169 posts tagged with Holocaust.
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“The Germans were not there; the Lithuanians did it themselves.”

Double Genocide: Lithuania wants to erase its ugly history of Nazi collaboration - by accusing Jewish partisans who fought the Germans of war crimes.
"After Lithuanians got independence,” he told me, “we hoped that Lithuania would give us help.” But it was not to be. In one of its very first independent actions, before even fully breaking free of Moscow, Lithuania’s parliament formally exonerated several Lithuanian nationalists who had collaborated in the Holocaust and had been convicted by Soviet military courts after the war. The right-wing paramilitaries who had carried out the mass murder of Lithuania’s Jews were now hailed as national heroes on account of their anti-Soviet bona fides.

posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 30, 2015 - 47 comments

"All the gates of compassion seemed to have been closed."

Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 Jewish children as part of the Kindertransport in 1939, died today aged 106.
posted by Thing on Jul 1, 2015 - 55 comments

“There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking it-self is dangerous.”

The Trials of Hannah Arendt by Corey Robin [The Nation]
There’s a history to the conflict over Eichmann in Jerusalem, and like all such histories, the changes in how we read and argue about the book tell us as much about ourselves, and our shifting preoccupations and politics, as they do about Eichmann or Arendt. What has remained constant, however, is the wrath and the rage that Eichmann has aroused. Other books are read, reviled, cast off, passed on. Eichmann is different. Its errors and flaws, real and imagined, have not consigned it to the dustbin of history; they are perennially retrieved and held up as evidence of the book’s viciousness and its author’s vice. An “evil book,” the Anti-Defamation League said upon its publication, and so it remains. Friends and enemies, defenders and detractors—all have compared Arendt and her book to a criminal in the dock, her critics to prosecutors set on conviction.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 21, 2015 - 39 comments

"their intimate, closely guarded songs from home, camp and ghetto"

The Stonehill Jewish Song Collection is a website by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance containing songs sung by Jewish refugees in Hotel Marseilles in New York in 1948. All songs include the original lyrics and translations into English. Not all the songs have been digitized and translated already, but there is a variety of themes already, with more on the way soon. The songs were collected and recorded by Ben Stonehill who went to the refugees and asked them to sing anything they like.
posted by Kattullus on May 17, 2015 - 5 comments

"YOU'RE NOT GOING TO WORK TODAY, THE CAMP IS BEING EVACUATED."

I am Ben Lesser, the last survivor of the Dachau death march.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 14, 2015 - 20 comments

Forgetting Fear

Repairing Bad Memories
[Daniela Schiller] explained how recent research, including her own, has shown that memories are not unchanging physical traces in the brain. Instead, they are malleable constructs that may be rebuilt every time they are recalled. The research suggests, she said, that doctors (and psychotherapists) might be able to use this knowledge to help patients block the fearful emotions they experience when recalling a traumatic event, converting chronic sources of debilitating anxiety into benign trips down memory lane. And then Schiller went back to what she had been doing, which was providing a slamming, rhythmic beat on drums and backup vocals for the Amygdaloids(previously), a rock band composed of New York City neuroscientists.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 9, 2015 - 4 comments

“German Concentration Camps Factual Survey”

In 1945, as Allied troops liberated concentration camps across what had been German-occupied Europe, the British Ministry of Information commissioned a documentary that would provide incontrovertible evidence of the Nazis’ crimes. Producer Sidney Bernstein's cameramen accompanied US, UK and Soviet troops into Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and other camps. Six reels of film, known as the German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, were assembled and edited in part by Alfred Hitchcock (supervising director) and Billy Wilder.

