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When someone dies, celebrate every moment you had with them rather than thinking “I lost that person.” No, you were gifted with that person. Would other people in his situation act the way because they were ordered to? Mandela: Struggle for Freedom traces the history of the fight against apartheid in South Africa, with Nelson Mandela as one of its central figures. When I was 40, I was told to go for a doctorate and I said, “It’s impossible because by the time I get a doctorate, I’ll be 50.” And the person said, “You’ll be 50 anyway.” Isn’t that brilliant? I was not a victim. If so, why did he not act in a different manner during the war? I have been cursing the Nazis – for what they did, and everything they stood for.”. If you would accept my apologies in the names of the victims, it would in some small measure be a comfort to me. He had a more personal agenda. I was shocked that just during the war, when I wanted to serve my homeland, I had to be in such a terrible extermination camp.”1. For us, this was a bad time,” Frenzel answered. Earlier this month, a national survey revealed a shocking lack of knowledge about the Holocaust in people younger than 40: 63% of those surveyed did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, and one in 10 said they didn't recall ever having heard the word "Holocaust" before. I was victimized. “Not only am I beside myself now, no, back then, too. “What happened to the Dutch Jews?” Blatt asked. Jacobs was told he is the only Holocaust survivor to design a memorial. Instead, make a statement. Blatt never forgave Frenzel for his crimes at Sobibor. Live in the present. “Duty,”, Blatt responded skeptically. Is circumstance as important as Frenzel maintains? Blatt noted that tens of thousands of children were killed at Sobibor, but Frenzel denied having taken part in the killing of children. But you are not anybody. Families are very sick if they have secrets. Do we believe that Frenzel was sincere in his apology? The Benjamin and Vladka Meed Registry of Holocaust Survivors is seeking the names of all survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi-era persecution. One of the many educational programs Roth developed was the Adopt-A-Survivor program, which allows a student interview a Holocaust survivor. “You want to apologize to me?” he asked incredulously. “Nothing can be done about the victims. Holocaust survivor Sami Steigmann had given speeches at many events over the years about his experiences, but none of them had lasted 16 hours or included thousands of … Eger credits her survival to her mother’s parting words of advice on a filthy cattle truck bound for Auschwitz. “I would like you to know I was always fair,” Frenzel replied. 4. Don’t ask your partner stupid questions like, “How are you?” because they are going to say “fine,” even if they’re not fine. In 1980, he became the Founding Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. I can understand how you feel and that you harbor a certain hatred against us. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1997235-242, Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library, Interview With the Devil: A Holocaust Survivor Interviews a Sobibor Death Camp Supervisor, Allied Control Council's Law on Nazi Punishment, The Declaration of St James’s Palace on Punishment for War Crimes,, © 1998 - 2021 American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. To my regret, I was then convinced of its necessity. 8. “I never punished anyone who didn’t do anything wrong.” Blatt noted that Frenzel once shot a boy for stealing sardines. You are Karl Frenzel, the SS commandant. Don’t suppress feelings because then you’ll get headaches and tummy aches. "We can’t control what’s happening. If so, what does this say about human nature? The former SS guard denied the incident, as well as several other murders he had been accused of committing: “It is incomprehensible to me that that I should be accused of having killed children,” Frenzel explained. But we can choose how we respond to it. That’s just a role that you play. Did he truly feel remorse for his actions? As one of a dwindling number of Holocaust survivors, Eger feels compelled to share her stories of horror, and hope. 9. Why did you club my father to the ground immediately upon arrival? Besides me, nobody survived; not my father, not my mother, not my brother, none one of the two thousand Jews from my town, Izbica. He died a free man in 1996. I would feel the same way.” 3. “Ever since 1945. Frenzel said he was warned by a Polish Kapo that a number of Dutch Jews were preparing a revolt and informed Commandant Niemann. “I wanted to apologize to you in person for all that happened then. “If he didn’t like somebody, he shot them.”2, Another survivor testified that one time Frenzel grabbed an abandoned baby in an incoming transport, smashed its skull and threw it aside, like a dead rat. “That was my innocence,” Eger, a native of Hungary, told TODAY Parents. Frenzel claims he is sorry about what happened at Sobibor, but doesn’t apologize for his own actions, including whippings and murders, saying he was doing what he thought was his duty. Ashes of Sobibor. Sept. 23, 2020, 9:51 PM UTC Narrator: During the final days of World War II, in the hills of southern Czechoslovakia, U.S. Army cameras recorded the aftermath of a little-known Nazi atrocity. 