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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘the Holocaust’

After Decades of Silence, Holocaust Survivors Open Up

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – When Pnina Katsir turned 80, she finally told her daughter a secret she had kept for decades: she was a survivor of the Holocaust.

“I didn’t tell anyone. My kids didn’t know,” Katsir told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) at a ceremony for Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Wednesday evening. “I decreed silence on myself in order to raise a normal, happy family – not living in the shadow of that awful time.”

Yet Katsir, now 86, boldly recounted her experiences before a crowd of dozens at the Jerusalem ceremony, including many fellow survivors, their children and grandchildren, as well as a group of female soldiers. They had gathered to share stories and commemorate the dead as part of the AMCHA organization, an Israeli psychological and social support group for Holocaust survivors, which Katsir credits with giving her the tools to finally express herself.

“There was a conspiracy of silence among survivors and Israeli society,” explained Elisheva Flamm-Oren, AMCHA’s director of planning and development. “They were afraid to tell their children and burden them with what they went through, and Israeli society also didn’t want to hear it – they preferred to project strength.”

AMCHA was started 30 years ago by Holocaust survivors and health care professionals to address this “conspiracy of silence” and provide survivors with the support they need. They now cater to 20,000 Holocaust survivors in fifteen centers across the country, boasting 480 mental health professionals and a thousand volunteers. In the past year alone they logged 186,000 hours of therapy, 30% of which took place in house calls to survivors too frail to leave their homes.

“There’s a lot of power in meeting other survivors,” Flamm-Oren told TPS. “AMCHA created a place where you can come and talk about the past without fear. We want them to know that they are normal people who went through unimaginably abnormal circumstances.”

And the survivors do more than talk. They participate in AMCHA’s creative writing seminars and theatre troupes—who recently staged a play starring a 97-year-old actress—all designed to give survivors creative outlets to process their past traumas and communicate with younger generations.

“They know how to get you to open up,” said Katsir, who read a moving composition describing her childhood in a Ukrainian ghetto, including the “nightly task” she shared with her sister to clutch their grandmother’s legs as she slept in the hopes of keeping her warm.

For many survivors, the creative process has been enormously satisfying.

“I have a kind of Holocaust disease – it actually makes me feel good to talk about the Holocaust,” Elias Feinzelberg told TPS after reciting the Kaddish, the solemn prayer for the dead, at the ceremony. Feinzelberg, a very active 98-year-old who was born in Lodz, Poland, endured nine different concentration camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“I spoke at two schools today,” Feinzelberg said, proudly pointing to the pins on his blazer bearing the names of educational institutions around the world in which he has shared his story.

“Once I opened up,” Katsir told TPS, “I realized how much energy I had wasted all these years on not talking.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Woman Arrested over ‘No Entry for Jews and Dogs’ Sign at Temple Mount

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

A woman, 17, an activist in the Returning to the Mount group, was arrested on Thursday morning on suspicion of violating the public peace, after she hung next to the entrance to the Temple Mount two signs protesting the closing of the site to Jewish visitors on Holocaust Remembrance Day under the guise of a Muslim holiday.

One of her signs read “No entrance to Jews and Dogs,” which was used to bar Jewish customers from businesses in Europe before and during the Holocaust. The other sign compared the closing of the holy site to Jewish visitors to the barring of Jews from public place in Europe in the same dreadful period.

Source: Returning to the Mount

Source: Returning to the Mount

Police arrested the young woman and hauled her to a nearby station where she was interrogated. Her attorney, Rehavia Piltz, from the legal aid society Honenu, said he expected her to be released and ordered not to set foot on Temple Mount and the area near the gate to the compound.

Piltz issued a statement saying, “It is a very serious matter that police do not permit Jews to protest the police own racist actions — preventing Jews from entering the Temple Mount based on their ethnicity.”

