Monday, May 18, 2015

Attitude of Today's Germans Towards Jews Returning Towards Strong Resentment

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     
Dachau in Germany-established in 1933 when they murdered 4 Jews, by 1938 terror was happening inside these walls.
January 30, 1938, Hitler had been in power for 5 years and celebrated his 5th anniversary.  Up to this point, German Jews had been allowed to leave and they did in the tens of thousands, for Jews had lived in Germany since the year 1,000.  At this point, 200 Jews had been killed, most in the first 14 months of Hitler's rule.  But, Jews were deprived of their rights of citizenship.  Jewish prisoners in Dachau was not known until early in 1939.  On February 4, 1938 the Jews were in work camps in special detachments and received the hardest tasks.  They were beaten all the time for silly things, sworn at with "Sow Jew, Filthy Jew, Stink Jew.  Jews were given nothing to eat whereas non Jews got a slice of bread for breakfast.  

Suicides and shootings were going on during "attempted escapes."  Lowenberg was beaten so badly that he committed suicide that night in February.  March came and 2 men were shot while trying to escape.  Another was shot dead for getting too close to a sentry.  One was shot dead for stepping into a neutral zone outside barbed wire.  During the hot summer, Jews were forbidden to drink water.  

It's been 76 years since my Uncle Werner was able to escape from Germany during the height of Jewish anti-Semitism.  He was a young man, 23, born in Boppard, whose father had served in the German army and was a decorated soldier in the service of the Kaiser, but was forced to scrub the streets during Kristallnacht.  He wore his uniform while doing this in his town of Koblenz to show people he had been a good citizen.
Gate to Dachau Concentration Camp just outside of Munich
Work will make you free
In connection with Kristallnacht, Werner was taken into protective custody, they called it.  He was arrested for hitting a cow with a stick to keep it on the cow path when walking it to the barn.  His father had a butcher shop where they made sausages.  From  November 15, 1938 to February 8, 1939, he was in Dachau Concentration Camp as an action prisoner. In November, 62 Jews there were forced to run a gauntlet of spades, clubs and whips.   The Jews were beaten and would fall down but the beatings didn't stop.   Beatings lasted 30 minutes.  In this case, 12 of the 62 died from it with their skulls smashed in.  The others were unconscious.  The eyes of some were knocked out, faces were flattened and shapeless.   He never told his children of the extent of being locked up in Dachau for almost 3 months, and made it sound like it was only a week or so in a police station. He could never bring himself to tell anyone about what he had gone through expect to the man who sponsored him to get into the USA.   It was a terrible experience, but mild compared to what others would face the next year and the next till the end of the war.    They forced him to eat pork while he was there, knowing that this was a revulsion for a Jew, something he never had eaten.

His parents managed to sell just about everything to get enough money to get him out on the last ship on May 2, 1939.  From Hamburg, he sailed to New York.  The passage cost them RM350.  He landed in Texas.  He was to work and then get his parents and younger 16 year old sister out, but as we all know, the doors closed and it became impossible to get them out.

Today is the 50th anniversary of a diplomatic reconciliation between Germany and Israel that took place in 1965.  One of Israel's many newspapers, the Jerusalem Post received an email from Israel's Ambassador to Germany, Yakov Hadas Handelsman who wrote that the young generation will stand in the center of this year's anniversary.  Berlin has young Israeli artists living there.  You'd think that Jews would never return, but the old adage, "time heals all wounds," seems to be working---for some, but not for others. Germans felt much psychological guilt after WWII for causing 6 million Jews to die, and die in horrible deaths besides.  They demonstrated a positive attitude when Israel was reborn on May 14, 1948 and have helped Israel since then in many ways.
One thing I noticed while living in Israel  from 1980 to the end of 1985 were the sheruts, long long taxis that were shorter than a bus but longer than taxis and much appreciated since automobile ownership was very rare.  "Sherut" are Minivans that operate as Shared Taxis that can fill up a maximum of 10 passengers. Sherut fares are about 5 NIS per person. The Sherut Taxis are usually red & white (sometimes yellow) mini-buses that travel along the main streets of Tel Aviv (Dizengoff and Ben-Yehuda).They came from Germany.

