Skip to comments.Local: Holocaust survivor: 'Forgiveness is the key' to survival
Posted on 04/15/2012 5:37:34 PM PDT by PRePublic
- 10:03:00 PM
Days of Remembrance event is Sunday
Holocaust survivors Herman Schloss, Irene Danon and Abe Greenberg gathered in Prescott on Monday.
PRESCOTT - Irene Danon, 82, said she survived the Holocaust in the former Yugoslavia by hiding from the Nazis during World War II.
And while the Nazis killed several of her family members in concentration camps, Danon said she has learned to forgive the Germans and other nationalities responsible for the genocide of 6 million Jews.
"I hope to show the world the Holocaust really happened, and in order to move on and heal myself, I have learned to forgive," Danon said. "Forgiveness is the key for survival and healing."
(Excerpt) Read more at dcourier.com ...
What’s wrong with these people?
What do you mean?
You would forgive the Nazis for the genocide of your people?
Everybody in a war or in an environment where they are not necessarily at the top of the food chain knows this.
No. Of course not!
The old woman is right and very wise. Hatred and feelings of revenge are corroding to the soul and in the end poisons only yourself and not your enemies. She made it clear she does not forget. But she harbors no hatred in her soul for the Nazis because she has truly forgiven them. And I think that is what she meant by that being the key to her survival and happiness in her life.
When I read this I was thinking about those Amish people a few years ago who forgave that man who shot up a school and killed many of their own children. And they remarkably even brought food to his wife to minister to her pain. I am not saying I could have done that....but it is the Christian thing to do.
Do you consider it an intelligent decision for a woman to remain with a man that beats her?
I agree with you. It is not my business to decide or judge who should or should not forgive whom and for what.
The best statement about forgiveness came from Golda Meir to the Palestinians.....”We can forgive you for killing our children....but we shall never forgive you for making us kill yours.”
Of course not. But if you asked me if at some point she should forgive him, then I would answer yes.
Evil should be hunted and killed, then you can be at peace.
Yes, her ‘humane’ message is ever so true again today!
Seems to me the woman understands the reality of what is most important in an individuals life......forgiving and moving on to live your life.
Just ask Louis Zamperini. Hatred can destroy your heart. Forgiveness is the only way to actually live your life again.
Matthew 18: 21-22 NIV
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:43-45 NIV)
I would move on with my life, but I would never forgive them. I think I am just different from you and her. Maybe I’ll change with age.
Unbreakable was an awesome book.
Why should a woman forgive a man for beating her?
Forgiveness of evil is evil. Evil is encouraged and perpetuated by the notion that there can be forgiveness no matter what evil is perpetrated. Even today, there is evil afoot that looks upon the foolishness of this kind of forgiveness and bares its fangs knowing that, through this forgiveness, the Western world has surrendered it ability to confront evil and call it by its true name (hint: Jihad).
You draw a false connection between the spirit of forgiveness and feelings of hatred and revenge. One can refuse to forgive without being consumed by hatred or revenge. As my father, a concentration camp survivor and others have said, it is not for us to forgive the horror that has been visited upon millions of other people. Believe me, he has feelings of hatred and revenge, but they are not held close in his heart. They are based on the notion of justice: it is just to hate evil and it is doing justice to exact revenge.
We have hardly yet seen the vengeance of the living G-d for what the Nazis have done. Before the true age of Moshiach (the Jewish Messiah) can be ushered in, there will be an accounting that will make Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like picnics.
Exactly. Reminds me of the story of Corrie Ten Boom meeting a former concentration camp guard a few years after WW 2. He asked for her forgiveness, and after some tough soul searching, she gave it to him.
I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do that.
Maybe you will. I have. And so has this woman. We have learned that the only thing that matters for your happiness is what is inside of you. And that needs to be guarded against all kinds of negative emotions. And hatred is the most negative emotion out there. I believe she has achieved the peace inside of herself that only forgiveness and letting go of hatred and anger can bring you.
Zamperini came and read his letter to Wantanabi at our church last summer. Naturally it wa a sermon message on forgiveness. He got a 5-6 minute standing ovation. Absolutely incredible moment.
Are you calling this woman evil for forgiving the evil of the Nazis? Or just a stupid old lady?
It was hard to believe it was a true story.
Not sure. I’d probably go with the latter. I don’t mean to be mean, but in my view, she is caught up with a fluffy, feel-good way of dealing with her experiences. I have little regard for her abdication of the duty to think this through with reason and to appreciate the implications outside your own emotions. I wouldn’t call her evil because she is probably just a simple soul who means well. Just the same, this kind of ignorance helps evil thrive.
How can a victim forgive their enemy if the offender hasn’t asked for it? We can all understand not allowing bitterness to ruin our lives, but forgiveness must be sought before it can be given.
I guess time will tell. I’m not very forgiving now...still full of piss and vinegar.
Are Jews commanded to forgive in Judaism?
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. In other words, as you forgive, so you shall be forgiven. Forgive not, be forgiven not. Seems clear enough, if I have it right. Not easy though, even for the relatively minor things. But for genocide? That would be very tough. My hat’s off to anyone who can do it.
