The first time I met my boyfriend’s grandparents, I was terrified. First, I really wanted them to like me, and second, he told me they were pretty religious. They’re Roman Catholic, but I’m Jewish, and I didn’t get the impression from the rest of his family that that would upset them, but I wasn’t sure they’d be chill with us dating, and I’m always afraid of those unconscious, anti-semitic micro-aggressions.
Sure enough, within an hour of meeting me they asked if I was religious, in a way that was obviously asking if I had a religion, and which one it was. I calmly told them I was Jewish, and my boyfriend’s grandmother lit up. Her mother was a Syrian who moved to Brooklyn in the early 1900′s and she grew up in a Syrian and Jewish community in Brooklyn and boy wasn’t it nice to have someone around who could help her with her Jewish pastry. It was really pleasant. His grandfather was mostly quiet.
After lunch, he and I shared a cup of coffee and some cookies and I told him about my brothers. He asked if my mom was ok with me dating a gentile. And then he looked around, saw we were alone for a sec, and asked me to follow him out to the garage. In the garage he asked me to take an old picnic basket down from off a cabinet. And then he told me to open it. The moment the lid came off I knew. I knew that shade of red. He told me to take it out and lay it across the floor. It was a Nazi flag. Not just a Nazi flag, but one that was big enough to fly outside a government office, like a massive one. I laid it out, ice in my veins, trying to figure out what was about to happen next. And then he told me to take my shoes off and stand on it.
He told me his vision wasn’t good enough to get into the army, so he snuck on a ship and figured that they’d have to deal with him when he was in Europe, and that’s what happened. He told me he went because they all knew it was bad, and he wanted to help. He told me he took the flag off of some dead Nazis. He told me to go home and tell my mother that I was safe with these goyim she’d never met, that I was loved and welcome and that they’d fight for me. He told me “Never Again”.
He passed away a few years ago, and only after his death, cleaning out his closets did we find his old patches and look up his division. This quiet man who said very little but always shared a cup of coffee with me after lunch was in an anti-tank division, and he and his division liberated camps in Poland. He saw the horrors, first hand.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today is a day to reaffirm our promise of “Never Again”. Today is a day to remember that the only way for things to get better is to fight. Today is a good day to punch a Nazi. Do it for me. Do it for Grandpa Rocco. Do it for the world.
This actually happened in some of the cartoons! I gasped out loud when I saw it for the first time. (Go to about 10 minutes in for the full scene.) I thought I’d do something a little different, because while I love Erik in the First Class movies, I always wanted a happier ending for him…
The Howling Commandos, as a forward team focused on Hydra, hadn’t liberated many camps; the ones they had were Hydra slave labor camps, where the men were, if not well-fed, then at least not the gaunt, barely-alive prisoners they’d heard about from Red Army soldiers and Allied units.
This camp was different; at the heart of it was some kind of lab. When Steve battered down the last reinforced door, he found a man holding a gun to the head of a young boy.
“I’ll kill him,” the man said. Steve didn’t bother with an answer; the shield took the man’s head off before he could threaten the kid again.
Still, in that second before death, Steve had seen the man’s finger spasm on the trigger, and felt the thickness in the air when the trigger wouldn’t move. He looked at the boy, looked at the body, and had a sense of destiny resettling itself in the world.
“Was he the camp commander?” he asked the boy, who nodded, huge-eyed. “Commander…Shaw?”
The boy nodded again. He turned and pulled Steve’s now bloody shield out of the concrete wall like it was nothing. Then, with narrowed eyes, he floated it across to him, through the air, without touching it.
Steve took the shield out of the air, shook off what he could, put it on his back, and said, “Thank you.”
“My pleasure,” the boy said, in trembling English.
“What’s your name, son?”
Steve had seen a lot of things in the war; nothing like this, but there had been signs of strange experiments in Hydra labs. This was comparatively harmless.
“Well, I’ll make you a deal, Erik,” he said. “I won’t tell what I saw here just now, and you help me close this place down. Then we’ll take you to HQ and get you a hot meal. Sound good?”
Erik nodded, then offered, “They knew you were coming. They destroyed all the records.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Steve said. “Come on.”
In the convoy, bringing the prisoners out of the camp, Steve brought Erik up to the cab of the lead truck, and put him in next to Bucky at the wheel.
“Who’s this?” Bucky asked.
“Erik,” Steve said. “He’s riding with us.”
“Sprichts du English?” Bucky asked.
“Yes,” Erik replied. “I can speak. English, German, Yiddish, some Russian. Good interpreter. I can work for Allies?”
“How old are ya?” Bucky asked.
“Sixteen,” Erik said.
“You are twelve,” Bucky told him.
“I’m just small,” Erik replied.
“Yeah, because you’re twelve,” Bucky insisted. “Well, we’ll make sure the folks handling the refugees take good care of y – “
“No, he’s coming with us,” Steve said.
