The History of Jewish Honor

19/04/2017
 “The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves. Let us not get accustomed and adjusted to these conditions. The one who adjusts ceases to discriminate between good and evil. He becomes a slave in body and soul. Whatever may happen to you, remember always: Don’t adjust! Revolt against the reality!”. Mordechai Anielewicz was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1919. After finishing secondary school Anielewicz joined the Zionist movement and became a full-time organizer of the movement. When the German Army invaded Poland in September 1939, Anielewicz managed to escape to Romania.

In October 1939, the Schutz Staffeinel (SS) began to deport Jews living in Austria and Czechoslovakia to ghettos in Poland. Transported in locked passenger trains, large numbers died on the journey. Those that survived the journey were told by Adolf Eichmann, the head of the Gestapo’s Department of Jewish Affairs: “There are no apartments and no houses – if you build your homes you will have a roof over your head.”

In Warsaw all 22 entrances to the ghetto were sealed. The German authorities allowed a Jewish Council (Judenrat) of 24 men to form its own police to maintain order in the ghetto. The Judenrat was also responsible for organizing the labour battalions demanded by the German authorities. Conditions in the Warsaw ghetto were so bad that between 1940 and 1942 an estimated 100,000 Jews died of starvation and disease in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Anielewicz returned to Warsaw where he attempted to organize resistance to the Nazi occupation and in November 1942 was elected as chief commander of the Jewish Fighter Organization in the ghetto.

Between 22nd July and 3rd October 1942, 310,322 Jews were deported from the Warsaw ghetto to extermination camps. Information got back to the ghetto what was happening to those people and it was decided to resist any further attempts at deportation. In January 1943, Heinrich Himmler gave instructions for Warsaw to be “Jew free” by Hitler’s birthday on 20th April.

Anielewicz now played a prominent role in organizing resistance in Warsaw. On 19th April 1943, the Waffen SS entered the ghetto. Although though only had two machine-guns, fifteen rifles and 500 pistols, the Jews opened fire on the soldiers. They also attacked them with grenades and petrol bombs. The Germans took heavy casualties on the first day and the Warsaw military commander, Brigadier-General Jürgen Stroop, ordered his men to retreat. He then gave instructions for all the buildings in the ghetto to be set on fire.

As people fled from the fires they were rounded up and deported to the extermination camp at Treblinka. The ghetto fighters continued the battle from the cellars and attics of Warsaw. On 8th May the Germans began using poison gas on the insurgents in the last fortified bunker. About a hundred men and women escaped into the sewers but the rest were killed by the gas, including Mordechai Anielewicz. See More

 

 

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Havel’s Lesson…

17/04/2017

In these dark times, let’s remember the luminous words of a man who refused to live within a lie and fearlessly opposed any form of human humiliation! Václav Havel’s address to the European Parliament, Strasbourg, March 8, 1994. “I have come from a land that did not enjoy freedom and democracy for almost sixty years. You will perhaps believe me when I say that it is this historical experience that has allowed me to respond at the deepest level to the revolutionary meaning of European integration today. And perhaps you will believe me when I say that the very depth of that experience compels me to …express concern for the proper outcome of this process and to consider ways to strengthen it and make it irreversible. Allow me, in conclusion, to thank you for approving the Europe Agreement on the association of the Czech Republic with the European Union two weeks after it was signed. In doing so, you have shown that you are not indifferent to the fate of my country.”

 

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To The Castle and Back- VACLAV HAVEL (Translated by Paul Wilson)


Pentru Radu Filipescu: La Mulți Ani cu noroc, bucurii şi sănătate!

27/12/2016

Many happy returns, dear Radu Filipescu! For those who don’t know or have forgotten, Radu is one of the main Romanian dissidents. Born: December 26, 1956 (age 60), Târgu Mureș, Romania, the young engineer Radu Filipescu was one of those who heroically resisted Ceausescu’s terror. He acted alone, but he knew he was not alone. Like the members of the White Rose resistance group in Nazi Germany, he distributed leaflets denouncing the tyranny. He was arrested and jailed. A founding member of the Group for Social Dialogue, Radu Filipescu served as a member of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania. Never acerbic, caustic, or bitter, Radu embodies good faith, moral clarity, and civic courage.

 

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Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu sau imaculata noblețe a suferinței

17/12/2016

Pentru Ana Blandiana, in memoria lui Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu, preşedintele Asociației Foştilor Deținuți Politici, membru al Comisiei Prezidențiale pentru Analiza Dictaturii Comuniste din România, luptător devotat pentru dreptate, adevăr, onoare şi cinste. A fost un militant civic pentru care au existat un număr de valori care nu puteau fi nici negociate, nici terfelite. A petrecut ani grei in temnițele comuniste pentru faptul că a refuzat să pactizeze cu forțele Răului totalitar. A fost un democrat sincer, un om de o căldură şi de o generozitate unice. A fost ținta unor calomnii imunde, a unor atacuri abjecte venite din partea foştilor săi torționari şi aliaților lor actuali, dintre care unii se pretind “anti-comunişti”. S-au folosit impotriva sa cele mai mizerabile forme de dezinformare. Au crezut agentii Răului că-i vor frânge voința de libertate. S-au inşelat insa lamentabil.

