Illona Weiss Synagogue
    Conference room
    Jewish Cultural Center "Arie Livne"
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 12:29


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In the Jewish Cultural Center (JKC) ''Arie Livne'' on the International Holocaust Remembrance was held a commemorative evening whose promoter was a History and Latin Professor at Grammar School Banja Luka Tatjana Juric. During the lecture she reminded present ones about all horrors of Jewish people in the World War II, about the fact that it was an enacted crime and as such determined the tragic fate of a nation in the civilized Europe. She reminded that, only at the camp of Auschwitz more than million Jewish people were killed in the most monstrous way and outlined that there were no victims of war. Yes, when it comes to the Holocaust, we cannot talk about them in such a way. ''Children, people about to be discussed tonight were civilians. They were victims of war. Because civilians get killed in war. In the case of the Holocaust, they were the people whose killing is planned before the beginning of the World War II. It was the systematic destruction of one nation. Only albums with photographs remained, but no one could be identified because those who knew them were also killed. There were also diaries of teenagers who wanted to go to school and ride a bicycle. They were also killed. Those who survived left a testimony of horrors which have befallen Jewish people in occupied Europe and which cannot be either forgotten or repeated.


001Professor Tatjana Juric was a participant of the seminar on the Holocaust in Jerusalem, in the Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem, where she obtained a license to lecture on this subject. This is her fifth lecture to a wider audience.
''Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, by the state organized persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews. It was organized in the territories that were occupied by the neo-Nazi Germany during the World War II by the Nazis and their collaborators. Terminologically, Holocaust is a Greek word which means ''sacrifice by fire'' and began to be used for the description of the crime at the end of the 40s of the last century when the world learned what was happening in Europe. The same Jews use the word ''Shoa'' which means disaster. It's been 60 years since this terrible event that has not yet been explored, both in Europe and in our country. Currently runs a project that was started in 2009 under the title "Building Encyclopedia Nazi Camps and Ghettos in Europe" which will have been completed by 2025. So far were documented 42,500 concentration camps, killing fields, caves, places of execution in which the Nazis killed the victims. Only in 2000 in Stockholm, at the International Forum on the Holocaust gathered representatives of 46 countries of the OSCE and emphasized that the Holocaust fundamentally changed the foundations of civilization. International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust is celebrated in different ways in Europe and the world and legally certain other dates when held commemorative events. In some countries, such as the case of neighboring Croatia, the Union of Jewish Communities of Croatian decided to boycott the celebration by expressing a protest.
''A terrible suffering of people has left an indelible mark throughout Europe. The United Nations in 2005 voted for the Resolution in which the 27th of January is marked as International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust and encourage all members to do educational programs so the next generations could preserve the memory of this crime. Most Member States of the UN really celebrate this day. However, today we have a situation that the neighboring Croatia also has this day as legally defined, but we are certainly informed that this year the Board of Jewish Communities of Croatian boycotted the marking due to unpreparedness of the official authorities to condemn the setting plate with an inscription on which is inscribed the Ustasha salute ''Za dom spremni!'' (lit. "For home (land) - ready!"), which is set in a place of onetime headquarters of the Ustasha in Jasenovac. This is proof that in Croatia exists the unwillingness of official authorities to resist and fight against historical revisionism in education, but also in public life.
008In Serbia, this day comes on 27th of April, whereas in Macedonia on the 12th of March. In fact, on that day in 1943 the Bulgarians in agreement with the Germans deported 7,300 Jews in the Treblinka camp from which they never returned. For that crime no one in Bulgaria is responsible and in that country, the education system does not have the meaning of the Holocaust. In Austria comes on the 5th of May as the Day of Remembrance for the victims of National Socialism. In the USA and Canada on day of the Jewish holiday "Yom HaShoah" which comes on the 27th day of the Nisam Month. In Israel as a day of remembrance of the victims also determined the day of the celebration of the feast of "Yom HaShoah" and called the Day of Remembrance of the Martyrs, the Heroes of the Holocaust. On that day all over the country, the two-minute siren would sound, and the Jews pull up themselves, wherever they happen to be in that moment. Performances are being delayed and victims are being honored in theaters, all bars are closed. So, in certain countries this day is celebrated on different dates, in different ways, but their message is the same. Needless to say, the 27th of January is determined to be the Day of Remembrance Of the Holocaust with a reason, because on that day in 1945 Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz - Birkenau. In fact, we could say that the fascist forces capitulated. They found the largest Nazi killing center in Europe. Auschwitz has become a symbol of the Holocaust by presenting the depth of monstrosity in which one human could treat another. In this camp were killed over a million Jews. They were killed in gas chambers, died of starvation, disease, hard work."
Who were these people? Why were they killed? Where they lived before they were deported to concentration camps? Why suffered this fate? Remember their faces.
