With a personal family history in the death camps; my maternal grandmother lost her mother , siblings and most of their children in death camps in Europe, i took my sons one summer to visit the European city my mother and her family had had to flee in 1941, after racial laws had made it impossible for them to own a business , attend school, keep animals and finally to be alive. I also added vienna, and Budapest and Prague , who were part of the Austro Hungarian empire, and visits to the jewish sites there, where there is a huge industry from jews ; pay for 5 jewish synagogues, visit 7 etc.
Daniela, a wonderful energetic blogger in Bratislava, took us from one Jewish site to another , refusing payment , and documenting jewish sites in her many photos. We met through Facebook’s fans of Leonard Cohen page.
In Vienna, Andrea, a German choir master from Munich , had taken the boys to show them where Hitler had been welcomed and cheered on by the masses, she showed us the statue of the jew kneeling to scrub the floor with a tooth brush, as a memorial to the mass humiliation of the wealthy jews of Vienna who were soon put on cattle cars and forced to pay for their own ticket to the death camps.
In Budapest an Hungarian son of a Auschwitz survivor and his German non jewish wife , took us to a memorial for a Swiss diplomat who saved Hungarian jews by providing for them swiss travel documents, he was fired and punished severely by the Swiss authorities for helping the Hungarian jews , and only recently, long after he died humiliated, the Swiss built a small museum in his honour in the small swiss town he comes from.
The sort of guides i found on Facebook on random pages of common interests in photography, music and culture, did not charge money, sometimes even invited us for a Goulash in Budapest and will probably remain in the memories of the boys much longer than a commercial tourist oriented death camp .
We were fortunate to have met those angelic beings.
Prague who murdered most of their jews now proudly show off its most famous citizen Franz kafka, his sad face appears on t shirts, pens and on every tourist souvenir one can find…the synagogues are kept through money from the tourists and one can also visit a death camp , just purchase a ticket from the local whose ancestors may or may not have felt bad about the jews being deported to death camps. Who knows? the profit is to be made, first from having confescated the Jewish property and belongings and then from the tourists flocking to visit the death camps and reminders of the once thriving jewish communities now populated by ghosts or in some cities there is a relatively small community, mostly made up of former Soviet union jews who stopped on their way to the west and stayed now again under the threat of the rising right extremists .
I thought about visiting a death camp in Czech republic but decided against it, because the ages of my children at the time were too young and because of the need for all of us to look at the more positive aspects of jewish life in Europe as Jews who live in Europe.
Jews who live in Europe do not need a reminder of antisemitism, it is evident in media, in reporting about Israel and the way they forget to remember the Holocaust.
There is a holocaust industry where by Jewish communities all over the world and young people from Israel are brought in organised groups to visit the death camp, as if there is not enough radical Islam terror and neo Nazis and racists in the world today to remind us..
The holocaust industry makes profit to the countries that “hosted” the death camps and it is not part of the average European teenager’s education as much as it should be so the jews are flocking to witness the antisemitism that is still on the rise today, and the host countries whose right wing governments are not bringing more tolerance and preventing racism are making money from the visitors which is why i would never pay a ticket to see where my ancestors were burned, another reason is that there were jews burned in every European country and the UN is continuing the tradition when it focuses on the Jewish state and forgets to protest the massacre in Syria and other places around the world.
I think it is a mistake to focus on antisemitism as separate from other forms of racism, and therefore i do not think we need to visit museums of racism , there is enough racism around to visit when you just live in the world today, in most countries.
The number of visitors from Moslem countries are not in the statistics, and that is unfortunate as there is more racism in Moslem countries than anywhere else, against other types of Moslems , other religions etc.
So as long as the people who need to learn the lessons of the past are not learning, i do not see any point in organising groups of jews to visit the places where jews were burned.
There is no European city that did not torture, burn or murder jews at one point of history so it would be good to study the history of antisemitism together with the history of racism of all types and to think of a prevention other than creating a museum, and the only prevention i can think of is Education, yes, part of the education could be a trip to visit the places so that the holocaust deniers can not deny as they do anyway, that these places existed but there are many places in Europe where people were murdered and burned for being of a particular ethnic group and they now look like nice cobble stone streets.
In the old part of Zurich ,Switzerland where tourists can walk along charming cobble stone streets , there are places where jews were burned alive in the middle ages. To find evidence of this historical place is difficult, because the Swiss do not like to place memorials in places that present them in a bad light but if one sees the posters in the Zurich main station sponsored by a group called “Palestine cafe” behind it are antisemitic Europeans that post a new large poster every year demonising the Jewish state and presenting Israel as a land thieving fascist state, while forgetting the Moslem states that massacre their own citizens by tolerating terrorist groups and human rights violations un mentioned by the not so neutral United nations .
Those poster that have a clear antisemtic content and are tolerated as part of “freedom of speech” , one does not need museums or an archive of Nazi media.
Emails i had written to the Israeli ambessy in Bern protesting the large antisemitic Israel demonising posters met silence , but google revealed that in 2014 the Israeli representative in Switzerland compared the elected Prime Minister Netanyahu to a Nazi propaganda minister, thereby achieving two goals:
- Not being able to represent jewish and Israel interests in Switzerland because of being preoccupied with demonising Israel and cheapening the holocaust
- Cooperating with the racism and anti Israel groups in adding to their demonising “a selfie.
- with representatives like those who needs enemies abroad ?
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are under attack and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
–A quote by Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering, posted by Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, on Facebook, following the passing of the NGO bill.**
Caspi has removed the quotation. He clearly intended the comment as a warning to Israeli leaders. He is now under investigation for the statement. The NGO bill is a new law that forces leftleaning human-rights groups that receive substantial funds from overseas to wear labels when they come to the Israeli Knesset. Peace Now continues, “Another hot topic today was the comparisons to Nazis.”
