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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Auschwitz’

Help Search for ‘Jolli’ Gottesman, Twin Survivor of Mengele Experiments

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Have you seen Menachem Bodner’s twin brother? He once was called Jeno, or Jolli, Gottesman and he’s out there somewhere. Bodner feels it.

Sixty-eight years after the Holocaust survivor left the Auschwitz laboratory of Dr. Josef Mengele in 1945, Bodner – who back then was Elias Gottesmann – has launched a search to find his long-lost twin brother, whose name was Jeno.

Age four when they was liberated from Mengele’s lab, the two were somehow separated. Bodner, who is now age 74, has no memory of the horrible medical experiments he most certainly endured. Only a sense of paralyzing fear remains, plus a few scattered memories of his family’s life before the war in a small town east of Mukacs, Hungary. Now the area is Ukraine.

Bodner says that throughout his life he’s felt a deep connection with his twin—and is positive he’s still alive and out there. But where?

A professional genealogist in Israel, Ayana KimRon, tracked down the boys’ information in a record of twins “identified as having been liberated at Auschwitz or from a subcamp” put together by the “Candles” organization.

Their Holocaust numbers were: A-7733, Gottesmann, Elias, 4 A-7734, Gottesmann, Jeno, 4

Elias Bodner today is Menachem Bodner, a retired Israeli tax service employee living in Rishon Lezion. The genealogist meanwhile has found in the course of her search for Bodner’s twin brother nearly 70 other extended family members in Israel and the U.S.

Meanwhile, with KimRon’s help Bodner is still searching, because he feels his brother is still alive. This past March, the genealogist created a Facebook page to broaden the search still further, The Daily Beast reported. She called the page “A7734.”

To date it has seen more than 50,000 “likes” and well over 23,000 “shares.” Bodner and KimRon are hoping that the global reach of the billion-plus users on Facebook will help him find his brother.

“I never lost hope,” Bodner says.

Ex-Auschwitz Guard Charged with 300,000 Counts of Accessory to Murder

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Germany has charged a 93-year-old former guard at the Auschwitz death camp with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder.

The former guard and his lawyer said he “only” witnessed murders and in any case was only a “cog” in the Nazi death machine.

Groening, in good health, is one of approximately 30 former Auschwitz guards who face possible charges.

He previously has talked freely about the Nazi slaughter of Jews and told Der Spiegel in 2005 that once he heard a baby crying and “I saw another SS soldier grab the baby by the legs… He smashed the baby’s head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent.”

But he was only a cog, right? Just following orders.

Twenty Auschwitz survivors and relatives of victims are co-plaintiffs against Groening, and one of them, Thomas Walther, told the Associated Press, time is running out “to participate in bringing justice to one of the SS men who had a part in the murder of their closest relatives.”

Groening was a guard at Auschwitz in 1944, and his job was to take and count money from hundreds of thousands of Jews who Nazis crammed into cattle cars and transported from Poland to Auschwitz. Most of them were butchered or gassed to death, but only after Groening made sure their money was counted and in the hands of his superiors.

 

 

 

Tens of Thousands Participate In Budapest Holocaust Memorial March

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Tens of thousands of Jews and Jewish supporters participated in the 12th March of the Living Hungary in Budapest in what is considered the largest civil anti-fascist event in Hungary.

It was held on the 70th anniversary of the mass deportation of Jews from Hungary by the Nazis.

Holding posters saying “Never again” and “History cannot be re-written!,” the participants marched from the Danube River to the Eastern Railway Station in Budapest to commemorate the loss of Hungarian Jewry in 1944, when two-thirds of Hungarian Jewry — nearly 600,000 people — were deported and killed.

Dozens of Hungarian Holocaust survivors were the guests of honor at the march.

“We go to Auschwitz, but this time we will return,” Ilan Mor, Israel’s ambassador to Hungary, said in an emotional speech.

Mor will be part of the Hungarian delegation in Monday’s Auschwitz commemoration, where Hungarian President Janos Ader will deliver a speech at the Auschwitz memorial site of Hungarian Holocaust victims.

The International March of the Living Conference was part of weekend memorial events in Budapest, including a panel discussion on the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe with the participation of members of parliaments from Poland, Greece, Spain and Canada.

Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian justice minister and lawmaker, as well as a human rights activist, chaired the panel.

“Jews died in Auschwitz, but anti-Semitism did not die, and we are experiencing anti-Semitism yet again,” he told JTA. “Now the time to mobilize all of humanity against this anti-Semitic phenomenon that again has come.”

Cotler visited the Budapest site of the daily protest against a monument being constructed to honor the country’s victims of World War II. Jewish groups have protested that it obfuscates Hungary’s Holocaust-era role.

“I hope that the Hungarian government will cease and desist from putting up this memorial as it now stands because in the end of the day, it will not serve neither the interest of remembrance nor the truth, or not even the interest of the Hungarian government, which I don’t believe want to be seen as mis-characterizing the Holocaust,” he said.

The Holocaust Survivor Who Fought in Every Israeli War (Video)

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Ze’ev Tibi Ram is one of two Holocaust survivors who fought in every Israeli war.

He perfectly symbolizes “Shoah ve Tkuma”- Holocaust and rebirth. As a Holocaust survivor, Tibi understands better than anyone the importance of protecting the Jewish state.

He lost his whole family in the Holocaust but survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

After being separated from his mother and eventually finding her at the end of the war, she disappeared and Tibi never saw her again. His brother survived until the end of the war, but died shortly after.

Now, Tibi gives lectures to soldiers about the Holocaust and his extensive military experience. He is also the proud grandfather of an IDF soldier

He says life has been good – except for that one insane year of Nazi persecution.

Holocaust Remembrance Day, a Reminder of So Much Forgotten

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Whatever small hesitations we may have had about a new initiative taken by the IDF’s Social Media Unit, in the end we are deeply disturbed by the many ways in which the experience of the Jewish people just a handful of decades ago – within the lifetimes of the parents of us bloggers here at ThisOngoingWar - is increasingly diminisheddegraded and denied.

Measures that restore dignity and respect to the victims of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazi Germans and their many willing helpers are in our view measures worth taking.

This coming Sunday is marked here in Israel as Holocaust Remembrance Day. In its honour, the IDF has undertaken a campaign:

In a few days, we will commemorate the memory of the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and the bravery of all those who stood up against Nazi barbarism. This year, the IDF is putting together a special social media project. With your help, we will pay tribute to Holocaust survivors across various social networks. With three simple steps, you will be able to contribute to Holocaust remembrance. Post a photo of yourself together with a Holocaust survivor on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #WeAreHere. Also be sure to include his or her name, age, and place of residence. We will then create an index of all of the photos you tagged, and build an interactive map according to location. This will contribute to commemorating those who were lost, and produce a dynamic memorial to those who remain across the globe. Start publishing your images now and on April 27 the IDF will publish the interactive map to show the world that #WeAreHere.

We’re fully supportive. We posted this Tweet yesterday – and we’re grateful to the many who have retweeted it:

Malki Roth, murdered by Hamas 2001, with beloved grandmother Genia Roth, Auschwitz survivor #WeAreHere and remember

We recently published on this blog a short article ["16-Mar-14: Fifteen: A festival time reflection"] about our family’s history and the burden and privilege of memory.

Genia Szmulewicz Roth was just fifteen when her family became captives of the Nazi German forces that rolled into Poland in September 1939. She was sent from her home town to the Lodz Ghetto, then to Auschwitz  and then to several forced-labour camps from where eventually she was liberated along with her three sisters. All her brothers, with their parents and virtually everyone else in the extended family, did not survive. We will pause to remember them this coming Sunday.

Living initially in a Displaced Persons’ Camp, she and her sisters began rebuilding their lives following the trauma of six years under the Nazis. She married another survivor, Abraham Roth, in Munich in 1947, and on being granted immigration papers to Australia, settled in Melbourne in 1950. She lives there today, and is blessed with children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren who cherish and love her.

Her grandaughter, Malki - the eldest of our daughters – was murdered in a terrorist massacre carried out in central Jerusalem on August 9, 2001. For those unfamiliar with what we have written here in past posts, almost all the planners and executors of that attack on a pizza shop in the heart of Israel’s capital city, unrepentant and unbowed, are free today.

We have much to remember.