''Julija Debauer from Slovakia was deported in 1942 to Auschwitz. Sportsman Skenazi Emanuel from Solun was also killed in Auschwitz. Otelija Okumerman from Czechoslovakia was killed in the camp Majdanek, Jeruska Vesecka from Czechoslovakia was killed in Auschwitz, Planicka Herman, Rozel Epstajn... We have a photo of the child we have never known who and where was but we know that it was killed in Auschwitz.There is a wedding photo of the family Batis from Greece, taken in 1937. Nineteen persons from this foto have been killed. Zelma Galambos with her sons, Petar and Pavle, from Romania. Unfortunately, Zelma and Petar were killed in Auschwitz. Julicka Sterm holds her son Feri, from Hungary, but there were also killed in Auschwitz in 1944. Jewish women, Zdenka Steiner and her younger sister Mira were born in the former Kingdom of Yougoslavia, and later they moved to Zagreb. During the proclamation of The Independent State of Croatia (NDH), their father was killed in Jasenovac, the mother and sister Mira in the camp, on Pag. Zdenka survived the war and moved with his husband to Israel in 1948. Kalmi Baruh came from a prominent Sephardic family from Sarajevo. The famous scholar, translator, a man who spoke ten languages. And because of that was killed in the camp Bergen Belzen in 1945. Salomon Moni Poljokan attended the Gymnasium in 1914, graduated on the Faculty of Law in Zagreb and worked in court. He was deported to a camp in Germany in 1943. Young Jakov was 17 years old when brought into Auschwitz. He wrote a message and we found it. It says: ''The camp commander told us, from now on you are just numbers. You do not have names, you do not have identities. All you have is a number. Apart from these, you are nobody.'' A ten-year-old David Berger left a message: ''I wish that someone remembered that here lived a man named David Berger.''Some photos show people who have not yet been identified on the ground, because no one who knew them did not survive. Preserved are complete albums of people who were killed in these camps, nothing is known about them. There are no tombstones for several million killed. The bodies of people in gas chambers are cremated. The Nazis, turning them into ashes, wanted their victims to deprive identity uniqueness. To destroy every trace of their existence.
005"When it comes to the horrific historical events, we ask WHY!? The plan was developed much earlier. It all began in 1920. In its program Nazi Party stated that a German citizen may be only a person who has German, Aryan blood. According to this provision, the Jews do not have this blood. They have a different one. They have poisoned blood. And so are outlawed. After this racial theory, the Slavs were able to be left in life, learn to count to five, to be fed, to work as slaves. Because that was the only purpose to serve the Aryan race. So, someone came up with the idea that one nation has a toxic blood and that's why they need to disappear. Here we have a question, what it means not to be a citizen of a country, to be outlawed!? In this case we are talking about 488 legal provisions that limit the life of Jews in Germany and the territories occupied by the Third Reich. Here are laws proclaimed from 1933 to 1945, issued after the arrival of Hitler to power in March 1933. They say: 1) all employees of the Jews may be dismissed without notice and compensation (1938), 2) all Jews must be expelled from their homes without compensation and notice (1939), 3) all Jews have to be reported on forced labor (1941), 4) Jews are not allowed to attend school (1942), 5) Jews must surrender all electrical, household appliances, all of which operate on electric-powered bicycles ... (1942) 6) the Jews older than six years must wear yellow star with indication "Jew". Since 1941, they were not allowed to emigrate, since 1942, were not allowed to buy newspapers, to own pets, to sit on the bench in the park, to ride public transportation, to walk the sidewalk, to go out at all. Until 1945, when by legal provision was that all official documents dealing with anti-Jewish activities must be burned.
There are a lot of diaries of Holocaust victims, the words written in them. Here are excerpts from some of them. Remember their names, because they wanted it, remember their words!
Mese Flinker kept a diary about what happened to him and his family. It says that he was born in The Hague, had a carefree childhood, and then there was a terror. As Nazis confiscated his bike, and then the family car. But, he continued to go to school on foot, because he hoped that it will end the war, but will continue their education and that diplomas be required to enroll in the next class. "I wanted to get my graduation certificate," he wrote in his diary.
Eva Heyman, thirteen-year-old girl from Hungary wrote that she thirteen years and that was born on Friday, the 13th.
''Grandmother Race gave me a casual, spring coat and knitted navy dress. From my father a pair of high-heeled shoes. Until a recent time, I always wore only flat shoes. From grandmother Luiza three pajamas, a dozen of colored handkerchiefs and sweets. I am fluent in Hungarian and German. I forgot Romanian, but I'm starting to be good in French. I practice athletics, swimming, skating. I ride a bike. I'm also going to the rhythmic gymnastics with Clare Weiss. But, I don't care about that. That's enough for today. You must be tired too, Dear Diary. On the 5th of April 1944, in the afternoon, I'm on my way to the grandmother. I meet some people with a yellow star. They were so tired.'', says in his diary a girl Eva Heyman.