Source: Returning to the Mount

Source: Returning to the Mount

JNi.Media

Here Are The Lessons Israel Needs To Learn From The Holocaust

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Once a year the entire nation of Israel commemorated the six million that were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. At exactly 10:00 am, sirens sound throughout the Jewish State and most of Israel’s citizens (Except the Arabs who deny the Holocaust and some radical Ultra Orthodox Jews who call themselves religious) stood in silence to remember and give respect to those who were murdered, burned, gassed and dehumanized by the Nazis and their collaborators.

Some keep their eyes shut in total silence remembering a family member who was murdered and some whisper a prayer in honor of the six million innocent Jewish souls that were violently ripped from this world.

Most years, I belong to the second group, but this year, I was lost in thought asking myself, why? Why remember?

What is it about that horrible time in Jewish and human history that is so important to remember? My grandmother (Z”L) who survived numerous camps and saved other Jews will never be forgotten by me, so why is it important to have a national memory of such a tragedy? What exactly am I remembering?

Is there someone who actually believes that our memory will prevent another Holocaust from happening? Look around!

Syria is murdering tens of thousands of people by gas and chemical weapons, Russia is conquering Ukraine and let’s not even get started with the amount of people who are being slaughtered throughout Africa!

Has the world learned anything?

My answer is an absolute NOT A THING!

Obama is a joke and has threatened Syria time and time again that if they dare use chemical weapons, the US will be forced to react. Hello? Does Obama watch the news?

Some say that the Holocaust should not be mixed up with politics, I say WRONG! Only when we remember just how low human nature can stoop will one have total political clarity.

It is very important to remember an American President who flew fighter jets over the train tracks that led millions to their death in Auschwitz but refused to bomb them because he didn’t want political “trouble, or the silence of the world as millions of Jews were burned, gassed and shot. These facts gives us total political clarity and reality, Israel will protect itself!

On July 7, shortly after the U.S. War Department refused requests from Jewish leaders to bomb the railway lines leading to the camps, a force of 452 Fifteenth Air Force bombers flew along and across the five deportation railway lines on their way to bomb Blechhammer oil refineries nearby

To remember a British leader who met, shook hands and was actually on the brink of signing an agreement with Hitler because he didn’t believe Hitler was a real threat!

The Munich Agreement – “Peace In Our Time”

And let us not forget our Muslim neighbors who seek “peace” with the Jewish State and claim that all our problems started when the modern day State of Israel was born in 1948.

Taken in 1943! No State No Settlements Just Islamic Anti Semitism!

Brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers were burned, gassed and treated like animals and the world said NOTHING! Nothing from France, nothing from England, nothing from America, nothing from anyone!

What do I learn from the Holocaust? I learn that the State of Israel is the ONLY true safe haven for Jews and we cannot trust anyone with our safety, security, military or Jewish survival.

Barack Obama and John Kerry say they are our friends, but they have been pressuring Israel into handing over more parts of the Land of Israel to Muslim occupiers and have recently forced us to to agree to a ceasefire with a fanatic Islamic terrorists organization called HAMAS!

Instead of the US President and Vice president siding with the Jewish State that has the same basic values as the US, they have taken sides with the people who hold the same terrorist ideology that was responsible for the murder of over 3,000 people when they blew up the Twin Towers!

When Abu Mazen signs an agreement with the terrorist organization Hamas, John Kerry blames Israel and warns that if Israel doesn’t make peace (give in to their demands) soon, the Arabs will start killing Jews! Really? Does that sound like a friend to you? To me it sounds like blackmail!

This Is Hamas!

Then Kerry says it was Israel’s refusal to release terrorists as well as the building of houses and kindergartens in JERUSALEM that is to blame for the failed peace process. Of course the fact that Abu Mazen has completely refused to recognize a Jewish State has absolutely nothing to do with it, right John! I am not even going to get started with the Hamas missile fire that the White House said nothing about till Israel reacted!

When I say NEVER AGAIN! I mean it and the time is now! Unfortunately not only is the world ignoring the dangers Israel is facing, Israel’s leaders themselves are ignoring the imminent dangers and are dreaming of signing a “peace” deal with those who idea of peace is war.

Bibi, the Arabs have no right to this land! Can they live here in peace? Yes! The Druze do, The Christians do and yes, there are plenty of Muslim Arabs who just want to live, but the second they talk of a national country within the Land of Israel, it’s time to say it loud and clear, NO WAY!

