Thursday, June 07, 2007

Holocaust Briefing

Each year the base hosts a group of Holocaust Survivors from Tucson, AZ. I've never seen any other base do this; but I think they should. The guests have been speaking at various groups on base. Yesterday, they held a memorial service at the chapel that I hear was very touching.

This a.m. they had a "briefing."  Jamin, Jared, and I attended. I'm finding it hard to sort out my thoughts. It was amazing. I do wish that I could find a way to get these folks to speak to our homeschool group next year, or into the local schools....seems sad to keep them to ourselves. Maybe the best bet would be to sponsor homeschoolers onto base, to be sure that it is mentioned in the group's newsletter......hmmm....

Did you know that the word genocide was invented AFTER ww2? It was interesting to me to realize that civilization had no words to describe the Holocaust. Holocaust itself is a new word from two words meaning "burn" "completely".

We heard from Dr. Gail Wallen, the director of a big place in Tucson (I can't remember the title).....she spoke about the things that lined up to allow the Holocaust. She spoke of religion, literature, pan-German, economic measures, and more all lining up. It was very interseting and tied a lot of what we've studied this year in TOG together.

Then we heard from Mrs. Rosa Freund - a survivor of Auschwitz. I've been reading the books by Isabella Leitner. She's pretty blunt. Still, I can't explain sitting there and hearing this sweet, graying lady talk about things that were done and realizing she was not sharing stories but MEMORIES. As she talked she shared memories of Dr. Mengele and could "feel his touch now right on my arm".

Another lady there was a survivor from the Warsaw Ghetto. She was 5 years old when the war began. We got to talk with her after the event was over. She said how rare it is that she survived. Most young children were either killed right away or victims of experiments.

One of our troops shared at the memorial service how he remembered his grandfather (or great grandfather) making family trees. All the branches but theirs simply stopped. As a young child he asked, "why do all the branches stop?" and was told "they all died in the Holocaust". It's simply mind boggling.

Rosa encouraged the active duty folks to defend democracy and to personally speak up. Silence is acceptance.

It's been 62 years since WW2 ended. It's sad to me that the survivors and liberators are all aging. Soon we won't people to lecture us who have first hand memories of these events. I believe it is important to keep the memory alive....especially as we begin to hear some of the same lies repeated. While listening to Dr. Wallen speak I couldn't help but think of the various historical factors she mentioned lining up to allow the Holocaust....I see many of the same ones lining up again in our time.

Here is a Holocaust Survivor quilt....I took a lot of photos of various squares but here are a few....

Loved the details at the edges of the quilt

Each square was made by a survivor...The red one to the bottom right is a Kindertransport and was signed by the child....really hit me

I simply couldn't pull out the camera and snap a photo of the boys talking with the survivors - seemed to trivial in the midst of the discussion.

So, What was I Doing?

My "to do " list was basically hijacked by my family's schedules and needs today. That's o.k. My turn will come. ::snort:: Rather than go on and on about the unexpected twists I thought I'd simply say....."we're busy".

After dinner I took the four younger ones to the pool. They loved it. Mike and Jared are at the base. Jared has Civil Air Patrol and Mike uses those few extra quiet hours to try to keep ahead of the steam roller. Josiah and Jamin are working.

We got home from the pool and the youngers collapsed. All of them. I set up tables, checked SHS mail....tried to upload photos and they won't work...

I think I'll write a couple of entries in draft and try to add photos later. LOL