“Erik’s coming with us to HQ. We could use an interpreter. And he’s small enough to make a good spy. He’s had enough of camps, ain’t ya, kid?” he asked, and Erik nodded.
“You wanna join the allies, huh?” Bucky asked.
“I go with Captain America,” Erik announced.
“Yeah, that’s what I said, and now I know better,” Bucky replied, but he was grinning. “Fine, on your own head be it. Sixteen my ass,” he said to Steve.
Steve took off his helmet and plopped it onto Erik’s head. “Sorry, got a new sidekick now,” he told Bucky, who laughed.
Years later, when a magazine asked Erik Lensherr why he agreed to become Captain America after the disappearance of Steve Rogers, he said, “Steve took a terrified twelve-year-old Jewish kid out of a slave labor camp, gave him a helmet, and told him he had power. I believed him. Turns out he was right.”
ALSO IMAGINE MAGNETO AS CAPTAIN AMERICA WITH THE SHIELD. HOLY CRAP. :D
My grandfather died two weeks ago. After the funeral, my family sat around my grandmother’s living room, talking about the nice memories we had with him. All of us grandchildren mentioned how he always spoke in different voices when reading, even if it was just the newspaper. We spoke of the stories he used to tell us about his childhood.
When the Nazi concentration camps were liberated by the Allies, it was a time of great jubilation for the tens of thousands of people incarcerated in them. But an often forgotten fact of this time is that prisoners who happened to be wearing the pink triangle (the Nazis’ way of marking and identifying homosexuals) were forced to serve out the rest of their sentence. This was due to a part of German law simply known as “Paragraph 175” which criminalized homosexuality. The law wasn’t repealed until 1969.
In 1941 a young couple in Amsterdam were married. One wedding guest with a camera shot a home movie of the bride and groom coming out of an apartment building. The camera pans up for a few moments, about six seconds. From this view we see several neighbors leaning out of their windows to watch the wedding party down below. One of these people is a young girl, twelve-year-old Anne Frank. This is the only known footage of her.
A year later Anne would receive her famous diary for her thirteenth birthday. Only a month afterwards, the Frank family and four others would be forced into hiding due to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. It was here that Anne would write page after page of her thoughts in her diary, which she later intended to rewrite as a novel. Two years after going into hiding they would all be discovered by the police, arrested, and sent to a concentration camp.
Anne would die, days after her sister Margot, of starvation and disease in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp around February or March of 1945. It is believed that she died just weeks before the camp was liberated by British soldiers.
Today Anne’s diary has sold over 30,000,000 copies and has been translated into 67 languages. The young girl filmed at her window has become an international symbol of hope and faith in the goodness of humanity, even in the face of the most extreme adversity.
In honor of Yom HaShoah, I wanted to share links to the songs my synagogue performed at our memorial tonight. links are in the titles - just a warning, if you watch the videos on YouTube, some of them do contain Holocaust/Nazi imagery.
El Maleh Rachamim - a prayer traditionally sung at funerals and remembrance days for the dead. it’s a very beautiful melody.
Dos Elnte Kind (The Lonely Child) - a Yiddish song dedicated to Sarah, the daughter of Rachel Pupko-Krinski. they were separated during the war, but both survived and immigrated to America. the woman who sang this at my synagogue this evening was a close friend of Sarah’s daughter, and she was wearing a necklace left to her by Sarah.
Yisrolik - a Yiddish song about orphaned children of the Vilna ghetto
Flying - an English song by folk artist Laura Wetzler, who performed it for us tonight. she and her partner are both the daughters of Holocaust survivors, and she wrote this for her mother-in-law, a partisan whose sister Hannah (ZK”L) was murdered by the Nazis after they were discovered smuggling resistance newspapers
Minutn Fun Bitokhn (Moment of Confidence) - a Yiddish partisan song from Krakow. my favorite line, which isn’t translated exactly the same in the lyrics I found online, is “Revel, dance, you hangman! It won’t be long, I hope. Once there was a Haman–then there was a rope.”
Zog Nit Kein Mol (Never Say) - also known as Partisaner Lid, the Partisan Song, this is one of the most famous songs to come out of the war. it was written by Hirsch Glick (ZK”L) in the Vilna Ghetto after he learned of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Hatikvah (The Hope) - a Hebrew song associated with the Zionist cause, which was often sung in concentration camps after their liberation and in Displaced Person camps (if you look online you can find a recording of the inmates of Bergen-Belsen singing this song in 1945). it is now the national anthem of Israel.
