Holocaust Remembrance Day

This year is the 63rd anniversary since the German Nazi concentration camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz) was liberated on January 27th 1945. Commemorative ceremonies will be held worldwide to mark the occasion, including those at the site of the former camp which is now run as a museum and educational centre. The nearby and much larger camp at Birkenau will also stage a series of events.

Only eight thousand people were liberated, including five hundred children, from Silesian region's biggest graveyard which witnessed the deaths of 1.2 million. The Nazis 'death march' evacuation prior to the Russian Red Army freeing the camp killed thousands of the 50,000 emaciated victims of the Nzis brutality.

In Warsaw a symbolic empty train to represent the absence of Jewish people in Warsaw will be transported through the territory of the former Jewish district and Jewish ghetto.

At noon tomorrow all the top knobs of Polish society will don their best suits and stand in front of the memorial of ghetto heroes, amongst them Church figures who have long sowed the seeds for anti-semitism in Poland. It would be a fantastic occasion to lambast the racist millionaire media mogul, Father Director Rydzyk and his band of anti-semitic Radio Maryja warriors. To strip their access to the corridors of power, expecially amongst the former Law and Justice led government that had hot and cold relationships with them (things turned cold when the Kaczynski brothers weren't racist enough) would certainly be worthy of this day.

Not much matches the awesome inhumanity of the Nazi death camps, but the need to create a better environment for safeguarding human rights for ethnic and sexual minorities, etc. still exists today in Poland and throughout the world. Homophobia is still rife in Polish society and as has been reported here already, anti-semitism still rears it's ugly head too frequently.

Holocaust Remembrance Day was established 3 years ago by the United Nations.


Anonymous said…
What about some anti-polonism - which is on the raise? What about falsifying Polish history in the eyes of the world ? What about rasinig hate and xenophobia by false chargers?
varus said…
What about it? Give some examples and then we can talk!
Damien Moran said…
Quote some stats. on 'Anti-Polonism' being on the rise! Regarding Gross, have you read the book? I haven't so feel ill-equipped to judge whether the charges are false or not. Give some details re. raising hate and xenophobia comment or else just skip back into 'hit and run' land. Comments without substance are not possible to respond to without knowing what the hell you are talking about. So out with it chum!
Tempest said…
Glad you're in such a culture-rich country!!

Just wanted to drop by and couldn't help but comment on your statement against Radio Marija...if I am correct, this station was founded by one Father Maximilian Maria Kolbe, who later gave his life for a man he did not know after spending years in Auschwitz. He died an agonizing death of starvation for over three weeks in a bunker until the Nazis, having need of that bunker for other hellish torture, gave him a lethal injection of carbonic acid. Have you ever been to Niepokalanow, the friary he founded close to Krakow? I have. The friars there live in absolute poverty, but give all that is donated to them in their work for their cause. Honestly, if any other religious group did that you'd be applauding. The Catholic Church has something on lasting over 2000 years and lauding some of the greatest, and most forward thinkers of our time.

Just a thought.
What happened in the Shoah should never be forgotten--nor misrepresented. Millions of others--all races and backgrounds--were murdered. This is happening again in places like China, Uganda, Darfur and Northern Africa. If we do not learn from History, we WILL repeat it.
Pax et Bonum!
Damien Moran said…
You're welcome to drop by anytime and thanks for the comment. But you're incorrect. RM was not founded by Kolbe. He was dead 50 years when it was founded by current director Redemptorist Fr. Tadeusz Rydzyk in the early 90's.

I haven't been to that famous monastery but I do believe you are exaggerating. I studied for the priesthood with the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. Like many Catholic congregations, they demanded a vow of poverty. I know many Franciscans in Ireland and some who have worked in Africa also. One of my mates is studying to be a Franciscan.

Saying that they live in absolute poverty is misleading. First of all, it is wilful 'poverty' - they have a choice to 'escape' this whenever they wish to do so (they have a good education level and are often supported if they leave the congregation to stand on their own two feet). Show me a homeless beggar who was once a Franciscan or priest of any congregation for that matter and I'll be amazed!

Secondly, as someone who has visited monasteries from Haiti to Ireland to Syria my experience is that although monks live with a vow of 'poverty,' it's a fairly rare occasion (usually only due to sacrificial fasting, personal neglect) that you will see a malnourished monk. Their caterers usually take good care of them or they take good care of themselves.

Indeed, the assets many congregations have make them some of the richest landowners in the various countries that they operate in. Of course no one member owns the assetds, they are held for and in the public interest. But this does not mean that many priests do not enjoy good cars, swimming pools, or an abundant fridge.

Yes, they put their assets to their cause - but that's hardly unique. Many political activists also do this. I don't have a car, use public transport, don't have my own apartment, and would go bust in a very short period of time without working - does this mean I live in 'absolute poverty' or even 'relative poverty.'
Of course not!

Absolute poverty? Darfur refugees, those who live in favellas and shanty homes in the district that I volunteered in Haiti, etc. That's absolute poverty Bree.
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