"How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Revelation 6
It was not only the German Nazis that killed Jews in the Holocaust.
Holocaust memorial in Budapest, to the Jews who were machine gunned and thrown into the Danube by the Arrow Cross facsists.
Lithuania ranks among the countries with the largest percentage of Jewish Holocaust victims. Of the approximately quarter of a million Jews who lived within its borders at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, only some eight thousand were fortunate enough to see the end of the Nazi occupation.
In early July the words "Hitler was right" were painted in Russian on the memorial stone to the 72,000 Jews who were murdered at the Ponary Forest near Vilnius in Lithuania. On another monument close by, a vulgar reference was made to the compensation the Lithuanian government has made to the descendants of murdered Jews. No one seems to have noticed.
Vilnius, now the capital of Lithuania, was known for centuries as the "the Jerusalem of Lithuania" because of its centrality to medieval and early modern Jewish thought and politics. In the medieval Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the early modern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Jews settled in Vilnius in considerable numbers from both west and east. Over centuries, Jews prospered under a regime that permitted them local autonomy. During the waning of the Commonwealth in the eighteenth century, Vilnius was home to scholars such as Elijah ben Solomon, the "Gaon of Vilne," the great opponent of the Hasidic movement.
In the nineteenth century Vilnius was home to the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment, in the Russian Empire. After World War I the city was incorporated by Poland, though it was claimed by Lithuania as its capital. There were far more Poles than Lithuanians in the city, but there were about as many Jews as Poles, roughly eighty thousand each in the 1920s. In interwar Vilnius, tensions between Poles and Jews and between Poles and Lithuanians were high, but relations between Lithuanians and Jews were relatively peaceful.
In 1939, as the World War II began, the Jews, Poles, and Lithuanians of Vilnius fell under Soviet power. By the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the alliance between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, eastern Poland (including Vilnius) came within the Soviet sphere of influence. The Soviets in 1939 gave Vilnius to Lithuania, then annexed the whole country in 1940. The NKVD, the Soviet secret police, then set about deporting Lithuania's political and social elites - about 21,000 people in all, including many Jews. Thousands more were shot in NKVD prisons. This level of wartime terror was unprecedented, and its first perpetrators were Soviets rather then Nazis. We remember, for example, that the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara saved several thousand Jews by issuing them transit visas from Lithuania in 1940; what is often overlooked is that these Jews were fleeing not the Holocaust, which had not yet begun, but the threat of Soviet deportations.
Meanwhile, the Germans prepared to betray their Soviet allies. Part of their planning for the invasion of the Soviet Union was the recruitment of local nationalists, who would help them spread their anti-Semitic message: Nazi rule was liberation from Soviet crimes, which were in fact the fault of local Jews. During the first few weeks of the German invasion, which first touched Lithuania and other lands that the Soviets had just annexed, local peoples took part in a few hundred extremely violent pogroms, killing some 24,000 Jews.
German troops were followed by four Einsatzgruppen, whose task was to murder groups who might resist German power. In Lithuania, more quickly than anywhere else, this mission became mass murder. The Germans' anti-Semitic equation of Jews with Soviet rule allowed Lithuanians (and others) to find a scapegoat for their own humiliation and suffering under Soviet rule. It also provided an escape route for many who had collaborated with the prior Soviet regime. The Germans had been sheltering Lithuanian nationalists who had fled Soviet rule, and cooperation between German forces and these Lithuanians allowed for a drastic escalation from pogroms to mass shootings.
The mass murder of the Jews of Vilnius could not have taken place without the assistance of Lithuanians: the Germans did not have enough men for the job. That said, it is important to remember that the double occupation of Lithuania, by the Soviets and then by the Germans, was an exceedingly violent break with the previous history of Vilnius and Lithuania. Though the Germans had no trouble finding Lithuanians willing to kill Jews, what happened in 1941 had no precedent in pre-war Lithuanian policy or in the history of Lithuanian-Jewish relations.
By July 23, 1941 the Germans had assembled a Lithuanian auxiliary that marched columns of Jews from Vilnius to the nearby Ponary Forest. Jews were taken in groups of between twelve and twenty to the edge of pits, where they had to hand over valuables and clothes before they were shot. Some 72,000 Jews from Vilnius and elsewhere were murdered at Ponary."
Perhaps reporters and editors in western Europe and the US do not associate places like Ponary with the Holocaust. Our imaginations are dominated by Auschwitz, even though more far more Jews were shot at places like Ponary than were murdered in its gas chambers.
