Category Archives: genocide

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

I’m of the generation that grew up watching John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and greatly admired both men. After I read a few of the books written by Dale Evans Rogers, Roy’s wife, I admired him even more. They were straight shooting, honest men. Hard working, with guts and integrity. And that was just in their private lives, let alone their persona in the movies. As you can tell, I’m from a time gone by.

I guess what got me to thinking about heroes was a facebook meme I saw a couple days ago. It had a picture of Batman and said “My boss told me to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Now I’m sitting in Human Resources at a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman.” I was telling a girlfriend about it and said I wanted to find one that said I’m sitting in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Judah Maccabee. She seemed a little astonished. She said Judah’s battles were in many arenas. Spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological. She felt that was quite a chunk to chew. I agree.

The night before I had watched a 1982 movie called “The Wall” about the Warsaw ghetto, and how the resistance came to be. Well, at least Hollywood style. One of the leaders of the resistance turned out to be (in the movie anyway) a woman named Rachel. She was one of the first to insist to the resistance the cattle cars weren’t going to the Ukraine. She was the first to insist they were going to have to be responsible for defending themselves. She was the one that was teaching them how to shoot a pistol. Sadly there is not enough back-story in the movie to know how she acquired such knowledge, but her directions were pretty good. But as best as I can tell, she was just a nice woman who was enjoying a nice Jewish life with her family when the world went crazy.

Judah was the same, he and his family were having a nice Jewish life in Modin. Well, as nice as you can have when Antiochus has decided your religion will not be allowed to exist and you must abandon it and now accept HIS religion. Oh, and if you follow yours, you will die.

My girlfriend pointed out some of my thought processes are a tad bit different than a lot of peoples. Ok, maybe so. So I asked her who HER heroes are? She is quite a bit younger than I am.

Her choices were Corrie Ten Boom, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry and all the founding fathers. For quite similar reasons. Corrie? A nice old lady building and fixing watches, well, until the world went cray-cray. Laura? She and her family were some of the early pioneers. Their lives were not easy and they went through many difficult and trying times. But they stuck it out to help settle their land and have nice lives. The founding fathers? Well, they were farmers and simple men. Men with families just going about their daily lives. Yet, when the need for them to rise to the challenge in the case of freedom and liberty, they did. She summed it up with ordinary, everyday people doing extraordinary things. People with regular lives becoming amazing heroes. Ordinary people overcoming extraordinary odds.

I asked a relative of mine who her heroes were. She is five years younger than I am. Hers? Winston Churchill, “Iron” Margaret Thatcher, and sigh, Colin Powell. All for the same reason, they were people who took unpopular stances when it was necessary to do the right thing, because it was the right thing.

A friend of mine a couple years older? Leonard Bernstein. Because he stepped in and did such a marvelous job when the chips were down. I kind of caught her off guard with the question as our whole conversation up to that point had been a completely different topic.

My point is this, all of the people I surveyed are within about 15 years of each other. We have similar reasons for picking our heroes.

What are children taught today are heroes in the public schools? There are pages on Michael Jordan, paragraph on George Washington? Really. The media tells us it is a football player who is “courageous” enough to tell the world he is “gay”. Ok, takes courage, but is the result the same as Nathan Hale? A man has a sex change operation? Courage? Um, well, ok. But actually I think his/her saying on public television that he/she is a Republican took more. It reminds me of collage in the 60s. All these kids dressed alike, bathing as often, chanting the same slogans and protesting for the same causes claiming they are “bucking the system” and never seeing the irony.

Today we have celebrate “diversity”, as long as you go along with what the liberal political correctness tells you IS diversity. If not? You will be attacked in the media as a hater, your bank account subject to IRS seizure and the tolerant left will try to shut your business down. We must be diverse, as long as we are diverse the way it’s “allowed”. Ahh, what was it Hitler said about giving him a generation? I’m sure professor Bill Ayers said similar though. Just a guess.

So now I will sound like the old person I am. I will bemoan that today the main topic is who will win American Idol, what are the Kardashians wearing and where is Paris Hilton, while they may not know there is a Paris, France.

Perhaps it is just me, perhaps it is the rainy day, but I can not help but wonder, for how little can the title “Hero” be purchased today? Will people be the same today as they were in the meeting in the film clip from “The Wall”, they delayed fighting evil, because they did not recognize evil for what it was, and if they began to they were unable to admit to it. Almost every hero listed above, no matter who selected them, recognized a threat to their area and addressed it.

