Loving the sacred through word and image. Iona Chapel – Iona… Just another WordPress.com Blog

Holocaust

Sniffling – Sneezing – Sloppy mess…

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It has been (-20c) for the last week and so many days and unlike my hubby, when I leave the house I am well insulated, layered and toasty warm. Hubby thinks he is invincible and goes out with just his jacket – no hat or gloves and what does he bring home?

A freaking flu! The bastard… he thinks it is funny!!

That’s all I need right now is a case of Pneumonia!! Jesus H. Christ…

He has been sniffling, sneezing, snotting and farting all over the house lately, and being immuno compromised, it doesn’t take long to make it over the barrier to me. And for the last 2 days I have been a sniffling, sneezing, mess of sickness !!!

Dammit!

Which is my excuse for the lack of personal or scholarly writing as of late. I am going to go take it easy, as the Grammy’s are on tonight!! Woo Hoo!!

I have Madonna on the brain…


Still a struggle to ID Holocaust victims

By MELISSA EDDY, Associated Press Writer Sat Feb 10, 1:11 PM ET

BUCHENWALD, Germany – The hunt begins with a number.

Harry Stein sits nose-to-screen, squinting at the fuzzy digits in column after column on faded microfilm, searching for clues to a mystery: Who was Auschwitz inmate 185403?

The number was tattooed on the left forearm of one of the thousands who were processed through Auschwitz, shipped off to Buchenwald concentration camp, and never seen again.

Male? Female? Old? Young? Jewish? Christian? Reason for arrest? The list Stein is scrutinizing says nothing. There’s only that number.

More than six decades after the Nazi Holocaust ended, historians such as Stein are still struggling with a gargantuan task — to make a semblance of order among hundreds of thousands of dead by finding, at least, their names.

There is no central catalog — just miles and miles of files, scattered across Europe, the United States, Israel and elsewhere. Of 56,000 people who perished behind the barbed wire at Buchenwald alone, or on the way there, 23,000 on the camp’s records remain unidentified.

The object of Stein’s attention on a late autumn day is prisoner 185403. In the end, after four weeks of poring over lists, each dozens of pages long and collected from different archives, Stein will have found the name. “We have pulled out one more person,” he will say. “Back from the forgotten.”

But it will turn out that 185403 was not forgotten after all.

___

Staring at a terminal in a stark research room at Buchenwald, overlooking the rooftops of former Nazi barracks and the long sloping road leading to the camp where SS guards taunted and harassed them on their way to its gates, Stein is looking at a log of deaths dated Feb. 18, 1945 — seven weeks before the liberation.

The file was acquired by Buchenwald from the German state of Thuringia’s archive, one of many East German repositories of Nazi-era documents that were opened to the public after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

The log lists only numbers — row after row of six-digit identity tags tattooed on the arms of prisoners who were unloaded at Buchenwald after the journey from Auschwitz and other camps in German-occupied Poland in the bitter winter of 1945.

Each number must be checked against copies of copies of the master transport lists — acquired from the archives at Auschwitz and Yad Vashem by the administrators of Buchenwald, which has been preserved as a museum and place of pilgrimage.

“And then … we go from the top to the bottom, over 40 to 50 pages, we go down the list,” trying to match a number with a name, Stein explained. “For this, it is important that the list is clearly legible, which is sometimes very difficult.”

The process usually takes about one day per individual. But 185403 is taking weeks.

Only two hours drive away, in the German spa town of Bad Arolsen, the International Tracing Service, or ITS, holds some 1.5 million original Nazi documents from Buchenwald. If Stein and his team of six researchers could plumb this collection, the job would be much easier.

But this largest archive of original Nazi records in existence is off-limits to historians. Administered by the International Committee of the Red Cross and governed by an international panel, the ITS’ sole mandate for six decades has been to trace the fate of victims or reunite families torn apart by World War II.

“They have these documents that could clarify the fate of so many people, and they are just sitting on them,” said Sabine Stein, Buchenwald’s chief archivist, who is married to Harry.

Paul Shapiro, a senior official of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., says the ITS records represent “a significant effort to identify names with numbers for most of the camps that they have records … The fact that those materials have not been accessible has created great problems for researchers and perhaps resulted in significant duplication of effort.”

Jean-Luc Blondel, an assistant to the president of the ICRC who served as interim director at the ITS, says he is aware of historians’ frustrations, but insists the primary task of the archive is to reunite families.

“Our priority is to catch up with the humanitarian personal requests, and it takes up a lot of our energies,” said Blondel.

Last May, the 11-nation commission overseeing the ITS agreed to open the files to researchers. But ratification by the individual countries is required before that can happen. Some have promised to speed the process, but it could be years before all 11 are on board.

Meanwhile, the Steins have learned to follow a circuitous paper trail from archives held at Auschwitz to others maintained by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem gathering copies of recopies, mostly of the original lists held by the ITS.

The goal is to come up with a memorial book listing — as completely as possible because the Holocaust generation is dwindling — all those who died at Buchenwald. The Steins hope they will be able to identify at least another 1,000 victims. For the others, mostly inmates who perished in death marches or Soviet prisoners of war executed in a mass killing, no documentation survives.

After hours of squinting at the screen, carefully reading through number after number, Harry Stein comes across the digits 185403. He traces his finger to the next column and reads: Robert Deheden, a Frenchman.

He records the name for cross-referencing with other lists to determine that the identity is correct. More information comes from the archive at Yad Vashem, which was allowed in the early 1950s to microfilm a master name-card index held by the ITS. It brings Stein a step further, but offers a different spelling of the name.

Auschwitz inmate 185403 was Robert Dehedin. Born May 15, 1917 in Alfortville near Paris.

Now the search moves to Paris, and the National Federation of Deported and Detained Patriots and Resisters. Its records reveal that Dehedin, along with his elder brother Alphonse, was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a detention camp at Compiegne, France.

All the federation knows is that the Dehedins were among a group of metalworkers arrested for “fighting against repression of the French Resistance.” On April 27, 1944, they were among 1,654 political prisoners, including several journalists and intellectuals, among them the surrealist poet Robert Desnos — all packed into cattle cars bound for Buchenwald.

At some point in the journey, the itinerary was changed and the group was diverted to Auschwitz. There, they received numbers 184936 to 186590.

Alphonse Dehedin survived. Robert Dehedin — prisoner 185403 — was shipped first to Gross Rosen camp and later on to Buchenwald.

The records show he died there.

Of disease? Starvation? A Nazi bullet? Nobody knows. In fact, his exact date and place of death remain unknown. The Thuringia death list is dated Feb. 18, 1945, yet three ITS documents, copies of which are at Yad Vashem, have him arriving in Buchenwald six days later. It is possible he died en route, but there is no definitive record.

Nevertheless, Stein is satisfied to have at least added one more name to a number on the Buchenwald roster of its dead.

___

AP correspondent Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.

___

On the Net:

The Buchenwald Memorial: http://www.buchenwald.de/index_en.html

International Tracing Service: http://www.its-arolsen.org/

Yad Vashem: http://www.yadvashem.org/

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: http://www.ushmm.org


Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)

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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz


The Holocaust, One Must NEVER Deny It…

This: From Michaels Blog

According to an Associated Press report, “Elie Wiesel was accosted and dragged out of an elevator last week by an apparent Holocaust denier who wanted to grill Wiesel about his writings…

“In a posting on a Web site, a writer is taking credit for the attack, explaining that he wanted to quiz the Nobel Peace prize winner about his Holocaust memoir, “Night,” which the posting calls almost entirely fictitious.”

I recently got Night on CD’s from the local library and have been listening to it on the long drives between my hospice visits. It is shattering to hear, and I can see why anyone would want to deny that such things could possibly have been.

Yet they were.

Tom, Jewish by birth and upbringing, lost relatives in the camps, including one who is now recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross). His former sister-in-law’s partner is also related to Aunt Edith.

Holocaust denial is an interesting phenomenon and one that I have certainly heard of but about which I am no expert. What strikes me today is that some of what has gone on in our war in Iraq is stuff that later generations will want to deny happened. How could a powerful, wealthy, “Christian” nation have been responsible for torture, for exploitation, for disappearing people? How much easier to think that our enemies are making it up to discredit us!

*** I took a class on the Holocaust ***
Taught by Prof. Frank Chalk
Who sits on the Comission for the
Prevention of Genocide and who lost
family during the Holocaust

Here are the Numbers 

In the beginning years of the start of exterminations, gas trucks were retrofitted with the ability to kill human beings. The “test subjects” for this small project were CHILDREN, Mentally and Physically challenged SICK children and then adults. Hospitals were cleared out of the sick and the dying because they were not thought to be worthy of life. Most of them were children. CHILDREN!!

When it was made apparent that gassing worked and could kill mass numbers of people, the gas trucks became “gas centers.” The death camps were to be built so that MASS numbers of people could be exterminated.

You cannot deny that the Holocaust took place. Because so many people were affected by this. The Armenians who were exterminated, Jews and Poles in Europe, Gypsies and Christians who were also sent to camps to die.

