Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Never Forget

Today, January 27th, is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.  I have friends who work at USC's Shoah Foundation.  They are in Poland this week to tour the camps and attend commemoration ceremonies with Survivors.  Some of the photos that my friend, Jeffrey has posted on Facebook are very moving.
Last night we watched a documentary on HBO called "Night Will Fall."  Here's a synopsis from HBO's website:

When British, Soviet and American forces liberated Nazi concentration camps in 1945, army and newsreel cameramen recorded the terrible discoveries they made. Later, Sidney Bernstein of the British government’s Ministry of Information and his team, including supervising director Alfred Hitchcock, drew on this footage, shot at Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and Auschwitz, to create a harrowing film titled “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey.”
NIGHT WILL FALL reveals the previously untold story of this deeply moving documentary when it debuts exclusively on HBO. Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, directed by André Singer (executive producer of “The Act of Killing”) and produced by Sally Angel and Brett Ratner (the “Rush Hour” series, “X Men: The Last Stand,” “Hercules”), the film juxtaposes horrific raw footage and scenes from the 1945 documentary with insights from the survivors, the soldiers who liberated them and the filmmakers who recorded these appalling images. Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, NIGHT WILL FALL will have an encore presentation Tuesday, Jan. 27 on HBO2, when networks around the globe will also present it.

Watch for repeat broadcasts of this documentary on HBO.  It's very powerful and moving. 

Every year at our family Passover Seder we recite these words:
Seder Ritual of Remembrance:
This is for the six million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis and for the heroes of the ghetto uprisings.
On this Seder night we remember with reverence the six million of our own people, and those of all nationalities and faiths, who only yesterday were mercilessly crushed by a tyrant more wicked than the Pharaoh who enslaved our fathers in Egypt.
And they slew the blameless and the pure; men, women, children and babies did they destroy absolutely in chambers of fire and in factories of death.
On this night of Passover we recall with pride the undaunted defenders of freedom in the ghettos of Europe—our brave brothers and sisters who defined the tyrant, even as did our ancestors in the days of Judah the Maccabee.
On this night we also recall and give tribute to those members of our family who have passed on. We celebrate their lives by honoring them and giving strength to their memory, despite the darkest of circumstances.  We honor their courage by re-telling the Passover story, our Spring Festival of freedom and re-birth. 

I vow to never forget



At 1:11 PM PST, Blogger janeray1940 said...

I worked for Shoah Foundation for 5 years back when it first started. Best job I ever had! Wish I could see your friend's photos - the link in your post must be friends-only (I don't have a FB account).

At 1:37 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks for the comment, Marielle. Yes, the Shoah Foundation does fine work. Both of my friends that work there are KNITTERS! Join FB under an alias so you can see Jeffrey's photos.

At 5:21 AM PST, Blogger ken bloom said...

I was 10 or 11 when I first saw footage of the camps. It was at an assembly one afternoon in Hebrew school, so this would have been 1955 or 1956. It made a big impression on a very young child. We were fortunate to grow up in a communituy where the school was deserted on the Jewish holidays. Over the years I continue to be thankful for a childhood like the one Ellen and I had. I never take it for granted. My wife thought that such a thing could never happen again. Then the Bosnian War happened and, yes, it could happen again. I am vigilant and hopeful.

At 8:09 AM PST, Blogger Melissa said...

God bless Israel!

At 9:53 AM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thank you all so much for your comments on this important post.


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