From 1st Maccabees 3:17

Now when Seron, a prince of the army of Syria, heard say that Judas had gathered unto him a multitude and company of the faithful to go out with him is to war ; he said, I will get me a name and honor in the kingdom ; for I will go fight with Judas and them that are with him, who despise the king’s commandment. So he made him ready to go up, and there went with him a mighty host of the ungodly to help him, and to be avenged of the children of Israel.

And when he came near to the going up of Beth-horon, Judas went forth to meet him with a small company: who, when they saw the host coming to meet them, said unto Judas, How shall we be able, being so few, to fight against so great a multitude and so strong, seeing we arc ready to faint with fasting all this day ? Unto whom Judas answered.

It is no hard matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few; and with the God of heaven it is all one, to deliver with a great multitude, or a small company: for the victory of battle standeth not in the multitude of an host; but strength cometh from heaven. They come against us in much pride and iniquity to destroy us, and our wives and children, and to spoil us but we fight for our lives and our laws. Wherefore the Lord himself will overthrow lo them before our face and as for you, be ye not afraid of them.

Now as soon as he had left off speaking, he leapt suddenly upon them, and so Seron and his host was overthrown before him. And they pursued them from the going down of Beth-horon unto the plain, where were slain about eight hundred men of them ; and the residue fled into the land of the Philistines.

Then began the fear of Judas and his brethren, and an exceeding great dread, to fall upon the nations.

Judah Maccabee Meme
Judah Maccabee Meme

So who are YOUR heroes, and why?

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A Letter to Heydrich

On July 31st 1941 the order to plan a “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem” was formally placed into motion.

SS Chief Hermann Göring wrote a letter to his director of Reich Security Services, Reinhardt Heydrich, directing him “to carry out all the necessary preparations with regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence.”

He further ordered Heydrich to prepare and submit to him the resulting overall plan to accomplish this very important task.

As of the Summer of 1941, the “German sphere of influence” already covered over a dozen countries… home to some Eleven Million Jews. Many of whose communities dated back over one thousand years. Some were to twice that old.

By January of the following year, the overall plan was ready. A coordinating conference was held in Wannsee.

wannsee

The attendees included:
• Heydrich, as chief of the Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt-RSHA)
• SS Major General Heinrich Müller, chief of the Gestapo
• SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann, chief of the RSHA Department of Jewish Affairs
• SS Colonel Eberhard Schöngarth, RSHA commander Government General in Krakow, Poland
• Major Rudolf Lange, commander of RSHA Einsatzkommando 2, then deployed in Latvia
• SS Major General Otto Hofmann, the chief of SS Race and Settlement Main Office.
• State Secretary Roland Freisler of the Ministry of Justice
• Reichs Cabinet Ministerial Director Wilhelm Kritzinger
• State Secretary Alfred Meyer of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories
• Ministerial Director Georg Leibrandt of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories
• Foreign Office Undersecretary of State Martin Luther
• Interior Ministry State Secretary Wilhelm Stuckart
• State Secretary Erich Naumann (Office of Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan)
• State Secretary Josef Bühler of the Office of the Government of the Governor General in German-occupied Poland
• Nazi Party Chancellery Ministerial Director Gerhard Klopfer

Heydrich crisply described the disposition of the “Endlsösung” to the attendees in this way:

“(D)uring the course of the Final Solution, the Jews will be deployed under appropriate supervision at a suitable form of labor deployment in the East. In large labor columns, separated by gender, able-bodied Jews will be brought to those regions to build roads, whereby a large number will doubtlessly be lost through natural reduction. Any final remnant that survives will doubtless consist of the elements most capable of resistance. They must be dealt with appropriately, since, representing the fruit of natural selection, they are to be regarded as the core of a new Jewish revival.”

Zyklon B to Smoke and Ash

 

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Let’s Make A Deal

So barry and kerry are very busy patting themselves on the back for their “historic” agreement reached with Iran. It’s a really great deal. For Iran. As for the US, we have now taken sides in the Sunni vs Shia middle east face off. I have heard more than one comparison to the 1938 Munich agreement signed by that waste of oxygen Neville Chamberpot, oops, Chamberlain. And appeasing tyrants has always worked out so well. The sanctions against Iran will be lifted (ok, so I like the photo), the ketchup tycoon has backed off the anywhere anytime inspections they touted, and basically we get nothing. Not even the four prisoners being held by Iran. They didn’t even come up. Pity, it would have given ketchup, er kerry, one more thing to cave on. Even some of the other muslim countries don’t like the deal. Our allies no longer trust us, no one need worry about the obama regime attacking them (unless it’s conservatives).

But at least before this disastrous deal giving the country which has vowed to destroy the US and Israel, nuclear power is final, it will have to go through the US congress. Well, no.

