Anne Frank’s Last Diary Entry

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Today in Holocaust History —> On this day in 1944, Anne Frank penned her last entry into her diary.

“… Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be ill, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up any more, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world.”

Three days later, Anne was arrested with her family in the “secret annex” of a house in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where they had hidden for two years. She later died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was 15.

(Anne Frank at the Sixth Montessori School, Amsterdam, 1941)

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Comes To An End

Today in Holocaust History —> On this day in 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ended with about 15,000 Jews killed, the rest deported to the camps, and the end of the massacre announced in this way:

The suppression of the uprising officially ended on 16 May 1943, when Stroop personally pushed a detonator button to demolish the Great Synagogue of Warsaw. Stroop later recalled:

“What a marvelous sight it was. A fantastic piece of theater. My staff and I stood at a distance. I held the electrical device which would detonate all the charges simultaneously. Jesuiter called for silence. I glanced over at my brave officers and men, tired and dirty, silhouetted against the glow of the burning buildings. After prolonging the suspense for a moment, I shouted: Heil Hitler and pressed the button.”

~ Jürgen Stroop, Conversations with an Executioner

Today in History: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Today in history… On this day in 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began. It was the 1943 act of Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany’s final effort to transport the remaining Ghetto population to Treblinka. The uprising started on 19 April when the Ghetto refused to surrender to the police commander SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop, who then ordered the burning of the Ghetto, block by block, ending on 16 May. A total of 13,000 Jews died, about half of them burnt alive or suffocated. German casualties are not known, but were not more than 300. It was the largest single revolt by Jews during World War II.

On 19 April 1943, on the eve of Passover, the police and SS auxiliary forces entered the Ghetto. They were planning to complete the deportation action within three days, but were ambushed by Jewish insurgents firing and tossing Molotov cocktails and hand grenades from alleyways, sewers, and windows. The Germans suffered 59 casualties and their advance bogged down. Two of their combat vehicles (an armed conversion of a French-made Lorraine 37L light armored vehicle and an armored car) were set on fire by insurgent petrol bomb. Following von Sammern-Frankenegg’s failure to contain the revolt, he lost his post as the SS and police commander of Warsaw. He was replaced by SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop, who rejected von Sammern-Frankenegg’s proposal to call in bomber aircraft from Kraków and proceeded to lead a better-organized and reinforced ground attack.

The longest-lasting defense of a position took place around the ŻZW stronghold at Muranowski Square, where the ŻZW chief leader, Dawid Moryc Apfelbaum, was killed in combat. On the afternoon of 19 April, a symbolic event took place when two boys climbed up on the roof of a building on the square and raised two flags, the red-and-white Polish flag and the blue-and-white banner of the ŻZW. These flags remained there, highly visible from the Warsaw streets, for four days. After the war, Stroop recalled:

“The matter of the flags was of great political and moral importance. It reminded hundreds of thousands of the Polish cause, it excited them and unified the population of the General Government, but especially Jews and Poles. Flags and national colours are a means of combat exactly like a rapid-fire weapon, like thousands of such weapons. We all knew that – Heinrich Himmler, Krüger, and Hahn. The Reichsfuehrer [Himmler] bellowed into the phone: ‘Stroop, you must at all costs bring down those two flags!'”
~ Jürgen Stroop, 1949

#WarsawGhettoUprising #JewishResistance #Holocaust

Anti-Semitism Rising in Europe

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“Studying the Holocaust shouldn’t be limited to history classes. It must become part of curricula of political & civic education, ethics, media or religious studies. Ideologies of hatred that led to Auschwitz still poison people’s minds.”
~ Piotr Cywiński, Historian and Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, active participant and often initiator in the Polish-Jewish and Christian-Jewish dialogue.

Anti-Semitism in Europe (ComRes Polling for CNN):

~ One in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.

~ One in five said they have too much influence in the media and politics.

~ A third of Europeans in the poll said they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust. One in 20 in had never heard of the Holocaust.

~ A third of Europeans said that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their own positions or goals.

~ A third of Europeans said supporters of Israel use accusations of anti-Semitism to shut down criticism of Israel.

~ A third of Europeans said commemorating the Holocaust distracts from other atrocities today.

~ 40% said Jews were at risk of racist violence in their countries and half said their governments should do more to fight anti-Semitism.

~ Americans do not fare any better: A survey carried out on behalf of the Claims Conference earlier this year found that 10% of American adults were not sure they’d ever heard of the Holocaust, rising to one in five millennials. Half of all millennials could not name a single concentration camp, and 45% of all American adults failed to do so.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/specials/europe/anti-semitism-europe

#AntiSemitism #Holocaust #NeverAgain #NeverForget