The final product "was meant to be a historical document and a teaching tool; among the stated goals of the filmmakers was that it be shown to Germans to prove to them that the horrors of the camps were real." But the project was deemed too politically sensitive and abandoned before it was completed. The finished reels, storyboards and scripts sat in British archives for years. In 1985, PBS Frontline took some of the footage and created a documentary special: "Memory of the Camps." On January 27, 2015, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, HBO aired "Night Will Fall,” (trailer) directed by André Singer, which tells the story of the making of Factual Survey "...through the eyes of people who either filmed it, or through the eyes of the soldiers who first went in, to see what happened in the camps - or through the eyes of surviving victims who were in the camps." Film footage at links is disturbing and possibly NSFW [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 5, 2015 - 28 comments

With fewer voices, Auschwitz survivors speak

The voices of Auschwitz. "The 70th anniversary of the liberation of the notorious Nazi concentration camp could mark the last major commemoration for many Holocaust survivors." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jan 24, 2015 - 16 comments

There are no legitimate authorities anywhere.

Meet the most frightening author of the twentieth century. And I don't mean Stephen King or Clive Barker. Who needs Pennywise the Clown or Mamoulian when all you have to do is look in the mirror and realize that under the right circumstances, you'd make a good Nazi? All you need is an authority you trust to give you the right orders. [more inside]
posted by starbreaker on Dec 4, 2014 - 28 comments

Reason magazine and racism

Last week, Pando.com's Mark Ames posted an article on the efforts of the GOP to recruit in Silicon Valley using libertarianism as a wedge and the history of libertarian links, particularly through Reason magazine, to racism. Reason responded, calling Ames a "conspiracy theorist". Ames, who has a history of digging into the seedy history of libertarianism, has responded by posting a copy of Reason's holocaust denial and revisionist history issue, along with profiles of its contributors and their involvement with Reason and late 20th century libertarianism.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jul 25, 2014 - 179 comments

Say Cheese

"Is it OK to take a selfie at Auschwitz?", asks archaeologist Paul Mullins. Selfies are people in places, not objects in spaces, says Katie Warfield.
posted by Rumple on Jul 11, 2014 - 76 comments

Music saves me still

Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest known Holocaust survivor and subject of the film "The Lady in Number Six" has died at the age of 110. Before World War II, Alice was a concert pianist who travelled across Europe. During the war, Alice's mother and husband were sent to Auschwitz where they were murdered, and Alice and her six year old son were sent to Theresienstadt. Alice performed more than 100 concerts at Theresienstadt, and immigrated to Israel with her son after surviving the camp. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 23, 2014 - 53 comments

Sins of The Past

The Association of Hungarian Jewish Congregations (MAZSIHISZ), has announced that it is boycotting government-sponsored events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust. This decision follows recent controversies over how the government of Viktor Orbán is choosing to mark the anniversary. [more inside]
posted by vac2003 on Feb 12, 2014 - 29 comments

... he was utterly appalled by "the real thing."

"In 1945, Hitchcock had been enlisted by his friend and patron Sidney Bernstein to help with a documentary on German wartime atrocities, based on the footage of the camps shot by British and Soviet film units. In the event, that documentary was never seen." A truncated version of Alfred Hitchcock's Holocaust documentary was aired on Frontline in 1985 under the name "Memory of the Camps" (YouTube mirror), but now the restoration work on the film is nearly complete and set to be released later this year. The film is "much more candid" than other documentaries, and Hitchcock himself was reported to have been so disturbed during production that he stayed away from his studio for a week. (Given the subject matter, disturbing content throughout.) [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Jan 8, 2014 - 39 comments

conspiracy of kindness

A Japanese Holocaust rescuer, it is estimated that Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania in WWII, facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family's lives. The profoundly moving story is now on YouTube: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 4, 2014 - 9 comments

The Last of the Unjust

In 1941, the Nazis turned the the Czech fortress and town of Terezin into the ghetto of Theresienstadt. The ghetto was a transit center as well as a camp for high-profile people, and was turned into a "model Jewish settlement" in preparation for a Red Cross visit in 1944. The "embellishment" had the desired propaganda outcome - a "positive report."
While researching Shoah, Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjamin Murmelstein, the last surviving member of the Jewish Council of the Elders in Theresienstadt. That footage is now in a new film, "The Last Of The Unjust." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 16, 2013 - 4 comments

"Save one life, save the world."

In 1988, Nicholas Winton appeared on the BBC program "That's Life." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 24, 2013 - 12 comments

"...research that is scientifically valuable but morally disturbing."

