Skip to comments.Welcome to the 1930s
Posted on 08/04/2014 2:17:01 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
When I was a kid, I mean a little kid, my favorite nurse in my fathers office he was a doctor was Mrs. Mindus. Im not sure how old she was or even how she spelled her name I was about six and the year was 1950 but she was a sweet woman and very welcoming to me when I visited the radiology office. She used to bring me crayons and a coloring book and sometimes candy as if I were her own child. The only other things I remember about her were that she spoke with an accent and she had a string of numbers tattooed on her arm.
I wondered what the numbers were. I had never seen anything like that on a grownups arm. She explained to me she had been in a concentration camp Auschwitz and felt lucky to have gotten out, maybe guilty as well, because the rest of her family had been gassed. My father told me about it too about Mrs. Mindus dead husband and their dead children and so forth. I think he wanted me to know about it.
This was, as you might imagine, hard for a six-year old boy to wrap his mind around. But those macabre numbers on Mrs. Mindus arm had a profound effect on me. I thought of them frequently growing up and I think they had some influence on what I did in life, joining up with the civil rights movement at the age of twenty and then later making some movies about the Holocaust.
Often, however, as with many memories, Mrs. Mindus faded from my mind as I enjoyed my life, living la vida artistica, writing novels and films, traveling abroad. Those horrifying events were in the past. It could never happen again. Even when Israel was at war in 1967 and again in 1973 I never really worried. (Later histories by Michael Oren and others have taught me otherwise.) Anti-Semitism was, for the most part anyway, a thing of the past, of concern only to the Anti-Defamation League and similar organizations. They could take care of the rare outbreaks.
How naive I was!
Now more than ever in my life I am haunted by Mrs. Mindus. The tatooed numbers spook me, not because I expect to see friends and family being carted off to the camps, but because I see a world of anti-Semitism metastasizing so quickly across the globe there might not be time for that. From Paris to Caracas, from Brussels to Bangkok we hear chants of Jew-hating as loud, ugly and perhaps even more wide-spread than we did in the 1930s. Paris has even had a new Kristallnacht. And in dear old Blighty, Hamas! Hamas! Jews to the gas! goes the cry on the London streets with Jewish Labor Party leader Ed Miliband for all intents and purposes leading the band himself!
Now I am not that naive that I didnt see this coming. A decade ago, I was in Paris to research a novel I never wrote and was taken to the bainlieu, witnessing firsthand Muslim neighborhoods seething with more hate than anything I had seen on trips to Cairo or even Jenin. The initials NTMJ were scrawled everywhere (short for nique ta mere, juif fuck your mother, Jew). I was aware that juif in those Paris suburbs had become a curse word for anything from a broken fountain pen to a lost subway pass.
But I was not prepared for the way the angry curses of the so-called Arab street would be taken up with such alacrity as they are now by the very people who had marched the Jews into the camps in the first place, the Europeans. They include, it now seems, some of the extreme right of old but even more of todays radical left and supposed center.
Even in America, anti-Semitism is making a dramatic comeback with the Democratic Party (not the Republicans, thankfully, so far), now split between blaming Israel and the Palestinians/Hamas for the current Gaza War, even though hardly any of these self-described liberals could begin to debate the obvious truth spoken by Benyamin Netanyahu: If Palestine were to lay down their guns tomorrow, there would be no war. If Israel were to lay down theirs, there would be no Israel.
We live in scoundrel times indeed with our government, via its secretary of State, seeking the advice and counsel of Qatar, the very state most responsible for financing the building of the Hamas terror tunnels, at least the part of the financing that was not contributed, covertly or otherwise, by the United Nations. That international organization cried crocodile tears for the impoverished Gazans need for more concrete (to murder Jews, as it turns out) while Hamas missiles miraculously turn up in UN schools, making murdering Jews yet more simple and convenient.
And then our State Department and presidential advisers like Valerie Jarrett admonish Israel for using excessive force to attack these missiles and launchers hidden in UN facilities when they know full well the IDF is the only army in the history of the world to make such serious efforts NOT to harm civilians. No other is even close.
Yes, we are in a new version of the 1930s with the armageddon of the 40s around the corner.
Mrs. Mindus, the world owes you an apology. Mrs. Mindus, its all a nasty joke come true the one about the Europeans never forgiving the Jews for Auschwitz. Mrs. Mindus, I feel bad. I never had a chance to say thank you for all the nice things you did for me when I was boy. With all you went through, I am amazed you had it in you.
