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Eichmann and Budapest’s Judenrat

On this date in 1944, two days after occupying Hungary, the Nazis set up a Jewish Council (Judenrat or Zsidó Tanács in Hungarian) in Budapest, headed by a banker, Samu Stern. At the same time, Adolf Eichmann was meeting with Hungarian Interior Ministry officials: “That evening,” he would later write, “the fate of the Hungarian […]

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The Romani Holocaust

The Romani (once referred to as “Gypsies”) were declared by Heinrich Himmler on this date in 1943 to be “on the same level as Jews and [to be] placed in concentration camps.” This intensified the incarceration and obliteration of Romani people that Himmler had ordered the previous December. Romani losses in the Porajmos (“Devouring” or “Destruction” […]

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Holocaustic Tones

THE EXPLOITATION OF MUSIC IN NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS by Dusty Sklar MUSIC, SUFFERING AND DEATH are not usually linked in our contemplation. It is not widely remembered, for instance, that Nazi concentration camps often resounded with gorgeous sounds, counterpoint to the ghastly sounds of unimaginable grief… Theresienstadt is the exception. By now, we’re well aware of the […]

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July 13: Simone Veil

Simone Veil (Simone Annie Liline Jacob — not to be confused with the Christian mystic philosopher of the same name), a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen who went on to become the twelfth president of the European Parliament (1979-1982) and an important feminist political figure in France, was born in Nice on this date in […]

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November 27: Claude Lanzmann’s “Shoah”

Filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, creator of the epic 9 1/2-hour documentary Shoah (1985), was born in Paris on this date in 1925. Lanzmann’s family went into hiding during World War II, and he joined the French Resistance at 18 and fought in Auvergne in the south central region of the country. From 1952 to 1959 he […]

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Sharing Care Amid the Holocaust — Why the Neglect?

by Arthur Shostak What do you recall having learned about the experience of Jewish prisoners in the concentration camps, other than horrific tales of suffering and unnatural death, along with defeated heroic efforts at revolt? What have you learned about high-risk, shared caring in the camps; about forbidden aid, based in compassion; about clandestine exchanges […]

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May 27: Another Escape from Auschwitz

Czesław Mordowicz from Poland and Arnost Rosin (pictured at left) from Slovakia began their escape from Auschwitz-Birkenau on this date in 1944 — two of only eighty prisoners of all nationalities who succeeded at escaping the labor-and-death camp over the course of its existence. After reaching Slovakia on D-Day, June 6, they reported to secret […]

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October 9: Mermelstein vs. Holocaust Denial

Mel Mermelstein, a Czech-born survivor of Auschwitz, was successful in his suit against the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a Holocaust-denial outfit, in Los Angeles Superior Court on this date in 1981. The year before, the IHR had publicly offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who could prove that Jews had been gassed to death […]

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