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G.I.'s Remember the Concentration Camps

Nazi concentration camp survivor Viktor Savytskyi of Ukraine, right, talks with U.S. army veteran Clarence H. Brockman of Pennsylvania, left, in front of the Buchenwald camp entrance, April 11, 2010, during anniversary ceremonies.

American G.I.’s began entering the Nazi concentration camps sixty-five years ago this month. Liberating. Witnessing. And showing the world the horrors of what had been done.

In recent weeks, ceremonies in Germany and the U.S. have commemorated the liberations, which continued through the month of April and into May, 1945.

The G.I.’s who were there are now in their twilight years, some already gone.

But their stories and their service remain an essential part of the Holocaust story. Today, we’ll hear their eyewitness accounts.

This Hour, On Point: G.I.’s and the concentration camps.

Guests:

Michael Hirsh, author of “The Liberators: America’s Witnesses to the Holocaust.” You can read an excerpt. A Vietnam War veteran, Hirsh has written extensively on military affairs and was a longtime broadcast journalist. For the book, he interviewed more than 150 World War II veterans who entered the concentration camps. You can listen to many of the interviews Hirsh conducted, archived at the University of South Florida’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center Oral History Project.

Milton Silva, sergeant with the Army’s 120th Evacuation Hospital who arrived at the Nazi Buchenwald concentration camp on April 14, 1945, as U.S. troops liberated the complex and began helping survivors. He later spent a career as a judge in Massachusetts.

Stanley Friedenberg, an officer in the Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps. He arrived at the Nazi Ohrdruf concentration camp on April 5, 1945, in the hours after U.S. troops first entered the complex. Part of the Buchenwald system of subcamps, Ohrdruf was the first concentration camp to be liberated by American soldiers. Later, Friedenberg was also at the concentration camp at Gusen-Mauthausen, in Austria, on May 5.

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  • Michael

    Funny after 65 years it be arabs in concentration camps in the place of Jews. Wow how things changes the oppressed are now the oppressors. Backed of course by the U.S. or A.

    the comparisons are shocking.

  • Sean

    (To the first comment)

    what a ridiculous comment. The media are keeping politically correct and not correcting lies about Israel , just like they kept politically correct and said nothing when priests molested thousands of youth in the catholic church. No one wants to get their feet wet and tell the truth . Hum! I wonder why?

    According to you Cuba should give back all the property stolen from the Cuban owners and Pakistan should be given back to India . How about giving back the land to the 1 million Jewish refugees kicked out of Arab countries ?

  • joshua

    I don’t understand what you’re saying Sean. You put words in Micheal’s mouth. I don’t think it’s UNfair to criticize Israel or America. I think he’ s ON POint!

    Israel exists now–yes, that’s true, but one must consider the crimes against humanity perpetrated by Israel (and America). There may be some antisemitism in Southeast Asia, but it is only exasperated by Israeli state terrorism.

    And many white people hate black people in America, and hate brown people, and mexicans and illegal immigrants–but does that mean these people have the right to organize militias against other Americans, bulldoze their homes, incacerate them as detainees in indefinite cold storage?

    It sounds like preemptive hate. Palestine needs to be recognized as an equal state and if we are to aid Israel with massive amounts of money and weapons than we should do the same for Palestine– a lot less than we do now, or nothing at all. Live by the sword, die by the sword. people tend not to kill those who love them to death.

  • joshua

    The terror we commit today may not look like it did in WW2 but it is terrible, and for those that suffer and those that die–one life lost is no different than a million.

  • nancy

    The purpose of the Nazi concentration camp system was to remove permanently Jews, Roma, Homosexuals, and other “undesirables” from German society. This permanent removal was accomplished through systematic mass execution of those unable to work, while those who were able to contribute to the German war machine were forced to labor until they were too starved, ill, or weak to do so. And then they were killed. Systematically and without emotion.

    It is irresponsible, at the very least, to attempt to compare the situation in Palestinian territories with the Nazi Final Solution.

  • Michael

    “The purpose of the Nazi concentration camp system was to remove permanently Jews, Roma, Homosexuals, and other “undesirables” from German society. This permanent removal was accomplished through systematic mass execution of those unable to work, while those who were able to contribute to the German war machine were forced to labor until they were too starved, ill, or weak to do so. And then they were killed. Systematically and without emotion.”