007She says that she saw one boy called Pista and greeted him, although, in her opinion, it is not correct that the first girl greets the boys. Noting that this is, in fact, and is not more important. Noting that this, in fact, is not very important. ''Who cares about what is doing a girl with a yellow star. Grandmother Luiza says that she is not afraid of death. However, she is 72 years old and I'm only 13. Now that Pista talked to me nicely, I certainly don't want to die...'', confesses this sweet girl to her diary. On the 7th of April 1944 the cops came to take Eva's bike. "You know, Dear Diary, I was very scared when the police came to the house. I know that the cops bring problems wherever they go. Dear Diary, I threw myself to the ground, being firmly held onto the back wheel of his bike and I yelled at the cops. Shame on you! You take it away from a girl. It's a robbery! We were saving a money for a year to be able to buy a bicycle. One of the cops was very upset and answered me: ''Why are you acting like that? A Jewish child is not allowed to ride a bicycle. Jews have no longer right to eat a bread. They must put a food to the soldiers.'' Can you immagine, Dear Diary, how did I feel when they told me that? It's 13th of May 1944. We know that we can bring one backpack for two. It is forbidden to put more than one set of clothes. It is said that the food is allowed, but if there is still food. Dear Diary, I don't want to die. I would live even if I were the only person here allowed to remain. I would wait for the end of the war even in a basement or on the roof or in a crevice. I'd even allow to that awful gendarme, the one who took our flour, to kiss so as not to kill me, just to let me live.'' She writes in her diary that she is no longer able to write because she burst into tears. ''I don't wanna die. I don't wanna die...'', said on the last page.
A letter of Erica Amariglio of Thessaloniki is preserved. She is one of the few who survived the horrors of the World War II and a concentration camp. Look what she has written.
011''My father Salvador in 1924 has already had a small shop where he sold photos. At first he didn't have many customers. Through a mutual friend in the same year met Hela Levi, a third-year student of Medicine in Leipzig. It was a love at first sight. And my mother decided to leave the University to go with him to Greece. It was completely dark. And the big lights were pointed at us. Faster, faster, they were shouting in German. But, no one understood them. Tired from the long journey, hungry, scared, desperate, we were trying to jump out of the wagon. The cold was unbearable and sting us for faces, arms, legs and penetrated to the bones. Mothers held the baby in his arms tight, and older children were clinging to their skirts. My father, confused and frightened, like all of us, pushed us aside. The Germans started to shout. All children, the elder ones, the sick ones and women let go this way! The trucks are waiting for you there. They stopped my father while he was walking in that direction. The officer asked him: "You and your wife speak German?" "Yes, yes...", replied my father. "My children also speak German fluently." "How old are they?" Dad added us a couple of years. "Seventeen, eighteen ..." "Wait till I get back...", said SS officer. People have continued to enter the trucks that were leaving as soon as they were filled. Where were they going? We didn't know. So many tragic scenes which I cannot delete from my mind. Mothers, whose children were taken away, were running after them and screaming. From the arms of a young woman thez seized the baby and pushed her aside. Screaming, crying, moaning. Suddenly the silence. Almost all the men were taken away. It all happened so quickly. Only we remained.''
A thirteen-year-old boy Flinker, who wanted to go to school, although he did not know why he was not able to do that, was killed in Auschwitz. Eva Heyman, a girl who spoke several languages, was also killed in Auschwitz, whereas Erica Amariglio, together with 48.000 Thessaloniki Jews, was deported in Auschwitz in 1943 and was one of the few who survived. She wrote a book ''To Auschwitz and Back''. Are this boy and this girl victims of war? Because it happens that in the war civilians get killed. They also perish in war. But no, they are not victims of war. If there had not been an organized machinery, they presumably could survive. Erica has seven nephews and she wrote this: ''Today I have seven nephews. For them and all children of the world I wrote my testimony fifty years later. So to be able to respond to anyone who dares to deny that the Holocaust took place and to be careful. To be ready, that the Holocaust never happens to anyone again. Never more.''
Shocking testimony about the suffering of Serbs, Jews, Roma in the area of Jasenovac, Donja Gradina and other scaffold in the area that was occupied by the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) wrote Cadik Danon. He comes from a prominent Sephardic family from Sarajevo, he moved to Belgrade during the war, when the Jewish people were forced to clean the streets with brushteeths. He returned to Tuzla, because he thought that there would be safe. He was taken to Jasenovac and is one of the few who managed to escape. The book "Sasjeceno stablo" is published in English and describes the suffering of the 45 members of his family in Auschwitz, Stara Gradiska, Jasenovac.
Professor Tatjana Juric finished commemorative evening – a lecture dedicated to the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance by saying: ''No matter how educated, talented or skilled we are, the biggest decision is whether we do good or bad things."

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