Daily Briefing : AUSCHWITZ:  AN OBLIGATION  OF REMEMBRANCE (January 27th,2020)

Auschwitz – Concentration Camp
“All over the world, Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust.
The direct reason for the establishment of the camp was the fact that mass arrests of Poles were increasing beyond the capacity of existing “local” prisons. Initially, Auschwitz was to be one more concentration camp of the type that the Nazis had been setting up since the early 1930s. It functioned in this role throughout its existence, even when, beginning in 1942, it also became the largest of the death camps.
( Source:: Flickr)

“Blessed be the Lord for enabling me to be here on this day.[“Shehehiyanu blessing] The industrial mass murder of six million Jews, the worst crime in humanity, was committed by my country. The terrible war, which cost over 50 million lives, originated in my country… The Eternal Flame at Yad Vashem does not go out. Germany’s responsibility does not expire. We want to live up to our responsibility. By this, you should measure us. … Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz, I stand here as the president of Germany, laden with guilt. … I wish I could say that we Germans have learnt from history once and for all. But I cannot say that when hatred is spreading.” — German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.  (Times of Israel, Jan. 23, 2020)

Table of Contents:

Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Fifth World Holocaust Forum | Jerusalem, Israel:  Mike Pence, White House Gov. Briefings, Jan. 23, 2020

Holding Hostage the Memory of the Jewish Dead:  Melanie Phillips, Melaniephillips.com, Jan. 24, 2020

FDR’S Role In Preventing the Rescue of Europe’s Jews… What We Can’t Forget when We Remember Anne Frank:  Rafael Medoff, History News Network, June 9, 2019

Did Dutch Jews Go Like Lambs to the Gas Chambers?: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA, June 19, 2019


Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Fifth World Holocaust Forum | Jerusalem, Israel

Mike Pence
White House Gov. Briefings, Jan. 23, 2020

President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Your Majesties, Presidents, Excellencies, honored survivors and distinguished guests: It is deeply humbling for me to stand before you today, on behalf of the American people, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. On this occasion, here on Mount Herzl, we gather to fulfill a solemn obligation — an obligation of remembrance: to never allow the memory of those who died in the Holocaust to be forgotten by anyone, anywhere in the world.

The word “remember” appears no fewer than 169 times in the Hebrew Bible — for memory is the constant obligation of all generations. And today we pause to remember what President Donald Trump rightly called the “dark stain on human history” — the greatest evil ever perpetuated by man against man in the long catalogue of human crime.

The faces of a million and a half children reduced to smoke under a silent sky for the crime of having a single Jewish grandparent.  The night Elie Wiesel called “seven times sealed” consumed the faith of so many then, and challenges the faith of so many still.

Today we remember what happens when the powerless cry for help and the powerful refuse to answer. The town’s name was Oświęcim.  As part of their plan to destroy the very existence of Polish culture, the Nazis gave Polish towns German names.  And this one they called Auschwitz. When soldiers opened the gates of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, they found 7,000 half-starved, half-naked prisoners, hundreds of boxes of camp records that documented the greatest mass murder in history.  Before the war was over, in its five years of existence, more than 1.1 million men, women, and children would perish at Auschwitz.

As my wife and I can attest firsthand, from this past year, one cannot walk the grounds of Auschwitz without being overcome with emotion and grief.  One cannot see the piles of shoes, the gas chambers, the crematoriums, the lone boxcar facing the gate to the camp, and those grainy photographs of men, women, and children being sent to their deaths without asking: “How could they?”

Today we mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve.  We remember the names and the faces and the promise of the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Today we also pay tribute to those who survived, who all these years have borne witness to that evil and have served mankind by their example. And today we honor and remember the memory of all the Allied forces, including more than 2 million American soldiers, who left hearth and home, suffered appalling casualties, and freed a continent from the grip of tyranny.

