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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Concentration Camp’

R. Yisrael Meir Lau Advised PM Begin to Separate Tisha B’Av from Holocaust Remembrance and IDF Memorial Days

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau — today, the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv — revealed in his message this year that he advised former Prime Minister Menachem Begin to separate the days set for Holocaust Remembrance Day and IDF Soldiers’ Memorial Day from Tisha B’Av.

Each, he said, requires its own unique honor and mourning. Tisha B’Av, however, is the eternal day of national mourning; something very different. All troubles come from this day, he said, which has eternal significance.

A deeply revered author and speaker, Rabbi Lau is a survivor of the Holocaust, and the father of the current Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau.

“Sad and terrible things happened to us on this day. Sometimes people ask, ‘Does this day still have meaning for us? After all, so many terrible things have befallen us since [the destruction of the two Holy Temples.]’ And so they open the restaurant, they hang around on the main streets, on this day of national mourning!

“Yet even Napoleon was in awe of how the Jews had remembered this day for 1,800 years.

“Maybe someone, God forbid, has experienced trauma in his life, and then gone on to see blessings and success. But when it comes time to unite together with the memories, you remember.

“The Holocaust is an inseparable part of the story of Tisha B’Av. “Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin wanted to set Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the Day of Remembrance for Fallen IDF Soldiers both to take place on Tisha B’Av,” he said.

Rabbi Lau added that Begin had had a “historical and national outlook,” understanding that Tisha B’Av is a “focal point of all the suffering.”

He pointed out that it actually began well before the destruction of the two Holy Temples, with the Sin of the Spies who were sent on a reconnaissance mission to check out the Land of Israel in advance of its conquest by the Children of Israel. Most of the spies claimed the Israelites did not have the ability to carry out their mission, a false report made on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av in the Jewish calendar — the same day as the destruction of the two Holy Temples.

“All the troubles come from this day,” said Rabbi Lau. “I advised against setting all these days on Tisha B’Av,” he added. “Since schools are closed now and many are on vacation, who would explain the significance of all these days? They would be forgotten!

“Therefore, let each stand as a unique holiday and let Tisha B’Av stand as the day of national mourning. Only a nation that truly knows how to honor its past is worthy of a glorious future,” he said.

Rabbi Lau is also the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum Center. His father, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau, was the last Chief Rabbi of the Polish town of Piotrkow Trybunakski, and was murdered in the Treblinka death camp.

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau is the 38th generation in an unbroken chain of rabbis, and served as Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003. He personally was imprisoned in a Nazi slave labor camp at age seven and then was taken to the Auschwitz death camp where he was kept alive by his older brother Naphtali Lau-Lavie and other prisoners.

The rabbi was miraculously freed from the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945 upon being discovered hiding under a heap of dead bodies by U.S. Army Chaplain Rabbi Herschel Schachter during liberation of the camp. Together with Elazar Schiff, another survivor of Buchenwald, he came to Mandate Palestine in 1945.

Hana Levi Julian

Pope Francis Blesses Righteous Christian Polish Gentiles at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Pope Francis visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp this weekend, a powerful experience made even more meaningful for the pontiff by his meeting with 25 Righteous Gentiles Among the Nations — Christian Poles who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.

The meeting was arranged for this past Friday by the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, a New Yorker whose grandparents immigrated to the United States from Poland.

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous offers financial support to the 200-plus “Righteous Among the Nations” who are still alive in Poland.

For some time, Schudrich has contemplated what kind of spiritual gift he could give these precious people who were so willing to risk their lives for the souls of Jews.

“I thought a special blessing from the pope would make them feel honored because of their unbelievable morality and humanity,” he told Associated Press.

Hana Levi Julian

Sobibor Death Camp Gas Chambers Uncovered

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

The location of the gas chambers at the notorious Sobibor death camp has been revealed, Yad Vashem announced Wednesday.

On October 14, 1943 some 600 prisoners rose up in revolt and escaped from the camp. Most were recaptured or murdered, but 100 to 120 managed to survive. Of those, 60 made it through to the end of the war, when Allied Forces arrived to free the captives.

But a quarter of a million Jews were murdered at the death camp in Poland, where the Nazis worked hard to cover up their evil crime. After the uprising, the Nazis bulldozed the site and planted evergreen trees to conceal the mass graves.

Now, an archaeological dig has uncovered the truth nevertheless.

Dr. David Silberklang, a senior researcher at the Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust research said, “The discovery of the exact location of the gas chambers at the Sobibior Camp is a discovery of the utmost importance in Holocaust research.”

He said it was important to understand that “there are no remains from any Jews who worked in the area of the gas chambers, and therefore these findings are the only thing left from those who were murdered.” Silberklang said “a small window has been open into their daily suffering.”

Personal effects of the victims who lived and died in the tragedy have been found near the gas chambers. Among the items uncovered were jewelry – including wedding rings – and perfumes, medicine and utensils.

Archaeologist Yoram Haimi added that “we found near the gas chambers wedding rings with the inscription in Hebrew, ‘Harei at mekudeshet li” (Behold, thou art consecrated unto me.”)

Silberklang said that for the first time the excavation taking place at the site would enable researchers would be able to better understand the murder process in the camp and what the Jews went through before their deaths.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkish Students Arrested for Nazi Salute at Polish Nazi Camp Site

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Two students from Turkey were arrested in Poland for using a Nazi salute on a group of Israeli students visiting the Majdanek concentration camp.

The students made the Nazi salute and said “Heil Hitler” when they met a group of students from Israel according to Turkey’s Today’s Zaman newspaper. The Israeli group filed an official complaint, leading to the detention of the two Turkish students.

The students said that the action was a joke, but if they are found guilty of the charges of promoting fascist propaganda, they could face up to three years in prison.

JTA

Germany Wants to Indict 30 Auschwitz Nazi Guards

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Judicial officials in Germany have investigated 49 former Nazi guards at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and said 30 of them should be prosecuted, while nine others have since died

Another seven of the former guards are living outside of the country. Some of the guards are reportedly as old as 97.

The justice agency in Ludwigsburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, which heads German investigations into Nazi war crimes, also plans to carry out “time-consuming” work and re-examine files of all former Nazis who worked in extermination camps and were part of Nazi murder squads.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/germany-wants-to-indict-30-auschwitz-nazi-guards/2013/09/04/

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