In anul 2008, editura Polirom a publicat volumele de amintiri “Marturie si document” (volumul al doilea al memoriilor a apărut cu puțin inaintea stingerii sale din viată). A scris aceste cărti pentru că a crezut, asemeni Monicăi Lovinescu şi lui Virgil Ierunca, in datoria absolută de a depune marturie: “…am o datorie sfântă față de prietenii si colegii mei de suferință, față de cei ucişi de securişti sau de temniceri şi față de muntii de suferință şi de teroare indurați de poporul român in perioada tiraniei comuniste. Cu atât mai mult cu cât, de 17 ani incoace, se aplică tot mai concertat o adevărată strategie a ascunderii sau a uitării programatice şi chiar a uitării ororilor si crimelor comunismului. … N-am avut tinerețe, insă am dobândit cel mai paradoxal titlu de noblețe din istoria umanitații, cel de detinut politic. Acest titlu işi revendică nobletea, deoarece nu poate fi obținut cu bani! Pentru a-l fi avut, incercările erau insă atât de grele, incât costau adesea viața; cei care l-au primit nu l-au dorit şi nu l-au cerut, iar cei care l-au acordat nu şi-au dat seama că ne innobilează, ci au crezut exact contrariul”. Pe data de 27 mai 2008, dl Ticu Dumitrescu mi-a scris o dedicație, una dintre cele mai mişcătoare pe care le-am primit vreodată, in care mă numea “autorul inteligent şi documentat al unor cărti esențiale intru cunoaşterea si condamnarea comunismului”. Sunt cuvinte care mă obligă pentru veşnicie…

Arunci când unii isi fac un titlu de glorie din “demitizarea” demersului condamnării comunismului, vorbind, cu jenantă frivolitate, despre anticomunism ca “iluzie”, este cazul să afirmăm tranşant anumite adevăruri factuale: comunismul a fost domnia minciunii, a resentimentului social, a urii instituționalizate, a mediocrității şi a imposturii. Ticu Dumitrescu a spus aceste lucruri cu tărie, inclusiv in acel veritabil testament moral care a fost mesajul său trimis in luna iulie 2008 către Scoala de Vară din cadrul Memorialului Victimelor Comunismului si al Rezistenței de la Sighet.


GLORIA VICTIS: THE BLOOD OF THE HUNGARIANS

22/10/2016

GLORIA VICTIS: THE BLOOD OF THE HUNGARIANS (LE SANG DES HONGROIS)

by Albert Camus (October, 1957, Paris)

I am not one of those who wish to see the people of Hungary take up arms again in a rising certain to be crushed, under the eyes of the nations of the world, who would spare them neither applause nor pious tears, but who would go back at once to their slippers by the fireside like a football crowd on a Sunday evening after a cup final.

There are already too many dead on the field and we cannot be generous with any but our own blood. The blood of Hungary has re-emerged too precious to Europe and to freedom for us not to be jealous of it to the last drop.

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But I am not one of those who think that there can be a compromise, even one made with resignation, even provisional, with a regime of terror which has as much right to call itself socialist as the executioners of the Inquisition had to call themselves Christians.

And on this anniversary of liberty, I hope with all my heart that the silent resistance of the people of Hungary will endure, will grow stronger, and, reinforced by all the voices which we can raise on their behalf, will induce unanimous international opinion to boycott their oppressors.

And if world opinion is too feeble or egoistical to do justice to a martyred people, and if our voices also are too weak, I hope that Hungary’s resistance will endure until the counter-revolutionary State collapses everywhere in the East under the weight of its lies and contradictions.

Hungary conquered and in chains has done more for freedom and justice than any people in the last twenty years. But for this lesson to get through and convince those in the West who shut their eyes and ears, it was necessary, and it can be no comfort to us, for the people of Hungary to shed so much blood which is already drying in our memories.

In Europe’s isolation today, we have only one way of being true to Hungary, and that is never to betray, among ourselves and everywhere, what the Hungarian heroes died for, never to condone, among ourselves and everywhere, even indirectly, those who killed them.

It would indeed be difficult for us to be worthy of such sacrifices but we can try to be so, in uniting Europe at last in forgetting our quarrels, in correcting our own errors, in increasing our creativeness and our solidarity. We have faith that there is on the march in the world, parallel with the forces of oppression and death which are darkening our history, a force of conviction and life, an immense movement of emancipation, which is culture and which is born of freedom to create and of freedom to work.