Turns out barry and kerry decided to submit the agreement to the United Nations BEFORE it could go through congress. Which prompted sputtering and outrage from those invaluable protectors of the American people, like the carpet wetting  John Boehner. They whined that congress would continue to do their job no matter that the “agreement”had been submitted to the UN. What I wonder, is it that congress thinks they will do? It seems barry and kerry think it’s more important that the agreement go to the U.N. because it affects other countries. Hmmm, okaaayyy, if that’s how it works, let’s be consistent.

It seems on the 16th of July this year the Israeli Sanhedrin called barry to appear in front of the court on the 9th of September for for what it says are “criminal offenses” against the Jewish people following the passage of the Iran nuclear deal. The Sanhedrin accuses Obama of “deliberately promoting genocide for the Jewish people.” Well, and the American citizens too. Link is well worth checking, it has the documents. That was even before the Sanhedrin found out that barry and kerry gave Iran the technology to make sure Israel couldn’t take out their nuclear facilities.

Ok, well, if we go by ketchup kerry’s reasoning for bypassing congress on the nuclear agreement,

“Well, they have a right to do that, honestly. It is presumptuous of some people to say that France, Russia, China, Germany, Britain ought to do what the Congress tells them to do,” said Kerry. “They have a right to have a vote. But we prevailed on them to delay the implementation of that vote out of respect of our Congress.”

The nuclear agreement with The Islamic state of Iran will certainly effect Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and pretty much every other country since who knows what the crazies will do. If we are going to yield American sovereignty to the U.N. over the nuclear deal, shouldn’t we yield the American President and maybe even throw in the Secretary of State to be turned over to the Sanhedrin?

You know, I’m concerned about the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty that barry had kerry sign. Since this regime rules by executive action, and executive order, why should we think that in their opinion that two-thirds of the Senate needs to approve it? I mean, it affects other countries as well. Congress may well stomp it’s fancy shoes, but I don’t really expect them to do anymore about that than they will this bypass.

It seems barry and kerry are very invested in making sure that Begin’s daring raid can not be repeated.

Thanks for the video Y.B.

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HaHaganah Museum

The next museum I will share with you is the HaHaganah museum in Tel Aviv. It was originally the meeting place of HaHaganah, because the building where the museum resides is the former home of Eliyahu Golomb, one of the founders of HaHaganah. Many an important meeting took place there. The topics would have ranged from how to get more Jewish refugees into Israel to defense of the settlements. The meetings held in the house were secret and they would have been conducted from1930-1945. In 1954 the building was sold to an entrepreneur and plans were made to demolish the building. Former members of the Haganah found out and intervened. They wanted the irreplaceable house built in 1923 turned into a museum. Said entrepreneur agreed. I guess anyone would. Who wants to argue with a bunch of ticked off Haganah. I suppose the owner didn’t want to mess with them. They got their museum.

HaHaganah Museum
HaHaganah Museum

HaHaganah was the evolution of Jewish Defense forces. The first group formed was Bar-Giora, named for Simon Bar Giora one of the leaders of the revolt against Rome. Meeting for the first time on September 28, 1907 in Ytizhak Ben-|Zvi’s apartment they set their goal. It was settle the land and guard it from Arabs. Their motto was

“In fire and blood did Judea fall; in blood and  fire Judea shall rise.”

This was also one of the mottoes of Jewish defenders during the Russian pogroms. Members had to have a years worth of farming experience as well to be in the Bar-Giora.

The Bar-Giora became the HaShomer in April 1909. HaShomer meant the Watchman. The HaShomer was larger and more organized than the Bar-Giora. The HaShomer set it’s goal to provide organized defense for all of the Jews living in “Palestine”. One of the first challenges they faced was lack of weapons, due to lack of the necessary funds. They finally obtained a loan & the necessary weapons were purchased and distributed. Many of the new owners refused to be separated from their new weapons even for a moment. They soon adopted the dress and customs of the local Bedouins, Druze and Circassians. As well as advancing from being units on foot to horseback. This is always a good thing to my way of thinking. Another challenge the HaShomer faced was shortage of ammunition. It was expensive and hard to procure. This led to secret production centers being set up. The HaShomer were quite effective in their duties, despite the fact at no time was there ever more than 100 members. In 1920 the HaShomer were disbanded to become HaHaganah. Just a quick note here, some people at work asked my opinion on a “Hosmer”. I had no idea what they were talking about. Travel broadens your knowledge base. I now know they probably wanted to know what I thought about the HaShomer! I think they were amazing!