Hebrew University lecturer Dr. Ofer Cassif wrote on Facebook that Justice Minister Shaked is ‘Neo-Nazi scum’ and told Army Radio afterward, “I think it’s fair to compare Israel to Germany in the 1930s, and not to the years of genocide.” Cassif pointed to the Im Tirtzu video and Shaked’s NGO law. The article in Ynet noted that the Facebook posts come in the wake of the passing of the NGO bill, but it doesn’t mention that the bill requires the (mostly left-wing) NGO representatives to wear a special badge when they visit the Knesset committees to indicate that they receive more than 50% of their contributions from foreign states. Cassif shared on Facebook the post by his colleague Professor Amiram Goldblum, who sharply criticized Shaked for not revealing that she received ‘blood money’ contributions from a Jewish Belgian donor who is now in jail for selling arms to rebels in Sierra Leone. Private donations are not required to be revealed by the bill. Cassif was not alone in his comparison of Israel’s right-wing government to the Nazis. Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, posted a quote by a Nazi war criminal that described how fascist governments get their people to follow them, by “denouncing the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” Caspi added: “We’re on the right path…” Now, the ambassador faces punishment by the Foreign Ministry. Oddly, the article by Yedioth’s Itamar Eichner did not mention the context of the posting of the quote: the government’s approval of the NGO bill that labels left-wing Israeli human rights organizations.
Let’s be clear: anyone on the American left who used Nazi analogies for Israel was shunned for doing so, but Israeli leaders throw the Nazi stuff around readily. (For good reason; we all know that victims model their abuser when they gain any power.)
The Nazi charges of course go to the treatment of Palestinians. The NGOs all care about Palestinians. In its news list, Peace Now also mentions the latest failure in the investigation of the Duma murderers, Jewish zealots who torched a sleeping Palestinian family in occupied territory last summer. (Peace Now is virtually alone among liberal Zionist groups in recognizing the significance of the Duma murders as evidence of lawlessness, racism, and the fear among Palestinians.)
Many friends are saying that Israel is cracking up. “The end,” “Imploding,” “It’s over,” are two comments I’ve heard in the last day or two. Even J Street seems rattled (“deeply concerned and disappointed”). New Yorker editor David Remnick just got back from Jerusalem and said on the radio this morning that the situation is “tragic” and that Israel bears the greater share of responsibility for the failure of peace talks.
This crisis has long been evident to Palestinians. The knife attacks are of course a symptom of their loss of any faith in the many promises of freedom they have been given. Now the questions are: How long can Israel play out this crisis, as yet another burp in the managed-conflict model of persecution. And having long said that the status quo is unsustainable, will American leaders at last take a stand against apartheid and colonization? Who will speak up here, and show real leadership? Bernie? (And, to be parochial: how many secular American Jews will openly take on their parents and say what they believe in their hearts, that Jewish nationalism, the idea of a “Jewish democracy” established on lands belonging largely to others, is a snare and a delusion?)
Great! Lets encourage young jewish people to speak up against the Jewish state and present Israelis as thieves, murderers and occupiers of their own land! How enlightened the left leaning extreme supporters of “Human rights” have become..
Of course the quoted article does indeed believe that the violence against Jews is justified and that Israel is to be blamed in the failure of peace talks and that the tiny piece of land tossed to the jews as a compromise after the jews , lets face, could have gone back to Europe and then many Europeans would have had to leave their occupied homes, is occupied too…
The above article leaves a lot to be desired; a study of history demonising jews as land thieves and not worthy of owning lands and generalising all land in Israel as stolen ignoring the occupation of Jordan and other countries changing borders , focusing hate and Nazi comparisons leaves no need to travel to a death camp, the media is already busy massacring reputations and killing with quotes so who needs to travel , pay a ticket and be horrified when you can get shivers reading certain articles written by jewish and /or Israelis in powerful positions ?
More than 2 million people from all over the world visited the Auschwitz Museum in 2016.
The 2,053,000 visitors is a record number in the history of the Museum, which this year will mark the 70th anniversary of its creation, the museum said in a statement on its website.
The top ten countries from which visitors came were Poland, with 424,00; the United Kingdom, with 271,000; the United States, with 215,000; Italy, with 146,000; Spain, with 115,000; Israel, with 97,000; Germany, with 92,000; France, with 82,000; the Czech Republic, with 60,000; and Sweden, with 41,000.
The numbers include 61,000 organized tour groups, and individually conducted tours by museum guides for 310,736 people, according to the museum. In addition, some 150 movie crews produced documentaries at the museum and memorial last year.
“In today’s world, torn by conflicts, increased feeling of insecurity and strengthening of populist tones in public discourse, it is necessary to re-listen to the darkest warnings from the past,” said Piotr Cywinski, director of the museum, in a statement announcing the museum census for 2016.
Last week, a Polish organization fighting for fathers’ rights compared Auschwitz to the obligation to pay alimony. On its website the group posted a photo of the entrance gate of the camp, where the sign “Arbeit macht frei” or “Work makes you free,” was changed to “Work on alimony makes you free.”
Fathers are demanding the elimination of the obligation to pay maintenance for those fathers fighting for custody of their children.
The Museum protested on Facebook and asked for the removal of the doctored photo.
“The use and instrumentalization of the tragedy of Auschwitz is sad and inappropriate, and painful for many people, including those who survived the nightmare of Auschwitz,” said the post on Facebook.