Lithuanian authorities wonder, with justice, whether Lithuania's fellow EU member-states understand the difficulties of its Soviet past. The current Lithuanian government thus emphasizes Soviet crimes, sometimes to the point of neglecting obvious opportunities to acknowledge the scale of the Holocaust in Lithuania and the role of Lithuanians in the mass shootings on Lithuanian territory.
Lithuanian nationals welcomed the German occupiers, seeing them as liberators from Soviet occupation. In the days prior to the German occupation of Lithuania local paramilitary groups initiated pogroms against the Jews. The systematic murder of the Jews led by the Germans began on July 2, 1941, and most of Lithuania's Jews had been murdered by December 1941. The remaining Jews were in ghettos. A significant part of the murders was carried out by Lithuanian auxiliary forces. Even in 1943, when Lithuanian enthusiasm for collaboration with Germany subsided, hostility towards Jews and denunciation persisted. 141,000 out of Lithuania's 168,000 Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.
Expulsion and Extermination - Reviewed - Holocaust Testimonials from Provincial Lithuania
David Bankier - (2011) ISBN: 965-308-396-7,
Ponary, the murder site of the Jews of Vilna and the surrounding area, was situated 10 km south of Vilna on the road to Grodno. Before the war it was a forested area used for holidays and recreation. Vilna residents used to go there for their summer holidays and to gather berries and mushrooms. The site was chosen for murder due to its proximity to the train track and also because there were pits 12-23m wide and 5-8m deep. There were high embankments with ditches between the pits, which had been dug by the Soviets in 1940 as a planned emergency fuel store.
11th July. Lovely weather. It's hot out; there are white clouds and a gentle breeze. Shooting can be heard from the forest. Presumably from training. The shooting started at 4pm. Then I was informed that many Jews were transported to the forest via the road to Grodno and were then shot. This was the first day of executions. A depressing feeling. The shooting stopped at about eight in the evening.
For the Germans 300 Jews are 300 enemies of humanity. For the Lithuanians 300 Jews are 300 pairs of shoes, trousers and clothes.
V. Sakovich, Vilna - Ponar: A Land Without God p. 11, 13
The Jews who lived in the Lithuanian provinces were totally annihilated during the first few months of the war. The intensity of these massacres was unprecedented – the obliteration of entire communities in the inhuman, unimaginable, face-to-face murder of utterly helpless people, including the old, women, children and infants.
In Budapest, Hungary, at the end of WWII many Hungarian Jews were slaughtered by a group of former Nazi's who belonged to a party called Arrow Cross. The Hungarian Arrow Cross members, cooperating with the German Nazis, butchered and robbed Jews. The members of Arrow Cross would line the Jews up along the Danube and shoot them into the river in order to avoid the work of burying the bodies later. Victims were made to remove their shoes prior to being shot because of the value of the shoes.
Today there is an Embankment of Remembrance along the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary
The Holocaust in the Independent State of Croatia refers to the genocide of Jews and other ethnic minorities during World War II within the Independent State of Croatia, a fascist puppet state ruled by the Ustase regime, that included most of the territory of modern-day Croatia, the whole of modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina and the eastern part of Syrmia (now in modern-day Serbia). Most of the Jews were exterminated in Ustase-run concentration camps like Jasenovac and others, while a considerable number of Jews were rounded up and turned over by the Ustase for extermination in Nazi Germany
On 25 March 1941, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact, allying the Kingdom of Yugoslavia with the Axis powers. Prince Paul was overthrown, and a new anti-German government under Peter II and Dusan Simovic took power. The new government withdrew its support for the Axis, but did not repudiate the Tripartite Pact. Nevertheless, Axis forces, led by Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941.
The Independent State of Croatia was proclaimed by the Ustase on 10 April 1941. Within the new state lived approximately 40,000 Jews, only 9,000 of whom would ultimately survive the war.
Anti-Semitic legislation and start of persecution
The main race laws in the Independent State of Croatia were adopted and signed by the Ustase leader Ante Pavelic on 30 April 1941: the "Legal Decree on Racial Origins" and the "Legal Decree on the Protection of Aryan Blood and the Honour of the Croatian People" . The "Legal Decree on the Nationalization of the Property of Jews and Jewish Companies" was declared on 10 October 1941.