HaShomer
HaShomer

In June 1920 HaHaganah (The Defense) came into being. Initially a loose group, the Arab riots of 1929 changed it’s nature. It changed from a militia to a mature military body. HaHaganah was independent of paying locals to be watchmen nor did they depend on foreign recognition. Though the British Security Forces did work with it to form a civilian militia. The British were mostly pro-Arab and anti-Zionist. At times they urged the Arabs to attack the Jewish settlers. The Arabs soon discovered they could control the immigration policies of the British by rioting. At times the British would work with the Arabs. The Arabs would riot and the British would withdraw their troops & the Jewish police leaving the Jews at the tender mercies of the rioting Arabs. There were many incidences where the casualty rate would have been much, much higher if not for HaHaganah. The British, in general, were proving to be about as good a friends to the new yishuv settlers as they were to the Irish about that time frame.

But even the British get a surprise once in a while. Charles Orde Wingate was just such a surprise. Wingate was born to a religious Christian family & firmly believed in the Bible. Therefore he also firmly believed that the Jewish people belonged in Israel, and he did everything possible to make that happen. He was a talented horseman, who had also studied Arabic and Semitic culture. In 1936 he earned the rank of Captain and the intelligence officer was transferred to Israel later that year.

When he arrived the Arabs were regularly attacking the British & the Jews. Wingate sized up the situation and formed S.N.S. or special night squads comprised mostly of HaHaganah. The were effective as offensive units as well as defensive. They could pre-empt as well as resist attacks and were very effective at helping the yishuv settlers. Therefore the S.N.S. was disliked by Arabs & British. The Yishuv called him “ha-yedid” The friend. Bet he was glad he had learned to speak Hebrew then! For Charles Orde Wingate it was first, last and always about the Jews belonging in Israel and being safe there. He was the perfect man, in the perfect place at the perfect time. Therefore in 1939 the Brits transferred him out. His passport was stamped with a restriction that he was not allowed to re-enter the country. You can’t make this stuff up. His influence lived on though in the people he had trained that went on to become heads of Palmach and later the IDF.

One heart wrenching incident that HaHaganah was unable to stop was the helpless settlers in the Hebron Massacre. The HaHaganah had gone to Hebron to offer their protection, but since the local Sephardic Jews had lived in peace with their Arabic neighbors for years they were concerned that the presence of HaHaganah could irritate the situation. The Haganah were sent away by the ONE British Policeman who had been recruited from the Black & Tans. The terror didn’t end even after they made it to The Beit Romano police station. The level of trust in the British to protect them, and the Arabs not to attack them was way too high, and the cost was very dear. There were stories of Arabs that acted to save the Jews, hiding them in their basements and cellars and defending them with their swords.

When the new settlers wanted to fight back, they had another conundrum. They were facing the bigger and well armed British army and their buddies with whom they also shared arms, The Arab Legion. One of the answers was the Davidka. Not an incredibly accurate weapon, it was loud and tended to scare the heck out of it’s targets.

Yes, a real Davidka
Yes, a real Davidka
Davidka Plaque
Davidka Plaque

Yes indeed! That is a real Davidka!

On May 26th 1948 David Ben-Gurion dissolved HaHaganah, and the other defensive groups to form the IDF.

Take away thoughts from HaHaganah museum: If you are going to trust your life and that of your family to someone, make VERY sure they are worthy it. Some mistakes can not be made up.

If you are going to defend yourself against a government that has no interest in your survival and is siding with your enemies? Weapons, effective weapons and lots of them are a must.

There may be people that were not born of your group that will fight harder for your group than some natural born members. Charles Orde Wingate was just such an incredible man, a G-d given gift to Israel and her new settlers.

Availability of weapons and ammunition is critical.
Availability of weapons and ammunition is critical.

The cost of re-inventing the wheel would be even more astronomical this time. We don’t need to do that. Attitudes are a big key in survival.

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Defiance in the face of deadly evil

Yesterday, Y.B. wrote a remembrance of Lothar Kreyssig, a German judge who defied the Nazis. Kreyssig didn’t succeed in halting their genocidal plans, but he lived — and lived a good, meaningful life.

Unconsciously, it seems to have become part of modern myth that nobody, but nobody, in Germany openly defied the Nazis. Sure, people all over Europe covertly defied them in ways large and small. And partisans outside of Germany took up arms against them, attacking and fading into the woods. Finally, even the most downtrodden captives in Sobibor and Warsaw openly defended themselves against their monstrous tormentors.

But ordinary “Aryan” Germans? We’re so unaccustomed to thinking of them defying their rulers that “good German” remains a term of contempt 70 years after the fact.

