I didn’t get to see all the outside exhibits. I did get to see the ones that really called to me, and one that didn’t, but it stopped me cold when I got to it.
The first one we came to on the path we took was the cattle car. Beside the cattle car engraved into a wall behind it was testimony given at the Nuremberg trials. It’s the story of a man who was a prisoner in one of the cattle cars. He told what gems he traded a German towns person at a train stop for a cup of water. He traded some outrageous sum, a diamond maybe? But I think it was all the wealth he had left for that cup of water. There was a woman in the car with him who was determined he was going to give part of it to her little son. Not herself, her little son. And she kept after him, and kept after him until finally he did give her a little of the last for her son. He said when he left the cattle car the little boy was laying on the floor unresponsive and not moving. Yes, you can be unresponsive and the body still move.
There was a section called “The Garden of the Righteous Among The Nations”. There are walls arranged by country. On each countries wall are the names of those who are not Jewish that risked their lives to save the lives of Jews. On each tree is the name of a person and their country. No, it’s not a forest. There are a lot of trees, but it’s not a forest. I can only hope there were many cases of just regular people helping, that no one ever heard about.
There is a a HUGE pillar called “Pillar of Heroism”. This is probably my favorite sculpture. It’s so tall I can’t even get the whole thing in a picture! This picture is from the Yad Vashem site. At least you can see what it looks like.
There is a stone plaque near it inscribed “Now and forever in memory of those who rebelled in the camps and ghettos, fought in the woods, in the underground and with the Allied forces; braved their way to Eretz Israel; and died sanctifying the name of God”.
A few thoughts on all this. First, the movie Defiance. It starred the anti-gun twit Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski. Why does this anger me so much? Because part of the movie shows him going to a poor Russian farmer he had connections with and begging for a gun and ammunition. The farmer manages to procure one and gives it and the ammunition to him. The next time you see the Russian farmer he has been tortured and killed and the message left it was because he helped the Jews. One would think old Daniel might use some of his wealth to buy a clue, but that seems to happen with actors and actresses about never. He never catches on this stuff happened, and there is no reason it couldn’t again. And yet he uses the platform he gains from his movie fame to preach his anti-gun screed. No, I don’t see many movies. Most actors and actresses I refuse to enrich with either money or fame.
I think the world’s moral compass has gone nuts. While we see the outcome of allowing a group to be isolated and vilified, we now allow groups to freely play the “victim” or “racism” card to shut down open discussion on any topic they don’t want people to talk about, or when facts are about to get in the way of their agenda. And the opinions they seem to try hardest to shut down are the Judeo-Christian values that are most likely held by most of the population of this country at least. Politicians on the left and the “news” media freely join in this game labeling those that support traditional ways of life as “extremist”. They label returning military veterans as “extremist” and a threat. Then they condemn them to a socialized health care system, made worse purposefully by the VA. Politicians and the elitists on the left are creating different classes of citizens, but to what purpose I wonder. The majority in the past has rather meekly backed down when faced with such accusations of intolerance or racism or_____. I mean after all, most of us were raised to be polite, not purposefully giving offense to any. Far too many do not understand that giving offense, is the least of their problems. The left does this with a reason. It seems those preaching most loudly for “tolerance” have—none.
I remember when I first made the “hummus team” the fellow in charge at the time and I were having a discussion on guns. I know shocking. But he asked me why I was so insistent (ok, maybe he used a stronger word, I don’t remember) I turned and looked him in the eye and said “Because when I say NEVER AGAIN I MEAN IT! Not your people, not my people. Never again will any group of people be at the mercy of government that wants to exterminate them. EVER. I want to make sure there are tools there that can back it up. Words sometimes aren’t enough”. After he started breathing again, we ended up having a really good discussion about his time in the service and his M1.
The sculpture that tore at me? The one I hadn’t look for, the one that didn’t call to me? The one that was on our path out of the gardens. It was made of iron I suppose. It appeared to be just stick bodies piled up, arms and legs supporting the layer on top, horrifying in it’s simplicity. Perhaps I was meant to see and share it. There are things in this life that are not a game. They are a warning, a message. We ignore it at our own peril.
Why do I write about such sad things? Patterns, for one. Are you seeing them? Such a tragedy in the history of man-kind? Because if I can put enough detail about some of these people out there that you remember them, and you think about them from time to time, even though you never met them? Then in a way their lives are still touching others. The nazis failed. They didn’t snuff out their lives. People are still thinking of them, they are remembered, perhaps their surviving family will merit a prayer? Perhaps our country will get a prayer? Then the nazis failed. I win. You win. They lose. Good plan.
For more information http://www.yadvashem.org/
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