Literature of the Holocaust
maintained by Al Filreis

A survivor speaks about academic approaches to the Holocaust

Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 09:04:18 CST
Subject: Here we go again

It's fascinating for us as Holocaust survivors to read many of the comments on this list. We shake our heads and are sad. We are learning rapidly what seems to be going on in the "intellectual/professorial" community in this country. We had no idea of some of these view points, and assume that is what is being taught to our youngsters today? We now are beginning to understand a little more why our youngsters act and think the way they do, at least with respect to the Holocaust.

Two quick comments: We agree that Holocaust memorabilia (as it differs from WWII & other war memorabilia) should be kept/collected and shown. However, definitely not for a price or money of any kind. Barter for these kinds of items disgust us! Museums and similar organizations are the ones who should be involved in their safe keeping. Not private collectors for value or ego trips.

As for the possibility that survivors do not always know the truth, and think rather then know what actually happened, that's a terrible statement as far as we are concerned.

I know and do not think that I know what happened on Kristallnacht. I was there!
I know and do not think that I know that many of my family perished at the hands of Germans/Nazis. I was there!
I know and do not think that I know that at age 6 I was already being stoned on the streets. I was there!
I know and do not think that I know that when I needed major surgery, also at age 6, German (not Nazi) doctors refused to treat me and the hospitals refused to admit me. I was there!
I could go on and on, but I wonder whether any of you "learned gentlemen" were there at the time, and whether that is why you are so sure who is and who is not telling the truth?
I guess some (certainly not all) academia see things quite differently then we the ordinary Holocaust survivors do!
We respect your discussing things any way you wish among yourselves, but please don't teach our kids such ideas.

Ed Behrendt

" Only take heed, and keep your soul diligently,
  lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen,
  and lest they depart from your heart
  all the days of your life;
  make them known to your children
  and your children's children. "
                               Deuteronomy  4:9

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