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Homosexuals and deviantly judged people were also sent to camps to die. And as of last year 2006, there were only a handful of LBGT people still alive, who had survived the Holocaust and lived to tell the story.

Go to your local Holocaust Museum they are located in many citeies around the world. I have seen the Museum in Miami and Montreal. You can go over on my sidebar and click the (Survivors of the SHOA) foundation and see for yourself, that which we can never deny happened, because that would be to deny that over 6 million people died for nothing and that their lives were lived in vain. Deniers will say what they will. Shame on them and you if you think they are right!!

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I challenge you to take a course on the Holocaust like I did, then come to your own conclusion. I for one have irrefutable data in my head – in my notes and what I saw for myself from people who were there, not to know the truth. We were fortunate to meet many “survivors” during this class time and I heard them tell the stories. And a denier has the gaul to say that it never happened, that the Holocaust was a fabrication?? That is just insane…

“That we should remember – so that we should never forget…”

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I wanted to post these numbers for you so that we can all agree that David Irving, one person who denies the Holocaust in many books, one which part of the final asks about is called “Lying about Hitler” History, Holocaust, and The Trial of David Irving, written by Richard J. Evans.

Auschwitz-Birkenau

The largest Nazi extermination camp.

  • Location: Oswiecim, Poland
  • Established: May 26th1940
  • Liberation: January 27th, 1945, by the Soviet Army.
  • Estimated number of victims: 2,1 to 2,5 million (This estimated number of death is considered by historians as a strict minimum. The real number of death is unknown but probably much higher, maybe 4 millions)

Belzec
From march 1942 until early 1943, it is estimated that about 600,000 Jews were murdered in Belzec extermination camp.

Chelmno:
C
helmno, also known as Kulmhof, was a small town roughly 50 miles from the city of Lodz, Poland. It was here that the first mass killings of Jews by gas took place as part of the ‘Final Solution’.

Majdanek
The killing operations began in Majdanek in April 1942 and ended in July 1944. Majdanek also provided slave labor for munitions works and Steyr-Daimler- Puch weapons factory. The estimated number of deaths is 360,000, including Jews, Soviet POWs and Poles.

Sobibor
Sobibor was the second extermination camp to come into operation in the Aktion Reinhard program. Estimated number of deaths: 250,000, the majority being Jews.

Treblinka
Opening for “business” on July 23, 1942, with the beginning of the evacuation of the Warsaw ghetto, some 245,000 Warsaw Jews and 112,000 Jews from other places in the Warsaw district were murdered in Treblinka by September 21. 337,000 Jews from the Radom district, 35,000 from the Lublin district and 107,000 from the Bialystok district also met their death in Treblinka with 738,000 Jews who had been residents of the General Gouvernement. From outside Poland many thousands of Jews were transported to and killed in Treblinka: 7.000 from Slovakia, 8,000 from Theresienstadt concentration camp, 4,000 Jews from Greece, and 7,000 Jews from the Macedonia portion of Bulgaria. In addition to the Jews, some 2,000 gypsies were killed in Treblinka.

 

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The ancient chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank while she was in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Holland must be cut down, the Amsterdam city council said Tuesday.

The diseased tree in the courtyard behind the canal-side warehouse where the Frank family took refuge for more than two years has been attacked by an aggressive fungus and a moth, called the horse chestnut leaf miner. Experts estimate the tree’s age at 150-170 years.

The chestnut is familiar to some 25 million readers of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Anne often looked at it longingly from the attic, the only window that was not blacked out to prevent anyone seeing movement inside the apartment in the rear of the warehouse on Prinsengracht street where the Frank family hid.

The Jewish teenager made several references to it in the diary that she kept during the 25 months she remained indoors until the family was arrested in August 1944.

The tree’s condition has rapidly deteriorated in recent years, the city said. The inner wood is rotten and the dying roots and bark are not regenerating.

“It’s very sad, but the decision has been taken,” said Patricia Bosboom, spokeswoman of the Anne Frank House museum. “It’s one of the oldest chestnut trees in Amsterdam.”

It will take several weeks before the city issues the required license to fell the tree.

The museum, where the tiny apartment has been preserved, said grafts already have been taken and a sapling from the original chestnut will replace the once-towering tree.

“Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs,” Anne wrote on Feb. 23, 1944. “From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. …

“As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy.”

Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945.


Resistance is Futile…

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You will be assimilated…

It is good to have a free day to regenerate.  I spent 12 hours in my alcove, which is sometimes necessary for someone like me. Maybe I will have more for you later…


Saturday snows…

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Time: 3:00 a.m.
Temp: (-9c/w.c. -19c)  Snow is falling over Montreal.

The day has ended and everyone is tucked in bed sleeping. I am sitting here musing. I had left a few comments today and invited those to come and read the offering for today, alas, nobody feels the need to comment. And that’s ok. At the Top of this blog you will notice we have gone to “purple” in our liturgical observance a little early. To bring your attention to the Pages listed above. They are stories and “tel-lings” from my life. Chapters in the book, I thought I would get published, and that goal has alluded me to this point. So there they are, some of the most meaningful writing I have ever done in my life.

What do we know about the Sacred and the Profane, but what the media and magazines tell us, not to mention all the available porn that the web offers us today. But I think my telling about the Sacred and the Profane is a journey into the deepest recesses of my very soul. I think that if you join our journey that you understand why I am here, and why this blog exists. Because people need us, those of us who have lessons to impart, stories to tell. I am not all about the latest fad or gossip. I report real news and tell you real stories, because in the end, when I am dead and buried, all that will be left is what I write for all of you to read, learn about and share with others.

The Sacred and the Profane. I sat here and reread that piece and it still makes me weep to this day, because there will never be a time like that in my life again, yet I lived it. That short 4 year span from 1992-1995 were the best years and the worst years, for that period of my life. And Oh there were other good times and bad, definitely…

I miss my friends. I do talk to Todd on the odd occasion. I email him and we speak on the phone still to this day. That story ends with Todd and Roy, rumbling off into the sunset in their car on a cross country trek to San Francisco in 1995. It was one of the saddest days of my life, because I was too young to pick up and move that far away from where I was. I believed that I would heal the rift in my family, which never happened. I wished that my father would drop dead, to allow my mother and I time to reconnect. That bastard lived, and is still alive. I say this with love today, I had forgiven him long ago. But I can tap that vein of rancor and hatred just as easily as I can tap the love vein. There is no love lost between my parents and I. I was the unholy one. The unforgiven one, the Damned one. I was surely going to go to hell, and that was that. Gay was unacceptable and still is…

Oh that was nasty wasn’t it!  I’m an alcoholic getting better, not an angry man with a resentment. If I had one regret, and I was to tell you what that was, I would have to say that I did not follow the tribe. FEFE says that “Regrets are a waste of time. They’re the past crippling you in the present.”

After the great exodus from Ft. Lauderdale, I was alone to fend for myself. I left the Stud for greener pastures in Miami where I would find the next giver of life, my sainted doctor until I moved to Montreal in 2002.  that is another story, I won’t go into here…

Today: What happened today.

NOTE: If you are HIV positive, it is very important to get your eyes checked annually, because your vision will change over time, due to illness and HIV and med and time(read:Age). Eyesight is precious, so don’t screw with it. Get your eyes checked every year.

Today I had an appointment for my annual eye check up at Place Montreal Trust. My eye doctor is this very sainted woman. I am loyal to her because she believes in me and my life. We had not seen each other in over a year since the last time I got new glasses. After a slip up last week with broken glasses – I had to go by the Lens crafters to get them fixed. Her office is in the same space as the store. She didn’t recognize me at first, but as soon as we sat down in the exam room, she lit up like a Christmas tree… “I’m gonna be 40 in a few months, gotta get the chassy checked out!” She took one look at me and said “that I did not look like I was going to be 40.”

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The Angels in Heaven sang ALLELUIA!!!

Music to a gay man’s ears, who is about to hit the BIG 4-0!!  I thanked her profusely and honored her with tales of life, love and marriage. She was so proud of me, because when I met her the first time, she was astounded that I was still alive after all those years, seeing that many of her friends are long since dead today. She believes, like I do, that faith and a belief in something greater than myself has saved me from death, many times over. She knew I was in University studies and that I was soon to graduate. We talked of religions and Eastern Traditions. She was wearing a very beautiful Car-touche from Egypt.

After the exam she sent me on my way. I walked into the store to inquire about the price of my new perscription. Well, let’s see now, multifocal progressive lenses with anti-glare (the lenses alone) mind you, I have glasses that I like already………

$ 440.00 for one pair – I nearly fainted… 
Four Hundred and Forty Dollars…
Are you shittin me???
No!

Holy Mother Of God, did I pay that much for both frames I own right now, I can’t remember that far back… I told the nice assistant that I needed to ponder this revelation, then come home and do some creative financing and talk to the accountant – hubby!

I Left the store and went upstairs to Indigo Book Shop, the BEST bookshop in Downtown Montreal. I pre-ordered my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. $34.40!! DONE! YaHooo!!! The receipt is taped to dry erase board over the computer. It will be an exciting summer. Do you know what day Harry was born? We share the same birth-date.

