Dr. John G. Rodden: What Should We Remember?

November 9, Germany’s Friday the 13th:

What Should We Remember?
by Dr. John G. Rodden

November 9 marks a number of important events in German history. In addition to being the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass that marked the official beginning of the Holocaust, the date also marks the nineteenth anniversary of an event that numerous scholars consider the most significant occurrence in modern world history: the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Many historians say that it rivals the French Revolution in importance. The crumbling of the Wall in November 1989 led to the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe and to the ultimate dissolution of the Soviet Union just two years later. Erected in August 1961, the Wall stood for 28 years before it was toppled by the mass protests of East Germans in their

THE ARTS: NYtimes: Film: NEVER FORGET, YOU'RE REMINDED

By A. O. SCOTT
Published: November 21, 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas A Secret Defiance Schindler’s List The Pianist The Reader

THIS holiday season the multiplexes, the art houses and the glossy for-your-consideration ads in publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter will be overrun with Nazis.

A minor incursion of this sort is an annual Oscar-season tradition, but 2008 offers an abundance of peaked caps and riding breeches, lightning-bolt collar pins and swastika armbands, as an unusually large cadre of prominent actors assumes the burden of embodying the most profound and consequential evil of the recent past.

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The Findling Family Reunion by Isabel Alcoff

The concept of a family reunion always seemed impossible for our family, which, like so many Jewish families, was spread out all over the world. I was always envious of my American friends, whose families had huge reunions or cousins

ISRAELENEWS.COM: ISRAEL AND THE SURVIVORS BY MICHAEL WARSHAWSKI

The opinions and views articulated by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Israel e News OR THE AMERICAN GATHERING.

By Michael Warschawski

Yet again Judge Dorner, chairperson of the governmental investigative commission in the matter of assistance to Holocaust survivors, and the Israeli Prime Minister are located on two sides of the ethical divide. While the Dorner Commission concluded that the allocations given to the survivors must be linked to 75% of the allowance paid by Germany to Israel for each survivor, and that this recommendation should be implemented immediately, the Prime Minister is trying, yet again, to buy time. The disagreement over time is much more important than that over the amount, as time acts to the detriment of the survivors, almost all of whom have reached an advanced age.

Judge Dorner and the recommendations of her commission of inquiry concerning
Israel’s treatment of Holocaust survivors are being ignored by the Israeli government.

Each day that passes decreases the financial debt of Israel to the Holocaust survivors. The government

Haaretz: Knesset planning to jail the refugees from Darfur

Israel’s own version of Holocaust denial

By Bradley Burston
Tags: Israel, Darfur, Sudan

Imagine, if you will, a Jewish state founded as a refuge and last resort, that one day declares the act of seeking refuge a felony.

Imagine, if you can, a law that would allow the expulsion, without any judicial process, of refugees so desperate to reach that state, that they would hazard their very lives and those of their children to do so. Imagine, impossible as it may be, that a Jewish state that is home to hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors, could decide not only to imprison African refugees for five years, but to make those fleeing genocide in Sudan subject to prison sentences of at least seven years.

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ALGEMEINER: The Holocaust: A Clash for Civilization

By Jason Guberman-Pfeffer

In trying to understand the Holocaust, the inexplicable, it is comforting to think of the perpetrators not as human beings but Übermenschen—the fanatical, technologically advanced “Aryan master race” that the Nazi’s believed themselves to be. The perpetrators of the Holocaust, however, were not just members of the SS and their bureaucratic enablers. They were, rather, ordinary Germans and their rather ordinary collaborators.

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THE NY SUN: VIEW FROM PARNASSUS

The View From Parnassus
Commentary
By ADAM KIRSCH
May 22, 2008

In choosing the title “Jews and Power” for its second annual New York Festival of Ideas, the Jewish cultural organization Nextbook extended its tradition of provocative juxtapositions. The theme of last year’s festival was “Jesus in Jewish Culture,” historically an extremely touchy subject. But in today’s world, “Jews and Power” may be an even more explosive combination. The Vatican has renounced the old accusation of deicide, and it would take some looking to find a mainstream Christian who hates the Jews because they crucified Jesus. (Mel Gibson is the only name that springs to mind.) But in the era of Walt and Mearsheimer, suspicion of Jewish power — one of the deadliest tropes of 19th-century anti-Semitism — is becoming more, not less, respectable in intellectual and academic circles. So long as a good portion of the left, especially in Europe, can believe that American foreign policy is run by a “cabal” of “neoconservatives” under the sinister influence of Leo Strauss, who use their power to promote Israel’s interests at the expense of America’s, “Jews and Power” will remain a problematic conjunction.

