Sunday, April 23, 2006

Yom Ha Shoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Twenty-fifth of April marks Yom Ha Shoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. I originally started this website out of increasing frustration with individuals that I was encountering online, who repeatedly questioned the historical accuracy of the murder of more than 12 million individuals (six milion Jews, and six million Gypsies, homosexuals, and political dissidents) by Adolph Hitler and the Nazi regime during the World War 2 Era. My initial thought was that I could simply gather all the most incriminating images together in one place, and offer a link that Holocaust-deniers could then be directed to, as a refutation of their claims.

My thoughts on the use of this website have not changed--nor have my plans. As a writer and teacher, I am continually beseiged by various projects, and though I have not had time recently to work much in the direction I have wanted with this website (I do not consider it, in the typical sense, a "blog"), I am planning on continuing to archive as many images as I can scan from as many sources as I can find; as well as continuing to write articles, from time to time.

Although I find myself at a cultural loss to fully-understand the implications of the Holocaust on the one ethnic group most obviously affected by the horrors perpetrated during those six years of murder, I have found in my study of the subject (no matter how informal) that the horror of the Holocaust, to quote Roberto Bennigni, "...belongs to the world." No living human being can hope to appreciate what it means to be a citizen of this new century without first coming to terms with the darkest chapter of the last, and though many will try to deny this assertion, or lessen the impact or import on this singular act of genocide, it will continue to resonate as one of the most important and universal human events in all of recorded history.

Since there are not words that I can adequately use to convey in furtherance of Yom HaShoah, I believe that to write much more at this time would be straining prudence and tact. Suffice it to say, in light of the decades of murder and the genocides that have been allowed to occur in the wake of this awesome human tragedy, the only sentiments I can muster to truly convey my own position, and the position of what, I believe, every moral, sentient human being walking the face of the earth should be, are: NEVER AGAIN.

"...The wrongs we seek to condemn and punish have been so cultivated, so malignant and so devestating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated."--Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, U.S. Prosecutor, Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal

(Below I have posted the lyrics to Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, or Jerusalem of Gold , with a few photos that, I , personally, had not yet seen. In future, once my ability to scan photos is restored, this blog will be updated more regularly. If you have never heard this song, I think that it must count as one of the most beautiful, and moving pieces of music ever written.)

Verse 1

Avir harim tsalul k'yayin
Vereiyach oranim
Nissah beru'ach ha'arbayim
Im kol pa'amonim.

U'vtardemat ilan va'even
Shvuyah bachalomah
Ha'ir asher badad yoshevet
Uvelibah - chomah. Verse 1

The mountain air is clear as water
The scent of pines around
Is carried on the breeze of twilight,
And tinkling bells resound.

The trees and stones there softly slumber,
A dream enfolds them all.
So solitary lies the city,
And at its heart -- a wall.


The gates of Auschwitz, as photographed in 1981.

Chorus:
Yerushalayim shel zahav
Veshel nechoshet veshel or
Halo lechol shirayich Ani kinor.
x2 Chorus:
Oh, Jerusalem of gold,
and of light and of bronze,
I am the lute for all your songs.
x2

Jews captured after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising are herded away for deportation.

Verse 2

Chazarnu el borot hamayim
Lashuk velakikar
Shofar koreh behar habayit
ba'ir ha'atikah.

Uvme'arot asher baselah
Alfei shmashot zorchot
Nashuv nered el Yam Hemalach
B'derech Yericho
Verse 2

The wells are filled again with water,
The square with joyous crowd,
On the Temple Mount within the City,
The shofar rings out loud.

Within the caverns in the mountains
A thousand suns will glow,
We'll take the Dead Sea road together,
That runs through Jericho.

Chorus:
Yerushalayim shel zahav
Veshel nechoshet veshel or
Halo lechol shirayich Ani kinor.
x2 Chorus:
Oh, Jerusalem of gold,
and of light and of bronze,
I am the lute for all your songs.
x2

Female corpses piled in Block 11; Auschwitz, 1945.


Verse 3

Ach bevo'i hayom lashir lach
Velach likshor k'tarim
Katonti mitse'ir bana'ich
Ume achron ham'shorerim.


Ki shmech tsorev et hasfatayim
Keneshikat saraf
Im eshkachech Yerushalayim
Asher kulah zahav. Verse 3

But as I sing to you, my city,
And you with crowns adorn,
I am the least of all your children,
Of all the poets born.


Sorting the shoes of the victims.

Your name will scorch my lips for ever,
Like a seraph's kiss, I'm told,
If I forget thee, golden city,
Jerusalem of gold.

Chorus:
Yerushalayim shel zahav
Veshel nechoshet veshel or
Halo lechol shirayich Ani kinor.
x2 Chorus:
Oh, Jerusalem of gold,
and of light and of bronze,
I am the lute for all your songs.
x2

Survivors at Mathausen Concentration Camp counting the dead after liberation--1945.



American soldiers force Hitler Youth members to examine death train with corpses.



Examining corpses at Dachau Concentration Camp.


THE IMAGES AND INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS WEBSITE GIVE TESTAMENT TO THE CORRUPTION OF HUMAN HATE, AND THE END RESULT OF MORAL INDIFFERENCE. THAT THE ACTIONS AND EVENTS DOCUMENTED IN THESE PHOTOS ARE NOT SIMPLY THE REMINDERS OF THE BARBARIC ACTIONS THAT WERE PERPETRATED BY A MURDEROUS REGIME OF SIX DECADES AGO, BUT HAVE OCCURED AND CONTINUE IN PLACES SUCH AS CAMBODIA, KOSOVO, AND DARFUR, IS A REMINDER THAT WE AS HUMAN BEINGS MUST BE EVER-VIGILANT IN THE FACE OF RACISM AND ETHNIC INTOLERANCE. PERHAPS, ONE DAY, WE WILL BE ABLE TO TRULY SAY, "NEVER AGAIN".

3 Comments:

Blogger Brady said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Brady said...

la la la

2:20 PM  
Blogger rach said...

Wonderful Website. With all of the footage and photographs I cannot understand how anyone could deny history.

3:11 PM  

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