And, finally, we pay tribute to the memory of those non-Jewish heroes who saved countless lives — those the people of Israel call the “righteous among the nations.” In an age of indifference, they acted.  In an age of fear, they showed courage.  And their memory and their example should kindle anew the flame of our hearts to do the same in our time.

We must be prepared to stand as they did against the wave of their times.  We must be prepared to confront and expose the vile tide of anti-Semitism that is fueling hate and violence all across the world.  And we must stand together.

In that same spirit, we must also stand strong against the leading state purveyor of anti-Semitism, against the one government in the world that denies the Holocaust as a matter of state policy and threatens to wipe Israel off the map.  The world must stand strong against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

And, finally, we must have the courage to recognize all the leaders and all the nations that are gathered here that, today, we have the responsibility and the power to ensure that what we remember here today can never happen again. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

Holding Hostage the Memory of the Jewish Dead
Melanie Phillips
Melaniephillips.com, Jan. 24, 2020

A profound and bitter battle between Israel and Poland has been brought to crisis point by the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which is being commemorated by world leaders this week at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem and next week at Auschwitz itself.

The roots of the row lay in remarks made last December by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He claimed that Poland helped start World War II, and accused it of being an antisemitic country that had welcomed Hitler’s plan to liquidate Europe’s Jews.

A few days later, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki hit back. “Without Stalin’s complicity in the partition of Poland, and without the natural resources that Stalin supplied to Hitler, the Nazi German crime machine would not have taken control of Europe,” he said.

This dispute escalated when the Polish President, Andrzej Duda, wasn’t invited to speak at the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem on Jan. 23. It had previously been decided that, in addition to Germany, the only speakers would be from the United Kingdom, United States, Russia and France as the four nations that defeated Hitler.

Despite this explanation, Duda decided to boycott the Yad Vashem ceremony on the grounds that he wouldn’t be able to respond should Putin use the event to repeat his accusations against Poland of antisemitism.

The row then escalated still further in salvos of mutual accusations between Russia and Poland, each accusing the other of facilitating or standing idly by Hitler’s assault on Europe and the slaughter of the Jews.

The truth is that both sides are trying to sanitize their highly complex pasts. Both are using their undeniable suffering at the hands of the Nazi regime to absolve themselves of complicity in either Nazi aggression or the onslaught upon the Jews.

The Soviet Union may have made its infamous pact with Germany in 1939 merely as a defensive measure, as Putin has implied. And the Soviet Union was critical to the eventual defeat of Hitler. Nevertheless, that pact gave Hitler the confidence to provoke world war by invading Poland. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

FDR’S Role in Preventing the Rescue of Europe’s Jews… What We Can’t Forget When We Remember Anne Frank
Rafael Medoff
History News Network, June 9, 2019

On grocery store checkout lines around the country this month, amidst the candy bars and zany tabloids, shoppers will find a glossy 96-page magazine called “Anne Frank: Her Life and Legacy.” Unfortunately, it fails to explain one of the most important but little-known aspects of the Anne Frank story—how her life could have been saved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The new Anne Frank publication, compiled by the staff of Life magazine, is filled with photographs of Anne and her family, and a breezy overview of her childhood, tragically cut short by the Nazi Holocaust. Today, June 9, would have been her 90th birthday.

Little Anne, “thin as a wisp, curious, mercurial, and a know-it-all” at first enjoyed an idyllic life, “but outside the family circle, the world was changing,” Life recounts. Economic and social crises in Germany propelled Adolf Hitler to power in 1933, and Anne’s father, Otto, quickly moved the family to neighboring Holland for safety.

When World War II erupted in 1939, Life reports, Otto “frantically searched for ways to get his family away from the growing conflict” and “he hoped to emigrate to the United States.”

That’s all. No accounting of what happened when the Franks sought to emigrate to the United States. No explanation as to why the Roosevelt administration refused to open America’s doors to Anne Frank or countless other Jewish children.

Just the one vague allusion to Otto’s “hope,” and then quickly back to the famous story of Anne hiding in the Amsterdam attic and writing entries in her diary.