The Nazi Anatomists. "How the corpses of Hitler's victims are still haunting modern science—and American abortion politics."
posted by zarq on Nov 6, 2013 - 28 comments

Snow White in Auschwitz

"Knowing of Dina's artistic ability, Freddy asked her to paint a mural on the wall of the barracks to cheer up the children. She agreed, although she expected she would be executed if the Germans caught her. This was some time if February 1944. Using paints that were smuggled from various sources, Dina set to work painting a scene of Snow White looking out over the Swiss countryside. Dina knew that some of the children had seen the movie and would recognize the character. She had seen the movie 'seven times in a row' back in Czechoslovakia."

The amazing, sad, triumphant story of Dina Babbitt (née Gottliebová)—artist, animator, concentration camp survivor. [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on Oct 30, 2013 - 36 comments

The Kommandant's Daughter

"Brigitte Höss lives quietly on a leafy side street in Northern Virginia. She is retired now, having worked in a Washington fashion salon for more than 30 years. She recently was diagnosed with cancer and spends much of her days dealing with the medical consequences. Brigitte also has a secret that not even her grandchildren know. Her father was Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 10, 2013 - 81 comments

That belongs in a museum!

One of the last remaining copies of Schindler's List has been posted for sale on Ebay, with a starting bid of $3,000,000 USD. [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude on Jul 27, 2013 - 50 comments

Wagner's Dark Shadow: Can We Separate the Man from His Works?

Nike Wagner, the composer's great-granddaughter, puts the question that this raises in these terms: "Should we allow ourselves to listen to his works with pleasure, even though we know that he was an anti-Semite?" There's a bigger issue behind this question: Can Germans enjoy any part of their history in a carefree way?

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 27, 2013 - 122 comments

Graduation

Dr. Harley A. Rotbart recounts his father's graduation from Auschwitz survivor to American equal. (SLNYtimes)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 22, 2013 - 5 comments

Holocaust Denial Goes Hollywood

Until a few weeks ago, David Stein was known mainly as a maker of documentaries on the Holocaust for schools and as the man behind Republican Party Animals, a social club for conservatives in film and television. Then it was revealed that Stein is actually David Cole, who achieved notoriety in the 1990s for arguing that the Holocaust wasn't as horrible as it is claimed to have been. Moreover, while Stein's documentaries have reflected the consensus position on the Holocaust, he says he still has doubts: "The best guess is yes, there were gas chambers. But there is still a lot of murkiness about the camps." His former associates, meanwhile, are distancing themselves from him as fast as possible: "The reason we were all so pissed at him," according to one of them, "is it plays into every horrible stereotype about the right."
posted by Cash4Lead on May 6, 2013 - 93 comments

There wasn't much talk.

On April 29, 1945, the Dachau concentration camp was liberated. Today, on Reddit, with the help of his grandson, one of the men who liberated the camp did an IAmA.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 29, 2013 - 20 comments

Nuit et Brouillard

Night and Fog is a 1955 documentary directed by Alain Resnais.

It is mortifying, for both its brutal imagery, and poetic narration, but moreso, the fact those two could seemingly live together.

Censored by the French over one shot it only came to fruition after writer Jean Cayrol, a camp survivor himself, agreed to write the script.

The soundtrack was by Hanns Eisler, whose music was banned by the Nazis in 1933.

[What follows is 30 minute documentary film concerning two Nazi concentration camps. Please be warned there are some very NSFL/triggers ahead.] [previously] [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Apr 12, 2013 - 32 comments

The dwarves of Auschwitz

The story of a family of dwarves snatched from the gas chamber by Josef Mengele himself sounded incredible. But how to verify the testimony of Holocaust survivors? And should you even try?
posted by Stewriffic on Mar 23, 2013 - 10 comments

“...but the numbers are unbelievable.”