Actions against Jews began immediately after the Independent State of Croatia was founded. On 10th-11 April 1941 a group of prominent Jews in Zagreb was arrested by the Ustase and held for ransom. On April 13, the same was done in Osijek, where Ustaše and Volksdeutcher mobs also destroyed the synagogue and Jewish graveyard. This procedure was repeated in 1941 and 1942 several times with groups of Jews.
The Ustase immediately initiated intensive anti-Semitic propaganda. A day after the signing of the main race laws on April 30, 1941, the newspaper of the Ustase movement, Hrvatski narod (Croatian Nation), published across the entire front page: "The Blood and Honor of the Croatian people protected by special provisions". Two days later, the newspaper Novi list concluded the Croatian people must "be more alert than any other ethnic group to protect their racial purity, ... We need to keep our blood clean of the Jews". The newspaper also wrote that Jews are synonymous with "treachery, cheating, greed, immorality and foreigness", and therefore "wide swaths of the Croatian people always despised the Jews and felt towards them natural revulsion". Nova Hrvatska (New Croatia) added that according to the Talmud, "this toxic. hot well-spring of Jewish wickedness and malice, the Jew is even free to kill Gentiles"
One of the main claims of Ustase propaganda was that the Jews have always been against an independent Croatian state and against the Croatian people. In April 1941 the newspaper Hrvatski narod (The Croatian People) accused Jews of being responsible for the "many failures and misfortunes of so many Croatian people", which led the Poglavnik [the Ustaše leader Ante Pavelic] to "eradicate these evils". A Spremnost article stated that the Ustasa movement defines "Judaism as one of the greatest enemies of the people".
Some in the Catholic Church joined the anti-Semitic propaganda. Thus the Catholic Bishop of Sarajevo, Ivan Saric, published in his diocesan newspaper that "the movement to free the world of Jews, represents the movement for the restoration of human dignity. Omniscient and omnipotent God is behind this movement ". And in July 1941, the Franciscan priest, Dionysius Juricev, in Novi list wrote that "it is no longer a sin to kill a seven year-old child".
Ustase concentration camps
Already in April 1941 the Ustase established the concentration camps Danica (near Koprivnica) and Kerestinec, where along with communists and other political opponents, the Ustaše imprisoned Jews. In May 1941, the Ustase rounded up 165 Jewish youth in Zagreb, ages 17-25, most of them members of the Jewish sports club Makabi, and sent them to the Danica concentration camp (all but 3 were killed by the Ustase). In May and June the Ustase established new camps, primarily for Jews who came to Croatia as refugees from Germany and countries which Germany had previously occupied, and some of these were quickly killed. Also arrested and sent to the Ustase camps were larger groups of Jews from Zagreb (June 22), Bihac (June 24), Karlovac (June 27), Sarajevo, Varaždin, Bjelovar, etc.
On July 8, 1941 the Ustase ordered that all arrested Jews be sent to Gospic, from where they took the victims to death camps Jadovno on Velebit, and Slano on the island of Pag, where they carried out mass executions. The historian Paul Mojzes lists 1,998 Jews, 38,010 Serbs, and 88 Croats killed at Jadovno and related execution grounds, among them 1,000 children. Other sources generally offer a range of 10,000-68,000 deaths at the Jadovno system of camps, with estimates of the number of Jewish deaths ranging from several hundred to 2,500-2,800.
In August 1941 the Ustase established the Jasenovac concentration camp, one of the largest in Europe. This included the Stara Gradiska concentration camp for women and children. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. presently estimates that the Ustasa regime murdered between 77,000 and 99,000 people in Jasenovac system of camps between 1941 and 1945. The Jasenovac Memorial Site quotes a similar figure of between 80,000 and 100,000 victims. Of these, the United States Holocaust Museum says that at least 20.000 were Jews. The Jasenovac Memorial site lists the individual names of 83,145 victims, including 13,116 Jews, 16,173 Roma, 47,627 Serbs, 4,255 Croats, 1,128 Moslems, etc. Of the total 83,145 named Jasenovac victims, 20,101 were children under the age of 12, and 23,474 were women.
The destruction of the Sephardi synagogue in Sarajevo was carried out by Nazi German soldiers soon after their arrival in the city on 15 April. The Sarajevo Haggadah was the most important artifact which survived this period. The demolition of the Zagreb Synagogue was ordered by the Ustase mayor Ivan Werner and was carried out from 10 October 1941 to April 1942.