But defy they did, even if it was rare and dangerous. Another example, besides Kreyssig’s refusal to give an official stamp to deadly eugenics, was the Rosenstrasse protest, in which “Aryan” wives laid their lives on the line to save their Jewish husbands.

The wives won. Some 1800 Jewish men were saved. Today, there’s a monument at the site of the protest that carries this inscription: “The strength of civil disobedience, the vigor of love overcomes the violence of dictatorship; Give us our men back; Women were standing here, defeating death; Jewish men were free.”

The wives not only saved their husbands. They revealed a weakness in the Nazi regime (that also applies to many tyrants in our day): even the worst brutes on earth squirm and cringe when the light of bad publicity shines on them.

—–

Germans also committed more acts of covert defiance than we give them credit for. A great example is a story that got quite a bit of coverage last year (two good versions here and here).

A German photographer, asked to submit entries for a Nazi-sponsored “perfect Aryan baby” contest, submitted the photo of a child he knew to be Jewish. Her adorable picture beat the rest of the competition and was printed on magazine covers and postcards.

The photographer didn’t ask the family’s permission and his act potentially put both them and himself in danger. At the time, the child’s parents were horrified. But today that baby (now known as Hessy Taft and a professor of chemistry in New York) says she’s quite proud to have been part of the deception.

The photographer wanted to prove that the Nazis were fools — and he succeeded wildly, even though he had to keep his victory and his laughter to himself.

—–

Just think how different, and how much less deadly, 20th century history might have been had even more “good Germans” showed their courage, anger, contempt, and love of decency and refused to be so “good.”

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Remembering Lothar Kreyssig

On July 6th 1986, Lothar Ernst Paul Kreyssig, passed away after living a life of honor and principle.  This was especially so during times when it seemed these virtues were rapidly leaving the world forever.

A member of the Confessing Church, he spent his later years working vigorously to atone for the wrong his countrymen had wrought, believing that even those who resisted should have, and could have, done far more to stop the evil in their midst.

Trained in the law, in Leipzig, he became a district court judge. Soon he was transferred to Brandenburg an der Havel and his new duties were as a guardianship judge for the mentally ill.

Many people think of Nazi Germany as pioneers in the field of eugenics, but that is not really so. That distinction belongs to the United States and Great Britain, and included such names as Margaret Sanger and Sir Francis Galton. Still, the eager understudy, Germany made up time with persistence and passion.

By the summer of 1940 a program known as Aktion T4
was quietly in full swing. The flip-side to nationwide programs encouraging childbearing among Aryans, this program worked to create “Racial Hygene” by removing the ill, the infirm, the defective… the üntermenschen, from the gene-pool of the Master Race. A race for the New World Order.

But, being Germans, everything about this quiet program had to be nice and tidy, with all the documents organized and everything correct. And legal.

Judge Kreyssig kept seeing reams of odd paperwork, often nearly identical, except for the names, cross his desk for approval. Dozens, then hundreds of people were dying under his watch. He soon concluded that this was in fact a forced euthanasia program on a huge scale, and he was placing his own imprimatur on the horrible act.

He refused to do so.

Moreover, he wrote Minister of Justice Franz Gurtner, protesting in very strong terms the treatment of people under his charge, including now, prisoners and residents of a concentration camp, writing:

“What is right is what benefits the people. In the name of this frightful doctrine — as yet, uncontradicted by any guardian of rights in Germany — entire sectors of communal living are excluded from [having] rights, for example, all the concentration camps, and now, all hospitals and sanatoriums.”

Trusting in German Jurisprudence, Judge Kreyssig then filed criminal charges against the program administrator, and issued an injunction against the operation.

Judge Kreyssig was in for a rude awakening. He was called to a meeting by the Justice Minister, and shown a letter authorizing the Aktion T4 signed by Adolph Hitler himself.

This was the Führerprinzip (Leader Principle) in ‘action”. The Law must serve the State. The Leader embodies the State. Thus, the letter of the Law bends to the will of the Leader.

Horrified, but not stupid, Judge Kreyssig, this very powerful and respected jurist, narrowly avoided being sent by the Gestapo to a concentration camp himself. Marginalized over the next two years, he was finally forced to retire from the bench.

Most of us know of the trials of major political and military leaders of the Nazi regime at Nuremburg. There were also trials of morally corrupt Doctors, and of willing (or worse) Prosecutors and Judges.

It is said that when the Nazi Judges were tried by the Allies at Nuremburg, they looked everywhere for a  Judge who under the Regime steadfastly refused to do evil. They found just one:

Lothar Kreyssig.