I hear that “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is due out in theatres on July 13th. Book Seven will be released 8 days later on the 21st. And my birthday is the 31st!!

I got some lunch and headed home to advise my hubby of the cost of my new glasses, and he almost fainted as well! Well, can’t they get any cheaper, I had to call and re-inquire and didn’t I get the same girl on the phone that I talked to in the store. She was like, I told you what they would cost!! I was like, um, I know, but I wanted to be sure I heard you right!

GULP!! 

It was a good day. I gave you all something to read and think about. I hope that some of you will join us on the journey – by participating in community. I am amid reading from my Gnostic Bible as of late, Thunder the Perfect Mind – Beautiful. And the Gospel of Thomas. I have a presentation to make on this Gospel for my Christian Origins class in the coming weeks.

Please let me know that you have stopped by, leave us a comment where you read and leave us your thoughts. I talk in the “plural” because there are many members in my community and we write to and for each other. That is why it is US and not I, Ours and not Mine…

Remember to honor the Sacred and also to Honor the Profane, because you cannot have one without the other. The profane, approached from the right direction can teach us all something about being human, loving, forgiving and to be proper stewards to those who know and love. Being Gay is not profane. Roles are not profane, unless abused for personal gain.

Love the one you are with,

And do not settle for Mr. Right now, because Mr. Right might be one coffee stop up the road from here.

Take care of yourselves.

Goodnight from Montreal

 

 


Wild Wednesday

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OH GOD COME TO MY ASSISTANCE…OH LORD MAKE HASTE TO HELP ME

It has been a long day already and it is just 5 p.m. as I make this entry. We’ve received much more traffic today than usual, which is great. I am glad that so many people have stopped by to read a little. Some days are good writing days, when I have something serious to talk about. It’s amazing to me, and to my friends, that we actually learned something in University, that we really “know” things about the world and our chosen fields.

This morning I went to see the doctor because of my right hip. I told Philip, the triage nurse that I was not a great “pain manager,” and he replied, who is? 10 days have passed and my right hip is still pained. I have trouble walking and sitting. My mobility is an issue as to range of motion in doing simple tasks, like bathing and toileting. If I move too quickly or bend to far over to my right, I get that spike of pain that shoots down to my foot and up into my skull like a white hot poker in my ass.

My doc took me through a series of mobility exercises and stretches, which illicited certain foul expletives and grunts, in the end he said “Oh it’s your hip.” I could have told him that. I have this eerie feeling that something is coming that I am not going to like. I have had several friends of mine (in my age bracket) back in Miami who were POZ men who had to have hip replacement surgery, my ex husband Steven had both replaced. He would never agree to marry me, but I live with the memory of loving him just the same.

So I had a date with radiology this afternoon where they poked, prodded, scanned and x-rayed me in various contortionist positions.  Which once again illicited foul expletives and grunts and moans. I am now waiting on the read of those scans to see what they wish me to do next. I am on a 14 day regimen of anti-inflammatory drugs as a precaution. I don’t need this right now. I am sure that this sub zero weather we are experiencing here in Montreal is also an issue for my aging body.

********Now for Some Good News********

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I had a prelimary appointment with the director of the Theology Department – namely the Graduate Programs Director and another professor. We spoke about my future and my wish to enter the Undergraduate Certificate Program in Pastoral Ministries. We went over my transcript and they agreed that I had made a wise academic choice. We spoke of my university experience and agreed that the certificate program is where I need to be headed. As it stands I am conditionally accepted into the department – but I need to fill out the proper paperwork and meet with the Professor in charge of the Certificate Program.

I met with an advisor after our meeting, (who happens to be one of my trusted friends) and he briefed me on the particulars of the program and what I needed to do next. It really helps in University to have advisors at every stage of the game. One must act decisively and with purpose. He is also one of my closest medical advisors as well. My doctor gave me a patient waver application to enter myself in a test program for new HIV meds – that are yet unapproved by Canada or the FDA.

Jean is of the persuation that if I ain’t dying and my meds are still working and my numbers are still through the roof, that I should NOT exhaust a possible cocktail until it is most necessary. So I have decided NOT to enter the program. I can’t afford to get sick or die right now. I must graduate with exception in the Spring or else my future is shot to hell…

So it was an ok morning and a stellar afternoon. I will write more later, I need to get a bite to eat and haul my dragging, sagging ass to class in less than an hour. See ya later!!! Did I mention how freakin cold it is outside??? ( – 11 c / – 17c w.c.)

Ok toodles…

 

 


Getting the wind knocked out of you…

I had my meeting with my Holocaust Prof. In the End my grades for the exam were a C- and a D+ … for a final grade of a B- …

AS a man in recovery I know this much. They talk about expectations in the program. I know a lot about those. Professor Chalk had extremely high expecations for his students. And even knowing that much, I did my best. At the meeting I was armed and dangerous. I had all my exams and my papers that I wrote for him. I was ready for all out academic war and I volleyed and fell flat on my face. UGH!

He pointed out in a very metered voice how much I failed to include in the exam. He had alist of things I did not do, things I failed to do and NOT ONCE did he say anything about what I did DO. And I resent that. The fact that I wrote that god damned exam and settled on his terms so that he could get to Cambodia on time, his T.A. graded the last portion of the exam.

I did the reading I READ “Surviving in Auschwitz” twice and I did read the David Irving trial. He maintained his line of failure and that I failed to meet his lofty expectations. Allright then, he punched me in the stomach and I could not breathe. I met with my academic advisor and we talked about it. He said I should apply for an academic Re-Read.

I decided against that because the re-read grade can come out lower and that grade could sink my existing (B-) . I am an alcoholic and I have learned to live in the moment. My professor ruined my moment and my day. And I resent that. This is what the high of a full moon does to an emotional homosexual with passion for his work. You just don’t call me a failure to my face and expect to get away with that!!! I don’t care who you are or where you come from or what position you hold over creation.

He set the bar too high and expected too much and get this – you know we had definite word counts, he said my writing was sub-standard and not in compliance with University quality writing standards. Fuck You …

Nothing I wrote on that exam was worthy of a better grade, because I failed to include everything he was expecting to see. Fuck Me…

I stood up for what I believed and I got angry and said something about it because I was more than just a student in a class, I was emotionally involved in that course and to have that man tell me and reiterate how much of a failure I am as a student by his qualifications just burned my ass…

I started smoking today…

I just can’t handle the pressure. And I know I cannot drink, because I have worked too fucking hard to get here to fail now. I am trying to handle the pressure of realizing and incorporating the fact that in 5 months I will graduate from University, and will go on to apply for my Masters. I am so manic and emotional right now I don’t know what to do first. I need to meet with my graduating advisor to talk some issues through before I set graduating in June, in stone. I need to complete the second langauge proficiently this summer and I want financial aide until a fall graduation date I think, at this moment. I need to sleep on these feelings – because right now I am extremely overwhelmed.

At least I am sober and I did not drink today…

One day at a time, one minute at a time right now…

TTFN

I need a drink…


Holocaust Research

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I received an inquiry about Bad Arlosen Red Cross Archives and corresponded with the writer, who in turn emailed Dr. Frank Chalk, my Holocaust Professor. I am reposting this letter in the hopes that someone out there might find it and be able to help us in a greater search. As it is I am not in Germany – But Montreal and I will do what I can to further this search for information. I am asking my readers and those at word press to assist us if they can. I will tag this post for reference.

Dr. Frank,

I contacted Jeremy Andrews at Bad Arlosen to see if he could help me to
find relatives that died during the Holocuast at Theresienstadt. My
relatives names are Weinshanks. I found them on a number of lists, but I
would like to see if I could find more detials about their death (and Nazi
documentation about them).

One of my Great Grandmothers was freed by the Red Cross and sent to
Switzerland. I knew her as a child. She did not speak English and I
certainly did not speak German. But I knew her unitl she passed away when I
was seven years old. If possible, I would like to find documentation about
her freedom from Theresienstadt by the Red Cross.

My Grandmother, my mother and my uncle lived in Nurnberg around the corner
from the Browning House. My Grandmother walked around the corner one day
and found Himmler on the street having a smoke. She froze. She was afraid
to go toward him and she was afraid to walk away from him.

They also lived around the corner from Julis Streicher.

On the night of the Krystanacht, Brown Shirters broke into my Grandmother’s
apartment, they were looking for my Grandfather, fortunately he had already
left for the US. They slashed a painting (which we still own today).

My Grandmother, mother and uncle left via Italy. They lived in Nurnberg
until 1940. It is amazing that they were not sent to a concentration camp.

I don’t know if you know Ralf Rossmeissl <ralf.rororo@T-Online.de>. He
lives near Munich. He does a lot to renovate synagogues (he also works with
an Alcaholics group that makes minature sysnagogues). He found Rimonin
(Torah Crowns) that my Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather donated to a
synagogue in Windsbach. They were returned to us at a ceremony in a
Lutheran Church in Windsbach. We had them here in Santa Rosa, California.
Now they are with my family in Israel. I have a brother in Jerusalem,
another in Safed, neices and nephews in Teoka and El David (the West Bank).

If you can direct to a source that might be able to provide information
about my relatives, I would greatly apprecaite it.

