Never, Ever Forget


HOlocaust Rememberance day

When I was a little girl of 9 years old, my Grandpa gave me a picture book called The Camps, showing scenes from the Holocaust and the concentration camps.  When I asked him why he gave me this book of black and white photographs, he told me the story of the Holocaust, and about the millions of people — mostly Jews, but also Poles, political prisoners, Gypsies and other “undesirables” from as far away as Brazil and America — who had been taken from their homes, stripped of all their possessions, and thrown into camps where, over the course of World War II, the Nazis killed over 6 Million people.

 

It didn’t matter whether they were rich or poor, or if they were a doctor or a shoeshine boy; if they were a mother or a grandmother, the Nazis herded them into train cars and took them to one of the 300 camps that the allies found when they liberated Germany from Nazi rule in 1945.

 

Grandpa told me that it was imperative that we always remember what Hitler and his followers had done, and what the German people let themselves be talked into, because if we ever forgot, it could happen again.

I’ve always remembered it, and I have visited more than one Holocaust museum here in the United States.

It’s not a fun day trip, like going to an art museum or a museum of natural history, but it’s important.  I can always hear Grandpa telling me “we must remember, so it cannot happen again”

Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is important that we not allow ourselves to be pushed into the herd; that we think for ourselves; that we analyze what politicians are saying and that we vote wisely — and that we do actually vote.

The allies took German people to the camps which the Allies had liberated, because it was the only way to prove to these German people that these camps actually existed, and that thousands were gassed to death in communal “showers” and thrown into mass graves, or that people were put into ovens like loaves of bread dough.  There are still those who do not believe it happened, but we have proof.

In 1985, 40 years after Allied Forces marched into Germany and liberated the Camps, Frontline ran a show about what the soldiers saw and found when they arrived.

The full Frontline show can be found here:  http://www.pbs.org/video/2365463766/

But there’s a longer piece, edited and filmed in part by Alfred Hitchcock, which you can watch, below, which shows the horrors that were found.  Horrors which we can never forget, or else we will allow them again.  Don’t turn away from the horror. It is real and it was genocide. Just like the other countries which have been devastated by genocide. We must not allow politicians to tell us what to think or to do. We must be strong enough to stand up and fight those who lack human compassion and the ability to love others. Intolerance must not be abided in any country. To the six million people who were imprisoned, beaten, starved, experimented on, I can only whisper,” Rest in Peace.”

 

 

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ItDidnt'StartwithGasChambers

Creating Memories


In the 1960’s, I was struggling with reality and memories. Some I wanted to remember and cherish and some I wanted to forget. I wasn’t sure that any of “this” was real. That is when I began photography. I needed to see if each moment was a moment in real time. I have now taken approximately 60,000 photos.

I have learned during my journey in this life, you need to create the memory in the moment. I often remind myself to stop and open my eyes and really see what is happening. I believe that looking through a lens at life for 32 years has given me the ability to quickly take in the details that will mean so much in the future. It is now an automatic instinct to ” see life” as I go through my days. I can not say that I do it all the time, however, I have learned to impress upon my mind, the memories I want to keep and take with my soul when I return to the source.

There are so many times in our life that because of obligations, work, children, charity work, illness we miss creating memories. When was the last time you really looked at the morning dew on your roses? When was the last time you sat on your front porch without phone or lap top and just opened your senses up to the song of the birds, the chipmunk sneaking into your garden or felt the sun on your face as you read a new book?

Intention is important in how and what we create. If we look for the goodness in life and create memories out of that goodness, we will be blessed with many beautiful and simple memories.

The memories I cherish the most are not exotic adventures or meeting a celeb. There are the fleeting seconds which I caught with my heart and mind and now they will always be mine. No one can take them away. Memories are truly the only things we can take with us when it is our time to pass over and return to cosmic consciousness.

Flying lessons, Burke Airport Photo by A. Halperin

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Photo by Barbara Mattio