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JUMP TO LIFE IN BELGIUM, April 19, 1943 by Audrey Rogers Furfaro, 2G

As you or your friends celebrate Passover this April 19th, I hope you will remember another April 19th. This one was in 1943 and it was also the first night of Passover. On that night, a 13-year old boy and his parents were loaded onto a cattle car that headed for Auschwitz. This is the story of that night.
The boy was born in Vienna, Austria to middle-class Jewish parents; his mother was also born in Vienna and his father in Poland. They led an uneventful life until Hitler came to power. Following Krystallnacht in 1938, they fled to Antwerp, Belgium, and eventually settled in Brussels.. In February 1943, the family was denounced. The boy and his parents were arrested and sent to Malines, a deportation camp in Belgium where the Nazis would collect Jews until they had enough for a transport to Auschwitz. For three months they waited; they were barely fed and the boy’s father was severely beaten up by a German guard in front of the boy for a minor infraction.
On the night of April 19, 1943, the family was part of Convoy XX– 1,636 Jews being shipped by cattle car to Auschwitz. They were numbers 722, 723, and 724 on the Nazis’ inventory of this shipment. A Nazi officer gave the boy’s father a white flag and a whistle, and told him that he was in charge of the particular car in which they were being loaded. He was told that if anyone tried to escape he was to alert the Nazis; if he did not the family would be killed. The father decided that the family would have to jump from the train because he would not turn in his fellow Jews.
In events that are stranger than life, on the train were some Dutch acrobats, who with the use of an old man’s cane, managed to open the latched window of the train. As the train barreled toward the German border, the family prepared to jump. The man pushed his wife from the train, and the boy watched as his mother appeared to roll toward the train’s wheels.
The boy was next. He did not want to be pushed, so he jumped on his own and scrambled up the track’s embankment. As he stood up at the top of the embankment, he felt a needle-like pain in his upper chest. He saw blood and realized he has been shot. Putting a handkerchief on the wound, he went searching for his parents, amidst the dead bodies of others who had been shot jumping from the train.
The boy wandered around in the dark, hurt and scared and eventually found his mother, but he did not want to tell her he was shot. Later that night they found the father, who had been shot in the leg. The family sought refuge in a nearby barn, where the boy finally told his mother he had been shot by a bullet that glanced his chest.
In the morning, the boy, who could speak Flemish better than his parents, approached the farmhouse owner and sold his parent’s wedding rings for aid. The farmer gave the family money, helped clean them up, and drove them to the train station where the family intended to take the train back to Brussels.
The parents sensed danger and they decided to separate. They told the boy to get off the train at the next stop, hoping that by being alone, he would not be caught. Without knowing if he would ever see his parents again, and unable to say any farewells, the boy got off the train. By now his gunshot wound was extremely painful, so alone and not knowing what to do, the boy approached a Belgian policeman. He told him that he was a 13-year-old Jew who had been shot escaping from the train to Auschwitz. The police officer took pity on the boy, brought him to the police station, and called a doctor who treated the gunshot wound. The officer gave the boy some money, and directed him toward the safest way back to Brussels, where he was reunited with his parents.
The boy was my father, Robert Rogers. He and my grandparents, Bertha and Eddy Rottenberg, went into hiding until they were finally liberated in September 1944. In 1949, they emigrated to the United States, a country they embraced with gratitude. They have all since passed away, and only two things remain of that night. One is the shirt my father was wearing, which my grandmother kept until she died. I have it now, and you can still see the neatly sewn up bullet holes and the very faintest trace of blood. The other is the memory of what happened 65 years ago that has seared through two generations of my family.

Audrey Rogers Furfaro, 2G
April, 2008
Chappaqua, NY