Ultimately, the Ustashe murdered more than 30,000 Jews, or 75 percent of the country's pre-war Jewish community.
Just over a month from now, on July 1, a historic event will take place in the heart of Europe, when the EU welcomes Croatia as its 28th member state.
The move will mark the culmination of a gruelling decade long process, one in which the former Yugoslav republic had to implement widespread changes in a number of fields – ranging from intellectual property law to the free movement of capital - to bring itself in line with accepted EU practice.
But however much the Balkan state may have tweaked its legal system and upgraded its food safety and environmental protection standards, there is one thing Croatia has demonstrably failed to do: come to terms with its disgraceful record of mass murder during World War II.
Most of us are aware of camps such as Birkenau, Dachau, Treblinka and Bergen-Belsen, where the Germans and their henchmen systematically slaughtered millions of innocents. But how many of us have heard of Jasenovac or the horrors that were perpetrated there by Croatian fascists? Known as "the Auschwitz of the Balkans," it was the largest of a network of camps established by the independent state of Croatia, which the Nazis set up on April 10, 1941.
Hitler assigned the task of ruling Croatia to Ante Pavelic, head of the fascist Ustashe movement, which vowed to rid the country of Serbs, Jews and other minorities. Following in the Germans' footsteps, Pavelic passed racial laws against the Jews, imposed restrictions on their freedom of movement and banned them from various professions. Ultimately, the Ustashe murdered more than 30,000 Jews, or 75 percent of the country's prewar Jewish community.
But it was the two million Serbs then living in Croatia who were the primary targets of Pavelic and his quislings. With a bloodlust rivaled only by that of their Nazi patrons, the Ustashe set about the task of "cleansing" Croatian soil by torching Serb villages, beheading priests and herding Serbian worshipers into Orthodox churches before setting them alight. Over 200,000 Serbs were forcibly converted to Catholicism, with the active help and encouragement of the Archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac.
But it was at the Jasenovac camp that the Croats unleashed their most bestial cruelty, by many accounts killing at least several hundred thousand people in an orgy of indescribable savagery.
Jasenovac had no gas chambers or murder machines, so each killing had to be carried out the old-fashioned way: with knives, bars, axes or even hammers. If Auschwitz was the epitome of mechanized murder, Jasenovac was the embodiment of manually orchestrated massacre.
In an interview that appeared earlier this month in the Serbian newspaper Politika, Jasa Almuli, a 95-year old author and journalist who previously served as president of the Belgrade Jewish community, described Jasenovac as "barbaric," saying that "the murders were predominantly carried out manually." "Very seldom did they use bullets," he said, "because they believed the victims 'didn't merit it'." Almuli went on to describe some of the Ustashe's methods, which included cutting out the eyes of their victims and slitting their throats, throwing live prisoners into brick furnaces and poisoning children. The Ustashe even employed a special knife they called a "Srbosjek", or "Serb-cutter," to slaughter as many Serbs as possible.
There are numerous detailed accounts of the malevolence that was perpetrated at the camp. Eduard Sajer, a Jew from southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, was imprisoned in Jasenovac in November 1941. His parents and four of his five siblings were murdered there, and in an interview for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, he recounted some of the Ustashe's chilling practices, which included the use of blowtorches and welding rods for torturing inmates.
Sajer also described how his younger brother was bludgeoned to death by Croatian guards with a sledgehammer before his own eyes, and how he watched in horror as a group of Jews from Sarajevo were burned alive.
After the war and the establishment of Communist Yugoslavia, the camp was bulldozed and Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito sought to suppress the story of Jasenovac because he didn't want it getting in the way of creating a new Yugoslav identity. As a result, Croats were not forced to come to terms with their past or their dark deeds, a reality that continued even after the demise of Yugoslavia and Croatian independence.
Indeed, even though Croatian leaders have travelled to Jerusalem to offer words of apology at the Knesset, the legacy of the Ustashe remains very much alive and even admired among some Croats. For example in December 2011, large memorial masses were held in two Catholic churches in the Croatian cities of Zagreb and Split for Ustashe leader Pavelic, despite the fact that he was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Can you imagine a similar event taking place in Rome for Mussolini or in Berlin for Hitler? One of the most popular musical groups in Croatia, the Thompson rock band, has drawn tens of thousands to its concerts, where many young people have come proudly dressed in Ustashe uniforms. The band has also included Ustashe slogans in some of its songs, and has even sung lyrics calling for the elimination of Serbs.