Fair enough. Everyone either learns sooner or later to cope with their own demons or suffer the horrors forever. She has made her peace with her sorrow and I am happy for her.
There is also an important point of fact in the story which makes a big difference: Danon was 10 years old at the outbreak of the war. She was in Yugoslavia and survived by hiding from the Nazis. My father was 15 when the war broke out and overtook him in Lublin, Poland. He went through 6 different concentration camps. He was beaten, starved, terrorized and brutalized in indescribable ways. He was liberated after a 4 day death march with no food or water. His family (including my grandparents, uncles and cousins) were exterminated. Maybe one has to have experienced the full measure of evil to appreciate how it cannot be tolerated, forgiven or countenanced in any way.
Wrong. Proclaiming falsehood perpetuates evil.
Forgiveness is the personal decision to not spend any mental or physical effort to seek the punishement of the offender. It does not speak to the guilt or innocence of the offender nor does it mean others are prevented from pursuing punishment themselves. It is one way victims can find some semblence of normalcy and move on.
non-sequitur award contender. Do you still beat your wife?
This is about as confused a philosophy as I’ve read here. Worse, it’s a declaration that is made with (a pretense to) authority. It’s a frustrated bleating ventilation of emotion. If it has a basis in Divinity, please cite it. (Islam is off-Limits).
“Everyone either learns sooner or later to cope with their own demons or suffer the horrors forever”
You incorrectly assume that my father has “demons” to cope with. He is, thank G-d, a very happy, well adjusted person who knows the score. His greatest revenge is (Bli Eyin Hara) 5 children, 21 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren (and one due in June). Not bad at all for a man who was marked for death by the Thousand Year Reich.
Yes. It may be easier to forgive when the suffering was comparably less than what was experienced by people like your father. And that is not for me to judge.
I don’t have to forgive them and I won’t. They killed my great grandparents, imprisoned my grandparents, took everything from them, and made them send their children (my dad and his brother) out of the country to be raised as orphans.
If she wants to forgive someone who did something personally to her, fine. But in our religion you are not in a position to forgive someone A) if they did something not to you and B) if they don’t ask for forgiveness in any way and attempt to provide restitution.
My precious grandmother of blessed memory dealt with it differently. She chose to not focus on the murders of her beloved parents, she chose to never speak of those bad times, and to her last day focus on what is beautiful in the world. I would have wanted to hear about it but it wasn’t her way. She spent most of her later years loving things, from her grandchildren to flowers to iced coffees.
They took in and hid many Jews during the Holocaust...& helped by her brother, his 20 yr old son and other members of the family
..they were discovered...
Father ten Boom (a respected watch maker) died in prison......
..Betsie ten Boom died in the concentration camp she shared with her sister....
...Corrie's nephew died in a different concentration camp.....the dad contracted tuberculosis of the spine and died shortly after the war....
..Corrie barely survived....
..but after the war, took in displaced Jewish Holocaust survivers...
...and continued to spread the Word of repentance and forgiveness.
She made this her life work and died at age 94.
She was counted as one of the Righteous.
There is no pit so deep, that God is not deeper still....Corrie ten Boom
She was about 52 when arrested and eventually sent to Ravensbruck....
..and 91 when she died.
Since all your statements, save the last, are simply conclusions, I have nothing to answer. Rather than name-calling, try explaining your severe judgments.
As far as “confusion” goes, I suppose Burke was also confused when (it is supposed) he said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” The forgiveness in this story is worse than doing nothing. Still confused?
As far as a Divine basis goes, I’m surprised that your Grace couldn’t think of the fate of the Egyptians as a ready example, but perhaps the Passover story did not occur to you. My only pretension is to believe in the Book of Exodus.
I am somewhat familiar with her story. But having last read her biography in High School, I thank you for recounting it. It is a great comfort to know that such people exist. Without question a very righteous lady.
I respectfully disagree. Although the one granting forgiveness may be the primary beneficiary, it does not take away from the fact that the evil done has received a sort of dispensation. Think of the idea of others pursuing the forgiven. Is it not very common that we hear in criminal court cases that the accused (or convicted) cite the forgiveness from their victims as mitigating circumstances?
I believe we are called to defend ourselves...
...the ten Booms did all they could to defend themselves against the enemy, the Nazis...
...they were part of the underground smuggling Jewish children, adults out of the country...
..as well as hiding them in their own homes.
They fought back against the system.
But their Christian upbringing stood ground in the end...
..it wasn't easy....Corrie especially struggled with her anger....but her kindly, soft hearted sister challenged her to remember her Lord and Savior.
He too was beaten, spat upon, disgraced, humiliated...put to death.
..and on the Cross....Forgave.
She did forgive......She didn't...and couldn't do it in her own power...
..but God have her the power to forgive.
I’m Jewish and I’m not confused at all. Respectfully, I don’t believe in the ideas you are putting forth based on Christianity.
I realize you don’t....
Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand
....it may give you a different perspective.....
..it's a best seller, and the narrative is excellent!