"The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking" [NYTimes.com]
"The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945."

posted by Fizz on Mar 2, 2013 - 61 comments

The Irony Is

Charles Krafft is known for his ironic Nazi ceramics — except that he's a Nazi Jen Graves in the Stranger finds malice under Krafft's provocation. (Via; previously, previously.)
posted by klangklangston on Feb 25, 2013 - 89 comments

"We are the walking dead!"

The zombie apocalypse. Threads. Pandemic. Doomsday Preppers. Post-apocalyptic pop-culture fiction of doom. What's it about? A Stanford scholar explains.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 21, 2013 - 57 comments

X-Mensch

Magneto the Jew
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2013 - 60 comments

To tell the story to someone else...

In 1974, Leon Leyson was one of a group of Jews who greeted Oskar Schindler when he visited Los Angeles. It was the first time the two had seen each other since the war. He began to introduce himself, but Schindler interrupted: "I know who you are," Schindler said, grinning at the middle-aged man before him. "You're Little Leyson." On Sunday, the youngest name on Schindler's List passed away at the age of 83. "The truth is, I did not live my life in the shadow of the Holocaust," he told the Portland Oregonian in 1997. "I did not give my children a legacy of fear. I gave them a legacy of freedom." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 14, 2013 - 35 comments

"God, you owe me a life - a living baby."

Dr. Gisella Perl was a gynecologist living in what is now Sighet, Rumania, when in 1944 she and her family were transported by the Nazis to the death camp at Auschwitz. There, she was forced to work under Joseph Mengele in the camp hospital. After seeing the horrors and abuse leading up to the murder of pregant women, she "decided that never again would there be a pregnant woman in Auschwitz." Gisella Perl: Angel and Abortionist in the Auschwitz Death Camp [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 28, 2012 - 40 comments

The International Tracing Service, more than 65 years on

The International Tracing Service was established following the Second World War to help repatriate forced laborers and survivors of the concentration camps as well as to trace the missing. 67 years after the end of the war, ITS receives about 1,080 requests for information a month, some of which still result in reuniting relatives. [more inside]
posted by hoyland on Nov 27, 2012 - 5 comments

Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Choose to be Tattooed

Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Choose to be Tattooed Livia Rebak was branded with the number 4559. Now her grandson, Daniel Philosof, has the same tattoo. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Oct 1, 2012 - 115 comments

Annotated Filmography of Charlie Chaplin

Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 17, 2012 - 35 comments

"A Polish Village's Secret"

"A farming town hid a Jewish-born teacher during the Holocaust. I went to dig up what it had buried."
Though I grew up in America, I have been visiting my family in Poland since I was a child. But it is only recently, since the great debate began two years ago between [Jan] Gross and [Timothy] Snyder over the causes and extent of Polish co-operation with the Nazis during the Holocaust, that I thought to ask the old people of my family village about what happened during the war. My grandparents mentioned bits and pieces of our family’s World War II history over the years, but it often seemed too painful for them to recall, or as though they wanted the memories to simply be forgotten. When I finally decided to broach the topic with them, my grandmother repeated that she didn’t understand why I cared to dig so deep into the past, why I cared so much about Wladyslaw and his story.
[more inside]
posted by nonmerci on Aug 21, 2012 - 15 comments

Honor and Error

In a high profile gaffe President Barack Obama has recently caused anger in Poland by referring to a Nazi death camp as a "Polish death camp" during a ceremony honoring World War II hero Jan Karski with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.” [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on May 31, 2012 - 160 comments

Claude Lanzmann

Those Americans who are familiar with the name Claude Lanzmann most likely know him as the director of “Shoah,” his monumental 1985 documentary about the extermination of the European Jews in the Nazi gas chambers. As it turns out, though, the story of Lanzmann’s eventful life would have been well worth telling even if he had never come to direct “Shoah.” In addition to film director, Lanzmann’s roles have included those of journalist, editor, public intellectual, member of the French Resistance, long-term lover of Simone de Beauvoir and close friend of Jean-Paul Sartre, world traveler, political activist, ghostwriter for Jacques Cousteau — I could go on, but it’s a good deal more entertaining to hear Lanzmann himself go on, and thanks to the publication in English of his memoir, “The Patagonian Hare,” we now have the opportunity to do so. (previously)
posted by Trurl on Apr 16, 2012 - 6 comments

And now he's dead.