A key part of the problem lies in the fact that the memorial museum erected by Croatia at the Jasenovac site seems to have been deliberately designed to obfuscate the true nature of what took place there. According to Dr. Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the exhibition at Jasenovac is an "educational disaster." He says that it "speaks of the Ustashe without explaining who they are or even what their ideology was," and that it does not even contain any photos of the Ustashe commanders of the camp or those who perpetrated the mass murder. "If they don't teach properly about what the Ustashe did at Jasenovac," Zuroff told me, "one can only imagine what they are teaching in the schools in Croatia."
A former board member of the Jasenovac museum also raised serious concerns about the nature of the exhibition. In a letter addressed to foreign ambassadors in Zagreb, Julija Kos said that the museum display presented a false image of what took place, calling it "blurred" and "systematic in avoiding a clear presentation of the information." For over seven years, Kos wrote, she had "persistently pleaded with high government officials to do something to fix the problem," but they had refused.
With Croatia marching forward into the arms of Europe, now is the time to compel Zagreb to confront its sinister past. History and its lessons cannot and must not be squelched, regardless of whether it is politically convenient. The Croatian authorities need to drastically revise the memorial at Jasenovac and stop hiding behind blurry language. Bans should be imposed on holding memorial services for Ustashe officials, and Holocaust education should be made a priority in Croatia's schools.
At a time of rising extremism and anti-Semitism across the continent, it is essential that Croatia's hidden Holocaust, as embodied at Jasenovac, not be shunted aside. Europe is still in a position to make these demands, and it should not shy away from doing so.
In February 1942 the Ustase Interior Minister, Andrija Artukovic, in a speech to the Croatian Parliament declared that: "The Independent State of Croatia through its decisive action has solved the so-called Jewish question ... This necessary cleansing procedure finds its justification not only from a moral, religious and social point of view, but also from the national-political point of view: it is international Jewry associated with international communism and Freemasonry, that sought and still seeks to destroy the Croatian people". The speech was accompanied by shouts of approval -" yes! - from the parliamentary benches
On 5 May 1943, Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler paid a short visit to Zagreb in which he held talks with Ante Pavelic. Starting on 7 May, a roundup of the remaining Jews in Zagreb was carried out by the Gestapo under the command of Franz Abromeit. During this period, Archbishop Stepinac offered the head rabbi in Zagreb Miroslav Salom Freiberger help to escape the roundup, which he ultimately declined. The operation lasted for the following week, and resulted in the capture of 1,700 Jews from Zagreb and 300 from the surrounding area. All of these people were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
In Europe, anti-Semitism, nationalism, ethnic hatred, anti-communism, and opportunism induced citizens of nations Germany occupied to collaborate with the Nazi regime in the annihilation of the European Jews and with other Nazi racial policies. Such collaboration was a critical element in implementing the "Final Solution" and the mass murder of other groups whom the Nazi regime targeted. Collaborators committed some of the worst atrocities of the Holocaust era.
Germany's European Axis partners cooperated with the Nazi regime by promulgating and enforcing anti-Jewish legislation. In some cases, they deported their Jewish citizens and/or residents into German custody en route to killing centers or labor camps.
In some Axis states, fascist paramilitary organizations terrorized, robbed, and murdered indigenous Jews, either under German guidance or on their own initiative.
The Hlinka Guard in Slovakia,
the Iron Guard in Romania,
the Ustasa in Croatia,
the Arrow Cross in Hungary
All were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews in their home territory. In these and other states, military personnel, police, and the gendarmerie played a key role in the expropriation, concentration, and deportation of Jewish residents in their countries.
In Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and also in Vichy France, police, military, and gendarmerie officials were vital to implementing the German-initiated policy of deporting Jews resident in territories under their influence or control to the killing centers in the east.
Italy and Hungary collaborated with Germany in many ways, including the promulgation of antisemitic legislation. However, neither Italy nor Hungary deported Jews until Germany directly occupied those countries.
Bulgaria cooperated willingly with the Germans in deporting Jews from territories the Bulgarians occupied as a result of the Axis dismemberment of Yugoslavia and occupation of Greece. Bulgarian authorities, responding to popular opposition and even reservations within their own government ruling party, refused to deport Jews from Bulgaria proper. They did, however, expropriate many in the Jewish community and deployed male Jews at compulsory labour during 1943 and 1944.
