Sunday, January 23, 2005

Sever Plotzker in this morning’s Yediot Aharonot (Hebrew link):

It was the soldiers of the 107th reconnaissance division of Red Army’s 60th Army, under the command of General Konayev, that at lunchtime of the 27th January 1945 passed through the gates of the complex of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camps.

They found only about 7000 shells of human beings, the last survivors of what, for four years, had been the biggest wholesale death factory in history.

One million and two hundred thousand Jews were sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau intersection, where they went through a selection which sent the great majority of them straight to the gas chambers – the contribution of German technology to mass extermination. Their bodies were cremated. The few who were found suitable for hard labor died of starvation, frost, torture and, eventually, in death marches.

* * * *

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 or 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

* * * *

Only the sovereign state of the Jewish people,

continues Plotzker,

can insure us that ‘Auschwitz’ will not happen again. Only the existence of a strong State of Israel allows Jews to be masters of their destiny, of their future and the future of their children.


The State of Israel, and nothing else, is the answer to Auschwitz.

We shall not forget it.

(My translation)

I suggest you read the entire piece, if you can read Hebrew.