But, after refusing the seduction of the National Socialist German Workers Party, since the Judge lived in Saxony, he had a new problem. He was now in the “East Zone”… soon to become the new Deutsche Demokratishe Republik. Communist, East Germany.

And, THEY wanted him to be a Judge. Having seen this show before, he refused.

A life-long Evangelical (Protestant) Christian, instead he returned to a prior focus on his faith and community, becoming President of his church for the province of Saxony, and on to many other positions of community leadership.

Most noteworthy, in 1958 Mr. Kreyssig founded the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP), an international organization that continues to this day.

This organization’s view, as an outgrowth of the ideology of Confessing Church roots, calls for “repentance and reversal” on the part of those who do harm to others. Thus, in the context of postwar Germany, not just individual or communal guilt, but an earnest and direct request to aid those who were harmed.

The ARSP sends nearly two hundred volunteers annually to engage in long- and short-term social work for survivors in Belgium, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Ukraine, Israel and the U.S.   Over the years thousands have served.

When faced with a society filled with mindless evil, Judge Kreyssig refused to bend. When lured by a sister-evil, he refused. Instead, Mr. Kreyssig worked the rest of his life for true reconciliation and encouraged others to follow his lead.

A model for us all.

Kreyssig

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Profiles in Courage-updated

One of the museums we visited was the Etzel museum in Tel Aviv. That monthly pass really is a good deal. I still have a couple days left on it, I keep contemplating popping back over there to just add a bit to my story, but I guess I won’t. There is more than one Etzel museum in Tel Aviv and this one was named for Amichai (Gidi) Paiglin.

This is one of those things that at the time seemed like a good idea, and seemed like it would be simple. I’d just make a few notes on the people and topics that really struck me and I wanted to share with our readers and then supplement with info from the net and put in a few links. That’s not how this turned out. What seemed to me, like something that would certainly have a page on Wikipedia, or I could find information “somewhere” on the web, there is nothing but a barren wasteland of info. At least for my first part, which is going to have to be done only from my notes and memory. Which at times is a barren wasteland in and of itself.

Ten days before the State of Israel was declared by David Ben-Gurion (whom I like less all the time) was the last day of a truce. The British were going to be pulling out, and The Irgun had decided to capture Jaffa. The battle had been pretty fierce and there were a many lives lost. In the area of of town where our story takes place the Irgun thought that they had an area where it would be safe for the women to bed down for the night, and that by the next morning they would finish the operation. That probably seemed like a good idea at the time as well. It didn’t work out the way it was planned either. The Arabs managed to sneak past the Etzal during the night and were in the parts of the town where most of the women were.

Marion Aharoni was one of the two women in the minaret who woke up to the sound of Arabic voices the next morning and realized that there were enough of them that the forces in that part of the town wouldn’t be able to hold it. Apparently communications had already been disrupted, and so Marion told the other gal to try to get to headquarters and advise them of the situation. In the meantime headquarters had become aware of what was happening and was trying to sort out their resources and their people to figure out how to best deal with the situation at hand. One of the people in charge of a unit was Ruth Moritz, I believe I have her code name down as Dvora. Ruth was amazing, she was a beautiful woman, I think, and had shown a lot of command skill. Her boyfriend Avaham Canaaite had been killed at the battle of Yafo (Jaffa). Ruth was near headquarters when the other lady finally arrived and informed them of the situation. Headquarters informed Ruth they had talked to their people in that area and no one was left in the minaret. Ruth said she was going to head over there anyway to make sure Marion got out. Headquarters told her no. Ruth said she was going and for everyone else who had legs to get out of there now. Headquarters advised Ruth she should go see to her unit and make sure they were all ready to roll, either evacuate or fight. Ruth told them she would just go check the minaret herself and make sure no one was left behind to face the Arab mob alone. And so she went. If she met fighters along the way, she advised them to get out. She made it to the minaret where Marion was still holed up waiting for orders. Not that there was a thing she could have done. By the time Ruth made it there the Arab mobs were very close. And there were a lot of them. And so to avoid falling into the hands of the Arab mobs they chose to jump from the minaret. Many Arabs at that time, as now, have the same unfortunate goal and tendency to slaughter Jews when possible. No one really knew what happened to the women. After two years a mass grave was found with the bones of two women and three men. I believe it was four years later that they finally found out what had happened.

