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Auschwitz Survivor On Duty And Forgiveness

Crackers Phinn

Either A Blessing Or A Lesson.
However you feel about Jews, the sentiment of the story is what is important. I edited it down but the link to the full version is below.

Auschwitz survivor's 'duty to the dead'

Leon Schwarzbaum is one of the last survivors of Auschwitz -- the Nazi death camp that Chancellor Angela Merkel will be visiting for the first time on Friday. At 98, he says his "duty to the dead" is to bear witness about what happened to him.

"I had the good fortune to survive. My family did not," Schwarzbaum told AFP in an interview in his elegant apartment on the outskirts of Berlin. Schwarzbaum was sent to Auschwitz in occupied Poland at the age of 22. His parents were gassed to death on the day they arrived at the camp in July 1943. In total, 35 members of his family were killed.

Schwarzbaum survived two years in Auschwitz, working as a forced labourer for Siemens, until he was taken away by fleeing Nazi troops as the Allies advanced. For decades, Schwarzbaum kept his story to himself. "I did not know whom I could tell about these monstrosities," he said. Nobody wanted to hear the survivors. But in the 1970s, a wedding party on Wannsee lake outside Berlin brought back the horror. Someone sitting next to him at the party asked: "Where were you during the war, my friend? I was in the SS." Schwarzbaum's wife answered for him: "My husband was at Auschwitz".

- 'There is no forgiveness' -


In his last years, Schwarzbaum has started to bear witness more frequently to younger generations and in front of the courts. In February 2016, he told his story at the trial of former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning, 93, one of the last on the Nazi era. Schwarzbaum came out of it profoundly disappointed. Hanning did not speak during the hearings, only providing a written confession. A few minutes before the verdict which sentenced him to five years in prison, Schwarzbaum gave him a letter that he now reads, sitting on the edge of his sofa. "There is no forgiveness. Only the people you killed as a member of the SS can forgive," he wrote. Hanning did not reply to the letter. He died in 2017.
Full story here.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/auschwitz-survivors-duty-to-the-dead/ar-BBXN55b?ocid=spartanntp
 

dicapr

Well-Known Member
I agree with the sentiment. However as a Christian we literally pray forgive us our debts (sins) as we forgive our debtors (those who sin against us). But it would take the supernatural for me to forgive those atrocities. Lord help me because I know I just wouldn’t want to.
 

Tibbar

Well-Known Member
I think what struck me the most was that Chancellor Merkel is visiting Auschwitz for the first time!! How is that not required of all German citizens -- especially politicians? I know after WW 2 the Allied forced locals to visit the camps since they did nothing to stop them and claimed to know nothing about them. They are experiencing a resurgence of pro-Nazi sentiments, they need to step up their education game.
 

faithVA

Well-Known Member
I think what struck me the most was that Chancellor Merkel is visiting Auschwitz for the first time!! How is that not required of all German citizens -- especially politicians? I know after WW 2 the Allied forced locals to visit the camps since they did nothing to stop them and claimed to know nothing about them. They are experiencing a resurgence of pro-Nazi sentiments, they need to step up their education game.
I watched a Netflix movie last year, based on a true story. It was about bringing one of the Nazi lieutenants to justice. In the movie they shared that the generation's of German children born after the war were unaware of the Holocaust because it was completely removed from the history taught to children and it was not discussed within the country. The older adults just pretended like it never happened.

I was dumbfounded.
 

Tibbar

Well-Known Member
I watched a Netflix movie last year, based on a true story. It was about bringing one of the Nazi lieutenants to justice. In the movie they shared that the generation's of German children born after the war were unaware of the Holocaust because it was completely removed from the history taught to children and it was not discussed within the country. The older adults just pretended like it never happened.

I was dumbfounded.
That is truly unbelievable! That explains so much about the current course of the country. It literally should be a graduation requirement and a mandatory school trip.

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. Edmund Burke.
 

ajoke

Well-Known Member
I watched a Netflix movie last year, based on a true story. It was about bringing one of the Nazi lieutenants to justice. In the movie they shared that the generation's of German children born after the war were unaware of the Holocaust because it was completely removed from the history taught to children and it was not discussed within the country. The older adults just pretended like it never happened.

I was dumbfounded.

That is a lie though. I live in Germany.
 

ajoke

Well-Known Member
That is truly unbelievable! That explains so much about the current course of the country. It literally should be a graduation requirement and a mandatory school trip.

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. Edmund Burke.
That is truly unbelievable! That explains so much about the current course of the country. It literally should be a graduation requirement and a mandatory school trip.

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. Edmund Burke.
That is a lie though. I live in Germany. Until a few years ago, Germans were so ashamed of their history they didn’t even have flags around. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
 

ajoke

Well-Known Member
That is a lie though. I live in Germany. Until a few years ago, Germans were so ashamed of their history they didn’t even have flags around. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
That is a lie though. I live in Germany. Until a few years ago, Germans were so ashamed of their history they didn’t even have flags around. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

To be honest, I was surprised that Merkel had not been to Auschwitz also, but it’s in Poland now. She has been to Dachau and children go from school to visit the concentration camps.
What I recently read was that the younger generation seem far removed from the guilt, as the generation that experienced it is slowly dying off.
in fact, when I moved here, I was surprised at how much they made sure to keep the collective memory alive.

The main issue withRising nationalism is in the former communist parts of the country, where lots of east Europeans have settled and which was communist east Germany.
 

RoundEyedGirl504

Well-Known Member
This is powerful, even outside of the context of something like the Holocaust, in families this idea that crappy people are dead and we should "let them rest" and not speak ill of them or what they have done has never sat right with me. If uncle, grandpa, grandma or whoever was abusing folks their whole lives we don't get to silence the victims and offer proxied forgiveness so we don't sully the dead person, crazy to me.
 

anilyn

Well-Known Member
"Where were you during the war, my friend? I was in the SS." Schwarzbaum's wife answered for him: "My husband was at Auschwitz".

That's one way to shut a party down. I wonder what the SS's guy's response was. Could he not tell the guy was Jewish, or was he just trying to be shady?
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
"Where were you during the war, my friend? I was in the SS." Schwarzbaum's wife answered for him: "My husband was at Auschwitz".

That's one way to shut a party down. I wonder what the SS's guy's response was. Could he not tell the guy was Jewish, or was he just trying to be shady?
I was wondering this too.
 

anilyn

Well-Known Member
^^^ My point was some people have no issues proudly announcing their association with vile people and their ideologies. I find it weird that people have no problem flying confederate flags and waxing on about their "heritage" but I see it every day.
 
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