 It was found that 81% of Israelis desired closer relations with Germany.

Author Bernard Lewis made the prediction 30 years ago that positive feelings towards Israel would dwindle and would inevitably die away as the memory of Nazi crimes receded into the past.  He was right.

Those Germans who are turning against Israel are like other Europeans.  They view the end results going on as Israel winning a battle against the Palestinians and think of them as the aggressors--the Nazis, who took over Europe and lied to the nations.  They see this because they were winning, but ignored completely what circumstances brought  them to this point in time. They don't understand what self defense is, evidently and that Israel was fighting against anti-Semitic terrorist organizations like Hamas, a Palestine terror group who had taken over Fatah, a former terror group called for many years the PLO;  Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad.   I call them "visual thinkers."  Only what they see makes and impression.  They don't bother to investigate the why aspects.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp established June 1940 in Poland
Israeli psychoanalyst, Zvi Rex, remarked that the Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz," which was a sarcastic remark.  This camp was organized by SS men with experience in other camps in Germany.  It was intended to serve as a place of punishment for Polish political prisoners.  Barrack chiefs or Kapos were convicted German criminals. The first batch of Jews arrived in a group of 20.  Among them was a director of the local Hebrew school and  2 lawyers.   They heard that Paris had fallen.  When they arrived in Auschwitz they were put to work digging ditches and moving earth.

France fell, then Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Norway.  In Poland, the number of forced labour camps grew.  500 hundred Jews were taken from Szczebrzeszyn to other work camps.  The work was digging ditches, draining marshes while they stood in water.  They were plagued with lice and lived in filth.  Clothing looked like it was sprinkled with poppy seeds from the lice.  They suffered from an epidemic of typhus.

 We are expected to forgive them for all the 6 million that died in these horrible concentration camps spread out throughout Germany and the rest of Europe.  This is the scene of medical experiments by Mengele.  They also did poison gas experiments here on Jews.

On June 14, 1940, German forces entered Paris.  They were taking over the whole world They were the aggressors. They wanted other county's land.  The Palestinians want Israel's land.  They have this in common; wanting others' land.  Tens of thousands of Jews were trapped, and with them there were several thousand Jewish refugees from pre-war Germany and central Europe.  Among them was Ernst Weiss, the Austrian novelist.  Instead of being on that last ship for the USA like my Uncle Werner, he had fled Prague in March of 1939 and had headed for Paris.  He committed suicide at age 56 as the German troops marched down the Champs Elysees.

It is said that we are to remember so that this will never happen again to anyone.  This Holocaust with the goal to make all Jews extinct, to wipe out a whole people, is something horrific.  The idea of blaming one group of people for the ills of another's economic problems is simply not accepting blame for their own decisions and actions.  This is what happened in Germany.  They blamed Jews for their economic problems because Jews were successful as a group and they were different.  They weren't Catholic, the prevailing religion of Germany at that time, or even Lutheran.
Crusades killed many Jews in Europe, especially in Germany
Germany's history of treating Jews as the rest of the population is also bad.  Jews had arrived there in the 10th century, and settled in the Rhineland in the city of Worms, which became a center for many Jews.  Jews also lived in Speyer and Mainz.  They had a mutual cemetery which dated from the 11th century, and a synagogue that was built in 1034.  By the 11th century the Jewish community was well established.  It was in 1096 that the German Crusaders massacred Jews in European towns.  The Jewish community of Worms . was annihilated in the First Crusade, and then re-established itself shortly afterwards and again was destroyed in the Black Death outbreaks in 1349.  Jews were again expulsed in 1615 and they returned.  Restrictions were imposed in 1641.  A massacre of Jews was carried out by the soldiers of Louis XIV in 1689.  Finally, Emancipation was conferred after the French Revolution.  Famous Jewish sites dating to the 11th century were destroyed in November 1938.  Worms had 1,200 Jews in 1933.  The community was destroyed and the people were killed under the Nazis.