Read Also: The History Of Palestine 101

The motto ‘NEVER AGAIN’ has nothing to do with the Nazis. They like the Romans, Greeks and the Mussolini’s are all gone.

Never again means we will never again be so naive to believe the world when they say they will do something about the powers of evil, especially when those powers threaten Israel or the Jews!

We now know that even our greatest allies and friends will fly right over our heads and ignore the flames that burn our flesh!

We know that their political standing is more important than morality and certainly more important than a couple of Jews burning or being blown up by Muslim terrorists.

What do I learn from the Holocaust? There is only God to rely on and he is given us back the Land Of Israel as well as the IDF so that NEVER AGAIN will this little boy march to his death with his hands up in the air!

Don’t forget to join me on the IsraelShield Facebook Page as well as on @israel_shield on Twitter  to join the online debates!. We Always Win, We Can’t Afford To Lose!

@israel_shield

Spurning Ceremonies, Israelis Invite Holocaust Survivors to Their Living Rooms for Remembrance Day

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

As Israel marks its national Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday evening, thousands of Israelis eschewed the traditional commemoration ceremonies in favor of more personal and intimate encounters with Holocaust survivors and witnesses in their very own living rooms.

Zikaron ba-Salon (Remembrance in the Salon) is a social initiative started six years ago by a group of friends who felt they needed a more direct and unfiltered way of connecting with the memory of the Holocaust on the solemn day.

“The stately ceremonies felt very distant and impersonal to us. We were looking for a closer and personal connection to the memory of the greatest disaster in our history,” Racheli Hazon, the Jerusalem coordinator of the initiative told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

The group invited an elderly Holocaust survivor to one of their homes, hosted him and listened to his story, later conducting a deep discussion accompanied by musical performances.

What started as a private initiative among friends quickly spread among Israelis young and old, and is now an international phenomenon with similar meetings happening as far away as Seattle.

“The year after this initiative began, the idea was replicated by some of the guests in their own living rooms. It grew, and last year approximately 150,000 individuals participated as guests, hosts, or speakers in living rooms all over the country – and even abroad,” Hazon told TPS.

Now the the Zikaron ba-Salon is a well-coordinated and organized initiative with a website in which individuals can find an event to attend, to volunteer their own living room as hosts, or register as speakers.

One surprising volunteer this year was the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, who opened the living room of his official Jerusalem residence to 40 guests who came to listen to a heart-wrenching witness account by Meir Ginosr, an 87-year-old survivor of the Auschwitz death camp.

“Zikaron ba-Salon in the president’s living room is a remembrance in the living room of every citizen of Israel, symbolically shared by the entire nation,” commented Rivlin on the initiative.

According to Racheli Hazon, aside from having such a distinguished volunteer join their ranks this year, the project also marks the largest event held so far.

“Usually these events can’t fit more than 30 or 40 people. This year, the owner of the Tahrir bar in Jerusalem’s shuk (market) has opened his venue to over 100 individuals,” Hazon explained to TPS.

Tahrir hosted 85-year-old Yigal Halamit, who spoke about his experience during the Holocaust in Tunisia and the oft-ignored story of the many North African Jews who perished in the Holocaust by the Nazis.

“It is personally important to me to be able to share my story with these people,” Halamit told TPS. “This is a wonderful forum and a great opportunity for me to tell the story of the forgotten North African victims of the Holocaust.”

“It didn’t happen only in Europe, it happened everywhere the Nazis went, ” he added.

“These are the last opportunities we have to have actual encounters with survivors and listen to them directly and hear their stories, “ Hazon lamented. “Already there are more participating living rooms than actual Holocaust survivors to speak in them.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Labour Party Ponders Cutting Ties to British Labour Over Anti-Semitism

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Israeli Labour Party is considering cutting ties to its British counterpart amid an ongoing wave of British Labour officials dismissed due to anti-Semitic comments, including remarks advocating the deportation of Israel’s Jews and claims that Hitler supported Zionism.