On this day in 1945, the Auschwitz-Birkenau
concentration camp in Poland was liberated by the Soviet Red Army. One of the most notorious camps of Nazi Germany, Jews and others persecuted by the Nazi regime were sent to Auschwitz from 1940 onwards. During its years in operation, over one million people died in Auschwitz, either from murder in the gas chambers or due to starvation and disease. As the war drew to a close and the Nazis steadily lost ground to the Allied forces, they began evacuating the camps and destroying evidence of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed there. The
leader of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, ordered the evacuation of the
remaining prisoners at the camp as the Soviet Red Army closed in on the area.
Nearly 60,000 prisoners from Auschwitz were forced on a march toward
Wodzisław Śląski (Loslau) where they would be sent to other camps; some
20,000 ended up in the Bergen-Belsen camp in Germany. However, thousands
died during the evacuation on the grueling marches, leading to them
being called ‘death marches’. 7,500 weak and sick prisoners remained in
Auschwitz, and they were liberated by the 322nd Rifle Division of the
Soviet Red Army on January 27th 1945. Auschwitz remains one of the most
powerful symbols of the Holocaust and the horrific crimes committed by
the Nazi regime against Jews and numerous other groups.
Between 1933-1945, over 100,000 men were arrested for homosexual acts under Paragraph 175. These men were either sent to prison or to concentration camps. Following liberation of the concentration camps, the majority of those with pink triangles were incarcerated once again to carry out their sentence because they had not yet finished court-mandated terms of imprisonment for homosexual acts. Time spent in concentration camps did not count towards that sentence.
Additionally, those with the pink triangle were not initially officially recognised as Holocaust victims meaning that they were not legally declared as a Holocaust survivor. This meant that they were not entitled to the repatriation and pension that other survivors were entitled to. It is estimated that only 4,000 survived the Holocaust.
This documentary tells the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, whose body was found in January 2006, decomposing in her bed in Wood Green, North London. She apparently died unnoticed in December 2003, surrounded by unopened Christmas presents with her TV still turned on. The film interviews various friends, acquaintances, and former partners to try to tell the story of Joyce.
2. The Cheshire Murders (2013)
This film studies the murder-robbery case that occurred on July 23, 2007. Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters were raped and murdered, while her husband, Dr. William Petit, was injured during a home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut. This case was referred to as “possibly the most widely publicized crime in the state’s history.”
3. Child of Rage (1992)
The film is based on the true story of Beth Thomas, who suffered from severe behavioral problems as a result of being sexually abused as a child. Beth was adopted after it was found that she was being sexually abused by a family member. During her stay with the family, she tried to kill her brother several times and even attempted to sexually abuse him. The film was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia.
4. The Imposter (2012)
This documentary is about the 1997 case of the French confidence trickster Frédéric Bourdin, who impersonated Nicholas Barclay, a Texas boy who disappeared at the age of 13 in 1994. The film includes interviews with Bourdin and members of Barclay’s family, as well as actual television news footage
5. Cropsey (2009)
This film initially begins as an examination of "Cropsey”, a boogeyman-like figure from the New York urban legend, before segueing into the story of Andre Rand, a convicted child kidnapper from Staten Island.
6. The Bridge (2006)
This film covers the depressing truth about the Golden Gate Bridge, capturing a large number of suicides during the documentary.The film also features interviews with family and friends of some of the identified people who had thrown themselves from the bridge that year. The Golden Gate Bridge, which first opened in May 1937, was the most popular suicide site in the world during the documentary’s filming, with approximately 1,200 deaths by 2003
7. There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane (2011)
This documentary discusses the traffic collision that occurred on July 26, 2009, where eight people were killed when a minivan driven by 36-year-old Diane Schuler, after traveling 1.7 miles in the wrong direction on the parkway, collided head-on with an oncoming SUV. The deaths included Schuler, her daughter and three nieces, and the three passengers in the SUV. The crash was the worst fatal motor vehicle accident to occur in Westchester County, New York.
8. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
This film focuses on the 1980s investigation of Arnold Friedman and his son Jesse for child molestation of several of their students. They held computer classes in their home where many children attended. During police interviews, some of the children that the Friedman’s taught reported experiencing bizarre sex games during their computer classes. Arnold Friedman committed suicide in prison in 1995, leaving a $250,000 life insurance benefit to his son. Jesse Friedman was released from New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility in 2001 after serving 13 years of his sentence.
9. Night & Fog (1955)
This documentary depicts the cruel reality of the Nazi Concentration camps. The film features footage from the liberation of camps in 1945 where malnourished humans are seen emerging out of the camps, voicing the life left in their lungs on to the camera.
10. Brothers Keeper (1992)
This documentary follows the case of Delbert Ward, an illiterate 59-year-old dairy farmer who was accused of murdering his brother Bill, in the bed that they shared for 50 years. The Ward brothers were four bachelors ranging between 59-71 and living in extreme poverty. One theory suggests that the slain brother, Bill, suffered the consequence of a sexual act gone wrong. What’s more disturbing is the fact that he was later acquitted of the crime after it was found out that the New York State Police coerced a confession out of him as he was illiterate.