Thank you,

Jon Simkoviz


2007 Resolutions – Predictions…

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When I log into Word Press there are other blogs listed. And we have this young man, his name is Matt. Is He word press or just an elf that works for Santa? I am not sure, but I’ve seen him pop up a few times since I started this Word Press Blog. He styled the Holiday template which some of my fellows used this season. He wrote today about tagging your resolutions and predictions so that you could navigate to them easier and allow others to navigate to them as well. I guess I need to start somewhere…

I’m going to start with my Gratitude list:

1. I would like ot thank Ms. Nikki for being my friend, my mother, my guide and my rock when I was unsure of myself, and for providing certain staples when the money ran out.

2. I would like to thank Ms. Margo for never giving up on my even though she left the field if it were not for her I would not be here today.

3. I’d like to thank my homegroup for putting up with my rants and raves and who helped me to stay sober this last year, and every year since I got sober.

4. I would like to thank my boys, for keeping me honest and giving and loving. They would be Jon (Tx), Karl, (Ca), Jon (Melb Au), Clay(NYS), John (NYC), Darsh (Ca) and all you boys and men out there who participate in my social network.

5. Now the women… Boo,(Because she has helped me immensely with her care and support) , Shark Fu, Ms. MoMo, Ms. Beverly, Ms. Sam, you have all allowed me grace by accepting me into your world and lives and for that I am grateful.

6. I am nothing without men in my life. Here is to the most noble man I know I’ve not spoken his name, in keeping with the mystery we call him the Dating Dummy…

7. Ok, let’s remind them of the others too… David, Randall, Gordon, Dustin, Michael and Tom, Obliquity, the Zeitzeuge Studs, Homeboi (Manchester), Phoenix Boy (Sydney), Mitch (Germany), Steve and Chris. If I missed you then thank you too…

8. The Preacher Boy gets his own line because I love him so because he has loved me and ministered to my soul without judgement, just because.

9. For everyone I forgot ( old timers ) Forgive me – but everyone in my sphere is important.

10. I forgot to thank Donald Boisvert, my mentor friend and advisor and teacher. He has meant the world to me in the last 4 years of university.

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Ok, let’s start with Predictions for 2007:

1. America will be forced to pull out of Iraq because Americans will revolt and impeach the President and he will go to the Hague for Crimes Against Humanity. Americans will finally get the balls enough to start a revolt against the government and the needless wars may, I said may end. But I don’t think they will totally.

2. Nasa will give up SOME of its secrets about the Aliens and UFO’s and Mars will surely be the next Final Frontier because something BIG will be found and with that truth will have to rule the day, there will be no ways around the BIG FIND on MARS.

3. The Middle East will erupt into a war of Nations and someone is going to get an itchy trigger finger. There’s gonna be a really big disaster, but not in the U.S. hopefully…

4. There will be conflict in the Pacific – China, South Korea and North Korea will come to blows and the U.S. will be forced to engage in the Pacific theatre once again.

5. Global warming will claim more lives as storms wreak havoc over the Caribbean and Southern U.S. – the Arctic Ice pack will further disappear and Polar Bears will make it on to the endangered species list.

6. I see a change in ocean currents in the coming year as more dead zones appear and the upcurrents change and that will impact the fisheries and world climate.

7. If new Aids drugs work as expected, we will see a sure shift in HIV/AIDS cases drop drastically and the world will turn to Africa once and for all and help them.

8. I don’t think that the world will turn to humanitarian needs as they should and millions more people will die because of starvation, famine, and war and AIDS.

9. The U.S. President will force his nation into another war – “Just because!” There will be anarchy in the streets and Washington will become a firestorm of factions.

angel.jpg

10. I think that spiritual entities will make themselves known to mankind because the earth is going to hell in a handbasket and if someone does not intervene with the wars and disease and lack of concern for ones fellows, we are all going to die. The world will be forced to acknowledge that there is SOMEONE ELSE OUT THERE and we need their help.

11. I will make history on the HIV front this year with new medications. I will loose the 18 pounds and my health will take a suredly positive turn in 2007. I forsee a radical change in HIV treatment because of new medications.

12. There are always 12 …. I will live to see my 40th birthday…

UPDATE:

 

13. I spoke of major disasters. I am going to amend my predictions and say that the U.S. will be part of a major occurrence, be it volcanic, geologic or natural. AS climate changes I think that the earth is going to shift. Yosemite has always been a hot spot along with Hawaii, the earth is not done shaking and sputtering. The Pacific rim could see some action and from that results circumstances across the pacific rim and the ring of fire.

14. The spiritual nature of DMT will arise in human kind – the turning from religion as institution to spirituality in Intuition will rise further. And once this transcendence begins what we know as religion will end, and those spiritual forces in the universe will become known to us. It is inevitable. Unless we change, the world we know, will come to an end.

15. We shall see a conflict that will end generations of people in the fertile crescent. Once all the factions kill each other, who will be left to repopulate that land? If it is true that the Maitreya walks the earth, we must be aware and look for that dark force that will try and darken the already darkening world.

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Here we go now with Resolutions:

1. I need to get to the gym more often

2. I will need to fill time in this semesters schedule because classes are one day a week and I have two classes this term. Maybe I will get that “Indigo job.”

3. I need to loose 18 pounds, God willing if the new meds work

4. I need to accept that 40 can be beautiful

5. Resolutions are pointless because they bring up expectations and for an alcoholic in recovery and expectations is a HUGE mistake. Expectations are just prepackaged resentments.

6. I need to get two A’s this semester without a doubt, but never speak those words because one may never hit the specified goal and be disappointed.

7. I would like to become a fit, sexual beast of a man so that my husband will find me incredibly sexy in the way he used to when we first met! Oh how times have changed since then.

“as long as a word remains unsaid, you are its master; once you utter it, you are its slave.” (Jeff Vergara.com)

 

Before I sign off I need to thank the man I love, my husband. Because he keeps me sane, he loves me, he cooks for me and he is faithful to me, even if I am old and fat! I have worked to be the best man I can be and he knows that. So I love you Honey!!!

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Happy New Year – Have one for me… And we shall see you in 2007 !!

Thank you for my sobriety. Goodbye 2006 and good riddance.

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Madonna Confessions

TQS French Television here in Montreal, showed an UN-EDITED version of the Madonna’s Confession Tour Concert in London, which I taped – it is very different from the U.S. Feed that was shown in November.

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New Years Came and we were flipping through the channels. We stopped to hear Dick Clark count down the New Year. We sat on the sofa, we did not even take out the champagne flutes to toast the new year. Hell, we did not even get up and hug. New Year went by without a notice. After the ball fell, we moved on to some Discovery Television and went to bed around 1 a.m. I finished reading a book (Bloodletting) and it is now approaching 5 a.m.

 

Abooga booga booga Ah Ah Ah….


End of Year Review 2006 – Prospectus 2007

rings

I haven’t really thought about the end of the year review but in reading some other of my fellows like Zeitzeuge, I guess I should write it down, before I forget. I live my life on a different wavelength – unlike my fellow, I am married, and I am sober, so relationship issues are somewhat the same, but are different. When you are sober and get married everything changes. Add to a marriage a bi-polar rapid cycling man and an HIV positive man and you’ve got yourself a pretty green pickle of a situation. Sero-discordant issues are a reality, but not as much any longer. Life is an issue, problems arise, but we deal with them as they come up.

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We don’t live on year to year expectations. We have been on an path, so to speak. Our lives are lived in the pursuit of happiness, in as many ways as one can have it. The work that goes into “making a relationship work” is a force of nature. It is a willingness, an energy that I have no idea from where it comes, how one taps it, or how to control it. I guess this energy comes from the fact that “I made a promise” before my friends, family and before God.

A relationship takes on new meaning when vows are spoken and promises are made before God, at least that means something to me. Add to that – that my husbands Bi-Polar issue started well before our marriage and I chose to stick it out and be a man and do the right thing. That commitment has carried me through until now. It is the promise I remember – the man I knew then – and the man I know today. They are not the same man by any stretch of the imagination.

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I have spent another year learning how to be a Better Husband. To become the best man I can be. To continually know how put someone elses needs before my own. THAT is the gift and meaning of marriage and becoming a MAN. That is my goal, to be a better man, husband, partner, global participant.

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I don’t focus on my “Positiveness” like some of my fellows. The only place the word AIDS or HIV appears is in my sidebar profile. I only talk about it when necessary. Aids does not define me, nor does it limit me, nor does it make me any different than any other man or woman, it used to.

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But the older I get and the longer I survive, the less important what I am or what I have becomes or exists to be for me. So what I am Gay, HIV positive, so forth and so on.

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WHO I am is more important than WHAT I am… with age comes wisdom. That I can share that wisdom with others through the medium of a Blog makes each one of us important to those who read us. And that makes us accountable and responsible and reliable to be good men and women. To think of others when we write to try and leave the world a better place than when we came into it.