MK Isaac Herzog, head of Israel’s Labour Party and Opposition leader, told Channel 10 News on Monday that he is “considering suspending relations” with British Labour and that “it’s possible there may be no other resort.” Herzog went on to explain that the majority of British Labour rejects these anti-Semitic views, which are held by “only a small and loud minority.”

Herzog’s announcement follows a letter by Labour MK Nachman Shai calling on Herzog to promptly sever ties with British Labour under its current chairman, Jeremy Corbyn.

“There is a toxic atmosphere of hatred and fanaticism in British Labour,” Shai wrote. “It is no longer a sister Party with which we can have close relations and coordinate policy.”

“When one of the Labour leaders creates a twisted connection between Adolf Hitler and Zionism this is no longer a warning sign – this is a moral collapse that requires immediate and unequivocal action,” Amir Peretz, another Israeli Labour MK and former Party chairman, wrote on his Facebook page.

Peretz was referring to comments made by former London Mayor and Labour Member Ken Livingstone last week, arguing that Adolf Hitler supported Zionism because he wanted to deport German Jews. Livingstone was suspended from Labour following the remarks, and the Party has said it will investigate anti-Semitism in its ranks.

Three more British Labour officials were suspended on Monday for anti-Semitic comments they had posted to Facebook, including comments referring to Israel “drinking Gaza blood” and accusing Israel of orchestrating last year’s ISIS terror attacks in Paris as punishment for a French UN vote in support of the Palestinians.

The scandal in British Labour comes at a sensitive time, with important local elections coming up in England on Thursday—including a contentious and racially-charged race for London mayor—which coincides with Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Herzog sent a letter to British Labour head Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday inviting him to bring a delegation to visit Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem. “While Ken Livingstone is surely anti-Semitic beyond repair,” Herzog wrote, “I’m sure there remain many Labour Party activists with a willingness to engage and better understand the scourge of anti-Semitism.”

“Yad Vashem is open to all visitors,” said Simmy Allen, Yad Vashem’s director of international communications, in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “Our vast resources are at the disposal of anyone who would like to learn about the Holocaust and experience a visit to Yad Vashem.”

It appears unlikely, however, that Corbyn will take Herzog up on the offer, leading Israeli Labour members to openly ponder whether they must dissociate from their British counterpart.

“With sister Parties like this, who needs enemies?” tweeted Itzik Shmuli, a Knesset member with the Labour Party.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Remembering Rabbi Eliezer Silver

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

My Zaidi, Rabbi Eliezer Silver, was born in Lithuania in 1882 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1907. He was elected the first president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada, in 1929, and is known for having helped save many thousands of Jews in the Second World War. In November 1939, Rabbi Silver convened an emergency meeting in New York City to discuss the recent developments in Nazi occupied Europe. It was at this meeting that the Vaad Hatzalah (Rescue Committee) was formed, with Rabbi Silver as president.

He also is credited with launching a fund-raising campaign, collecting more than $5 million, which helped to provide thousands of visas to Jewish refugees in Eastern Europe. Today that $5 million is worth $83.86 million.

I was born at the Margaret Hague Hospital in Jersey City. Mother and I lived with my gentle, caring grandmother Rose Slutsky. For the first three years of my life I was surrounded by loving aunts, uncles and cousins. After my first birthday, and until I was 19, we spent joyous summers in Belmar, N.J.

During that time, WWII, Daddy, Dr. Nathan Silver z”l, was a Captain in Gen. George Patton’s 3rd Army, fighting against the Nazi’s extermination of Jews in Europe.

Zaidi had announced that he was only coming east if I was a boy! Rather, Zaidi came to meet me at the hospital as soon as I was born.

That is how early this wondrous man became an integral part of my life.

I had a special relationship with my Zaidi. For ten years I sat opposite him at Friday night Shabbos dinners. I remember his pride when I recounted my learning Baba Metziaperek Hamfkid aytzel chavero.

I listened to grandfather carefully and intently, and after a time I understood and was able to speak his native Litvak Yiddish, his Mama Loshen (the only grandchild to do so).

