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September 12, 1980 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-09-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

26 Friday, September 12, 1980

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

A Christian Learns the Meaning
of Remembering Nazi Holocaust

541x Shoes

By JAMES MILFORD
(Editor's note: Milford is a
candidate for the ministry at
the Theological Seminary in
Bangor, Maine. His article
originally appeared in The
Churchman and Martyrdom
and Renaissance.)

Wishes
tots ihril teens
All Their Friends &
Customers

A
HAPPY
NEW YEAR
Filled With

A year has passed since I
heard Elie Wiesel speak in
Vancouver's Schara
Tzadeck synagogue in
memory of those who died in
Hitler's death camps, and in
the Warsaw Ghetto.
No voice, no speech, no
sermon, no personal odys-
sey has ever moved me
more.
I was numb for days after,

Health, Peace and Prosperity

F
TH E N

and it has taken time to
really discern the signifi-
cance, the reality, and,
above all, the imperative of
Wiesel's talk.
Wiesel is a survivor of
history's most barbaric
event — the six million
who were poisoned, gas-
sed, shot, hanged, or tor-
tured to death in Au-
schwitz.
It was a charnel house
where 10,000 bodies were
cremated every 24 hours. It
was a nightmare scene of
obscene horrors for Jews,
Poles, Hungarians, Dutch,
Czechs, Yugoslays, Greeks,
Italians and Belgians who,
for one reason or another,
were considered enemies of
the Third Reich.
Over the years I had
studied my share of the hor-
rors of the Holocaust
through books, pamphlets
and documents. I had seen
the Nuremburg Trial film.
But it wasn't until I experi-
enced the personal hell of
Wiesel's message that the
agony finally came through.
To be sure, it was infinites-
imal compared to the actual
infamy, but enough to make
my mind reel for days.
Wiesel lives for one rea-
son: to keep the truth before
the world. He is totally
committed to keeping the
memory of the Holocaust
alive — not for its own sake,
or for some masochistic
urge, as shallow critics dare
to allege — but to keep the
memory from being reduced
to banality.
The world is deter-
mined, it seems, to evade
the truth of the
Holocaust. In the past
few years, some 65 books,
in different languages
across the world, have
appeared, all of them at-
tempting to annihilate
history by denying that
the Jews even died in
concentration camps!
Wiesel received, while
teaching at Boston Univer-
sity, a book called "The
Hoal of the 20th Century,"
supposedly written by a pro-
fessor. This work alleges
that the death of six million
Jews is a total fiction. No
Jews were gassed or roasted
in ovens; there was nothing
to substantiate these
Jewish claims; so says this
author!
Another "professor" from
the Sorbonne University
has declared there were
ovens in the camps all right,
but these were only for the
sick. Gas chambers? These
simply did not exist, he
claims.
Recently, an attempt to
deprive the dead of their

past was evidenced in the
United Nations when an
ambassador, no less, tried to
tell the world that the "Di-
ary of Anne Frank" was a
forgery!
In California recently,
the American Nazi Party
openly sang happy
birthday greetings to Hit-
ler on public TV with
hardly a whimper from
the millions of watchers.
A 'prominent European
playwright dares to write
about the Auschwitz trials,
but manages to never men-
tion the word Jew through-
out!
"Why should the world
remember the Holocaust?"
Wiesel pleaded with passion
to a coughless audience.
"We remember to save the
world. It is that simple. It is
that agonizing," he said.
Tell the Big Lie, Hitler
said, and people will accept.
How proud the Fuehrer
would be with the present
slosh-slosh sounds of
whitewash heard across the
land.
Society can lose its

mind, and murder its own
soul. It already has, many
times — Hitler's Germany
being the worst in mod-
ern times.
Only eternal vigilance,
and memorializing, and re-
calling, and keeping before
the world's mental screen
the truth, can stop society
from another act of self
mayhem.

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TO OUR MANY FRIENDS AND CUSTOMERS
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