    The Purpose of Israel Concentration Camps is to the same as above, remove Arabs from the land of israel, The Foreign Misters admits this, Keep a ethically Pure Majority of Jews in Israel, Instead of mass execution like the Germans could, like israel did in the later 40′s they starve them, making them so weak as to leave(if they can).

    “Systematically and without emotion.” and israeli has emotions to the suffering of gazan? lol

    “Claims of a Jewish right to self-determination are assertions of utmost violent and racist doctrine: self-determination is a right of populations, not ethnicity or religions: ”

    I stand by the fact the oppressed have before the oppressor, the method is just updated for the age of media.

    As to Sean, nice try with the straw man argument

    “Israeli minister warns of Holocaust for Gaza if violence continues”
    “bigger shoah,” using the Hebrew word usually reserved for the Holocaust.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/01/israelandthepalestinians1

  • Michael
  • cory

    A timely reminder of man’s cruelty to his fellow man.

    Those who use today’s topic to post skreeds about Israel are just SAD.

  • joshua

    Notice how NPR changed the picture above–I guess the image of concentration camps solicited the wrong comments by us. Lets keep this clean boys. NO real dialogue.

    This is a wholesome family show–you know, America the great, the savior.

  • Michael

    “A timely reminder of man’s cruelty to his fellow man.”
    “Those who use today’s topic to post skreeds about Israel are just SAD.”

    Lets not forget apathy in the past and apathy now results in death and loss of life.

    For those who choose to ignore this cause it’s now another ethnic group that then the previous one needs to look in the mirror and see what there supporting. What’s really sad is a group so oppressed could do the same to another group without batting a eye. and A third group(like some posters) that stop it in the past, could look the other way in the present

  • joshua

    Nancy: “The purpose of the Nazi concentration camp system was to remove permanently Jews, Roma, Homosexuals, and other “undesirables” from German society.”

    Actually–the Nazis wanted to rid them of the earth, not just German society.

    But so did many Allied nations. Antisemitism was everywhere, as was fascism–even in America.

    It’s important to point out, that such atrocities can and will happen again to whomever becomes the scapegoat–blacks, immigrants, dissenters, academics-when the mob is urged and the conditions are right. America looks very much like Weimer Germany before Hitler rose to power.

    If they can make you believe absurdities, you will commit atrocities. Our media propagates absurdities seething at the mouth everyday–led by corporations, and Republican Fox news.

    Moral, sane people do not want to lessen the horror of what happened in WW2; in fact, moral sane people who learn from this tragedy, know all to well that it can happen again in differnt forms by the same people who think they are somehow good decent people who would never do such things.

    Do you actually think, the German people 5, ten years before would have thought they were capable of such things. The answer is no. Undereducated and under-employed people frustrated with society’s institutions, are easily stirred into evil, which they see as somehow good. Clear my throat–war on terror…

  • kung fu

    These men are heroes.

  • Mark Patterson

    My father, on duty in southern Germany in the spring of 1945, was detached from his unit for a special assignment. Picking from a hat passed around the room he drew a card labeled “Dachau”. He had no idea of what it meant – having been told only to go and help “stabilize the situation”.

    He and a small contingent of men arrived a day after the camp had been liberated. The details of his experience can only glimpsed of in the horror films of the era. It is no small thing to say his life was marked and scarred until the day he died. Shock waves and the effects of PTSD affected his relationship with my mother, and we, as his children.

    To this day, while not Jewish, I have a personal connection to the holocaust and feel its aftermath and consequences viscerally.

    It is contingent on all of us to remember how and why this happened and never think for a minute that it couldn’t happen again, right here in the country we live in. The holocaust deniers are damnable – as my father used to exclaim: “I was there! I saw it! I helped bury all those bodies!”

  • Sean

    joshua

    what I am saying is the media are routinely putting Israel under the microscope and rushes to play up any alleged wrong doing by Israelis but cover up corruptions within the PA. just like the media cover up of the sexual abuse of thousands of children in the church. (don’t tell me after decades of abuse no one knew about it). and ……….that’s called politically correctness ….which means (I don’t want to get involved because I might lose my job )

  • http://wbur.org Peter from Newton MA

    Joshua -
    Your assertions about the Israelis are groundless fabrications (i.e. lies)of the type usually seen in the anti-Semitic racism of the Arab press. (even in “mainstream” publications can be found new assertions of the medieval “blood libel”, that Jews drink human blood – absurd on many levels, but indicative of the hate behind it).
    Also, Google “Norman Finkelstein Holocaust”, and you will find a man who, for whatever reason, hates Israel and denies the Holocaust, even though his parents are surviors.