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What IS important is that I am Clean and Sober. I quit smoking at age 39 and succeeded. I have had 5 years of continuous sobriety. I still go to meetings and I live my life in the terms of a “sober life.” I am a fallen away Catholic become Buddhist. Ritual is totally important to me. Be that religious or spiritual. My life is lived based on a series of daily rituals that I follow, and so does my hubby. Unlike some, living a sober life is much different because allot of what you all suffer from or deal with, are non-issues for me and my hubby since we are both sober. We both have medical issues, we both have addictions issues, and we both quit smoking.

Marriage changes everything.

Willow Tree Heart of Gold

Hubby and I have spent that last 4 years learning how to live with another human being in close quarters. We were both sober when we met. Freshly sober. We have had a few years to work through our resentments and emotional issues. When life is on the line, everything else becomes less important. What once was important and critical to survival has changed since I decided to stick and stay.

I may harbor a couple of resentments because certain areas of my life are not what I would like them to be, but that is not my fault. Sex IS an issue, when mental illness is a fact of life. And I have learned to deal with that. If there was anything I could change with pin point accuracy, that would be the first issue that would be changed.

Everything else is, well, unimportant…

Because we do not engage in the regular activities of the main stream homosexual couple, we don’t have the same problems you do. We don’t socialize in great numbers. We are very quiet, and home-bound gay men. We are involved in University Careers, both of us, full time, so much of our time is spent in academic pursuits. Our friends are hand picked, and who we choose to spend time with or invite into out home is specific. We have gay friends, but we don’t socialize with them like we used to. We have become particular and judgmental in our old age.

In the last year we have made great strides. We have both began the 2006-2007 academic year and have successfully navigated through the fall semester with passing grades. Hubby is truly a better academic than I am. He is a genius. Yet I continue to pass with good grades, nonetheless. The goal to graduate is what we both want for ourselves. I guess we are lucky because we are both on bursary programs in Quebec, so we don’t work full time jobs nor can we because that would screw up our financial aide.

Goals:

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I have decided to delay my graduation in opt for a calm Winter semester with only 6 credits, which is still full time for a student with disabilities. I will take a language over the summer because in Quebec you need French to work and qualify for certificate medical / social work. I will graduate next Fall, which will be ok. It’s not like I am in a hurry to graduate. I need to bump up my GPA to graduate with distinction, as my academic divisor has requested of me. So I have changed my academic schedule and that’s ok with me. Better to be safe than sorry.

How can I be a better husband? I think I do a pretty good job at taking care of my hubby and not being demanding, resentful and angry. We hardly fight or argue. We both have a life outside the home. We both have or circle of friends. I have my meetings and he has his. We both have time apart going to the gym and studying. You know the one area that we are still working out is Financial. We still struggle with finances, although we are not in really deep, but we are far enough to still have issues with money – in that paying all the bills – rent – tuition and still have money to buy food for the entire month afterwards.

Finances is the proverbial thorn in our sides.

What do I want for 2007? I would like to pay off all of our debts. I would like to pass the Winter semester at school. I would like to take a nice vacation (Cruise) this year, I am supposed to start new HIV medication in Jan/Feb, I hope that I can tolerate the new meds and not fail another regimen. I need to loose the 18 pounds I gained in 2006 due to my old HIV meds. I would like to make 6 years of sobriety. This year is the BIG 40!! I need to SURVIVE another year with HIV…

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Marriage will be what it will be. Our relationship will become what it is to become this year and we will deal with the issues as they come up. Unlike some – we don’t have to worry about trivial self centered issues. We don’t have to deal with the wreckage of our pasts any more, and thank God we don’t drink or drug or smoke any longer. A Lotto 649 Win would be nice this year. That would solve the financial woes. But would that make us happy? No, I don’t think so.

We have our health and we are both still alive.

I want my boys to grow up into fine young men. I want Jon, and Karl, and Clay, and Jon and Darshan to grow into fine young men. I mentor a few people and they are my sons. I care for them as if they were my own. I devote a huge portion of my life into the service of others. It is a very Buddhist/sober thing to do. In order to keep it, you must give it away. This will be a tough year for some of them, but as long as they know I am here and as well, the other men who mentor these young men, they will be ok. I am hoping to take a few trips this year to visit my boys and of course in June the Preacher Boy is coming to Texas and I will be going to visit Beverly, the Preacher Boy and Jon and Nathan in Texas, so that will be exciting.

So some wise thoughts for the rest of you to ponder…

If you think you have issues that you cannot solve, then I invite you to come and take a few of mine for a week or two. When you think of it, after studying The Holocaust, like I did this past year, My problems and issues PALE in comparison to some. The world is in pain and I need to focus my energy globally and live my life spherically, in many directions.

A VISION FOR YOU

Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

May God bless you and keep you-until then.


The Holocaust Final exam

So I got word tonight that my grade for the Holocaust class was wrong and that I actually made a (B-) rather than a (C-) that was nice to know. I was also informed of the grades on each essay I got a (D) on one and a (D-) on the other. He’s gonna grade my essays like that after all that fucking reading and work I put into that exam, Absolutely unacceptable.

Un-fucking believable…

Needless to say I am not pleased and I contested my grades. I also forwarded those emails to the chair of the religion department. No fucking way! Absolutely NOT!!


6th Sober Christmas…reflections

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It came without fanfare, it went by without acclaim. And after all is said and done, I am unmoved and unimpressed. But I am spiritually aware that I learned something throughout this holiday period. Sobriety never ceases to amaze me when I least expect it and when I most need it. God moves when I need to know that I am ok and loved.

I can say this for my sobriety, I must stay connected and remember why it is that I got sober in the first place. Because, I cannot just have one drink. I cannot use drugs and I cannot think like a normal person. But, you wonder, what IS a normal person. I do not know what normal looks like or feels like, so my sobriety has been an experiment to try and divine what normal is, according to the steps and the work I put into myself on a daily basis, contingent on my spiritual condition.

I did not expect miracles this holiday, well, I take that back, maybe one or two. But I did not place much importance or credence or power into my miracle expectations, because I know what expectations mean to me and how every time I expect something God giggles and gives me something totally different to ponder.

There are just some amends that may never be made. And I may never be forgiven by some people in my past, namely my family. Because they don’t know what AA is or do they have one iota of understanding of what sobriety is or how it is achieved. I made a move to invite dialogue and celebration and what did I get in return, a slap in the face. I am angry that still to this day, I cannot receive absolution or resolution in one major area of my life. But I must remember that God forgave me a long time ago and that I don’t need forgiveness by every man and woman on my amends list, because they are where they are at and I am where I am, and I must remember not to be so hard on myself. Some people may never get to where I am on the path, and that is ok. Because I have cleaned up My side of the street, and that is all I am responsible for.

This holiday I chose NOT to engage the insanity or participate in the whole commercialization and insanity of the holidays. I discretely shopped and did what I needed to do for my home and family, and I did my best not to engage the insanity in my head, and I was rewarded with another stage of enlightenment. All these years I have watched people struggle through the holidays with family, sobriety and the whole “living a sober life” and in 6 years of sober holidays, this was my first real “sober” holiday. I used all those years of experience of others to have for myself a sober holiday in as many ways as I could have.

And I found that I can be with myself and be by myself and be ok with that. I am ok inside my own skin and I am capable of not making stupid and rash decisions or act out in ways that would harm me or others. That is progress. I don’t need to act like I like everybody and that I can focus my love and friendship with those who mean the most to me and my hubby. And I know intuitively that those people who thought it was important to be part of my christmas were. And that was enough for me.

This afternoon hubby and I ventured into the Boxing Day mele at the mall right down the street and let me tell you, never go shopping in any store on Boxing Day because it is a free for all barage of insanity on all the major senses. We were in Zellers for less than 30 minutes and even that was too much insanity for me! The noise and the commotion and the fighting over merchandise and the pushing and shoving and the tempers, Oh My God, I could not handle all the insanity, I had to get out of there as fast as I could.

I met Ms. Nikki for coffee and the cafe was so noisy and insane that we decided to walk over to the church 2 hours early so that we could have some peace and quiet to talk and set up without the rush. Not to mention that I had to shovel snow for the first time this season this evening. We are responsible for the walkways around the church because we use the hall on Tuesdays.

I had hoped for a good showing tonight and I was extremely pleased that so many people came to our meeting at 6:30. It was a raw and honest meeting. I remarked that after christmas, I found that I thought I had missed something, in the fact that the holiday was so quiet a devoid of so much emotional and mental insanity this year. It felt strange, you know, not being in the middle of the storm. This year I chose to ride out the storm by staying in the eye, in the middle where it is calm and peaceful watching everyone else suffer and be insane. It is very much like getting sober all over again. Learning that it is ok to be devoid of the voices, the insanity and the ritual of self mortification and abuse.

Watching newbies get sober is a fresh experience, it keeps me humble and present to the moment. It keeps me engaged to my sobriety because I sure as hell don’t want to go back to the way it was. I kinda like it here in the calm of the safe harbor of serenity. This new sense of self is sometimes unnerving. I don’t know what quite to make of it yet, I guess I need to sit here and understand the feeling a bit longer – to put space between me and the event so that I can allow hindsight to grow into understanding. Suffice to say I came through this without any major resentments or heartache. I did not allow myself to sit on an expectation and be broken. I know my family may never grow to understand and I don’t expect it, but I still pray for that miracle to come. The promises do come true eventually, all of them, one way or another.