...”Even in America, anti-Semitism is making a dramatic comeback with the Democratic Party (not the Republicans, thankfully, so far), now split between blaming Israel and the Palestinians/Hamas for the current Gaza War, even though hardly any of these self-described liberals could begin to debate the obvious truth spoken by Benyamin Netanyahu: If Palestine were to lay down their guns tomorrow, there would be no war. If Israel were to lay down theirs, there would be no Israel....
I felt haunted all of yesterday after attending my church in the a.m. There I heard a very nice but uninformed lady, whose family is very influential in our community, stir up some compassion against Israel because of a news broadcast featuring a child who was telling the tragic story of what a child in Gaza goes through during this war..I know the story came from one of the three leftist MSM networks..I know which one these people watch. I asked her if she knew that Hamas was a terrorist organization and she just kind of looked at me. This is not a left-wing chruch I attend, folks and it is not right-wing. But, this person is a leader there and she gave me a bird’s eye view of what Israel is up against in their quest for survival.
I have a similar childhood memory of one of my Polish relatives.
Sadly, it seems we are once again on “The Road to Serfdom”.
A very touching picture indeed.
The world should be united in hating a certain religion.... Called Islam....
Not hating Jews like they seem to be doing.
Run her out of the church on her broom. I wonder how she would like living knowing that at any moment a crazed muslim could show up wherever she is in public and detonate a suicide vest.
Ahhh well. Someday when she is on the receiving end of muslim intolerance and hatred. She will eat her words and cry out for help. That day is fast approaching. Somehow the world has come to love these animals, even though they are still killing, stoning, raping children, and detonating themselves to kill innocent civilians. The day is coming when she will wish Israel had not stopped in Gaza.
We are fighting against ignorance of industrial strength, thanks to the low-info media these days.
This is a spiritual battle. A battle the Bible told us is coming.
My husbands family was Hungarian and German. His mother came here during the war at the age of 16, his grandmother ‘sent’ her here to immigrate and live with his Aunt.
The most I ever got out of them decades later was that her home in Germany had marble floors and a brief description of her mother & her running away from falling bombs one night. No explanation how she got out, how she got here etc. His grandmother briefly talked about the Hitler youth at one point, about the arrogance of their pride. She hoarded food the rest of her life and suffered from an eating disorder(anorexia) that led to kidney failure.
I’m not sure either how his father actually came to be in this country either, but he went back as a member of the Army to fight the Nazi.
My Uncle Bob was a Marine...he didn’t talk about things much, but he did discuss his own death march and how he lost several toes from the cold.
When I hear and see the pictures today, the anti-Semitism, the world has forgotten what ‘they’ did decades ago. The Jews have not, nor have they ever been truly allowed to forget. Even after Israel become a country, they have had to fight for the Right to even exist, not just as a country or sovereign state, or religion...but as people.
The fomented hate was never gone. All the cries of racism against blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Arabs, etc. truly pale in comparison to the loathing of Jews throughout history.
Wilkommen in Weimar Amerika.
I will never understand it.
Growing up I had a lot of Jewish friends and they were always going on about Hitler and anti-semitism, “never again” etc which I found silly because it seemed like ancient history. Now, 50 years later I see they were correct. All this time it has been just below the surface and is making a strong comeback.
Our family doctor, on Long Island ,was also a concentration camp survivor. A truly kind man and wonderful doctor. His door was always open and, of course,he made house calls.
Yes, Jacob is fighting Ishmael and Esau. I am on Jacob’s side.
My dad was a European kid in a Japanese concentration camp in China. WW2 was horrible nightmare.
This exchange is from a political cartoon by Wiley Miller called Non Sequitur. I tried mightily to find a link to the cartoon but could not so I am posting the captions.
Boy I've got to tell you mister ... that's an awfully boring tattoo on your arm. It's just a bunch of numbers."
Old Man - "Well, I was about your age when I got it, and kept it as a reminder."
Boy - "Oh, a reminder of happier days?"
Old Man - "No ... of a time when the world went mad". Imagine yourself in a land where your countrymen followed the voice of political extremists who didn't like your religion.
Imagine having everything taken from you, your entire family sent to a concentration camp as slave labors, then systematically murdered. In this place, they even take your name and replace it with a number tattooed on your arm.
It was called The Holocaust, when millions of people perished just because of their faith..."
Boy - "So you kept it to remind yourself about the dangers of political extremism?"
Old Man - "No, my dear, I kept it to remind you."
It is a moving picture and I understand what it is supposed to represent but I don’t believe it is authentic.
The numbers look like a computer font and the “ink” is too even for a tatoo that has been there for more than 50 years. I have seen other pictures of holocaust tatoos that looked very different than this.