Evidently Operation Protective Edge beguiled the thinking of the young German set.  German-Jewish historian, Michael Wolffsohn, told the daily Tagesspiegel that he was unsettled by the discussions of Israel because they show "an increasing detachment, aggressiveness and hatefulness.  Many of the German youth belong to the Left Party's Solid Ruhr youth branch.  They even organized a pro-Palestinian demonstration.  Activists tossed bottles and rocks at the pro-Israeli protesters.  They screamed "Burn, shitty Jew!"  Burn?  Isn't that shades of the Holocaust peeping through their minds?

The Germans are on the forefront of the BDS movement of boycotting Israel, divesting from her and putting sanctions on any of her products, hoping to cause an economic collapse.  It's the left's idea of a fight.  They are punishing Israel for surviving wars in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and all the other operations against her including the tunneling and particularly Operation Defensive Edge.  Germany has just passed a local National Democratic Party (NPD) neo-Nazi legislative act.  Do you think that is influencing them?  "

Statements of the NPD document have an essential affinity with National Socialism; its agitation is racistantisemiticrevisionist, and intends to disparage the democratic and lawful order of the constitution. American David Duke is their friend.  During the Gaza War in 2009, the NPD planned a "holocaust vigil" for Gaza in support of the Palestinians.   Charlotte Knobloch, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said "joint hatred of everything Jewish is unifying neo-Nazis and Islamists." Knobloch claimed German-Palestinian protestors "unashamedly admitted" that they would vote for the NPD during the next election."   Yes, there a many Palestinians now living in Germany.  
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).  She is the world's 2nd most powerful person and is also the head of the EU.  Born in Hamburg in 1954, "Merkel has supported Israeli diplomatic initiatives, opposing the Palestinian bid for membership at the UN. However, Merkel requested that continued building of settlements beyond the Green Line should stop, and disagreed with the Israeli government's behavior. Merkel's latest visit to Israel was on February 25–27, 2014. During her visit, Merkel was awarded Israel's highest civilian award by President Shimon Peres, for her "unwavering commitment to Israel's security and the fight against anti-Semitism and racism."  I fear this insistance of being against building comes from a visual thinker and not from delving into the situation by boning up on the facts.  She is a busy lady.  I'd think someone could do this for her and give her a summary.  

Dr. Zalman Grinberg, a survivor of death marches and the Kovno ghetto, told survivors in Dachau a month after liberation in May 27, 1945 after 35 Jews died from illness and being so weak: that Hitler had won the war against the Jews of Europe.  He had carried out this war with the help of the German nation.  We do not want revenge.  If we took this vengeance  it would mean we would fall to the depths of ethics and morals the German nation had been in in the past 10 years.  We are not able to slaughter women and children!  We are not able to burn millions of people!  We are not able to starve hundreds of thousands!  

Another German columnist for Die Welt, Henryk M Broder, noted that German-Israeli relations cannot flourish on a foundation of guilt, whether pathological or repentant.  What can help young Germans overcome their negative feelings towards Israel is meeting the hip Israeli youth culture, embracing liberty, understanding Israel's core security interests and joint Democratic values they both share.  Hopefully in the future we will still be friends, never to repeat historical hatreds again.  

Resource: Benjamin Weinthall "Why does Germany's young generation hold negative views of Israel?
Book:  The Holocaust, a history of the Jews of Europe During the 2nd WW by Martin Gilbert Operation Defensive Edge

1 comment:

  1. cliche' perhaps but....what goes around, comes around--------only bigger and worse.
    (until the Lord God finishes the matter-----which is not too far out now.)

    shame shame shame for all the wrong that so so many people want to justify---but truly can't.