3. He often whipped prisoners and, one time when a prisoner tried to commit suicide, Frenzel shouted that Jews had no right to kill themselves. He is President of The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, an organization he and his wife created to fight indifference, intolerance and injustice. At 90, she published her memoir, “The Choice,” which tells the story of her survival and healing. In one incident, Frenzel ordered the deaths of 20 Jews as punishment for the escape of two prisoners. [Text on screen] In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, the following film presents the story of one Holocaust survivor as a tribute to the millions whose stories cannot be told. She went on to become a world-renowned clinical psychologist specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Once he found out it was an extermination camp he asked for a transfer but was denied: “So, all I could do was my duty,” he told Blatt. You cannot forget; neither can I. I dream about it at night; for sixteen years in prison. 14. 15. Not one, no – 100,000 human lives are on my conscience.”, Blatt closed the interview by asking Frenzel again why he wanted to speak with him. His whip was very loose.”1 “Frenzel was really one of the bad ones – if he could kill people he did,” survivor Chaim Engel stated. In … We can’t control what’s happening. The things that have stayed with you have also stayed with me. Eger will celebrate her 93rd birthday next week. With immersive environments, Mandela promotes human rights with a clear message: all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. She witnessed unspeakable horrors, including the sight of a young boy being used for target practice and a woman in labor with her legs bound shut. Among them: Sources: The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team, 1Yitzchak Arad. With that smile on your face you could be anybody’s neighbor, anybody’s fellow sporting-club member. At the Sobibor trials in 1965, Frenzel was charged with personally murdering 42 Jews and participating in the murder of roughly a quarter of a million at the camp. (1987). If I complain to you that I hurt my thumb, and you say, “Oh, honey, I just saw a person that doesn’t have an arm,” then I’m going to feel guilty for feeling the way I do. Scholars like Stanley Milgram and Christopher Browning maintain people are hard-wired to follow orders, while others like Daniel Goldhagen, reject this claim. I am sorry about what happened there, but I cannot make what’s done undone. Most defendants denied they had carried out any crimes or claimed they were only “following orders.” One of the few who did express remorse was SS Staff Sergeant Karl Frenzel, one of the top commanders at the Sobibor Death Camp. Just as you dream about it at night.”, Blatt asked Frenzel if he carried out his actions due to anti-Semitism or orders. That changed Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “Good to see you,” “I missed you.” And then you have good sex. The … 5. You should both wash the car and do the cooking. I was greatly bothered by it all.”, Blatt collected himself and began pressing the former death camp supervisor. Be a compassionate listener and keep their feelings company. It’s what now, not why me? Holocaust survivor Flash 90 Irving Roth speaks of the gates closed by democracies, especially the betrayal by the FDR administration, to rescue European Jewish men, … “I actually prayed for them, not me. Don’t go to bed angry. Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women Nazi War Crimes Trials: Interview With the Devil: A Holocaust Survivor Interviews a Death Camp Supervisor Children will not do what you say, they will do what they see. “Oh, yes, of course!” Frenzel responded. I would like to ask the forgiveness of all of them. Be equal partners. I have PTSD. 13. Was that your duty?”. To tolerate meeting with the murderer, Blatt tried to distance himself emotionally, to act only as an objective writer carrying out important historical research. The San Diego-based mother of three shared 18 life lessons: 1. “That’s what it always comes down to, duty. I was able to change hatred into pity.”. Frenzel told Blatt that before he arrived at Sobibor, he was told it was a work camp. Eger spent eight months at the death camp in southern Poland where she was starved, beaten and humiliated by soldiers. At least a quarter-million Jews were murdered at Sobibor.”, Blatt asked Frenzel why he wanted to meet him. Holocaust survivor Dr. Edith Eger's new book was released in September 2020. a national survey revealed a shocking lack of knowledge about the Holocaust, Holocaust survivor fulfills lifelong dream of receiving diploma. Frenzel was re-sentenced to life in prison, but was released due to ill health a short time later. “They told me I was subhuman and the only way I would get out was as a corpse,” Eger revealed. Yes, sometimes I do yell, but I’ve always been very selective about who I do it in front of. Avoid using “always” and “never.” Those are absolutistic words. 192. I survived because you made me your shoeshine boy. This includes any people, Jewish or non-Jewish, who were displaced, persecuted, or discriminated against due to the racial, religious, ethnic, social, and political policies of the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945. During his second trial, he agreed to speak with Toivi Blatt, one of the few survivors of the death camp, who had arrived in West Germany and testified against Frenzel. 11. 