Those Hungarian workers and intellectuals, beside whom we stand today with such impotent sorrow, understood this and have made us the better understand it. That is why, if their distress is ours, their hope is ours also. In spite of their misery, their chains, their exile, they have left us a glorious heritage, which we must deserve: freedom, which they did not choose, but which in one single day they gave back to us.

 

LE SANG DES HONGROIS

par Albert Camus

(octobre, 1957, Paris)

Je ne suis pas de ceux qui souhaitent que le peuple hongrois prenne, à nouveau les armes dans une insurrection vouée à l’écrasement, sous les yeux d’une société internationále qui ne lui ménágera ni applaudissements, ni larmes vertueuses, mais qui retournera ensuite à ses pantoufles comme font les sportifs de gradins, le dimanche soir, après un match de coupe.

Il y a déjà trop de morts dans le stade et nous ne pouvons être généreux que de notre propre sang.  Le sang hongrois s’est relevé trop précieux à l’Europe et à la liberté pour que nous n’en soyons pas avares jusqu’à la moindre goutte.

Mais je ne suis pas de ceux qui pensent qu’il peut y avoir un accommodement, même résigné, même provisoire, avec un régime de terreur qui a autant de droit à s’appeler socialiste que les bourreaux de l’Inquisition en avaient à s’appeler chrétiens.

Et, dans ce jour anniversaire de la liberté, je souhaite de toutes mes forces que la résistance muette du peuple hongrois se maintienne, se renforce, et répercutée par toutes les voix que nous pourrons lui donner, obtienne de l’opinion internationale unanime le boycott de ses oppresseurs.

Et si cette opinion est trop veule ou égoiste pour rendre justice à un peuple martyr, si nos voix aussi sont trop faibles, je souhaite que la résistance hongroise se maintienne encore jusqu’à ce que l’Etat contre-révolutionnaire s’écroule partout à l’est sous le poids de ses mensonges et de ses contradictions.

La Hongrie vaincue et enchainée a plus fait pour la liberté et la justice qu’aucun peuple depuis vingt ans.  Mais, pour que cette leçon atteigne et persuade en Occident ceux qui se bouchaient les oreilles et les yeux, il a fallu et nous ne pourrons nous en consoler, que le peuple hongrois versât à flots un sang qui sèche delà dans lés mémoires.

Dans la solitude où se trouve aujourd’hui l’Europe, nous n’avons qu’un moyen (d’être fidèles   à la Hongrie), et qui est de ne jamais trahir, chez nous et ailleurs, ce pour quoi les combattans hongrois sont morts, de ne jamais justifier, chez nous et ailleurs, fût-ce indirectement, ce qui les a tués.

Nous aurons bien du mal à être dignes de tant de sacrifices.  Mais nous devons l’essayer, dans une Europe enfin unie, en oubliant nos querelles, en faisant justice de nos propres fautes, en multipliant nos créations et notre solidarité.

Notre fois est qu’il y a en marche dans le monde, parallèlement à la force de contrainte et de mort qui obscurcit l’histoire, une force de persuasion et de vie, un immense mouvement d’émancipation qui s’appelle la culture et qui se fait en même temps par la creation libre et le travail libre.

Ces ouvriers et ces intellectuels hongrois, auprès desquels nous nous tenons aujourd’hui avec tant de chagrin impuissant, ont compris  cela et nous l’ont fait mieux comprendre.  C’est pourquoi si leur malheur est le nôtre, leur espoir nous appartient aussi.  Malgré leur misère, leurs chaines, leur exil, ils nous ont laissé un royal héritage que nous avons à mériter: la liberté, qu’ils n’ont pas seulement choisie, mais qu’en un seul jour ils nous ont rendue!

Source:  1956 Gloria Victis, 1956-86,  Nemzetőr kiadása,  Bécs, 1986.


Despre onoare in timpuri sumbre: Adam Michnik la 70 de ani

16/10/2016

Cosmopolis: “By his actions, always nonviolent, Michnik established the unity of his premises and conclusions. I would draw your attention to a hypothesis: capable of seeing greatness in the past in people like Gandhi, we may fail to see what takes place in the present. If this hypothesis is correct, Michnik is one of those who bring honor to the last two decades of the twentieth century, even if a film on his life will not be produced soon.” (Czesław Miłosz, Foreword to Adam Michnik, “Letters from Prison and Other Essays,” translated by Maya Latynski, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985, p. XV)

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A fost ucisa acum zece ani

07/10/2016

“Bitches always hate decent people.” – Boris Nemtsov. In memory of Anna Politkovskaya, murdered ten years ago, precisely on Vladimir Putin’s birthday…

 

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