Another update: We knew Ruth had incredible courage to go back and try to get out Marion who was in her company because she felt she was responsible for Marion. But something that is in the video that I had forgotten is Marion’s incredible courage. Marion was still in that tower because she had not heard the command to retreat. She heard the Arab mobs, she knew they were close. But she stayed and held her position because she had not heard the retreat command. What kind of incredible courage would that take? These were two amazing, smart, strong, courageous women. They deserve to have their names known and remembered outside of Israel.

The view of the minaret I think they jumped from was visible from my “office”.

View from my "office"
View from my “office”

And the evening we walked home from Yafo to Tel Aviv we walked by what I believe is the tower they jumped from.

The minaret
The minaret

The other thing that was striking to me was the Altalena. Yes, of course I knew about the Altalena, the ship. I did not know that was the name Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote under in Russian newspapers though. The other thing was the date. I was at this Etzel museum on 1 June. 1 June 1948 was the day the Irgun, Hagana, and Lehi were all to have been disbanded and incorporated into the newly formed IDF. The cliff notes version of this is the Altalena was a ship bound for Israel carrying fighters and much needed weapons to the Irgun. Timing was an issue, and David Ben-Gurion, was aware the ship was coming in and basically sold the Irgun and Menachem Begin out. The IDF was ordered to attack the Altalena if they wouldn’t turn over all the weapons to the new IDF. That did not happen, and a firefight broke out between the IDF and the Irgun. Menachem Begin headed for the Altalena in a rowboat under fire from the IDF. He made it to the ship and they sailed for Tel Aviv where there were more IDF forces. Ben-Gurion ordered the ship sunk on the high seas by the new Israeli air force before it reached Tel Aviv.

Heiman Shamir Deputy Commander of the Air Force, tried to convince non-Jewish pilot volunteers to attack the ship. However, three pilots refused to participate in the mission, one of them saying, “You can kiss my foot. I did not lose four friends and fly 10,000 miles in order to bomb Jews.”

I told a Rabbi once, not everything that wasn’t born Jewish is an enemy of Jews. These three pilots would nicely prove this point.

In the end, Jews fired on Jews, and the Altalena was sunk despite having raised a white flag on Begin’s orders as he attempted to prevent a civil war.

Take-a-way thoughts of mine. We know the name of the shooter in the church in South Carolina, we know the name of several famous gangsters in America’s history, and possibly some names of famous Israelis. Certainly Ben-Gurion and Begin. While I was at the museum some groups of young soldiers were coming through. They were to study at the museum as part of the class apparently. In fact one room we were unable to access. It was a room where perhaps there was a movie you could view, but it was being used for a party of some sort. But these student soldiers study the people, the events and the history. And it matters to some of them, and perhaps to some, not so much. I was actually very surprised there was nothing on the net about Ruth Moritz and Marion Aharoni, but there isn’t, and so perhaps this telling, as imperfect as it is, will keep a memory of valor, courage and leadership alive.

Ruth Moritz and Marion Aharoni
Ruth Moritz and Marion Aharoni

And make no mistake, Ruth was a leader. When we have people like Shannon Watts, Dianne Feinstine, Nancy Pelosi and every other anti-gun harpie out there telling women that they won’t be safer if they can defend themselves, you know what crap it is. When you have the screeching harpies telling women that if they have a gun someone will take it away from them and use it on them, that’s crap. When you have the faux feminists telling women that a gun is too complicated, that they should get mace and a whistle, you know it’s crap. When the faux feminists tell women to just call the big strong policeman and wait, that’s crap. Ruth and Marion were true feminists, they were strong, beautiful women that fought in defense of themselves, their families and their country.

Right now part of America is busy throwing away the heritage that they have been sold by a liberal educational system and biased media. They throw it away with both hands because they don’t know true history, and don’t understand what they are throwing away. I was very glad to see those young Israelis going through that museum.

When in a dire situation, more people on your side is a very good thing.

The Altalena take-a-way? Politicians do what’s best for politicians. Betrayal sadly, apparently, should be expected. It’s about the power baby, it’s about the power.

Etzel Museum
Etzel Museum

 

I have never been so happy to need to update something as I am to add this. If you whine to the right people, sometimes, just sometimes, really great things happen. The whining was about the lack of information on Ruth online. The victim listener of my whining suggested that some problems are solved by going back to the language in which the incident occurred. That would be Hebrew. JACKPOT!!!

I had forgotten that Marion was in Ruth’s unit. A bit more than friends, I believe Ruth was her leader.

These sites are all in Hebrew, but with evil google’s translate you can read a rough version in English. Enough to get more information. AND, a movie. I’ve written the museum to see if they would consider posting the English version I saw while I was there.