I know that it was not about the gifts for me – what I was going to get. It was more about making Christmas special for my hubby and my close knit family. All I wanted was for my friends to have a holy holiday. I wanted Sam and Beverly to be allright. I wanted them to know that they were loved even if that love came long distance. I wanted to know that Scott had some peace and felt the love of the holiday. I wanted my hubby to know that I loved him and I think he knows that. It wasn’t about me – all that much.

I made some sober decisions and my hubby made sober decisions for me so that I could be free of those insane activities that I have been a part of over the years. I chose not to engage those people who don’t participate in my life on a daily basis. I am not going to play “family” with those who think less of me because I am gay, not at my age. God forbid they find out I am HIV positive… that would be a major nightmare. 12 positive holidays and I am still alive, God is not finished with me yet. Hallelujah…

The holiday was calm, unnerving and unfamiliar. Yet, 5 years of sobriety were unfamiliar until I got here, and I walked through it. Hopefully expectant. I wanted a spiritual holiday and I got it. It feels good to be sober 5 years on. So we trod on that road of Happy Destiny. Thanks to all of you who have been on the merry go round with me. I appreciate all of your wisdom and your encouragement. Even if you didn’t say it directly, here on this page, I know you are all a part of my life anyways – because I choose to include you in my life today.

It was a good day.

Blessings on your heads…

Goodnight from Montreal


Holocaust denier rules out remorse

David Irving is NOT an Historian. He is below credible.  I feel So Sorry for you! If your memoirs are anything like your truth, they will be even less interesting. I don’t know if readers would trust that even your own stories would be true or credible.

NOOTT!!

LONDON – David Irving, the British author who was released on probation after spending 13 months in an Austrian prison for denying the Holocaust, said he felt no remorse for his views Thursday.

Irving spoke upon returning to England a day after Vienna’s highest court granted his appeal and converted two-thirds of his three-year sentence into probation.

At London’s Heathrow airport, Irving said he had been obliged to express regret during the court case but now had “no need any longer to show remorse.” He also called for a boycott of all Austrian and German historians until laws making Holocaust denial a crime in those countries are overturned.

Irving had been sentenced in February to three years under a 1992 law that applies to “whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse” the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity in a print publication, broadcast or other media.

The author, who has been indefinitely banned from Austria, spent the night in a detention center, said Willfried Kovarnik, head of Vienna’s immigration police. Irving said he intended to appeal the decision to ban him from Austria.

During his one-day trial earlier this year, Irving pleaded guilty to the charge of denying the Holocaust but maintained he never questioned it in the first place.

The defense and the prosecution appealed the sentence. In September, Austria’s Supreme Court upheld Irving’s conviction.

Irving has been in custody since his November 2005 arrest on charges stemming from two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989 for which he was accused of denying the Nazis’ extermination of 6 million Jews. He has contended that most of those who died at concentration camps like Auschwitz succumbed to diseases such as typhus rather than execution.

Irving said he spent his time in prison writing his memoirs. He said he and his seriously ill wife lost their central London home during his imprisonment and he would return to temporary accommodation and begin rebuilding his life.

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Like I said before he needs a house adjacent to the death camps so he can live the truth until he dies. So that we never forget – so that this never happens again…


Holocaust denier to be released

This past semester I read a text by Richard J. Evans called: “Lying about Hitler.” David Irving is an animal and inhumane.

LET’S MAKE ONE THING CLEAR, DAVID IRVING IS NOT – I REPEAT – NOT A HISTORIAN, AND NEVER WILL BE. HE HOLDS NO CREDIBILITY NOR WOULD BE TRUSTED TO TEACH, LECTURE OR ADVISE.

and he wants to start an academic boycott? What kind of shit is that? He has some gaul, doesn’t he. Maybe he should be kept in Austria, better yet, let him live in a city adjacent to a death camp for the rest of his life. To remind him, until he dies, the lies and disrespect he brought to over 6 million Jews and those who survived the Holocaust and the generations that lived with his kind of insanity being spewed.

David Irving is NO Historian.

 

I don’t think he had any “spiritual experience” that would classify him as an elightened soul about the Holocaust. It’s not like I’d believe anything he said today in any case. Read the book “Lying about Hitler” and judge Irving yourself.

 

This case was one of my final exam questions for my Holocaust History Class.

But here is the BBC report for you all to read. If you go back into my archives you will find my essays on the subject of David Irving, from reading Evans’ text.

 

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David Irving in court on 20 December 2006

David Irving says he has changed his views on the Holocaust

An Austrian appeals court has ruled that UK historian David Irving – jailed for denying the Holocaust – should be released on probation. Irving is now being held in police detention and will be deported to the UK on Thursday, officials said.

Irving was convicted in February in a case that sparked international debate about the limits of freedom of speech.

In 1989 he spoke in Austria denying the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz, though he later said he was “mistaken”.

The appeals court in Vienna had heard calls for both a reduction and increase in his sentence.

Irving on Wednesday welcomed his release and said he was “fit and well”.

The 68-year-old said he would urge an academic boycott of historians from Germany and Austria until the nations stopped jailing historians.

“I was put in prison for three years for expressing an opinion 17 years ago,” he said.

Intense debate

The BBC’s Kerry Skyring in Vienna said the presiding judge converted the remaining two years of Irving’s jail term to a provisional sentence, upholding his appeal.

Irving’s reputation as a credible historian is shot

Karen Pollock
Holocaust Educational Trust

Reactions to Irving release

Speaking after the ruling, his lawyer, Herbert Schaller, said: “He is free, and he can leave, and he will leave.”

The historian is now waiting for the necessary paperwork to be completed before he can leave a police detention facility in Vienna for the UK, officials said.

Irving’s partner, Bente Hogh, told the Associated Press news agency: “He sounded like he was in good form. He’s obviously very pleased to be free.”

Both the prosecution and defence had challenged the length of the sentence. The crime carries a prison term of up to 10 years.

COUNTRIES WITH LAWS AGAINST HOLOCAUST DENIAL

 

Austria

Belgium

Czech Republic

France

Germany

Israel

Lithuania

Poland

Romania

Slovakia

Switzerland

Timeline: David Irving

Denying the Holocaust

The 1992 law targets “whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide”.

Irving’s release on probation has dismayed Jewish groups.

Lord Janner, vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and president of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, said: “I am sorry that he did not serve out his full term, and I hope he will remain in Austria and not return to the United Kingdom, where he will not be welcome.”

Asked about Irving’s comments about historians being put in prison, Lord Janner said: “I do not believe that he was put in prison because he was a historian. And historians should be treated in the same way as anyone else.”

Irving was arrested in November last year on a motorway in southern Austria. He was visiting to give a lecture to a far-right student fraternity.

The conviction had sparked intense debate, with supporters saying it was fully justified but opponents arguing it undermined the right of freedom of speech.

At the initial trial, Irving had said it was “ridiculous” he was being tried for expressing an opinion and that he had changed his views on the Holocaust.


It's the Little Things…

Red Ribbon

Toosday and it snowed this morning. It is cold outside and there is snow on the ground. It isn’t much, but it is snow, nonetheless. It is still snowing around town at this hour.

We are praying for a white Christmas, Environment Canada is being tight lipped about predictions just yet, but there is a 60% probability that we will have snow this weekend.

That could change as the wind blows because Montreal sits in a very “specific” spot geographically in the St. Lawrence Valley down into the Ottawa Valley, where hubby is headed to Ottawa on Friday to see his parents.

Last night I ate some of hubys “Martha’s Chocolate Espresso Snow caps” you can get the recipie on Martha Stewart.Com . I was TRIPPING on espresso all night long. I could not sleep, I was levitating off the bed, I got up at 5 a.m. and wrapped gifts for hubby and Ms. Nikki, and as the sun rose, I was STILL tripping on caffeine, hubby got up around nine and the snow began to fall on the city and hubby was bouncing off the walls. I fell asleep, I must have passed out from exhaustion really and slept for three hours until I had to get up for my Toosday Coffee clutch.

My friend Ms. Nikki is my best friend and I got her a little gift and wrapped some of hubbys cookies in a pretty tin wrapped up with a bow and gave them to her this afternoon. She was overjoyed, and isn’t the right thing and the easy thing, for the most part, one in the same? It’s the little things in life that matter.

We talked about gratitude in action today and we had a bumper crop of turnips just off the wagon in today and so it was all about the beginner once again. Jesus, I am so grateful that I choose not to drink today. Because we saw alot of desperation this evening. People coming back after further experimentation. UGH!! But for the grace of God go I.

I want to address something here for my friend Freddy.

You know anonymous does not give one wisdom, or forethought or credence. When someone comments on a blog as anonymous, what do you have to hide that you cannot identify yourself? This comes from “Freddy set Go!”

We who are HIV positive or have AIDS see life and live life on a totally different wavelength than those of you who are not like us. You have no idea what we have been through mentally, emotionally, spiritually, personally and sexually. Do not assume you know anything about our life processes until you have walked a year in our shoes.

HIV positve people or People with AIDS don’t have to play by the rules, we make them ourselves now. Isn’t that wonderful! We don’t have to play by heterosexual rules or live by your precepts any longer… Jeez I love that about me and us, we can tell you all the fuck off and keep your rules and comments to yourselves.

You have no fucking idea what life is like for us, being diagnosed as young men and having to navigate into the world as men, with sitgma attached. Our lives are a true test of strength, fortitude and faith, not to kill ourselves or fall into a pit of self destructive despair and self abuse that will only lead us to the gates of hell and then death.

The HIV positive man or woman have to deal with a myraid of emotions that none of you would ever admit to or experience ever in your lives Unless of course you become one of us, and even then would you have the courage to walk the road we chose to walk or would you deny that which you are to satisfy the masses.

Never negate our process or choices or the way we see life or the way we hold sacred certain truths and identities, because our identities are forever damned with a disease that there is no cure for. We are destined to pill pop for the rest of our natural born lives until they find a cure or we die. We are HIV positive until we die. Unlike some of you who live with no stigma, no label just heterosexuality!! how easy you have it…

You think you know all the answers for those of us still trying to figure it out, may God forgive you!

Men and women, children and families see us differently. We become outsiders to the world that you are all insiders in. So don’t give us your anonymous comments and expcet us to even give you one ounce of credence or respect. Because if anonymous had any balls they would identify themselves and admit that which they hide behind.

Maybe you are one of us and are in denial, maybe you want to stir the shit pot, and maybe you are just as asshole with no sense given from God to be compassionate and see life from our eyes, to understand that we live on Borrowed Time now, unlike you who have all the time in the world.

We have the ability now to choose what we will do, choose who we will love and we are forced to accept that not many, even our families may Never love us back, like myself. We must accept that limited time means making the best of what we have and to appreciate all that we have, because God knows what comes in the morning, and for many years, I lived with the truth that I may not get up in the morning.

So I know what I speak of, because I lived in and even now 13 years later, life is still a process of peeling back the onion, one layer at a time, ever so slowly. Even today I am weary of my choices and I need reassurance, not judgement or condemnation. I am going to be 40 and I still don’t warrant the respect and love of my parents!! Go Fuckin Figure!

That’s another 4th step for me this Winter!!

We are being gracious, careful and methodic about peeling back those layers. Trying to figure out what makes us a man, and reliquishing our childhoods and dreams for the stark reality that the world is not kind and neither are her people. (like anonymous)

So before you assume to know better for us, LGBT people, HIV positive people, People with AIDS, you better have a name, and some experience behind you and some knowledge under your belt, before you rattle off your assumptions and judgments because really, if you have the balls to leave ME an anonymous comment – I will usually tell you to fuck off and delete your comment before it gets read by my readers…

Before you ASSUME – get the story behind the writer completely. Learn about the writer before you comment on just one post, because really, we have been writing for YEARS before you came along, and if you are unawares of the context, then educate yourself first in the whole story before you offer US counsel.

You know what happens when you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and Me…

The gaul of some people…

But for the Grace of God go I, I could be YOU!

I love you Freddie…

Live – Easy – But – Think – First…


Out on Holy Ground…

Pride Flag

“The rainbow flag, a fairly universal symbol of gay pride, consists of six equal bands of color, each color representing an aspect of what it means to be gay: Red-Light, Orange-Healing, Yello-Sun, Green-Harmony with Nature, Blue-Art, and Purple-Spirit. At one point there were extra bands, one of which was Black, presumably in recognition of what AIDS was doing to our community. Anecdote has it that it was removed when the colors were fixed, so as not to imply that AIDS was to be with us forever.

The color purple, representing spirit, was retained. It strikes me as particularly revealing and hopeful that this flag, which has emerged as our ONE genuine symbol worldwide, should include a reference to the important role of spirituality in our lives. In choosing the purple over the black – the transcendent over the merely transitory – we have chosen life over death, and we have reaffirmed spirit over matter.”

Donald Boisvert, “Out on Holy Ground, Meditations on Gay Men’s Spirituality”

Donald is my academic advisor at Concordia University, he is also my most trusted advisor and mentor. You can buy OUT on Holy Ground at Amazon.


Bad Arolsen – Nazi Archives from the Holocast …

Bad Arolsen

These Records were known about after WWII, the Red Cross Used them to reunite displaced Jews after the war. This report is associated with the reports that follow ending up with the first post I added today (Saturday) from the Associated Press.

6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, 25% of those six million people were children. How can one rationally deny that the holocaust ever happened? How can you minimize the deaths of over 6 million human beings? Can a human being be that inhuman and deny that Hitler incited his minions to commit the most heinous of acts upon an entire community of people?

The only way we can fight the tide of denials and minimizations and ignorance about the living history that is the Shoa and the Holocaust is to talk about it. To find the places where the Nazis hid their files and read the miles and miles of data that as recorded there and then, to tell the world that this really did happen.

For David Irving and those who would deny the Holocaust I give you this report – originally posted on 18 Nov. These are cold, hard facts. That cannot be refuted.
I finished writing my FINAL EXAM for my Holocaust class a few minutes ago, in no less that 1515 words.

(An excerpt from that report below)

BAD AROLSEN, Germany – The 21-year-old Russian sat before a clerk of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate’s office, describing the furnaces at Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp where he had been a prisoner until a few weeks previously.

“I saw with my own eyes how thousands of Jews were gassed daily and thrown by the hundreds into pits where Jews were burning,” he said.

“I saw how little children were killed with sticks and thrown into the fire,” he continued. Blood flowed in gutters, and “Jews were thrown in and died there”; more were taken off trucks and cast alive into the flames.

Today the Holocaust is known in dense and painful detail. Yet the young Russian’s words leap off the faded, onionskin page with a rawness that transports the reader back to April 1945, when World War II was still raging and the world still knew little about gas chambers, genocide and the Final Solution.

The two pages of testimony, in a file randomly plucked off a shelf, are among millions of documents held by the International Tracing Service, or ITS, an arm of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

This vast archive — 16 miles of files in six nondescript buildings in a German spa town — contains the fullest records of Nazi persecutions in existence. But because of concerns about the victims’ privacy, the ITS has kept the files closed to the public for half a century, doling out information in minimal amounts to survivors or their descendants on a strict need-to-know basis.


Close to the End … Term paper Thoughts

 

 

 

 

 

I have prepared a post – from the essay exam that wanted you to read and comment on. Not that only 4 people who read this blog actually stop to leave comments and I know all of you too !!! So here is the last installment of Holocaust education from this terms class, read at your own discretion.

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As an outsider I am aware that my review of Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz) may not do justice to his memoirs. Beginning at Fossoli, Levi was quickly acquainted with life on the “inside” of a camp. From there he was then moved into Auschwitz. The system of numbers told everyone the information they needed to know to get by.

Finding ones way through the most adverse of conditions was, I believe, a gift that early on, Primo had tapped as a lifeline. Levi and the others found an ability to adapt to situations, to find their way into the “system” that was the death camp. One had to think of oneself only, that self preservation was the only thing that would save you; it was kill or be killed, in a sense, I believe that Levi maintained a controlled compassion within adversity.

Moving through traumatic loss into a life of extreme deprivation and not knowing if one would live or die on any given day, would kill the strongest of a normal person. The death camp was an endless ritual of backbreaking pointless labour, fraught with pain, intolerance and for task masters that were animals. Each grouping had a role to play in the camp, by location, ability and education.

How does one cope with extreme situations such as the death camp, by finding comfort in the little things that come by ones way through the networking with others? And I believe that workers in the camp had found certain necessary and for the most part life saving networks. There was no way out of the “machine.” “You are not at home, this is not a sanatorium, and the only exit is by way of the Chimney.”

Primo Levi, being a young man at his “taking” I believe skirted through the middle of a much larger storm. He passed through more than one camp before ending up at Auschwitz. This, in my estimation, was a minor miracle. He was not directly deported “in” and gassed or killed upon arrival, nor was he amongst the first grouping to arrive there. And he did not find himself staring down into a pit with a gun to his back like many had on the way. Unlike other Jews coming to Auschwitz he was not a “ghetto Jew.” He did not have that experience of ghetto demoralization and extreme conditions like the millions who did, which made Levi a very lucky man. We talk about being “lucky” but this was more than luck

Jews were collected from all over Europe and transported into a centralized location and sorted amongst six death camps and many more concentration camps around Europe. There were several types of camps in operation when Auschwitz became the killing camp of choice.

From 1939 through 1945 detention camps were opened and “death camps” were used to kill Jews, “en masse.” By the end of 1943, Auschwitz and Majdanek were the last two camps with growing Jewish populations.

There were too many Jews for the Germans to handle and house. The Germans were just bloodthirsty animals and Jews were not meant to live. “In total, from spring 1942 through the summer 1944, 1.1 million Jews were deported to Auschwitz; 865,000 were killed on arrival. They got as far as the Judenrampe or the ramp at Birkenau, but they never entered the camp and they never got a number.”

His path may have been different, but in the end he lived. It was in what he said (how he identified himself) and what he did not say, and at what time, not to mention his wit and thinking that truly saved his life.

***************************

Based on the words of David Irving, the Holocaust was not as bad as historians have so written. To deny the past, to minimize it, tells the world that the lives of those lost is unimportant, I find that unforgivable.

Over the decades of Irving’s writings on history and the Holocaust his stance of denial has only grown. Irving maintains his denial by the fact that his writing follows the four point belief system, that being (1) low body count, (2) gas chambers were not used, (3) that extermination pogroms did not exist and (4) that the Holocaust was just propaganda invented by the allies.

He goes on to blame allies for bombing infrastructure that perpetuated the problems of lack of supplies and “disease,” which in his words, was the real killer of people.

David Irving tries to twist factual proof from trusted historians into speculation and doubt, raising the issue of academic scholarship of credible writers. I think this is best illustrated in the act of trying to “explain away” reality supporting ones own writing of history to follow the path of other deniers of the holocaust, amongst whom Irving identifies such as App, Butz, and Faurisson.

Irving does not mince words as his writings attempt to discredit scholars and debunk historically documented information. Irving’s adoration of Hitler and his continued attempts to minimize and deny the holocaust only show us how unreliable and unscholarly this man is as a writer of history, be it real or imagined he is no scholar.

He does not believe that so many Jews had been killed, that many escaped into Palestine and began new lives. Lipstadt wrote of Irving that “he was one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial, that he bends it until it conforms with his ideological leaning and political agenda.”

Evidence brought forward in a trial that deals with history must be documented, verifiable and factually sound, proven by scholars of the period. Historians and scholars are important because “they discover the truth about the past and give as accurate a representation of it as possible, Irving is not a historian.” “Reputable and professional historians do not suppress parts of quotations that go against their own case.”

If we hold a light up to truth and the historian who wrote about it, then we will keep reputable scholars honest. In the case of David Irving, we must remember that testimony of survivors, textual proof in collected documents, and honest exploration of the past will never allow men such as him to stand on any platform and spew such denial. To use subterfuge, mistranslations, exclusion of verbiage to purport denial is not the way credible historians work with the past, David Irving did.

Irving failed to make his mark as a denier or as a historian. His actions are deplorable, and immoral, they incite the rancour of those who read and study history, and it defames the honour of those who were there and are still alive to refute such denials, and it impugns the reputations and spirits of all those who died in camps, in ghettos, on roadsides and in gutters and in nameless fields across Europe.

This is why scholarship and credibility are so important for those who collect, compare, comment on and share history with the world. Every reading of a text is an interpretation, it pained me to have to read Irving’s interpretation’s because it incited in me hatred of ignorance and denial. It forced me to look at the insanity of someone who adores the most insane of men in the 20th century, Adolf Hitler.

What we can learn from all of this is simple. The misuse of texts, the way truth was misinterpreted and twisted, the way ignorance was allowed to be published just reinforces the need for scholars to shine light on ignorant testimony so as to stop if from entering the lexicon of history, or the classrooms of students, and lastly to ever be read by someone who lived it.

That is our job as humans on this earth, to see to it that men like David Irving never print another word of denial about the darkest days of the 20th century.

There is unequivocal documentation still on file that has yet to be seen or read, that may take decades more to study and report to the world, and until every page of information from every storehouse of records is exhausted, the Holocaust will never leave the consciousness of mankind.


Food for thought…

The final Exam for History 298 – The Holocaust is finished. I edited the final copy, a little change, but overall I think I wrote a solid paper. Half baked work is unacceptable.

I wanted to post these numbers for you so that we can all agree that David Irving, one person who denies the Holocaust in many books, one which part of the final asks about is called “Lying about Hitler” History, Holocaust, and The Trial of David Irving, written by Richard J. Evans.

Auschwitz-Birkenau

The largest Nazi extermination camp.

  • Location: Oswiecim, Poland
  • Established: May 26th1940
  • Liberation: January 27th, 1945, by the Soviet Army.
  • Estimated number of victims: 2,1 to 2,5 million (This estimated number of death is considered by historians as a strict minimum. The real number of death is unknown but probably much higher, maybe 4 millions)

Belzec
From march 1942 until early 1943, it is estimated that about 600,000 Jews were murdered in Belzec extermination camp.

Chelmno:
C
helmno, also known as Kulmhof, was a small town roughly 50 miles from the city of Lodz, Poland. It was here that the first mass killings of Jews by gas took place as part of the ‘Final Solution’.

Majdanek
The killing operations began in Majdanek in April 1942 and ended in July 1944. Majdanek also provided slave labor for munitions works and Steyr-Daimler- Puch weapons factory. The estimated number of deaths is 360,000, including Jews, Soviet POWs and Poles.

Sobibor
Sobibor was the second extermination camp to come into operation in the Aktion Reinhard program. Estimated number of deaths: 250,000, the majority being Jews.

Treblinka
Opening for “business” on July 23, 1942, with the beginning of the evacuation of the Warsaw ghetto, some 245,000 Warsaw Jews and 112,000 Jews from other places in the Warsaw district were murdered in Treblinka by September 21. 337,000 Jews from the Radom district, 35,000 from the Lublin district and 107,000 from the Bialystok district also met their death in Treblinka with 738,000 Jews who had been residents of the General Gouvernement. From outside Poland many thousands of Jews were transported to and killed in Treblinka: 7.000 from Slovakia, 8,000 from Theresienstadt concentration camp, 4,000 Jews from Greece, and 7,000 Jews from the Macedonia portion of Bulgaria. In addition to the Jews, some 2,000 gypsies were killed in Treblinka.

 

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The ancient chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank while she was in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Holland must be cut down, the Amsterdam city council said Tuesday.

The diseased tree in the courtyard behind the canal-side warehouse where the Frank family took refuge for more than two years has been attacked by an aggressive fungus and a moth, called the horse chestnut leaf miner. Experts estimate the tree’s age at 150-170 years.

The chestnut is familiar to some 25 million readers of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Anne often looked at it longingly from the attic, the only window that was not blacked out to prevent anyone seeing movement inside the apartment in the rear of the warehouse on Prinsengracht street where the Frank family hid.

The Jewish teenager made several references to it in the diary that she kept during the 25 months she remained indoors until the family was arrested in August 1944.

The tree’s condition has rapidly deteriorated in recent years, the city said. The inner wood is rotten and the dying roots and bark are not regenerating.

“It’s very sad, but the decision has been taken,” said Patricia Bosboom, spokeswoman of the Anne Frank House museum. “It’s one of the oldest chestnut trees in Amsterdam.”

It will take several weeks before the city issues the required license to fell the tree.

The museum, where the tiny apartment has been preserved, said grafts already have been taken and a sapling from the original chestnut will replace the once-towering tree.

“Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs,” Anne wrote on Feb. 23, 1944. “From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. …

“As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy.”

Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945.

 


Holocaust papers could aid compensation

Yellow Star of David

By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press Writer

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Public access to millions of Nazi war documents, kept in closed archives for 60 years, could help Holocaust survivors win larger claims for restitution, survivors groups say.

Plans to open the Red Cross-administered archives at Bad Arolsen, Germany, should persuade committees handling compensation for survivors “to halt the rush to judgment” in settling claims, said the Holocaust Survivors’ Foundation-USA, a national coalition of American survivors’ organizations.

Some of the survivors also are appealing a federal court’s dismissal of class action suits against the Italian insurance company Assicurazioni Generali for allegedly refusing to honor policies predating World War II.

“Survivors have been denied access to the necessary information required to mount full and effective disgorgement of the ill-gotten gains of the European plunderers,” said an open letter by the coalition, which has more than two dozen groups representing about 20,000 Holocaust survivors.

The Nov. 21 letter, signed by the heads of 10 of the survivors’ organizations, cited an Associated Press report on the monumental documentation kept at Bad Arolsen. The archive, with some 50 million pages, is run by the International Tracing Service, an arm of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The report “underscores what the survivors have been saying for years,” Sam Dubbin, a lawyer representing the groups, said Friday. Claims must be resolved with “a full and thorough public accounting of what the companies stole, how they stole it and the amounts that were stolen,” he said.

The archive comprises 16 linear miles of transportation lists, concentration camp registrations, death books and displaced persons files. The papers were collected after the war to trace missing people and later to verify claims for compensation upon request.

Until now, ITS has not allowed independent researchers to examine the files or information to be publicly accessible, citing privacy reasons. Last May, the 11-nation committee overseeing the archive decided to open them for wider access. But ratification of the revised agreement is still pending, and until then digital copies from the archive cannot be made and distributed to key institutions.

“I don’t know what’s in those files in Bad Arolsen, but the process by which Jews were rounded up and deported and the process by which their assets were seized was one and the same process,” said Dubbin, who is based in Miami, Fla.

Fred Taucher, 74, head of the Survivors of the Holocaust Asset Recovery Project in Seattle, said it was urgent that more compensation reach needy survivors.

“I have personally met people in New York and Miami going from garbage can to garbage can out on the street to see if they can find food to eat — and with their numbers tattooed on their arm still. It breaks my heart,” he said in a telephone interview.


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