Re: Bialystok Yizkor Ceremonies #poland


Tilford Bartman <bartmant@...>
 

Thanks to Mark for giving a heads up regarding these upcoming solemn
occasions.

It is indeed quite unpleasant. However, I urge anyone who hasn't
already done so to educate themselves regarding some of the details of
the crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Jewish people of
Bialystok and the surrounding communities. We should never forget the
specific absolute horrors that were visited upon these people by the
Germans and their helpers. The holocaust sections of the Bialystoker
Memorial Book that are published in English on
www.zchor.org/bialystok/yizkor1.htm are a good place to begin. These
horrible crimes went largely unpunished. The head of the Gestapo's
Jewish section in Bialystok was captured and tried in Bialystok at the
end of the war and hung. There were also trials in Germany in the early
60's involving members of some of the German Military Police Battalions
that were active in Bialystok including one >from Hamburg Germany. Not
all but most charged got absurdly light sentences. Some members of
these units returned to Hamburg after the war and got jobs as policemen
and lived out full lives on a pension, with their involvement in the
genocide of the Jewish people never being exposed. There was little
justice let alone revenge for the crime of near total destruction of
Jewish population (approximately 200,000 people) of the Bialystok
region. >from what I can tell the "Nazi hunter" Beate Klarsfeld appears
to have made the greatest effort. The least we can do now is educate
ourselves about these crimes, continue to memorialize the victims honor
their memory. Also we should be mindful that there is much more to the
story of the Jews of the Bialystok region than just the death and
destruction of the Shoa and the difficult years before the war about
which we have perhaps heard the most. Jews lived in the region for
almost 500 years, and there were large periods of time when the Jewish
community thrived in just about every respect and lived quite remarkably
free of persecution, and was able to freely practice the Jewish religion
and rather autonomously develop a deep and unique culture.

Below is something written by Avashi Dolinsly holocaust survivor >from
Zabludow when the memory of the countless murdered was still fresh.

To the six million Jews that perished, burned and gassed; fathers,
mothers, sisters, brothers, children, grandmothers and grandfathers;
rabbis, authors, artists, merchants and craftsmen; teachers and
educators. Whole communities, whole sects were thrown into fires and
into the gas chambers, and among them our unforgettable community Zabludow.

-- To our home and birthplace Zabludow; each and every one of us
will forever remember his acquaintances and all those we loved. Their
countenances will be forever engraved deep in our hearts and yet they
are no longer. Disappeared with the smoke! The Nazis (may their memory
be erased) burned them alive! There is a common saying: "all that the
earth covers -- is forgotten". We are forbidden according to this
saying. Our martyrs did not die a natural death and were not brought for
burial! They were uprooted in the prime of their lives by the Nazi
animals, that masqueraded as humans. They were murdered in the cruelest
manner.

The Nazis murdered them in the gas chambers and burned them in the
crematoria; old and young, men and women, children and tots - they were
murdered in Majdanek, Teblinka, and Auschwitz. Even graves did not
remain... no graves, no gravestones, no stones!... We bear a heavy
burden of rocks of sadness deep in our hearts; we will carry in our
hearts the grief forever - until the end of our lives...The ashes of our
martyrs were scattered by the wind upon the face of the earth on rivers
and seas...

And Every place that a son of Zabludow lives, he will mourn the fate of
our towns people, and will not forget. He will also know that it is not
enough to cry over the loss. We must unite with our martyrs and we must
obey the commandment: "May the memory of Amalek be erased." We must
never forget! At least this we owe our martyrs we shall not forgive and
we shall not forget! They command us to avenge their death!!!

Tilford Bartman

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mark Halpern wrote:

The period of 16-23 August 1943 marked the end for Jewish Bialystok. In
The Bialystoker Memorial Book, it is stated:

"During this period the final liquidation of the ghetto took place,
marked by heroic resistance of the ghetto Jews against the monstrous
oppressors. In that sorrowful week the ghetto was completely wiped off
the face of the earth, the resistance crushed in a wave of blood and
murder of the remaining 40,000 martyrs and Jewish Bialystok was turned
into a huge heap of ashes and dust."

Two ceremonies will commemorate this dark period in Bialystok's history
and the bravery of those who fought to the end.

In Bialystok, the commemoration will start at 12 Noon at the Memorial to
the Shoah Victims at the Zabia Street Ghetto Cemetery. Speeches by the
Mayor of Bialystok, a representative of the Israeli government, a
representative of the Jewish Community, and special guests >from overseas
will be followed by Kadish and the laying of wreaths and flowers to
honor the Bialystoker martyrs who perished during the Holocaust. After
the Ceremony, at 2:00 PM, all are invited to the Muzeum Wojska Polskiego
to view the exhibits, including "Bialystoker Jews at the Front during
World War II."

If you happen to be in Poland at this time, please try to attend.

In Israel, The Society of Former Residents of Bialystok and Surroundings
will hold the 62nd Remembrance Assembly at Kiryat Bialystok in Yehud.
The memorial will take place at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, 24 August 2005
near the Memorial Monument in the square of the Great Synagogue on Iccak
Melamed Street in Yehud.

If you live in Israel or happen to be visiting, please try to attend.

For more information, please go to
http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/bialygen/62Memorial.htm.

Mark Halpern
BIALYGen Coordinator

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