Romanian gendarmerie and military units directly murdered and deported Romanian and Ukrainian Jews in the re-annexed provinces of Bukovina and Bessarabia as well as in Romanian-administered Transnistria in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Romanian government refused to deport Jews from the core provinces of Romania (Moldavia, Wallachia, southern Transylvania, and the Banat).
Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and ethnic German collaborators played a significant role in killing Jews throughout eastern and southeastern Europe. Many served as perimeter guards in killing centers and were involved in the murder by poison gas of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Others, particularly ethnic Germans from southeastern Europe, served in the Nazi concentration camp system, particularly after 1942.
Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Belorussians, and Ukrainians spontaneously formed groups which the German SS and police then purged and reorganized. From the beginning, members of these "partisan" or "self-defense" groups killed hundreds of Jews as well as real and perceived Communists. The German-reorganized units became ruthless and reliable police auxiliaries that assisted the German authorities - civilian, military, SS and German police - in the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Jews and millions of non-Jews in the occupied Soviet Union. Throughout the period of the occupation, the Germans continued to recruit auxiliaries for their police forces, military units, and civilian administrations from among the native peoples of the Soviet Union.
The government of Vichy France cooperated with the Germans by enacting the Statut des Juifs (Jewish Law). The Statut defined Jews by race and restricted their rights. Vichy authorities also actively collaborated and even took initiative by establishing internment camps in southern France, arresting foreign Jews and French Jews, and aiding in the deportation of Jews (mostly foreign Jews residing in France) to killing centers in German-occupied Poland.
The Vichy government also turned over to the Germans Spanish and international fighters in defense of the Spanish Republic against the Franco rebels. After Franco's victory and the establishment of a conservative, authoritarian regime in 1939, these so-called Spanish Republicans or "Red Spaniards" had sought refuge in France from certain persecution and possible death if they remained in Spain. After the Vichy French turned over several thousand of the refugees to the Germans, the Germans incarcerated them in concentration camps, where thousands of them died.
The opening of Holocaust era archives may shed light on French collaboration with Nazis. Holocaust historians welcomed Paris's decision to open up the records of the Vichy regime, stating that the newly accessible documents may shed light on the nature of French collaboration with the Nazis.
Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands
After the German invasion of Norway in April 1940, Vidkun Quisling, a Norwegian fascist, proclaimed himself prime minister. The Germans quickly became disillusioned with him and established their own administration, but intermittently used Quisling as a figurehead. Quisling's name entered the English dictionary as a term defining a person who betrayed his country through collaboration with an occupying enemy.
Norwegian police and paramilitary formations assisted SS and German police units in the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Likewise, local civilian and police authorities collaborated closely with the Germans in Belgium and the Netherlands in rounding up and deporting Jews residing in those two countries.
Monaco's Prince Albert II apologized for his country's history of deporting Jews to Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust. During the period, Monaco police had rounded up and deported Jews in the small principality, including those who escaped to Monaco thinking they would be safe in what was considered a neutral country.
"To say this today is to recognize a fact. To say it today, on this day, before you, is to ask forgiveness," Prince Albert said in a speech attended by Monaco's chief rabbi and other prominent Monaco Jewish figures, such as renowned Nazi hunters and Holocaust researchers Serge and Beate Klarsfeld.
"We committed the irreparable in handing over . . . women, men and a child who had taken refuge with us to escape the persecutions they had suffered in France," Prince Albert said, the Associated Press reported. "We did not protect them. It was our responsibility. In distress, they came specifically to take shelter with us, thinking they would find neutrality," he said.
Michael S Fryer is a retired police detective who has since graduated in Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem.
His studies / research / investigations have revealed terrible crimes committed by ordinary citizens of nations occupied by the Nazis.
But worse than that, he revealed the complicity of both ordinary and high ranking members of the Church.
"His findings are explained in his new book Rose Tinted Memory"
Without Christian ministers' anti-Semitic preaching and encouragement of ordinary Christians to murder their Jewish neighbours, Hitler's Holocaust could not have happened.
See Genocide Mechanism - How to do a Holocaust
Not only that; the church has not confronted its guilt, as many nations have, and taken appropriate action. The church has condemned the Nazi Holocaust and praised the actions of righteous Christians, while remaining in denial about its own guity stains.
This book is highly recommended.
Please read this book.
ISBN 978-0-9926677-6-4 - published by Perissos Media
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