Visit This Ongoing War

Youngest Holocaust Survivor from Schindler’s List Tells her Story

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The following article was first published on the IDF’s blog site. Eva Levi, 75, is the youngest person alive who lived through the horror of the Holocaust thanks to the famous Oscar Schindler. Today, a few days before Holocaust Memorial day, she tells her story.

Hello, my name is Eva Levi. I was born in Krakow, Poland and when I was two-years-old, WWII broke out. When the war was over, I was eight years old.

During the war, I was deported from a ghetto to Auschwitz and then to Czechoslovakia. I am alive today and can tell you my story thanks to two people: Oscar Schindler and my mother. Today I am married and live in Israel. I have two children and three grandchildren…. My first granddaughter, Anne, is currently in the Israeli army. Because of this, I am telling my story to the IDF.

When the war started, I was such a little girl that I didn’t understand what was happening. I didn’t have a childhood at all; I didn’t have grandfathers or grandmothers, nor did I go to kindergarten or school.

However, though this was a terrible time in my life, I had two great fortuitous things: I was lucky to have my name inscribed on Oscar Schindler’s list, of which I was the youngest person, and I was able to stay by my mother’s side.

We were first sent to the Krakow Ghetto. From this ghetto, they took us to labor camps near Krakow and this is how I got put on Schindler’s List. They then wanted to take us to Czechoslovakia but after an accident, we were transferred to Auschwitz. We stayed in the death camp for three weeks, and lived in horrendous conditions. The fear of dying was always present and renewed every time we went near the crematoria.

A particular moment stands out specifically during my time living in this hell. One day, while all the women were together in a dark building, a female Nazi officer approached my mother and told her that I was to be taken away. My mother began to cry and scream. She wouldn’t let me go. But in Auschwitz it was impossible to refuse. My mother asked her where I was being taken and the officer promised I would be going to a good place. My mother did not understand. A good place? At Auschwitz? How could that be possible? But the officer again swore to my mother that I would be taken to a good place. And indeed, they took me to a very different place inside Auschwitz.

Nobody could believe it. The place was modern and clean, a rarity at Auschwitz where everything was dirty and black. At this new place there were only well-dressed children who almost looked good. I did not understand at all where I was. I felt that I may be in paradise. There were drawings on the walls, toys, clothes. The children were obviously sad because they were alone and without parents. It was 1944 and hunger was widespread, but in this place no one starved.

One day, the Nazis called us to come to dinner. The previous days we hardly ate. A slice of bread here, a potato there. That evening, they served us dinner and we ate so much. The next morning, once again, we had a real breakfast! The Nazis were so attentive that we thought that perhaps the war was over. For lunch, we were surprised as a table was prepared and we were dressed up.

We sat as three or four smiling kind men in civilian clothes entered. Each of the men sat alongside a child. I can still remember the smell of the potatoes they served for lunch. But we ate so much the day before that I could barely stomach anything. I was not hungry at all and I began to weep. The civilian who sat next to me asked, “What is the matter dear? Are you not hungry?” And I responded that no, I was not hungry. These men were actually from the Red Cross. All of the clothes, the food, the entire place was a false display of what was happening at Auschwitz. Crematoria? They weren’t seen. Lovely, well-dressed children who felt well and weren’t hungry, that is what the Red Cross Inspectors saw.

Italian Tourist Caught Smuggling Barbed Wire from Auschwitz

Monday, March 31st, 2014

An Italian tourist tried to smuggle a piece of barbed wire from the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum out of Poland in his suitcase.

The man was detained Sunday by border guards at the airport in Krakow. The tourist said he found the rusty piece of wire, which is nearly 16 inches long, on the ground.

“During interrogation, the man said that he took the wire as a souvenir while visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, lifted it from the ground and took it with him,” Katarzyna Walczak, a spokeswoman of the Silesian-Malopolska Border Guard, said in a statement.

The tourist faces a jail term ranging from three months to five years.

In 2009, the “Arbeit macht frei” sign was stolen from above the entrance to the Auschwitz I concentration camp. The three thieves were given sentences ranging from six months to 2 1/2 years.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/italian-tourist-caught-smuggling-barbed-wire-from-auschwitz/2014/03/31/

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