Here’s the part of the story that Life left out.

Laws enacted by the U.S. Congress in the 1920s created a quota system to severely restrict immigration. Roosevelt wrote at the time that immigration should be sharply restricted for “a good many years to come” so there would be time to “digest” those who had already been admitted. He argued that future immigration should be limited to those who had “blood of the right sort”—they were the ones who could be most quickly and easily assimilated, he contended. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

Did Dutch Jews Go Like Lambs to the Gas Chambers?
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld
BESA, June 19, 2019

Gen. (ret.) Toine Beukering is a freshman Dutch senator from the Forum for Democracy, a new anti-immigration and Eurosceptic party. Because the Forum for Democracy has become the largest party in the Senate, the Senate chair is expected to be chosen from its ranks. Beukering is its candidate.

On June 8, the largest Dutch daily, De Telegraaf, published an interview with Beukering. During the interview, he explained that one of the reasons he joined the Dutch military was that he had read a shelf full of books on the Shoah as a child.  He said, “I’ve always been intrigued by how it was possible that the Jews – such a courageous, militant nation – were chased like docile lambs into the gas chambers.”

The interviewer asked whether he understood that people would be shocked by this remark. Beukering replied that he had participated in the Dutch kippa-wearing day in solidarity with Jews. Beukering’s words did indeed cause an outcry, and he apologized for them a few days later.
The former general’s words once again illustrate the myth the Dutch have created about their wartime history after their country was liberated by the Allies from German occupation in May 1945.

In May 1940, a few days after the Germans invaded the Netherlands, the Dutch queen, Wilhelmina of Oranje, fled to London without consulting her ministers. Most ministers followed her. They left no instructions to the remaining functionaries about how to act during the occupation. The Dutch army capitulated within a few days.

The Dutch Supreme Court was among the first to betray the Jews. In 1940, the Germans asked all Dutch officials and teachers to sign a declaration that they were not Jewish. Almost all concerned signed, including the non-Jewish members of the Supreme Court. So did almost all employees of the Ministry of Justice. The Germans used this declaration to exclude Jews from official positions. Lodewijk Visser, the Jewish president of the Supreme Court, was dismissed by the Germans in early 1941.

In 2011, a book was published about the Supreme Court during the German occupation. The authors concluded that this court “lost the halo of the highest maintainers of justice in the Netherlands.” When the book was publicly presented, the then President of the Supreme Court, Geert Corstens, said the signing of the declaration in 1940 “went against everything for which the Supreme Court should have stood.” … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

For Further Reference:

‘Completely Incomprehensible’: Jewish Soldier Recalls Liberating Auschwitz Global News, Jan. 24, 2020 — His jacket sparkling with war medals, 96-year old David Dushman holds back the tears as he remembers the eyes of emaciated prisoners at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz which he helped liberate 75 years ago this month.


The Liberation of Auschwitz Facing History and OurselvesThis footage is among the most famous scenes from the liberation of Auschwitz—a group of surviving children now under the care of nurses.


Duchess of Cambridge Marks 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation with Portraits of Holocaust Survivors:  Rory Sullivan, CNN, Jan. 27, 2020The Duchess of Cambridge has taken two moving photographs of Holocaust survivors and their families to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.


Senior Saudi Religious Leader Set for ‘Groundbreaking’ Visit to Auschwitz Thurs.:  Adam Rasgon, Times of Israel,  Jan. 22, 2020 A senior Saudi religious leader is slated to visit the Auschwitz death camp in Poland on Thursday ahead of the 75th anniversary of its liberation by the Soviet Red Army.


WATCH:  Debbie Cenziper: America’s Hidden Nazis: Chicago Humanities Festival, YouTube, Dec. 3, 2019 In 1990, new information set off a remarkable Department of Justice search to find a group of Nazi collaborators who had been living anonymously in the United States since the end of World War II.