Four Polish insurgents of the Polish Home Army who were captured by Germans after the failed Warsaw Uprising are photographed through barbed wire at Stalag VI-C POW camp after their liberation. April, 1945.
Like, not to be too histrionic but umm Korematsu v. U.S. has never been overturned so the current U.S. Supreme Court precedent is in favor of race/nationality based concentration camps because of liberal appointees.
•liam and ruby were always the ones to roll their eyes at the posts online like “so glad to spend the rest of my life with my best friend” like how corny can u get but what did they do as soon as they were engaged? post the same damn things smh
•"i want a divorce so i can marry you again"
•one night ruby wakes up to find liam staring at her and she’s like ??? and he whispers back “i woke up and remembered you’re my wife and got too excited and now i can’t sleep” what a NERD
•at their wedding he trips on something and goes down hard and immediately looks at ruby and goes “even after we’re married i’m still falling for you darlin ;)’” she threatens divorce
•ruby is such a covers hoarder it’s ridiculous so when they get married she’s like “now you’re stuck with me so i can steal the covers all i want” so liam starts playing the game of how many blankets can i add in the night before she gets too hot and stops stealing them. her record is 12.
•once you have pneumonia you’re more susceptible to getting it again so liam who catches pneumonia again on the 3rd day of their honeymoon and ruby who goes out of her mind with worry because she’ll be damned if she’s a widow at 23
•alternately ruby and liam enjoying their honeymoon so much they stay an extra few days because who’s gonna stop em?? you want me to come into work sorry i’m across the country can’t do it. they led a revolution let them have this.
•the do not disturb card stays on their door the whole time they’re on their honeymoon
•vida gets mad at them because “really??? you’re going on a tropical vacation just to have sex in your hotel room the whole time? what the hell you can have sex here. at least go have sex on the beach or something”
•chubs tells them “if you come home pregnant i’m going to make fun of you for being a stereotype the rest of your life” and ruby’s just like “that’s fair”
•eventually it’s ruby who makes them go back home because she misses their dog
•they’re OBNOXIOUS about the whole “this is my WIFE ruby because we’re married and i love her and she’s my WIFE” thing
•once he calls her Mrs Stewart he’s like…ugh no that makes me think of my mom so it has to be ruby stewart when they’re tryna be cute
•like don’t get me wrong he still loves mrs stewart it’s lit just not when they’re being romantic it’s hard to go down on someone right after thinking about your mom it’s kind of a mood killer
•"ooh babe you had a crush on me that’s so embarrassing"
•okay so i headcanon that after the camps are liberated liam works for a company that finds homes for kids whose parents didn’t want them back/were killed/ can’t be found/ etc and when he brings up kids with ruby she’s like “you work with kids all day aren’t u tired of children wtf”
•one time liam has to go to some government meeting that was supposed to end at a certain time and he’s asked to stay later and his response is “no, our agreement was 6 o'clock, my wife has dinner ready and i hate it here. Goodbye.”
•their texts are a compilation of funny dog videos and 3 word questions only they can decipher
•one time on ruby’s day off she hears liam leave in the morning, raises an eyebrow, looks at the clock on the wall and counts the seconds before the door opens again and he runs back in because he forgot to kiss her goodbye
Hey I'm working on a paper on antisemitism in the US before and during WWII. Would it be accurate to say that the US forces/government only "saved the Jews" insofar as it was convenient for them during the war?
For the most part that’s accurate. It’s also accurate that the Soviets actually did quite a bit more liberating than the US did, though that doesn’t clear the USSR from being an antisemitic nightmare in its own right. It just points out that the USA and UK didn’t see helping the victims of the Holocaust as anything close to a priority, even though the absolute latest the administration was aware of the Final Solution would’ve been in 1942. Then there is the perpetual question of why the gas chambers at Auschwitz weren’t bombed when it would’ve been easy to do so. And why virtually every country in the world including the United States shut the doors to refugees out of fears that JEWS would be a German fifth column. No. Really. FDR himself said as much.
Eisenhower, at least, came to regret the inaction upon seeing a liberated camp himself and did everything in his power to make sure that everything was documented in case anyone tried to deny what occurred.
Given the modern trend of Holocaust denial, he was quite prophetic.
When discussing gay theater, I am always reminded of Blanche DuBois’ proclamation: “I don’t want realism, I want magic!!” It is a sense of theater as a magical space mirroring life but large than life and the sense that theatre best mirrors the performance of gender and the awareness of performativity that have historically been part of the gay experience. These plays all take their audiences and readers to surprising places. There is no way in which we could refer to these plays as “straight” plays. Gay playwrights, even in their most serious moments, remind their audiences of the many readings of the word play, What does theatre mean if it is not joyous, camp, liberating, and magical? It is not somber, literal, or naturalistic.