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Fascinating sound clips and soul-nourishing content."
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New Mexico Holocaust Survivors' videos:
WHY CARE ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST?
HATE GROUPS ARE ACTIVELY RECRUITING YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE SOUTHWEST, AND "DENIAL" OF THE HOLOCAUST IS A CRUCIAL ELEMENT
According to Susan Seligman, director of the New Mexico Anti-Defamation League, "Representatives of most major white supremacy groups exist here, including The World Church of the Creator, the KKK, [neo-Nazi] skinhead groups, the National Alliance and Posse Comitatus--all of whom are anti-Semitic to some degree.
These groups have been active for many years. We always need to be aware and vigilant that these groups are working in our region. The Internet tends to be their greatest weapon for spreading their message of hate. Parents and children need to be aware of this influence."
"HOLOCAUST EDUCATION" IS MORE THAN LIVING HISTORY.
IT PROVIDES A BASIS FOR ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING.
Just as the Holocaust was about more than 6 million Jews murdered (millions of non-Jews perished in the Holocaust as well!), so the Holocaust is more than just an isolated horror happened 55 years ago, before and during World War Two.
The forces of hatred and historical revisionism are stronger than ever, and denial of the Holocaust is one of their weapons of choice. Hearing the testimonies of people from our own region, who were there, provides a basis for rejecting this dangerous misinformation, for "hooking in" to history, and for using the Holocaust as a "tool" to examine countless lifelong ethical questions and moral dilemmas:
Should I obey military and civil authority, even when I think it's wrong?
Should I try to protect others from harm and injustice, even if it puts me in danger?
How can I resist the appeal of propaganda, PR, political rhetoric and advertising that aims to appeal to my own prejudices and weaknesses?
What is my duty to others who are suffering in my city, state, country or world, even if I can easily ignore their suffering or pretend I don't know about it?
Even though this videotape may not answer all such questions, it provides real-life case histories from our own state residents, for students to use to examine such issues, and draw their own conclusions.
Teachers and others:
Please let us know whether this videotape has been useful.
E-mail email@example.com, or write to the address on the video sleeve.
Even if you can only share one or two segments of this video with your students this year (if so, we suggest the first and last segments), we think you and your students will find it very valuable and thought-provoking.
Our best suggestion is to refer to the excellent study guide included on the website, www.annefranknm.com, prepared by Mina Dosher and Paige Galvin of the Albuquerque Public Schools. Of course, this website focuses primarily on Anne Frank and her diary, and the immediate history in which she was so tragically trapped, but that situation was in many ways typical of the Holocaust, and of course Anne herself died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.
In addition to the excellent information and suggestions of books for students and teachers contained on the website, we recommend the following videos for those students who prefer videotape to get a better grasp of the Holocaust and surrounding events. These videos are available in most video stores that have an extensive documentary section, such as Blockbuster:
The Last Days (tells the story of the Holocaust in Hungary)
Weapons of the Spirit (the story of a small town in France that resisted the Nazis)
Schindler (the real story of Oscar Schindler, the central figure in "Schindler's List")
The Long Way Home (what happened to the Jews after they were "liberated"
from the death camps?)
The Courage to Care (stories of ordinary people who resisted the Nazis
and helped victims of the Holocaust)
Anne Frank Remembered (the story of Anne Frank in video documentary form)
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (the story of Hitler and W.W.II)
Our video, and basic "enclyclopedia" information available about the Holocaust, may stimulate and answer many student questions about the Holocaust:
o Does "The Holocaust" refer only to what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany?
o What was "Kristallnacht" which several of the interviewees refer to?
o In what ways were Holocaust victims persecuted before being imprisoned or killed?
o Did any Germans resist the Nazi regime and persecution, and in what ways?
o Where were the concentration camps located? Mostly in Germany?
o What happened to the Jews and others who survived the Holocaust?
o What countries tried to help the Jews and others, and which did not?
o Why is the figure "6 million dead" often used? Is this figure accurate?
o What were the "ghettos" referred to by several of the interviewees?
o Were ordinary Germans aware of what was being done to the Jews and others?
Testimony of DR. JOSEPH H. VANDENHEUVEL
(A native of Holland, Dr. VanDenHeuvel gave this address at the dedication of the Holcaust Memorial in Albuquerque, New Mexico November 8, 1998. It is included in short form on the 56-minute video, "WE WERE THERE: Seven Survivors of the Holocaust.")
When I was a young boy about 10 years old, Monday I was ready to go to school, my friend Irving came out of his house, he looked weird, he had a big yellow thing on his coat. I said Irving what is that? And he said it's a Star of David. I'd never seen a Star of David, I said what do you mean, a Star of David, what is it? He explained to me, he said well you know I'm Jewish and the Nazis are making us wear these things. I didn't know about the Star of David, I didn't know about Irving being Jewish or anything else.
Andrew asked me when he spoke to me on the phone a few days ago, why did your father do this? Because many of your friends were Jewish, or because you feel close to the Jewish people? The answer is, really, neither. Because these were human beings who were about to be killed, and my dad reacted as a human being to the plight of another human being, whether Jew, Catholic, immigrant, schizophrenic, homosexual, Gypsy, on and on. We all know that thousands of groups over the years, through the history of mankind have been persecuted and killed.
You have to understand that to do something like this meant, if you were lucky, you'd be arrested and deported to a slave labor camp. But normally it meant that you and your family would be shot. I saw many people put up against the wall and shot for this very thing, for hiding and transporting in the underground, Jews or other people. So my father took the risk, risked his own life, my life, my mother's life, and the lives of all seven children in our family.
My question to you this afternoon is, how many of us would risk his life, her life, and the lives of all the people in your family, for the sake of another person whom you don't know, have never seen, and will never see again? Because they only stay in your house one night. You don't know who they are, and you're not told who they are. All in order to provide as much protection in this house.
I heard a TV program some years ago where a retired photographer, US Army photographer showed the most horrendous photographs of the Holocaust. At the end of the program the reporter asked him what did you take away from all this? What does it all mean? What are we to learn from this? Because after all if we don't learn from history we're bound to repeat it. The man's answer was, these Nazis who killed the Jews and the other people in the Holocaust, were not little men from Mars. They were like you and me. The ability to do this lives in the heart of the human being.
Thomas Merton, the Catholic scholar, mystic, monk, said "Violence lives in every person. It is to make The Other different, and to declare ourselves the norm and defender of human behavior." The very thing each one of us does, I'm afraid, many times, each day. That's how it starts out: put a star on a guy, make him different. That's how it starts up. That we may never forget the star and the story I told you today.
With your permission, I end with a very brief prayer: "Oh Lord, give eternal rest to the victims of the Holocaust. May Your light shine on them and on the survivors forever."