John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian immigrant to the United States and later accused and convicted of serving in the Nazi SS as a concentration camp guard, has died.
posted by downing street memo on Mar 17, 2012 - 42 comments

Gray zone, schmay zone

Almost immediately upon my arrival in my first teaching job, I became the go-to guy for the Holocaust. Of course, this was partly due to my dissertation, but in larger part, I suspect, because of my Jewishness. This was fine with me for a number of reasons. First, as a junior faculty member, this identification, though merely professional, could only help in my quest for tenure. An expert on the Holocaust carried infinitely greater weight, I thought, than an expert on ministerial instability during the French Third Republic.

Dissolution: My life as an accidental Holocaust expert—and why I decided to quit
posted by timshel on Feb 25, 2012 - 13 comments

Helene Nolthenius

Two years before The Name of the Rose, Dutch academic Helene Nolthenius published the first of three detective novels featuring the medieval Tuscan cleric Lapo Mosca. She died in 2000. Her own story is sadly affecting. (Via the Dartmouth History blog. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Feb 5, 2012 - 5 comments

Waltzing on Graves filled by their Grandfathers

The European Far-Right took part in the Vienna Ball season with the Vienna Student Ball, which has had Right-wing ties since the 50s. There were bomb threats and some violence, but the Ball proceeded, even the the face of condemnation from UNESCO. All of which took place on Holocaust Remembrance Day
posted by NiteMayr on Feb 1, 2012 - 19 comments

My Father, Always Fond of a Long Shot, Chose to Have His Cancerous Tounge Removed

Diagnosed with cancer, my father decided to have his tongue removed. It’s an extreme treatment, but he’s always known how to make things work out.
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 14, 2012 - 20 comments

“I miss the crowd.”

"One thing about life in New York: wherever you are, the neighborhood is always changing. An Italian enclave becomes Senegalese; a historically African-American corridor becomes a magnet for white professionals. The accents and rhythms shift; the aromas become spicy or vegetal. The transition is sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy. But there is a sense of loss among the people left behind, wondering what happened to the neighborhood they once thought of as their own." For Sophia Goldberg (98), Holocaust survivor, change has meant the end of a way of life.
posted by zarq on Dec 1, 2011 - 34 comments

Yom HaShoah, in history and current day Israel

Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, is Israel's day of memorial for those killed during the Holocaust and those who were part of the resistance.

At 10:00 am on Yom HaShoah, sirens are sounded throughout Israel for two minutes. During this time, people cease from action and stand at attention; cars stop, even on the highways; and the whole country comes to a standstill as people pay silent tribute to the dead.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 7, 2011 - 68 comments

Liliana Cavani's "The Night Porter"

The familiar '70s query, "Is it art or porn?," took on a whole new dimension with The Night Porter (NSFW), a stylish and astoundingly seamy fusion of erotica and stark concentration camp trauma. While many subsequent films, mostly Italian, took the Nazi sexploitation route to unbelievably tastless levels, Liliana Cavani's treatment remains more problematic. More concerned with mood and characterization than cheap thrills, the film is nevertheless extremely kinky and shocking enough to prove that its R rating is the product of a ratings system far different than the one we have now. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 19, 2011 - 17 comments

Alain Resnais' "Night and Fog"

Alain Resnais' Night and Fog (1, 2, 3) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 3, 2011 - 12 comments

The last man to have been imprisoned in a concentration camp for being homosexual under the Nazis has died, his obituary is more interesting than that sounds.

Last gay concentration camp inmate dies.
posted by maiamaia on Aug 9, 2011 - 28 comments

Remember Me? Child survivors of the Holocaust

Remember Me? Between 1933 and 1945, millions of children were displaced as a result of persecution by the Nazis and their collaborators. After World War II, relief agencies photographed some of the children who survived to help find their families. Now, more than 65 years later, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is working to discover what became of these young survivors. Will you help us find them? Lots of moving stories. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 8, 2011 - 9 comments

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