Wikipedia

Etzel Museum remembrance page

Irgun Fighters of Independence

תודה לך דב עוד פעם

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Assassinating evil

This week marks the 73rd anniversary of the death of one of the most evil men who ever lived. He was also the only high Nazi official ever assassinated.

He was Reinhard Heydrich. Hitler called him the man with the iron heart.

He had an iron fist, too. Immediately after being installed as “protector” of two eastern European regions, he ordered 400 people slaughtered just so he could enjoy some quiet space. Four hundred was nothing to him, though. “Disappearing” political opponents was one of his jobs. He was the architect of Krystallnacht and a planner of the Holocaust. He chaired the infamous Wannsee Conference.

British-trained Czech and Slovak assassins hit him on May 27, 1942. It took him eight well-deserved days of misery to die.

Of course, the Nazis retaliated. First there was Lidice. Then Operation Reinhard, the code name for the truly final part of the Final Solution. (That would have happened anyhow; but it was named in grotesque “honor” of Heydrich.)

One of the favorite libertarian mental games is “would you go back in time and assassinate Hitler if you knew it would save millions of lives and prevent a war?” Of course even if you could travel backwards, you couldn’t know what the outcome would be. With Heydrich, we do know the outcome. At least we know the outcome of assassinating him after he had grown to full monsterhood and woven himself deep within the deadly fabric of Nazi officialdom.

There’s a man who should have been strangled in his cradle. Or if not that, been given the death penalty by his first intended victim.

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ETA: Be sure to watch the video Y.B. posted below! It brings the brave story of the resisters to life.

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Liberation rage

Last month was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau. I’ve been saving that link, planning to write something about the Allied troops who had no idea of the horrors they were about to stumble into.

Allied commanders knew about the camps. But for whatever reason they didn’t tell the men who actually walked in and encountered the Holocaust unprepared.

For the last two weeks I’ve been trying to frame what I wanted to say about those soldiers and why they were left so unready to witness what no one should ever have to see, let alone endure.

Before I could finish my thoughts, something new came to light: letters from an Army doctor to his wife about how some of the weary, shocked, horrified, outraged — and ultimately vengeful — allied troops reacted. (Warning: graphic images.)

They turned on the SS guards and gave them a small taste of what the SS had given its victims.

Historians knew about this and have called the troops’ revenge shameful. But was it? Was it right? Wrong? Legal? Illegal? Sadistic? Or simple justice? Those questions didn’t matter. Would the exhausted troops have behaved differently had they been warned what to expect? Had their commanders taken better charge? Who can know?

For good or ill, history (even the history of the noble act of liberation) is so much more complex than we were taught in school.

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Be sure to read the full account of Dr. Wilsey’s letters and experiences in the New Republic.

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Capturing Eichmann

This week is the 55th anniversary of the capture of Adolf Eichmann. It’s a story worthy of a Hollywood thriller.

Many people know its outlines. But did you know that after the war but before the Mossad decided to capture Eichmann alive and put him up for trial, there was an armed Jewish group called The Avengers that handled Nazis more directily?

At first they handed over the SS men to the Allied authorities, but many of the SS men “escaped in the chaos that followed the war or were released.” At one point the Russians released two Nazi Germans who had been turned over to them by the Jews. The Germans walked out into the street, laughing at their release. But not for long. The Avengers “cut the men down with a burst of sub-machine gunfire.”

From then on the Avengers simply tracked down and killed former Nazis. Perhaps 1000 Nazis were tracked down in this way after the war.

It seems that, following the war, allies had a habit of letting Nazis escape — not surprising when you consider how much some high-ups among the allies despised Jews.

It was also revealed a few years back that the West German government knew where Eichmann was hiding nearly a decade before the Israelis dragged him from Argentina.

Did the Israelis violate international law in conducting their unauthorized arrest of Eichmann? No doubt they violated many laws. But the keepers of the laws were busy either protecting or ignoring Eichmann — who (after the Nuremburg trials) was the only still-living senior official responsible for the Holocaust.

Eichmann was hardly the bland, colorless bureaucrat some have portrayed him as being. He was the chief administrator of genocide and a dedicated Nazi who continued to dream of setting up a new Third Reich in South America. His bureaucratic apparatus made mass murder possible. His lies persuaded hopeful Jews to believe they were merely being “relocated to the east” instead of being relocated to misery and death. His methods made mass murder go smoothly, with least resistance from the victims.

Before his trial, a lot of politicians and thinkers believed the best course was just to forget the Holocaust. Stop talking about it. Let it fade into history as quickly as possible. The trial of Adolf Eichmann ended all that and started an examination of the process of state-perpetrated evil that continues to this day — more than half a century after his capture.

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