Complaints of Persecution
Anti-Semitism in the USA vs. the Holocaust
Most Jews have experienced some anti-Jewish sentiment in the United States of America – the country that we love. We hear it when our Christian neighbors, our “friends”, tell us that all Jews are rich, or they feel good about us in spite of the fact that we are of “Jewish birth”, or that some of their best friends are Jews. They may also tell you it is the fault of those before us that our Jewishness is denigrated; that the garment workers in the early nineteen hundreds were exploited by the Jewish bosses or that the slumlords were “mostly Jews” exploiting “blacks”. Other Jews have spouted that when they were children in New York City or in other big cities they were called kikes or Jew boys and were tormented by these children physically but definitely emotionally. Some felt like the “Children of a Lesser G’d” by their would be playmates and peers. These young children, now adults, stated that they too experienced the holocaust because of these situations.
Let us say that Carl (Chayim) Baum (formerly Birnbaum) had been the victim of anti-Semitic behavior as mentioned. He was called Fat Jew Boy as a child and other such epithets and occasionally excluded from being chosen as the pitcher of a neighborhood baseball game. He had two loving parents, many Jewish and other friends, more than sufficient food to satiate him; attractive, comfortable and well fitting clothes, and the amenities that were more than adequately available to him. He grew up, was sent to the University and became a man with a good profession and a comfortable lifestyle. Carl insists because of his life experiences as a young boy and adolescent he knows “exactly” what it is to live through The Holocaust, having experienced it in New York City. This gentleman and many like him obviously do not at all understand the meaning of the word: THE HOLOCAUST. If he would read Becker’s Jacob the Liar and a number of other books on the subject he would have a smidgen of recognition how erroneous his beliefs really are.
The ghettos in Poland during the Hitler era can be described as a living hell (as can the fate of the German and Polish Jews during this time in history. In Germany there were Judengassen – alleys named for Jewish occupancy). In the very beginnings Jews had a curfew and could not be on the street after dark and even a little before. They had meager rations and had to do heavy labor, e.g. lifting heavy sacks or building stone piles, and were beaten with whips and bitten by police dogs. If they tripped, fell or became sick, they were kicked and beaten mercilessly while in severe agonizing pain, wheezing with every breath. Often they were shot while in these positions to rid the ghetto of these starving “vermin”. Their beards were pulled out of their faces; their bodies were disfigured; they were not permitted to speak out but were also forbidden to whisper. They were always wrong and right for them did not exist. Should they stay outdoors one minute after dark they were hunted down with searchlights from surrounding towers or buildings where these murderous Jew hating Polacks excreted their venom and gave minute by minute outlets to their pathological sadism! The Jews would get a ladle of inedible “soup” made from the dirty intestines of animals with excrements floating on top. Every stale morsel of bread were meted out and devoured by the pitiful mass of the Jewish people until they were ultimately annihilated. In Germany, the Nazis walked into Jewish homes and ripped open the furniture with their weapons, looking for imaginary guns and knives. They confiscated any useful items, including radios, and left the living quarters in devastation. The residents were stunned and panic stricken. Their children became the butt of rapists and the police broke out in raucous laughter when an isolated naïve mother complained. By 1939 the Jewish men in Germany had been taken away and were incarcerated in concentration camps where they were starved, beaten and tortured, and often hung for the pleasure of the camp guards. If the other inmates did not stand erect and watch the hanging they were struck down on the spot. Attempts at escape were immediately punished by death. The women and children who were left helplessly behind did not know of their spouses' fates. They were given no ration stamps, had to deliver any jewelry and other earthly goods to stations throughout the places where the Nazis gathered those valuables. Jews had no way of finding out the news. Ultimately, six million were marched to a railroad station and placed into cattle cars, separated from their children and taken to Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, Dachau and a host of other concentration camps where they were made to work from dawn to dark with almost no food, water or other sustenance. They virtually slept in bunks almost on top of each other, froze without blankets, became skeletons and eventually died of diseases or were shoved naked into gas ovens where they struggled for a few seconds or minutes while the gas permeated and annihilated their lungs. The pain and indignity suffered is indescribable and unless you lived through this experience you could not possibly understand the meaning of the word HOLOCAUST! So please, fellow religionists, fellow Jews, do not out of ignorance and good fortune talk about your experiences as THE HOLOCAUST!
Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the co-author, with Dr. Gerhard Falk, of Youth Culture and the Generation Gap.