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ALEXANDER KIMEL - HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR
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HOLOCAUST PRISM

by Alexander Kimel


I believe that the Holocaust represents the lowest point in human history and will serve as a prism through which future generations will look and judge at the achievements and failures of our civilization. What will they see??

They will see a civilization mired in self-destructive violence with the killing fields of Verdun (W.W.I), the insane spasmotical violence of W.W.II, the senseless and limitless cruelty of the Holocaust, the concentration camps and the gulags, etc. They will see a civilization giving lip service to love and ethics but accepting state sponsored violence as legitimate means for solving social, religious or economic problems. It can be, that the greatest condemnation will be preserved for the Post Holocaust era. My reasoning is as follows:

1. One can somehow understand the indifferent behavior of the perpetrators, bystanders or observers during the Holocaust. One can to a certain degree understand the silence of the churches or the the silence of Pius XII. The human mind could not visualize and apprehend the hellish reality. This also happened to me, when after a day of shooting I saw a wagon with corpses, I mistook them for blood stained clothing. It never occurred to me that those were the corpses of my friends and family. Seeing was not believing.

2. I am less understanding, less forgiving for the mistreatment, heartless indifference and anti-Semitism the survivors encountered after the liberation, after the Holocaust. In Poland and the Ukraine Jews were killed by the local population. Holocaust remnants were kept in camps in Germany and denied entry to the USA or Canada while Nazi perpetrators were eagerly welcomed to South American countries.

The remnants of the tragedy flocking to their ancient homeland, the Land of Israel, were intercepted by British destroyers and cartered off to the concentration camps on Cyprus. The Vatican who in silence consented to the killing of the Jewish Christians converts, suddenly awoke to the cries of anguish. . . from the Nazi perpetrators. (Cardinal Pacelli).

For forty years, we Survivors, wandered in the desert of indifference, engulfed in a sea of silence. Nobody wanted to listen to our stories, nobody cared. In complete isolation we rebuilt our lives, and when after forty years the veil of silence was lifted, the spin doctors went into action and the whitewashing began. What stories did we hear? The Popes saved about 700,000 mythical Jews. Where are they? Judith Stein, a Jewish nun gassed in Auschwitz for being Jewish, became an Holocaust Saint- Saint Theresa. Soon the Silent Pope will become a saint. Lots of energy are being spent on maintaining the status quo.

3. Conclusions The Holocaust has to be recognized as an universal tragedy, indicating the failure of our civilization, serving as a wake-up call and a warning to mankind. The killing genie, is out of the bottle and we saw its work in Cambodia, Rwanda, Serbia or Kosowo. It is time to put it back into the bottle, but whitewashing won't do it.


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kimel@systec.com