Early on I knew the gravity of his mission: Not just by the way he spoke: It was in his essence. To this day I proudly remember and continue to say the Four Questions in Yiddish.

I recall often, with a deep sense of humility, how special I felt when Zaidi would bless me and place his hands over my head.

My mother, of blessed memory, Lillian Silver, z”l, spoke a perfect Litvak Yiddish. Most thought she was his daughter. The enormity of her respect and admiration for him was palpable.

Even though Daddy and Zaidi were less verbal, they could speak volumes to each other with a mere few words. It was a special father-son bond, and Daddy cared for him until his passing in 1968.

Daddy, Dr Nathan Silver, was a cardiologist and Army captain. Zaidi wore his uniform throughout postwar Europe in his search of any and all surviving Jews. This was the same uniform Dad wore when, tasked directly by General George Patton, to examine the heinous infamous Hermann Goering who had an alleged chronic cardiac condition. Dad pronounced him fit to stand trial. The night before his trial, the Nazi coward committed suicide.

Zaidi went to Catholic orphanages all over Post War Europe to rescue living Jewish children, and in the morning when the priests or nuns told him that there were no Jewish children, he decided to return at night when they were about to go to sleep. As he entered the large room of (non-existent) Jewish refugee children, he resolutely recited the Shema, and they all joined in the prayer. He told the priests at each orphanage that “these are my children.”

He left every single orphanage with Jewish children.

Zaidi was a true patriot. He spoke with every American president since Taft in behalf of Jews and regarding Jewish matters. Taft’s own descendants forged ties with the Silver family. His son Sen. Robert Taft was Zaidi’s attorney in a mikva case he won (pro bono). Taft’s grandson Sen. Robert Taft personally assisted me in behalf of the plight of Soviet Jewry. He also helped my mother in her many worthwhile endeavors.

Judy Silver-Shapiro

Netanyahu Attacks Deniers of Mufti-Holocaust Links

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu preceded his flight to Germany Wednesday for a meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel with by rejecting criticism of his remarks last night that linked Mufti al-Husseini with the Holocaust.

Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog, his cohorts on Israel Radio’s Kol Yisrael (Reshet Bet) and the Palestinian Authority were all over the Prime Minister Wednesday morning, accusing him of re-writing history and inciting Arabs.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments on the Mufti during his speech to the World Jewish Congress were perfectly timed, giving him ammunition to carry with him when talking with Merkel about Palestinian Authority incitement.

He rejected criticism that his comments implied that Hitler was not responsible for the slaughter of 6 million Jews, and he explained:

It is absurd. I had no intention to absolve Hitler of responsibility for his diabolical destruction of European Jewry. Hitler was responsible for the Final Solution to exterminate six million Jews. He made the decision.

It is equally absurd to ignore the role played by the Mufti, Haj Amin al -Husseini, a war criminal, for encouraging and urging Hitler, Ribbentropp, Himmler and others, to exterminate European Jewry. There is much evidence about this, including the testimony of Eichmann’s deputy at the Nuremberg trials, not now, but after World War II. He said:

He replied to Arab criticism that he false accused the Mufti of advising Hitler to burn Jews and said:

There is much evidence about this, including the testimony of Eichmann’s deputy at the Nuremberg trials, not now, but after World War II. He said:

‘The Mufti was instrumental in the decision to exterminate the Jews of Europe. The importance of his role must not be ignored. The Mufti repeatedly proposed to the authorities, primarily Hitler, Ribbentropp and Himmler, to exterminate the Jews of Europe. He considered it a suitable solution for the Palestinian question’.

Eichmann’s deputy, added:

‘The Mufti was one of the instigators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and was a partner and adviser to Eichmann and Hitler for carrying out this plan’.

He reminded listeners that “Haj Amin al-Husseini is still a revered figure in Palestinian society. He appears in textbooks and it is taught that he is one of the founding fathers of the nation, and this incitement that started then with him, inciting the murder of Jews – continues.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-attacks-deniers-of-mufti-holocaust-links/2015/10/21/

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