Posted Dana Hadadi/ Israel/Europe
-Where do you come from?
-Ah, I know a guy down there. Actually Uri is here, he has relatives in Eilat. Don’t you know Uri? Tell them what’s the name of that cousin of yours?
- I’m a senior. I`ve stopped working. I can afford myself to travel a lot. I enjoy my free time.
- You know, in my age I could have become a senior by now. But I don’t want to.
-Yes, but he worked really hard, Haim. For many years.
- I’m still considered to be relatively young.
-Ha, everything is relative.
-So, everybody’s here?
-Whoever’s not here- so he’s not here. Ha ha.
-He’s the guy with the… coat.
-The guy with the coat? Sure he’s not the one with the head? Ha, ha.
-Not all here are couples. Here, there’s a single man over there, we should fix him.
36 Israelis straight out of the fresh delivery of the latest hot travel agency’s deal get on a bus in the coldest time of the winter of Europe, to explore Berlin. Berlin of the time they knew is quite different kind of deliveries, and also to explore some Berlin of the time of today. (Shopping time).
Everywhere in the world Israeli will try to make themselves feel at home.
Maybe after years of exiles we developed a ‘strangerophobiya’. We just cannot bear not to own the place. You either move there to open the next Falafel place, or simply tour it, but with a bag of ‘Bamba’ snack in your hand.
In this case, it was not so far from the truth. Berlin serves perfectly the need of the Israeli to claim it. It does it by wearing a big invisible coat of guilt.
Israelis say: “B’Ktana”, which means- symbolically like, not biggy- just a hint. So, Berlin is very tasteful with its demonstration of guilt.
Here, B’ktana- golden stones integrated in the pavement with names on it in some streets where you go. There, B’ktana- some signs indicate couple of the most significant Nirenberg rules. And did you know here, where there’s an elementary school, used to be a synagogue. No Jews now, but pupils still must write a biography of a selected Jew in order to graduate.
Quietly and modestly but shameless, Berlin will show you how it faces its disgraceful history proudly, like intellectuals do. They reconcile by living in between the monuments, so they could “think about what they did”. Berliners of today are afraid of nationalism (not big fans of flags, and never say: “I’m German”), so how could a collective state of mind be changed in less than 3 generations?
They say Germans love the system. They say they are loved to be told what to do.
Maybe this is the new system of what they are supposed to do?
Is it possible Germans never had whatsoever actual feelings for Jews? As they were following voices who called for their culture’s destruction now they obey the voices that call for Jews’ culture preservation?
I wouldn’t know.
I only know- on the same supermarket where the system listed for me how many cents per gram for every product listed in the shop, between the aisles, I had a small chat with one old lady, who didn’t know I don’t speak German. And she was looking at the box of the cookies I was holding in my hand, trying to develop a conversation as it goes: “Cookies in a box. Would you believe it? How marvelous”! Because eventually it all goes done to that.
*This review was written thanks to Ido Porat and Berlin Tours Leah
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February 8, 2012 | 1:37 pm
Posted Katarzyna Odrzywołek/Poland
We will always feel robbed, empty and incomplete in the confrontation with the memory of the Holocaust, but the testimony offered by your presence here is the spark that lights up this abyss a little. (...)
Mark A. Rothman
On January 24th, 2012 year in the afternoon in the Auditorium of the Collegium Novum of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow a formal meeting of the Cracow Medical Society, organized on the occasion of 67 anniversary of the liberation the Auschwitz-Birkenau and the International Day for the Holocaust was held. The meeting was opened by Professor Karol Musiol, Rector of the Jagiellonian University and led by the TLK chairman prof. Igor Gościński. This year’s ceremony was organized with the cooperation of the Medical Society of the Krakow Jagiellonian University Medical College, Center for Holocaust Studies at the Jagiellonian University and the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau.
I feel robbed and filled with the optimism in the same time[...]
The Director of the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles, Mark A. Rothman started his speech with these words. Thanks to modern technology Royal City of Krakow joined with the City of Angels for about 20 minutes long videoconference.
Robbery was the key word there, it helped the speaker to describe the situation of complete chaos, which took place during and after the Shoah. Mark Rothman as he admits feels robbed, because due to the quickly passing time (67 years) he is still unable to answer the question embarrassing him - why? It is believed that the only way to understand the Holocaust is to take for granted the fact that we were robbed and we will never fully understand how and why the Holocaust took place. Rothman also pointed out that the work and lives of most people present in the conference room is devoted to moving these boundaries, exposing and maintaining the truth.
People endowed with the gift of history ...
In this way Mark Rothman has called all the participants of the conference who did not directly experience the atrocities of war, but got the great mission-the mission of transmitting history. By participating in these celebrations we have become the witnesses of the witnesses, we are blessed with a magnificent gift.
At the meeting we heard the stories of two witnesses, former prisoners of concentration camps. These were the people concerned with concentration camp traumatic experience and actively involved in helping the former prisoners . The first of them, Dr. Witold, MD, Krzyzanowski worked in France for the construction of the Atlantic Wall, then in Paris, he was a member of the Resistance actively involved as a member, unfortunately captured by the Gestapo, interrogated and beaten, imprisoned, he was put in prison in Bordo. Then in January 1944 he was sent to Buchenwald, where he got the number 44 320. In June 1946 he returned to Poland, and after six years (1952) completed his medical studies. He was awarded with the Order of Knight of the League of Honour and the Cross of Auschwitz. Another survivor was Dr. Thadeus Smreczyński MD. During the occupation he was deported to forced labor in Saxony, where he worked at repairing railroad tracks, but soon decided to run away. His escape plan to get through the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia to Romania, then Hungary and from there to Britain failed : he was arrested while crossing the border. He managed to hid the fact of escape and thus was employed in the quarry, he decided to run away again, to get to Kraków, and helped the escapes of Poles who worked in the Third Reich. Arrested in December 1943 he was put in prison by Gestapo in Myslowice, then he was transported to Auschwitz, soon sent to Mauthausen sub-camp /Linz III No. 78 731/ .He did different jobs – for example he worked in the kitchen. After the war he returned home and graduated at the Medical Department of the Jagiellonian University.
The next stage of the conference was devoted to the camp artists. Auschwitz Museum staff discussed the work of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak and Janina Tolik, in turn, Prof. Assoc. B. Alexander, MD, Joseph Bau Skotnicka. The whole conference was enriched with a recital by Maria Slawek and Peter Rozanski of the Academy of Music.
February 2, 2012 | 10:36 am
Posted Dana Hadadi/ Israel- Europe
The writer would like to apologize on her last article referring certain affairs in the Jewish community in Budapest.
I should never assume people have any other interest for running and/or attending events in the community, rather than their genuine aspiration for closeness.
If my words offended some individuals or organizations by implying that their motivation is different than the defined above, it was merely because I might mixed them with my own perspective. They say: “Ha possel B’mumo Possel”, which means: flaws you find in others are just a reflection to yourself.
As for myself, I was, not once, forgetting the essence of spontaneous togetherness in my own organization. I’ve sinned against my members dictating for them events that were not for them.
No real Hanuka event was discussed on this article, for sure not one of a specific organization. The article itself was not aimed to put a negative light on the Jewish community of Budapest- I got my best friend for life form this community. I’ll forever feel it’s my family and the origin for all that I am today.
Maybe, that is the reason I feel I could describe the atmosphere there when comparing it to what I have learnt in Szczecin.
When you love your house very much, you wish for its residence the best, sometimes you come out harsh.
Israelis should know this better than everyone else.