6. This is the Lydia’s incredible story. Chabad of Plano/Collin County hosted Elisha Wiesel, the son of the famous Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, for a free virtual community event on Sunday and awarded the Florence Shapiro Distinguished Leadership Award to a dedicated public affairs director at H-E-B/Central Market. There is no man’s job or woman’s job. Don’t dwell on what you could have done or should have done. I like people to be realistic, not idealistic. You don’t understand the circumstances in which we found ourselves,” Frenzel responded. I wanted to have a heart-to-heart talk between two human beings. Israel's Holocaust survivor population dwindling daily 2020, the year of COVID, saw over 14,000 survivors pass away. Blatt agreed to meet to discuss details of the camp for the history of Sobibor he was writing. 17. What happened happened. You ranked third in the chain of command at the extermination camp of Sobibor…I was fifteen years old. 12. “He ordered the execution of 72 Jews.” Frenzel denied that he had taken them to the gas chamber. Frenzel served 16 years in prison, was released on a technicality and then retried. Blatt asked Frenzel if he felt torn between his Nazi party membership and his religious beliefs as a regular churchgoer. We can’t change anything about that. Frenzel, however, saw the meeting very differently. Blatt inquired about several other times Frenzel whipped inmates. 2 United States Holocaust Museum. Blatt blinked. “I can only say it now in tears,” Frenzel replied. I don’t hold that against you. What would be an appropriate punishment for Frenzel. TODAY Interview: 18 tips for living your best life from a Holocaust survivor "We can’t control what’s happening. Holocaust survivor interviews won’t be possible forever, with many Auschwitz survivors now in their late 80s. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. But we can choose how we respond to it." This extraordinary exchange raises many questions. And I too, have often thought about it, about justice and injustice, and I have to the conclusion that what happened then was an injustice. Are people capable of carrying the most heinous crimes imaginable because they were ordered to, and then truly coming to realize they were wrong? After World War Two, Nazi war criminals were tried in courts around Europe. 3Toivi Blatt. Frenzel did not deny the accusation. You’re not a mother. Another SS man said of Frenzel: "He was one of the most brutal members of the permanent staff in the camp. When Dr. Edith "Edie" Eger was 16, she watched as her parents were led to a gas chamber at Auschwitz, the largest concentration camp run by the Nazis during the Second World War. Blatt met Frenzel in a hotel room, the only time a Nazi death camp supervisor was ever interviewed by a death camp survivor. Are people really capable of such change, going from active participation in genocide to true regret? I was able to decide that the Nazis were the prisoners because of their guilty consciences,” Eger said. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Indiana University Press, Bloomington: pg. Maybe 30 years, maybe 50 years, maybe two days, but it was a gift. Then you won’t have sex. “No one can take away from you what you’ve put in your mind.”, “I created a world that gave me some comfort in my soul. Instead you say, “up until now” or “in the past.”. Blatt published his history of Sobibor the following year. “I would like to apologize to you,” Frenzel responded. IE 11 is not supported. 7. But we can choose how we respond to it.". Eger’s new book, “The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life,” offers wisdom on resilience, grief and finding hope in the darkest times. 10. Eger was discovered under a pile of dead bodies when Auschwitz was liberated in 1945. Does this make his apology less sincere? Mothers worry too much, not realizing that at least 85% of worry never happens. He then whipped the dying man and shot him with his pistol. When Blatt asked whether the murder of 250,000 Jews was his duty, Frenzel replied: “We had to do our duty. In his defense Frenzel stated: “As I already pointed out, under the prevailing war conditions, which are now difficult to comprehend, I unfortunately believed that what was going on in Sobibor was lawful. “I would like to apologize,” Frenzel repeated. For Heshy Rubinstein, a Brooklyn photographer who has interviewed some 600 survivors over the past 15 years, Holocaust documentation is a family affair. Holocaust survivor Sami Steigmann had given speeches at many events over the years about his experiences, but none of them had lasted 16 hours or included thousands of people from around the world. He noted that Frenzel not only did not prevent any of it from happening but actively took part in the mass murder. “I was no anti-Semite, but we had to do our duty. Worry is useless. Blatt began the meeting by pointing out the enormity of the crimes Frenzel had committed: “Here you are drinking beer. You are a human being. For the first time, government data on survivors includes Jews from North Africa and the Middle East who were targets of antisemitic persecution. “You don’t know what went on inside of us. 16. I have much on my conscience, many human lives. I understand how you must feel. Don’t talk to your husband like he’s your child. Oral testimony of Chaim Engel. He seems to be saying he is sorry for what happened, but not for what he did personally. But I would like to extend my personal apologies to you.”, Blatt still couldn’t quite comprehend what Frenzel had said: “You would like to apologize?” he asked again. Frenzel claimed that he did not recall the incident. “I condemn what happened to the Jews. 2. Be a good role model. I condemn that time.”, Frenzel continued to try and humanize himself to his former victim: “I beg you to see me from a different perspective, other than Sobibor.

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