  • Britany Hagen

    Remember all, we have to stay on topic; we are talking about the GIs in WW2

    These men did a great thing. I only wish that the US could’ve entered the World War sooner so that less lives would’ve been lost.

    Hats off to anyone who helped end that War.

  • BHA

    “arabs in concentration camps in the place of Jews.”

    Oh PULLEASE.

  • Steve T

    I think it’s a shame, that we have to go back 65 years. To remember the good we’ve done in the world.

    Since then…

  • http://wbur.org Peter from Newton MA

    Sorry, last post was response to “Michael”, not Joshua.

  • James

    My father, who served with the Fourth U.S. Cavalry reconnaissance group from Normandy until the end of the war in Europe, remembers the experience of stumbling on a camp in April 1945. The traumatized American troops, desperate to so something for the surviving victims, fed them their C-Rations and K-rations, which may well have hastened their deaths.

  • nicole babikian hajjar

    As the Armenians prepare to commemorate on April 24th the 95th anniversary of their vastly denied genocide of 1915, you may understand my frustration at hearing once again about the plight of the Jews and the Jews only. Are you planning a show/conversation about our own “Holocaust” at the hands of the Turks, which took the lives of over one million Armenians?

  • M.J. Young

    Would there be any way for America’s abroad image to be revived with commemoration of the achievements during the course of liberation of these camps?

  • BHA

    My father turned 17 in 1945, just young enough to not be in the war. Plenty old enough to understand the news regarding the concentration camps. I was traveling in Germany with him and my step-mother (she was 12 in 1945, also old enough to understand) some 20 years ago. We were near Dachau and talked about going. None of us could emotionally bring ourselves to go.

    I can’t imagine the emotional impact on the soldiers who liberated and/or assisted at the camps.

  • Gerald MacDonald

    Again, On Point takes a sensitive topic and discusses and delivers it in a thought provoking manner. Touching and informative, it’s amazing how On Point consistently delivers such quality programming.

  • cathy

    I would like to ask Judge Silva what he thinks of the frequent accusations in domestic political debates that certain actors are “Nazis” and “Hitler.” Does he consider this another way of forgetting or diluting what really happened?

  • BHA

    M. J. Young: “Would there be any way for America’s abroad image to be revived …”

    I sure hope not. It should never be forgotten, but our image should reflect our current actions, not those of 65 years ago.

  • Hana

    Thank you for airing this program commemorating the liberation of the concentration camps and thank you to Michael Hirsh for capturing this painful story. I am one of the survivors…and for the rest of my life I will remain grateful.

  • Cathryn

    I would like to ask the speakers to address this question – the terminology: Concentration Camp? Death Camp? Extermination Camp? Genocide Camp? Labor Camp? I do not care for the euphemisms – I say we should call it what it was. What is the prevailing wisdom or the trend on this matter?

  • BHA

    Per the comment on the many small camps. Yes, WAY more than we usually hear about:

    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/gallery_nm.php?ModuleId=10005144

  • Thomas Hara

    Did Mr. Hirsh interview any of the Japanese-American veterans from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team who liberated one of the camps of Dachau? These are men who volunteered to serve in the US Armed Forces from relocation camps. The 442d RCT is the most decorated unit in US Army history (8 Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor,9486 Purple Hearts) (see http://www.goforbroke.org/history/history_historical_veterans_442nd.asp). Only from America, volunteers from relocation/concentration camps liberating concentration camps.

    Thomas Hara
    Major, US Army, Retired (1975-1995)

  • Susan

    Being of German descent I am filled with shame, as was Gen. Eisenhower, to think that I could have had distant relatives involved in such a horrific…I am unable to convey what I feel about what was done in those camps. I am at a loss for words.

    I have always been very spiritual and felt very close to God, though not religious. Hearing these stories, however, has caused me to wonder not so much how a Supreme Being could have let this happen as how a Supreme Being could forgive. In theory, if one of these monstrous personalities truly went to God seeking forgiveness in their heart, they would be forgiven by the God of Mercy. I have a really hard time reconciling that, hearing these stories. I cannot, it is beyond my ability to think that there is mercy for anyone who would ever do this, I am truly at an exisential loss right now.

  • Michael

    Peter from Newton MA.

    How so some of the same things done to Jews in WW2 are some of the same things done to Gazans, and people in the West Bank, It seem you’re the one fabricating such lies, and how easy for you call anti-Semitism, to silence dissent, I provided links and information, and even a elected Israel official statement to my claims, as you did not. What many of the guests on the show speak of is happening in Gaza currently. Many of same War Crimes Decried by the Guest and Callers is happening in Gaza and the West Bank, only differences is the group and the one committing such acts are our allies.

    “Also, Google “Norman Finkelstein Holocaust”, and you will find a man who, for whatever reason, hates Israel and denies the Holocaust, even though his parents are surviors”

    Yes google Norman F. he never denied the holocaust like our poster claims, even talks about his parents, as for Israel talk about libel, they went after him with lie and distortions, which if you like can goggle as well. Maybe be a reason

    Funny someone calling another a liar when they blatantly lie themselves

    I’m happy we saved Jews from the the Germans, I be happy if we did the same thing for the people of gaza and west bank from the Israeli’s

  • Irving Smolens

    I am an 85 year old D-day veteran of the 4th Infantry Division. My division liberated a sub camp of Dachau. I was a private first class and my unit of the division was not the one that did the liberating So I did not actually view the camp. I am a Jew and whenever I am in a situation where the holocaust is being commemorated I tell the people that the liberation of the camps actually began on D-day, June 6, 1944. Almost all of the prisoners still alive in the camps were very close to death. If the D-day assault had failed we would not have been able to mount another attack fot months and perhaps even a year. Those prisoners would not have survived. It took almost 11 months of hard, bloody fighting including the St.Lo Breakout, Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge to defeat the Germans and make the liberation of the camps possible. Im writing this so that Holocaust survivors and their progeny ponder the June 6 date and recognize the efforts and valor of all the American GIs who made the liberation possible.

  • Steve T

    To: Thomas Hara
    Major, US Army, Retired (1975-1995)

    Thank you for your service, and thank you for your post.

    It gives a perspective of America during the war not discussed here.
    Which should have been added.

  • Sean

    If the holocaust can be denied , anything can be denied.

  • Mary Elizabeth

    I could do nothing but weep throughout the program, not only for the victims, but for the servicemen whose fate it was to witness such unspeakable evil, for the bravery and decency with which they have lived their lives.
    My nearest experience to it all was sitting with some survivors, here in the US, in their last years, seeing the tatoos on their wrists, sometimes their inability to speak of it, their innate dignity, concern for others and the admirable lives they went on to live.

  • BHA

    To get to the page Major Hara posted, drop the trailing ‘)’

    http://www.goforbroke.org/history/history_historical_veterans_442nd.asp

  • John
  • Maureen

    John
    when there are so many problems all over the world what is your obsession with gaza which is ruled by a fascist theocracy : Hamas

    I think its more who will liberate Iran from tyrants? .

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    This was a moving and important show Jane and you handled it all very well. I felt you at a loss for words at the enormity of the emotions being expressed by both of the vets and I had the same feeling as I was listening.

  • Bill Harman

    Why do you always say Nazis, they were Germans. Is this to take away the blame from the German people??

  • Catherine

    To the man who called in who had lost family in camps: I am so sorry for your loss. There aren’t words. It’s heartbreaking. I’m just so sorry.

  • Sean

    This is what happens when you have on a people the combination of pollitically correctness and blood libels .

  • Leonard Herzmark

    I served in the 120th Evacuation Hospital which was the first medical unit sent to Buchenwald (April 14, 1945)when it was liberated by combat troops. I saw it all, bodies piled like cord wood, inmate bodies hanging from a gallows in the entry way to the camp. German soldiers hanging from trees as we went to the camp from our bivouac site just outside of the camp. I treated hundreds of the inmates, providing them the only sustenance they could handle (intravenous glucose and/or saline solution, for days. I queried the patients, and though many were Jews, many were not. Of those non-Jews, I asked why they were in the camp. Many replied that they had opposed the Germans in one manner or another. They came from every country on the European continent. There were Gypsies, homosexuals, priests, men of all walks of life. Most hung on by threads. When we left Buchenwald, we went south to a small town, Cham, just outside of Dachau camp. The patients were brought to us by French Ambulance drivers who scoured the roads looking for the sick, escaped inmates from the camp. We served them in the same manner as we did those in Buchenwald. Many died, but more lived. Each morning a horse drawn wagon came to the building where we had set up wards to treat the sick. The driver would pick up the dead from the day before, place them in newly made caskets, and cart them off for burial in a common grave outside of town. At times, teenagers, who were members of the Hitler Youth, came to assist in helping with the patients. They told us that the next town was where they were staying. Many of the townspeople knew of their helping the Americans, and some were driven out of the town because of the work they did.

    Don’t talk about just the Jews, but of all of the victims of the holocaust.

  • Anita

    No one can deny the Holocaust to me. My father was one of the witnesses. His unit found a camp where the guards had fled, leaving the prisoners behind. They were so moved by the starvation they saw that they immediately began to share their rations with the people there. Fortunately, one corpsman stopped them before they could do too much damage. He made them combine their concentrated rations and diluted them about 10 times to make a weak soup that the suvivors could tolerate. He remembers, NEVER AGAIN.
    I also have an uncle by marriage who was in those same camps. He couldn’t talk about what happened to him until fairly recently. He was captured as a 15/16 yr. old and sent to the camps with his resistance unit. For the past couple of years he has visited schools in his country (Belgium)and was filmed in a documentary shown in Europe about his experiences. His comment in the documentary, was that this should NEVER happen AGAIN. Anyone who tried to deny the camps to him was repudiated. HE WAS THERE, there is no denying those facts.

  • Pro-lifer

    Since Roe V. Wade, there have been more than 30 million abortions in this country. That is the holocaust that cannot be denied, the holocaust against the unborn.

  • jeffe

    Michael there is a huge difference between the genocide committed by the nazis in WW2 (I’m including all the allies of nazi Germany) and the acts of aggression and repression being committed by the Israeli government.

    I think it’s very disingenuous to use this show to air your anti-Israeli views.

  • justine

    pro-lifer

    your the first ones to declare that big government should stay out of our lives but then get into women’s lives and deny them abortions . You and the catholic church want more children Why ? to sexually abuse them?

  • jeffe

    nicole babikian hajjar all victims of genocide suffer from the same fate. Be it the million or more Armenians, or the 6 million Jews and 6 million others by the hands of the nazis. Pol Pot’s genocide of the Cambodian people. The Serbian genocide of the Bosnian Mulsims, or the genocide that happened in Rwanda in the 90′s. The planed and controlled annihilation of their kind.

    You are correct the genocide of 1915 should be recognized as should all others.

  • amy

    jeffe

    “Aggression and repression” are not the right words . How about they are “defending themselves” . shame on you.

  • Michael

    As well disingenuous to dismiss such comparisons 65 years ago and actions than as today. As well as disingenuous to claim only Jew’s suffered as well or a monopoly on suffering.

    Since like Leonard Herzmark, pointed out there were many other groups that suffered, If i recall history right the blacks that fought for the french who were caught by the Germans didn’t fair well at all.

    Fine don’t take my word for it but here is a respected Zionist Jewish MP from Britain(think i hit all the notes) comparing the actions of gaza to WW2 Concentration.

    Gerald Kaufmann, Jewish British Labour MP, condemns Israel’s state terrorism & Nazism:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwhrHoPv5Ok

    “”My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town a German soldier shot her dead in her bed. My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.” – Gerald Kaufman”

  • Pro-lifer

    justine, Roe V. Wade will be overturned, either in the courts or via the legislative process, and for the million plus abortions performed in this nation every year, that day won’t come soon enough.

  • justine

    so called prolifer dream on.

    If you don’t like abortion simple don’t have one but keep government out of women’s uterus.

  • randy walz

    Amazing report!!! I came home with a load of work and began to listen and cannot do a thing. I am listening from Guanajuato Mexico. I have been to Dachau and thought I understood but you report gives me pause. How horrible can we be! And as one caller mentioned it still goes on. Thank you for this

    Randy Walz, Guanajuato, Guanajuato, MX

  • Pro-lifer

    The ever growing pro-life community, through constitutional, judicial, and lawful means, will see to it that the for profit abortion clinics, will one day be have their doors closed forever.

  • Victor Kovacs

    It is a shame that some people want to use this solemn and somber anniversary to push their own political and religious agendas.

    To those who die at the hands of political and religious extremists, does it really matter what uniform they wear or the ideology that determined that they no longer deserve to live? Does it matter that those who write of their extermination label them as jews, homosexuals, gypsies, communists, armenians, intellectuals, bourgeosie, reactionaries, kulaks or bosnians? It doesn’t matter if the killing fields are in Buchenwald, the Katyn Forest, the hills of Rwanda or the jungles of Cambodia?

    Not to those who died.

    This should be a time of rememberance for all the victims of hatred and genocide, past and present, and a recognition of what happens when we strip away the humanity from the human beings we disagree with.

  • Eva

    I caught only a part of this program while driving — but got choked up when I heard one of the American liberators of a Nazi death camp say that the victims he saw were all Polish.

    In this country, we almost never hear about the fact that the Nazis killed very large numbers — millions — of non-Jews.

    I a Polish American. My mother’s father was killed in Mauthausen, and her uncle and a teenage cousin, were also killed but in different camps. It devastated the family, as the widows were left with several small children with no source of income, and they nearly died from starvation and cold. My own father was rounded up as a teenager on the street and sent to slave labor in Germany, where he almost didn’t survive. He was damaged by what he had been through for the rest of his life.

    To all of you Jewish people out there: you do not have monopoly on suffering. Please remember all victims of that terrible time. If you only talk about your own, it makes you look small to me.

  • liza

    Eva
    Have you ever heard a Jewish person say he had a “monopoly on suffering” ? Your insulting thoughts project your feelings about Jews and they are not very pretty

  • jeffe

    Sorry Amy, but the Israeli government goes beyond mere defense in the case of the Palestinians. Not that the Palestinian government is innocent, but the reaction in Gaza last year was out of control.

    So as a Jew who on the one hand supports the right of Israel to exist I am also not happy how they have been taken over by the extremist elements of their political zeitgeist.

  • jeffe

    Michael what is it about the word genocide that you don’t understand?

    The Israelis are not trying to systematically wipe out a whole population of people.

    Eva your comments are so offensive. The nazi’s murdered 6 million Jews and something in the order of 6 million non-Jews. I have yet to have seen any Jew say they had a monopoly on suffering.

    You say you’re Polish, well are you aware that the Pole murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews who returned to their homes after the war. They survived the death camps only to be killed by their neighbors. I ma sorry your families suffering. The nazis wiped out 80% of my mothers family, who were Polish Jews. Her mother left Poland in the 20′s because of the rampant anti-antisemitism she and her family were constantly subjected to in Poland. This does not lesson the suffering they had under the nazis or the Russians for that matter.

    The interesting thing is right across the border in Belarus, which was one of the largest killing fields in the Eastern front, the Belorussians did everything they could to save their Jewish neighbors. Interesting thing human nature, don’t you think?

  • http://victorials.wordpress.com vinks

    I would say “Nazis” rather than Germans because not every German was a Nazi, or a collaborator.

    As someone Jewish and obsessed all my life with the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, I cannot help but see sickening parallels in Gaza, not to mention the early America, and many other places.

    And to the so-called pro-lifer: how many babies are you going to adopt and raise?

  • Michael

    of course Jeffe being a teacher and all you realize genocide is not just

    “systematically wipe out a whole population of people.”

    But

    By ‘genocide’ we mean the destruction of an ethnic group . . . . Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation.

    “”It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups . .”"

    Now repeat

    “”Whoever, while participating in a conspiracy to destroy a national, racial or religious group, undertakes an attack against life, liberty or property of members of such groups is guilty of the crime of genocide.”

    Raphael Lemkin

    Repeat again

    “Genocide is the deliberate destruction, in whole or in part, by a government or its agents, of a racial, sexual, religious, tribal or political minority. It can involve not only mass murder, but also starvation, forced deportation, and political, economic and biological subjugation. Genocide involves three major components: ideology, technology, and bureaucracy/organization.”

    repeat again

    [Genocide is] the planned destruction, since the mid-nineteenth century, of a racial, national, or ethnic group as such, by the following means: (a) selective mass murder of elites or parts of the population; (b) elimination of national (racial, ethnic) culture and religious life with the intent of “denationalization”;

    It can involve not only mass murder, but also forced deportation (ethnic cleansing),
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide_definitions

    Sad people dismissed eva comment and hurt as somehow not important when she shared with use her history but if of course if eva was jewish with the same story it’s somehow a whole different story and is now important. Liza even going so far to personally attack Eva. Instead of empathy for her and her families loss people attacked her. Jeffe at least tied somewhat after calling her offense

    This is the problem or thing see some jews monopolizing on suffering, Jeffe did you know black who fought against the nazi only return home to be brutalized,lynch by there White counterparts, or the blacks and arabs who fought for the french where not allow to march or partake in pictures and of course brutalized by there white counter-parts

    It is always a great tragedy when terrible things are committed against other human beings but this does not give victims or member of victims the right to become the abusers. A eye for a eye never works.

    “I have yet to have seen any Jew say they had a monopoly on suffering.”

    have you really not, i recommend you listen to the Israeli Foreign Minster for awhile, or the P.M. or Israeli settlers, you can easily Google. Even onpoint remeber the show with the NeoCon who was attacked by the unibomber?

    Leonard Herzmark made a great point

    “Don’t talk about just the Jews, but of all of the victims of the holocaust”

    If 10 children were killed and 6 are jew, 2, black, and 2 white, why would we leave out the 2 blacks and white children when talking about it like some been trying to do? Did they all not suffer? or does one group take favor over the others?

    Wished we had a man like this on the show and the people that helped even when it would endanger them in there communities ,
    http://www.onpointradio.org/2010/04/g-i-s-remember-the-death-camps

  • Michael

    jeffe,

    though i disagree with you on this, i take it you try and hold a middle ground.It is just hard to understand how the suffering of one group can be used to justified exporting that suffering to another group or dismissing the suffering of others as somehow less.

    Check out your even moderate view is getting attack by army for saying “Aggression and repression” better watch out before she start calling you names. She assumes you know little hench her P.R. biased link to better inform you

  • http://www.jazzpiano.ca Mark Eisenman

    Great show. My father was liberated by the 7th Army while on a death march.
    He was an Auschwitz survivor. For an interesting story that relates to this topic please click this link,
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=400959&id=847700458

    I thank the allied forces who liberated my father.
    After all, If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here!

  • Dani

    It is a shame that some people want to use this solemn and somber anniversary to push their own political and religious agendas.

    To those who die at the hands of political and religious extremists, does it really matter what uniform they wear or the ideology that determined that they no longer deserve to live? Does it matter that those who write of their extermination label them as jews, homosexuals, gypsies, communists, armenians, intellectuals, bourgeosie, reactionaries, kulaks or bosnians? It doesn’t matter if the killing fields are in Buchenwald, the Katyn Forest, the hills of Rwanda or the jungles of Cambodia?

    Not to those who died.

    This should be a time of rememberance for all the victims of hatred and genocide, past and present, and a recognition of what happens when we strip away the humanity from the human beings we disagree with.

    Posted by Victor Kovacs, on April 21st, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    I believe Victor said it Beautifully! It bares repeating.

  • Barbara

    My father is the GI in the above photo, he & I have just returned from the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Buchenwald & the Surrender of Weimar to the 80th Infantry Division.
    We met around 90 former inmates that were children in 1945 that told us story after story of their survival. It was much of an honor to meet and spend time with these survivors as they were honored to meet the GI’s that were there.
    There were many, many tears shed not only for the many Jews that were there but for all who were held in that camp & other camps.
    I will never forget these beautiful people but what I will never forget are all the Allied Forces that fought, were ingured & many killed to keep us free.

  • amy

    why was my post deleted?

    http://www.camera.org/

  • justice
  • joshua

    Peter from Newton MA–you make me sick.. whatever you are saying has nothing to do with what I am saying. You are making leaps into illogical unrelated nonsense.

    I don’t read Arab newspapers or watch Arab media. i don’t read American newspapers or watch American media–its propaganda all. Even NPR radio has its corporate influence, and special interests.

    What cover up are you talking about?–I call it how I see it. Every time sb. criticizes Israel, lunatics cry antisemitism. Nobody is covering up PA crimes–in fact American media paints PA as the terrorist and Israel as a savior and a victim that needs to be saved.

    Suicide bombers exist because of State terror–perpetrated by Israel and America. I’m using my brain, not the brain of spin-doctors. Israel even attacked the USS liberty and we did nothing. If Israel could just learn to live with its neighbors, stop increasing its borders and flooding new territory, and stop bulldozing homes, and lobbying missiles into peaceful neighborhoods, at hospitals, perhaps PA, Egypt, Syria, Jordon, could tolerate Israel in the region.

    The problem is not that they are Jews, though, there is no doubt a lot of racism–as Arizonians hating brown people–but that you cannot just invade a region , carve out territory, and then bully everyone–America did it–we committed the greatest genocide the world has ever seen, destroying the natives. And we fought Indian wars for generations. The problem doesn’t just go away over night. Israel doesn’t belong there. Now its there yes, so they should be doing everything in their power to make love, not war–instead they exasperate the issue by spreading fear, and lies and terror with USA support. That is my conclusion. I do not support PA bombings, but one must try to understand why a wretched population, continually terrorized by Goliath would resort to such violence, and then one must eliminate the source of the problem–state violence and violation of border treaties. Give a little love and get love in return. You want to make Arab nations the bad guy–spread love and aid and see what happens. i don’t think you will get more suicide bombing. i think it will end. Stop seething with hate. I am not anti-Semite. I’m anti- anti-Semite spewers. i think these people are brainwashed and hateful.

  • joshua

    Peter–You seem to lump allArabs into some kind of lying hate mongerers with a vast propaganda machine. I would look in the mirror. You are unfairly categorizing a while peoples. And Arab countries do not have the propaganda machine that US and Israel do–we have perfected propaganda and brainwashing of populations. In fact, it is US policy, has been since after WW2. it’s called Psy-ops–they are employed at CNN and all major News stations in the west. Journalists don’t investigate the news, they report top-down lies and spin.

    Don’t juxtapose me with Holocaust deniers! i dont use tragedy to hate and kill. But some people do. i think the point of this show is to remember that such things are possible even now if we forget how it evolved. that’s really what this show should be about–how did such tragedy come about, and we should be asking–how was it similar to politics today, and what can we do to avoid the state terror shocking and aweing whole populations today. Don’t hid behind the evil of the past to cover up evil today. Its shameful! It’s disgusting!

    I’ve never heard anyone saying the holocaust was propaganda–where does this come from? Why would the guest this, that this all he wants people to know? i don’t know who says it wasn’t true. i think there are more important things to remember from this–not let it happen again. open your eyes.

  • joshua

    It’s interesting that they note how Nazis were killers of many other ethnic groups–because they were against immigrants-they wanted purity. We are seeing this in America today–just look at the Arizona Immigration laws. This is hate of ethnic diversity–of which they blame all their woes on–Hitler rose to power blaming the unemployment issues in Germany on immigrants. We are seeing that today in America.

  • joshua

    The definitions of genocide posted by Michael above draw parallels to immigration laws in America, as well as implications of the war on terror (not just Israeli policies [or extremist policies in Southeast asia.

    Let’s not forget Dar-fur, Myanmar, the Congo, the wandering tribes of Egypt, etc.

  • Arnold L.Goren

    I will soon be 85 but I remember breaking into 2 camps when I served in the 87 division during world war 2. The Israelis
    are not systematically gassing ,shooting ,murdering millions of people.The Germans were doing this and the comparisons are ridiculous.You can visit ,criticize, force changes in policy ,hope for better things and debate Israeli treatment but they are simply not doing any thing like the Nazi German did .Arabs in Israel are in a tough spot but they are not being exterminated and their own miserable behavior and the arab governments policies fuel the fears of the Israelis and add to the problem.Use your common sense!

  • lenny-t

    I am appalled at the number of people who selfishly are using this topic as an opportunity to post about their own personal agendas. This was one of the best On Point programs broadcast and its sensitive and emotional topic brilliantly handled by Jane Clayson. Tom Ashbrook is a fine moderator and interviewer, but Jane’s handling of this topic was pitch-perfect.

  • CG

    Mr. Goren,

    Thank you for your service.

    And thank you for your insights and perspective.

    To all the U.S. Veterans who served in WWII, in Europe and Asia, thank you.

  • Nat

    To Ms. Clayson
    Your compassionate professionalism is obvious to any listener

    But how you held it together during these interviews
    I do not know

    Thank You gentleman for your service, bravery and bearing witness.

  • http://www.borncompany.com/ Paul

    Sorry Amy, but the Israeli government goes beyond mere defense in the case of the Palestinians. Not that the Palestinian government is innocent, but the reaction in Gaza last year was out of control.

    So as a Jew who on the one hand supports the right of Israel to exist I am also not happy how they have been taken over by the extremist elements of their political zeitgeist.

  • justice
  • justice

    The post is being disabled because WBUR doesn’t want the truth to be seen about the palestinian criminals so just Youtube :

    Thoose poor palestinians

  • http://www.miniriver.com/ Simon

    Great show. My father was liberated by the 7th Army while on a death march.
    He was an Auschwitz survivor. For an interesting story that relates to this topic please click this link,
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=400959&id=847700458

    I thank the allied forces who liberated my father.
    After all, If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here!

  • http://www.norththames.com/ Daniel

    why was my post deleted?

    http://www.camera.org/

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