warsaw ghetto uprising
As a young Jewish boy in the Bronx during the 1950s I grew up in the shadow of the European Holocaust. The extermination of six million Jews at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II was in the background but not discussed.
During times of persecution, discrimination and repression, there are always brave defenders, like the ones in the Warsaw ghetto in 1943, who dare to stand up, speak out and resist torture and other human rights violations. Their stories are not widely known, but it is important that we honor them.
People in Poland are eating apples these days. Lots of apples. Here in Warsaw, they're pressed into your hands at a street festival, or baked into piles of pies and cakes. You see them everywhere. It's an act of defiance.
This Yom HaShoah I feel especially engaged in a form of remembering, not only in the sense of thinking about the past, but also in the form of re-membering, or bringing together, members a family created from both blood and friendship.
Sixty-eight years after the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, 68 years after the end of the Holocaust, we may not ignore a disturbing resurgence of racist and neo-fascist political groups in at least three countries that belong to both the European Union and NATO.
Holocaust survivor Inge Goldschmidt Oppenheimer joins Mike to talk about her experience in the Holocaust as a teenager.
The Holocaust was brought about by the opposite of hesed, by malice and treatment of human beings with clinical cruelty for the purpose of demeaning, debasing and destroying. How do we face such a legacy?
Many believe the Nazis attacked that night to send a message that Passover, the Day of Liberation, should be transformed into a Day of Destruction. The fighters, led by Mordechai Anielewicz, stunned the Germans, killing and wounding German soldiers.
During the Passover Seder many have the tradition to rise from the table and open the door for the Prophet Elijah to come. This year's celebration brings with it an extra reminder of how much we should not take for granted the blessing of being able to open our door in hope and not fear.
Marek Edelman, who died this weekend, was one of the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It was a hopeless enterprise, as Edelman and his friends knew, but they fought to make a statement about who they were.