15 Jan

Martin Luther King Day Thoughts

It’s Martin Luther King Day which has us thinking about some of Dr. King’s most famous words and the way they tie into our own legacy.  Our late father David, used “we shall overcome” a popular Civil Rights era song as his own mantra, in no small part because he himself was a former slave laborer to the Nazis and always felt a kinship to the American slave experience.

We thought it a good day to share some pages from Rachel’s book Ancient Prayer: Channeling Your Faith 365 Days of the Year:

10 Jan

Yad Vashem’s French Database of Shoah Victims’ Names to be Launched Today in Paris

This database allowed us to find out the fate of our uncle Chaim Weingarten A”H. For 73 years we didn’t know what had happened to him. We’d heard stories. This one saw him. That one said they knew for a fact he’d been murdered in Mathausen Concentration Camp, but we never had a definitive answer.  It was torturous for all of us, wondering…was he really dead? Did he manage to escape and live a wonderful life?

While we were saddened beyond measure to have the proof, it was a relief to know. We have a yartzeit date, we can have relatives say kaddish, we can lay him to rest — in a way…

A database like this also helps “prove” the murders of innocent Jews, to those who would try and deny each and every one. May their memories be a blessing.

Yad Vashem’s French Database of Shoah Victims’ Names to be Launched Today in Paris

The world’s largest such database, containing over 4,700,000 names of Holocaust victims, is also available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian and German

In advance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day later this month, Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is launching its Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names today in French. The gathering of the 6 million Shoah victims’ names for the Names Database are a unique aspect of Yad Vashem’s mission to ensure that each Jewish man, woman and child murdered during the Holocaust is remembered. Yad Vashem has created this Names Database in order to make the names of these people accessible to the entire world and as an effort to reconstruct their life’s stories to emphasize that each victim was a human being.

Yad Vashem’s Shoah Victims’ Names Recovery Project partners with Jewish communities and organizations around the world, urgently encouraging families and individuals to check the Database for the names of Shoah victims known to them, and assisting them to complete the historical record through the submission of Pages of Testimony, photographs, and other personal documentation about the victims.  Continue reading here

08 Jan

International Holocaust Remembrance Day — January 27th

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27 is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Since 2005, the UN and its member states have held commemoration ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and to honor the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust.

Continue reading here


28 Apr

The Nazi Board Games of World War II

These relics of wartime propaganda and anti-Semitism were designed for playtime.

From the article on Atlas Obscura

At the International Museum of World War II in Natick, Massachusetts, swastikas line the path to the central victory zone on a swastika-shaped pachisi-style board made in wartime Germany. On another propaganda game in the collection, children could play at encircling the British coastline with tiny U-boats.

Kenneth Rendell, the museum’s founder, says that Nazi power derived partly from such shrewd product design. Manufacturers applied symbols of anti-Semitism and death to toys, along with all manner of other household furnishings, from Christmas ornaments to lightbulb filaments. The racist objects, even if they never directly incited heinous acts, would have inured the owners to the prospect of violence all around them.

“The real power of evil,” Rendell says, “is to make it normal.”