn’t really know how to speak Yiddish! My parents and grandparents always spoke English in my presence and that was second nature to me. I think what I said was actually German. I must have heard it before but I don’t know from where. When the survivors heard me they started to smile and give thanks. One elderly man was so emotional that he knelt down to the ground and started kissing my boots, which were covered with mud, feces and blood. This made me uncomfortable so I picked him up and as I did I saw these open festered sores all down his neck covered with lice. This and the stench from his body made me want to pull away, but I hugged him and he hugged me and we started to cry. It was very emotional and something I can never forget.

After the war ended, you remained in Europe until June 1946 as a member of the U.S. Army of Occupation. What was that like?

One of my tasks was to try to help survivors in the Displaced Person’s camp locate their family members. Most often the information we were able to obtain was not very good – that unfortunately some or all of their relatives had not survived. To have to give them this terrible news on top of what they had already experienced was extremely difficult. This was like hitting them on the head with a sledgehammer. Here these poor souls had survived the worse hell and horror humanly possible and now to inflict more pain on them – I found this to be very upsetting.

After the war ended, I also had the opportunity to attend the Nuremberg war crimes trials. To summarize, the hours of testimony that I heard at these trials about the treatment the inmates received from Dr. Mengele and the other Nazis were horrific; it curdles my blood. Simply put, it was mind-boggling bestiality.

Do you harbor any negative feelings towards the German people?

No I do not. I realize that many of my survivor friends, who lost their entire families feel otherwise. They hate Germans in general and will not purchase anything made in Germany. But I feel differently. As the saying goes, I do not believe that the sins of the father should be placed on their sons or daughters. I think we should try not to hate. In my judgment “hate begets hate.”

Has the experience of liberating a concentration camp made you resentful or doubt God?

It is very hard for me to properly answer that question. I really never felt a personal resentment towards G-d as a result of what happened during the Holocaust. But many of my survivor friends, who lost their entire families, have expressed to me their bitterness and resentment and ask how could G-d let something like the Holocaust happen and allow millions of men, women and children, to be murdered etc. I can certainly understand how they feel. My only answer is that G-d often acts in very strange ways that we have difficulty in understanding.

Many veterans suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome. What has been your experience?

They didn’t know about that during the World War II era. The term they used is “shell shock.” I am fairly certain that I had it. I remember having trouble sleeping right after the war ended. I had horrible nightmares and would wake up crying, shaking, sweating etc. As the years went by, thankfully the nightmares gradually dissipated. In this regard, I believe that finally going out and speaking to both students and adult groups about my experience in combat and as a liberator has been very helpful in keeping me in good health.

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.

No Responses to “Alan Moskin: Speaking Out So We Never Forget”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Chaye Zisel Braun
Funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun Underway [photos]
Latest Indepth Stories
Keeping-Jerusalem

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty


n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

More Articles from Ita Yankovich
Yankovitch-030714-Houston

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a chavrusa working with you, guiding and helping you in your work environment?

Yankovitch-071913-uniform

In a time when service to one’s community seems to be a forgotten ideal, it is our pleasure to continue sharing with you the stories of those men and women who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

The Jewish Press recently sat down with Chaya Lipschutz, a Brooklyn woman who saved the life of a stranger.

In the past, people used to turn to coffee or orange juice to get through a midday slump, but today, many are turning to power and energy drinks for a quicker and longer-lasting jolt. The power drink industry is booming with projected sales of $9 billion and no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Every week nearly three million viewers tune into the Bravo cable channel to watch the hit reality franchise “The Real Housewives” – several shows that follow the lives of affluent housewives and professional women residing in several American metropolitan areas (“The Real Housewives of New York,” “The Real Housewives of Los Angeles,” of Miami, of Atlanta, etc.).

Not too many Jewish World War II survivors from Germany can say that they had the distinction of being both interned in a concentration camp and liberating the captives in that same camp. Erwin Weinberg did just that.

Recently I had the opportunity to spend some times with Bernard (Bernie) Walz and get a glimpse of his war experiences.

As I approached the home of Irving and Miriam Borenstein in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn, two things became clear: the pride they feel at being Jewish and their joy at living in America. On their front lawn are large American and Israeli flags with a plaque in front which reads:

Never forget the six million murdered in the Holocaust and the three thousand murdered on 9/11.

May G-d remember them for the good with the other righteous of the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/alan-moskin-speaking-out-so-we-never-forget/2013/07/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: