For those needing a reminder of what the Nazis did

Every new generation needs another reminder of the fathomless evil of the Nazis, especially now that so many Americans seem to proudly identify with them and their allied white supremacists such as the Ku Klux Klan. As appalling as it was for the Greatest Generation to discover the depravity of the Nazi death camps as they became liberated at the end of World War II, for more recent generations the atrocities are in danger of entering the fog of history.

So I’m grateful to be able to pass on a needed reminder. By coincidence just before a mob of neo-Nazis assaulted Charlottesville, Va. to spread around their poison, I had finished reading a book that was a stark reminder of the depths of Nazi degeneracy. The Trumpets of Jericho: A Tale of the Holocaust by Michael Dolan is a shattering reminder of the millions who were marched, shoved, shot, hanged, starved, worked or hurled to their deaths at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. And of the many others, perhaps even less fortunate, who were kept alive to stoke the crematoria with the corpuses of men, women and children–sometimes members of their own families–who were  despised by the Nazis.

It is the story of infants thrown alive into fire pits; of women, children and old people of no use as forced laborers who were cajoled to undress and enter the gas chambers believing they were to receive a cleansing shower; of filthy, rat-infested, unheated  hovels where prisoner workers barely existed until, exhausted, starving and near death, they were marched to the gas chambers; of the need for more crematoria because they couldn’t keep up with the gas chambers’ deadly harvest; of bodies piled high in pyramid-like pillars up to the ceiling as the victims climbed on top one another in a futile effort to rise above the gas as it filled the chambers. And hideously more.

The book also tells the near-forgotten story of the Birkenau rebellion, by prisoners who refused to by herded meekly to their deaths. The rebels were members of the Sonderkommando—prisoners who no longer could stomach being forced to persuade new arrivals into the gas chamber and then clear out the bodies for burning in the crematoria. They were aided by prison women working in the camp’s munitions factory who courageously snuck out in their clothing tiny amounts of gunpowder the rebels used to make grenades to blow up the crematoria and punch holes in the camp’s electrified fences. The women, led by a Polish Jew, Roza Robota—now recognized as one of the heros of the Jewish resistance—would have been subjected to immediate execution if caught.

I strongly recommend the book, even for the anti-Nazi protestors in Charlottesville, as vivid reminder that they weren’t just marching against a mob because they were “offensive.” They are a threat, as potentially as real as the storm troopers of Nazi Germany prior to the war. Moreover, I strongly recommend the book to the neo-Nazis, who are either so ignorant of history to not know where they want to lead us or who are so vile that they think they would lead us to a better place. And if President Donald Trump were ever to pick up a book, he should read it too, so that he will come to know the meaning of moral equivalence.

Warning: The following graphics are disturbing.


Death camp children

Death camp children

Waiting for the crematoria.

Waiting for the crematoria.

Women in the barracks of the newly liberated Auschwitz concentration camp

Women in the barracks of the newly liberated Auschwitz concentration camp




The ovens

Prisoners waiting execution

Prisoners waiting execution


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  • I agree with you, but I do not see a great wave of white supremacy and Nazi support roaring to the surface in the US. It is the meme of the Left and the media now to toss every person who voted for Trump into that category, but that is also like saying anybody who voted for Obama supported Bill Ayers and his Left socialist activities.

    If anything, I see a growing anti-Semite movement cultured out of universities and supported by Leftist intellectuals.

  • In reply to Chef Boy RD:

    You are absolutely correct. Trump's outburst will be used effectively to tar everyone who voted for him as if they all supported his stupidity. And yes, the equivalent is like saying everyone who voted for Obama supported the violent extremists of the left like Bill Ayers. And very true, the growing anti-Semite movement is being cultured by some universities elites and leftist intellectuals. Thanks for your observations.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    The real problem is lack of knowledge of history. This goes for the politician to many average citizens. There are at least two generations now that do not know history. A country cannot survive without an educated population, and I think we are seeing this in the devolution of the body politic into tribes.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    "the growing anti-Semite movement is being cultured by some universities elites and leftist intellectuals."

    can you give some examples please? preferable with verifiable links

  • In reply to Michael Messinger:

    Of course, Chef can't.

    I don't need Chef to tell me what to think about the Nazis, my mother lived through the camps and her mother died on the long march. And she says the current group still consists of Nazis.

    Jews don't need guys like Chef and the anti-Semite Breitbart troll who used to be here telling us what to think.

    However, I do thank Dennis for bringing us a reminder of that horror.

  • In reply to Michael Messinger:

    BTW, I remember you railing about people not posting under their real names., I forget, yours is...............?

  • In reply to jack:

    Sorry, that was directed to chef.

  • In reply to Chef Boy RD:

    BTW, I remember you railing about people not posting under their real names., I forget, yours is.........................?

  • You're right, those cretins have little to no knowledge of the horrors the Nazis perpetrated on humanity.
    Another excellent book is "Escape from Sobibor" which I just finished. It tells the story of a brave group that managed to escape the camp and the author eventually meeting with some of the survivors in their old age.

  • In reply to Realpro53:

    Can anybody visit Yad Vasham , the childrens' Holocaust memorial in Israel and leave without a wall of tears on their face? The names of the millions of slaughtered children are called out as you walk through.

  • About six hours ago Michael Messinger asked an important question, about your statement, echoing one by Chef: "the growing anti-Semite movement is being cultured by some universities elites and leftist intellectuals."

    He asked "can you give some examples please? preferable with verifiable links."

    Can we expect an answer?

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Is that enough?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Only if you conflate opposition to the policies of the State of Israel with anti-Semitism can you claim a growth cultured by " some universities elites and leftist intellectuals." The Brandeis study shows that a majority of Jewish students do not link the two. Also, I don't think the Nazis who assembled last weekend in Charlottesville were complaining about Israel when they chanted "Jews will not replace us."

    We may be confronting an increase in anti-Semitism among youth, but I think it would be a mistake to assign blame on the basis of perceived "leftist intellectuals." Alt-right seems to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Alt right is, indeed, doing much of the heavy lifting. But you choose to ignore the connection between the "destroy Israel" component and anti-Semitism. One can reasonably argue the Palestinian case for return (as I have in the past) but are you suggesting that none of the "Israel has no right to exist" proponents are anti-Semitic?

    You have raised a red herring. The thrust of the links (and others that can be cited) is that anti-Semitism is a growing concern on campus.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I take it then that you have responded to the World Jewish Congress's appeal to sign a petition to Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to oppose the BDS movement, and also enclosed the requested $58. I can give you their address if you didn't get it. Or you can Google it.

    You are engaged in Trumpism in that you are supporting someone who is trying to exploit an internal debate in Israel over policy to deal with hostile Palestinian forces with members of the KKK and American Nazi Party. At least you have the intellectual honesty to post your sources, unlike the bigot whom you tried to mollify. As I said, the Jews don't need false advocates like chef. He has the intellectual courage to stick around only while unchallenged.

  • In reply to jack:

    Who's the "bigot" that I'm trying to "mollify?" Name-calling isn't worthy of you.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Chef, who among other things
    1. Complained about ugly women in a political context.
    2. Complained about people who called those who complained about Obama racist, but when asked,didn't have a reasoned response to the Tiger Woods designed golf course.
    3. Most recently railed against people who don't put their real names on posts, like himself. Since you are so sure about who posts here, why don't you tell us who he really is.

    I'm sure i could find more instances.

    As they say, "if the shoe fits."

  • In reply to jack:

    I have no idea who posts here when they don't use his or her real name. Should I stop?

  • In reply to jack:

    The final question is up to you. Some of chicagonow uses Facebook comments and I have said I won't give Mark Zuckerberg personally identifiable information, so that's one way you can control it. But it seems like you would also be denying yourself the opportunity to pat an obvious hypocrite like chef on the back, just because he's not a liberal.

  • You still have not linked the rise in anti-Semitism to " some universities elites and leftist intellectuals." As the Washington Post article makes clear, the rise is not just in colleges, but was even greater in primary, middle and secondary schools. Those interviewed tended to cite the effects of social media as being among the primary cause. This is a sphere in which alt-right has been particularly active.

  • fb_avatar

    Black Lives Matter Leader Rachel Gilmer: ‘Zionism at its core is white supremacy’
    April 2, 2017/in Featured, National Security, Policy, Politics, Religion, Social Issues, Waste, Fraud and Abuse /by Dr. Rich Swier

    John Rossomando in an IPT News article “Panelists Prove Jewish Voice for Peace is Neither” reported:

    jewish voices for peaceThere’s a simple way to end global oppression, racism and immediately create a world overflowing with “equality, dignity and human rights,” panelists agreed Saturday [April 1st, 2017] morning during a Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Conference in Chicago.

    Simply eliminate Zionism from the planet.

    “Arguing for a softer, less harsh, nicer version of capitalism, colonialism and racism won’t do it,” said Black Lives Matter leader Rachel Gilmer. “Many liberal Zionists believe that the problem with Israeli apartheid is simply a few bad policies, or Netanyahu, or the wall, but the problem is with the ideological foundation of the state itself: Zionism. Zionism at its core is white supremacy.” [Emphasis added]

    Read more…

    So who is Black Lives Matter leader Rachel Gilmer?

    The Canary Mission published a profile of Gilmer:

    Rachel Gilmer is the chief of strategy for Dream Defenders (DD) and a supporterof the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

    In May 2016, Gilmer participated in a DD trip to Israel in support of the BDS movement.

    On August 2, 2016, Gilmer co-authored the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Policy Platform which endorsed BDS and accused Israel of committing a “genocide” against Palestinians. The platform and DD’s defense of it are discussed further below.

    But is gets worse. According to Canary Mission:

    On May 16, 2016, Gilmer appeared in a photo wearing a t-shirt supporting the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by the European Union, Canada, the United States and Israel.

    The PFLP shirt featured a quote from the late PFLP leader Ghassan Kanafani stating: “Don’t die without being a rival.” The quote in Arabic — لا تمت قبل ان تكون ندا — is used by the PFLP and its supporters.

    Gilmer wore the PFLP shirt while in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp (Dheisheh) near Bethlehem while on the May 2016 DD trip. Dheisheh is known as a PFLP stronghold.

    On March 2016, DD produced an educational series that glorifies the PFLP. Intended for sixth to eleventh graders, the curriculum titled “Blacked Out History – Rebellion Curriculum Toolkit,” preaches violence under the euphemism of “struggle” (page 6).

    The curriculum mentions various violent PFLP strategies (page 25) such as “hijackings, assassinations, car bombings, suicide bombings, paramilitary operations against civilian and military targets” and concludes “[t]hey want to be free from global imperialism. They want liberation. They want equal rights. Just like the Dream Defenders” (page 26).

    Gilmer Supports Violence

    On July 18, 2016, Gilmer shared a post defending two minors who stabbed a security guard on a Jerusalem train on October 10, 2015.

    On November 7, 2016, Gilmer shared a post whitewashing attempted murderer Ahmad Manasra who joined his cousin in an Jerusalem stabbing attack over one year earlier. They critically wounded a 13 year-old Israeli boy and moderate wounded a 25 year-old man. Manasra admitted “I went there to stab Jews.”

    These attacks came during a wave of religiously incited violence, known variously as the “Knife Intifada” or the “Stabbing Intifada” when Palestinian radicals across Israel stabbed scores of Israeli civilians. The attacks were sparked and fueled by the libel — often spread by Palestinian leaders — that Israel intended to desecrate the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

    On September 9, 2016, Gilmer shared an article on Facebook defending violent agitator Issa Amro, who is known for attacking Israeli soldiers and vandalism.

    What is ironic is that Rachel Gilmer was raised Jewish.

    Sam Kestenbaum in a column titled “How Did Black Lives Matter Come to Charge Israel with Genocide?” notes:

    Rachel Gilmer, a 28-year-old African American who was raised Jewish, has long been involved in black-Palestinian solidarity work. Gilmer is associated with the activist group Dream Defenders, which has been on the forefront of recent black-Palestinian solidarity efforts, such as bringing high-profile delegations of African-American activists to Israel and the West Bank.

    Born to an African-American father and a white Jewish mother, Gilmer was raised as a Jew and participated as a teen in Young Judaea, the Zionist youth group. There, she rose to become a leading member of her local group. But Gilmer later distanced herself from organized religion.

    Read more…

    Why do some Jews, like Gilmer, eat their own? Why did Gilmer become a Judenrat?

    RELATED ARTICLE: BDS Activist at JVP Conference Urges ‘Guerilla Disobedience’ Against Israel

    EDITORS NOTE: Here are Gilmer’s close connections: Ahmad Abuznaid, Nadia Ben-Youssef, Maria Castro, Jonel Edwards, Nyle Fort, Steven Gilliam, Kimberly Gonzalez, Janaya Khan, Ramah Kudaimi, Didier Ortiz, Steve Pargett, Umi Selah, Ciara Taylor

  • In reply to Jill Marie:

    Thanks, Jill Marie. But jornto, in his obsession to have the last word, will reply with some off-the-point rejoinder.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Nah, I did it when I responded above.

    I'm sure Jill Marie has also sent her BDS petition and $58 to the WJC. Instead she quotes one person to satisfy chef's slur against all liberals.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, are you jornto? If so, why the two IDs? Not that there's anything wrong with that; take as many as you want.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    You have really lost it. You know I am not jnorto. Are you Chef? You sure go out of your way to agree with him.

    If I were jnorto, I would have asked why you didn't post your engineering studies on the Chinatown connector, I did not. But I will ask again if you sent in your BDS petition? If not, you and Jill Marie are only shedding crocodile tears, using the Holocaust to pursue some right wing agenda. My mother, with a number tattooed on her arm, certainly takes offense to that. We expect your apology,. I don't know if jnorto does.

  • In reply to jack:

    When you said, "Nah, I did it when I responded above" it sounded like you were answering a question put to jnorto. Sorry for the confusion. On the Franklin St. connector I posted a link to the EIS. Couldn't find engineering studies. Do not impugn my motives (e.g. crocodile tears to pursue a right wing agenda). As a rhetorical device it doesn't work. And it says more about you than it does about me. Somehow you have managed to turn my post about the evils of the Holocaust into a demand for an apology to its survivors. No apology is necessary.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I knew it wasn't coming.

    It also was obvious that you, by agreeing with that bigot Chef,and also with Jill Marie, have turned the Holocaust into some right wing rant*.As I said, if you really care about BDS you would have done something other than endorse Jill Marie's riff on a black activist. That's even assuming that it is credible, But obviously you have not.

    *And I thought Jared was solving the Palestinian issue.

  • In reply to jack:

    And you are trying to turn the Holocaust into a left wing rant.

  • In reply to jack:

    Nope. But I guess to a right winger, anything else is left wing.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Dennis, please rest assured that Jack and I are not one and the same. We argue with one another even more than I argue with myself.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    When you argue with yourself, who wins?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I don't know, but I know I don't lose.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Not surprising.

  • Dennis, thank you for this. Yes, there is anti-semitism on the right and the left. The left needs to deal with it.

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