I have been a student of both WW2 and the Jewish Holocaust for most of my adult life. I believe it was 1988 or 89 and I was home watching the made for television movie ‘Murderers Among Us- The Simon Wiesenthal Story’. A scene from the film caused me great consternation.
In the scene, Wiesenthal, played by Ben Kingsley, is searching for his mother by the railroad station. He had heard that she was going to be ‘deported’ and he knew what that really meant. She was obviously in one of the crowded ‘cattle cars’ ready to depart the station. He was on the platform yelling out her name. There was a German guard off in the near distance.
Wiesenthal was desperate. Who wouldn’t be, knowing your mother, the woman who nurtured you and loved you unconditionally, was being sent to most likely her death. Suddenly, he heard a cry from one of the cattle cars: “Simon!” He looked in the direction of the car that the cry came from. The train began to pull away, and the guard was between Wiesenthal and his mother’s cattle car. He fell to his knees and silently wept, so as not to startle the German soldier.
I quickly wiped my own eyes and grabbed a pen and notepad. This is what I wrote within a few minutes:
My poem was laser engraved onto a plaque and sent to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, where it remains today as part of the holocaust museum’s archives. This is just how affected I was by my study of that horrific era in the history of the 20th Century.
Well, sadly I must state that many of my Jewish friends have failed to understand what the holocaust really meant. To forcefully remove perhaps as many as 750,000 Palestinians from THEIR HOMES in 1948 to finalize the Jewish state of Israel makes one recall similar such actions by the Germans in the 1930s. Is the ghetto that Gaza has become that much different than the ghettos created in Warsaw and Krakow?
The Germans allowed for their citizens to move into areas in Poland and other Eastern countries, after displacing the natives of those areas (many being Jewish) under the guise of Lebensraum or ‘Living space’. How is that any different from many of my Jewish fellow citizens from Borough Park Brooklyn and other places moving to Israel and forming settlements in former Palestinian areas? How in the hell does a Jewish person from another country have such living rights over a Palestinian whose family has lived there for countless generations?
The new film “Killing Gaza” by Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen (both proud Jewish men) has just been released. Every American Jew, especially our Jewish American politicians, should watch it. I would imagine that even Israelis would have to acknowledge that Gaza is a ghetto. Of course, most Israelis who support the settler movement etc will blame it on the victims, and not on Israeli policy. This kind of inane justification of horrific treatment has always been used by the conqueror. You shut off a man’s water supply and then call him a ‘dirty slob’ when he cannot wash properly. The bottom line is what the truth reveals, and nothing more. Finally, one anecdote from this writer seems to sum it all up. In 1988 I was travelling from NYC to Arizona by plane one night. It was a long 5 hour flight, and we were on a jumbo jet. I was standing alongside this man, late 40s perhaps, who said he was an Israeli engineer. During our conversation, I asked him about his feelings on the Palestinian situation, and now remember that this was 1988. He began explaining things as he saw it, and then said the following, with no emotion at all:
“You have to understand that we Israelis see the Palestinians as you in the USA see your blacks. Quite honestly, they breed like rabbits, and if this continues they will outnumber us with their excess population. As much as I hate to admit it, the only recourse we have is to push them into the sea before they totally overwhelm us!”
Philip A Farruggio is a son and grandson of Brooklyn , NYC longshoremen. He has been a free lance columnist since 2001, with over 300 of his work posted on sites like Consortium News, Information Clearing House, Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust, Op Ed News, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch, Activist Post, Sleuth Journal, Truthout and many others. His blog can be read in full on World News Trust., whereupon he writes a great deal on the need to cut military spending drastically and send the savings back to save our cities. Philip has a internet interview show, ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid’ with producer Chuck Gregory, and can be reached at [email protected].