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Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

A Beauty Pageant for Holocaust Survivors?

Posted by Ethan Clow on June 29, 2012

If those words make you shiver with morbid misgivings of bad taste, congratulations, I believe that’s the correct response. Too bad it wasn’t the response from the Shimon Sabag organisation, which organized the event.

Fourteen women who survived the Holocaust, aged 74 to 97, competed for the prize of being named Israel’s first ‘Miss Holocaust Survivor.’

It was billed as a celebration of life, the contestants were selected based on their stories of survival and their impact in their communities. The judges would then decide who was the winner based on who had the most incredible story. So don’t worry, physical appearance only counted for 10% of the final score.

Hava Hershkovitz Via The Independent

And I’m sure the panel of judges were really qualified as well. There were three former beauty pageant winners and a psychiatrist who treats holocaust survivors.

So, sound like a good idea?

The winner was 79-year-old Hava Hershkovitz, who was banished from her home in Romania in 1941.

The pageant has readily been condemned by various organizations that deal with Holocaust survivors, Collete Avital, chairwoman of Israel’s Holocaust survivors’ umbrella group was quoted saying:

“It sounds totally macabre to me… I am in favour of enriching lives, but a one-time pageant masquerading [survivors] with beautiful clothes is not what is going to make their lives more meaningful,”

Despite the statements from the organizers that this was not about capitalizing on the memory of the Holocaust, most people have been left agape and believing that this was just a terrible decision. It doesn’t help the cause of the organizers when it was revealed that a cosmetics company was recruited to help the women dress for the pageant.

I think the idea of having women tell their stories of survival is great. The Holocaust is often a story without hope. Reality isn’t much like the Hollywood version, it was a dark and terrible side of humanity, not just from the point of view of the victims, but the perpetrators and bystanders each add levels of horror to the story. Having an opportunity to learn about those who survived and went on to help their communities and improve the world is a wonderful ray of light in an otherwise depressing and frightening time.

So why dress up what could be an uplifting story in the guise of a beauty pageant? The whole concept of ranking someone’s horrendous experience like it was a game just seems like a terrible gimmick. “Yes, you survived Auschwitz but… contestant 2 survived Treblinka… oh and she’s also a bit prettier…” Gah.

And seriously? The panel is made up of three beauty pageant winners and one psychiatrist? I’d like to see the results of that psychiatrists last ethics review.

I can understand that the event organizers probably wanted to create a venue to showcase how extraordinary these women are, which is great, as I said before, there can be positive and life affirming ways to remember the Holocaust. But to choose a beauty pageant as the theme? Really?

 

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Saturday Stub: A Controversial Post on Punishment

Posted by Ethan Clow on May 28, 2011

This week I have a contentious topic in mind. Recently, a German court heard the case of John Demjanjuk, a prison guard from the Nazi Extermination camp, Sobibor.

Sobibor, like other extermination camps were built by the Nazis in eastern Europe to enact the “final solution” to their Jewish problem. Of course anyone else who fit the description of being “wrong” in the eyes of the Nazis were murdered there as well, homosexuals, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses…

Sobibor was built quickly in 1942, along with Belzec and Treblinka, these were the first of the Reinhard Camps, named after Reinhard Heydrich, who was assassinated by the Czech underground.

Sobibor wasn’t a huge camp, only around 1,312 by 1,969 feet, it was camouflaged in a swampy area and surrounded by a mine field.

From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

“After some experimentation, the camp authorities began regular gassing operations in May 1942. Trains of 40 to 60 freight cars arrived at the Sobibor railway station. Twenty cars at a time entered the reception area, where the camp guards ordered victims out of the trains and onto the platform. German SS and police officials announced that the deportees had arrived at a transit camp and were to hand over all valuables. The Germans ordered the Jews into the barracks and forced them to undress and run through the “tube,” which led directly into gas chambers deceptively labeled as showers. The women’s hair was shorn in a special barracks inside the “tube.” Once the gas chamber doors were sealed, in an adjacent room guards started an engine which piped carbon monoxide into the gas chambers, killing all those inside. The process was repeated with the next freight cars.” – source

In 1943 around 600 prisoners at Sobibor staged an uprising that allowed 300 to escape. About 100 were recaptured and shot.

Demjanjuk was no stranger to courts about his past collaboration with the Nazis. He was accused of being “Ivan the Terrible” a sadistic guard from the Treblinka camp in 1977. He was stripped on his US citizenship and extradited to Israel facing execution. But in 1993, he was found innocent when it was revealed it was a case of mistaken identity. Demjanjuk returned to the U.S but was then accused of being a guard at Sobibor, he was once again stripped on his American citizenship and extradited to Germany for trial in 2009.

John Demjanjuk

So here’s where the controversy steps in, Demjanjuk is 91 years old. He has cancer. He’s going to die soon. What purpose does his trail serve? (Now that’s its already happened, did it serve a purpose?) What should his punishment be? His trial, which concluded last month, has called for 5 years in prison. His lawyers have appealed the ruling and in the meantime, the judge has let him go, citing his age and the fact that he’s no danger to society.  Proponents of his conviction are saying this is unfair, his victims never got this choice, why should he? Others are wondering if there’s much point in continuing this practice of convicting Holocaust collaborators since most of them are near death anyway.

Demjanjuk’s trial is continuing the trend which began in Nuremberg in 1945. War trials were, in the past (arguably the present) very dubious. Essentially the victors punish the defeated foe for their crimes while ignoring the harm the victors caused during the war. However, what set these trials apart was the Holocaust. No one had seen anything like it before and there was no precedent for it.

Some would argue that a symbolic conviction is all that’s needed (given his age) Sending him to jail at this point isn’t really required. But at least now there can be some closure to the situation. It’s a difficult question to answer.

What do you think?

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Missed Movement of Opportunity

Posted by Don McLenaghen on May 25, 2011

Recently there has been an icy wind between Israel and the USA over comments made by President Obama. In a speech made on May 19th and a position he has reiterated several times since, Obama stated that the time was now for Israel and Palestine to come together and settle their differences, that at least they should be able to settle what will constitute the borders of the two states. Let’s hear what Obama said in his “Moment of Opportunity” speech.

The conflict between Israelis and Arabs has cast a shadow over the region…this conflict has come with a larger cost to the Middle East, as it impedes partnerships that could bring greater security and prosperity and empowerment to ordinary people.

For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure.

As for Israel, the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace. The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.

Now, ultimately, it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them. But endless delay won’t make the problem go away. A lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples.

So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel.

We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself.[1]

To get a tone of how this was received let’s hear a clip of Israeli President Netanyahu respond to one point in the speech.

So it’s not going to happen.  Everybody knows it’s not going to happen.  And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it’s not going to happen.[2]

When I first heard this quote I was taking it out of context and only wanted to use it to show the tone of the reception of Obama’s comments. However, in a speech to a joint sitting of congress, Netanyahu made it clear that peace would be largely dictated by Israel and that the Palestinians should be thankful for that. In the speech he stated:

We must also find a way to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinians. I publicly committed to a solution of two states for two peoples — a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state.

We’ll be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland. And you have to understand this: In Judea and Samaria[3], the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers.

We’re not the British in India[4]. We’re not the Belgians in the Congo. This is the land of our forefathers, the land of Israel — and boy am I reading a lot of distortions of history lately — no distortion of history could deny the 4,000-year-old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land.[5]

The Palestinians share this small land with us. We seek a peace in which they’ll be neither Israel’s subjects nor its citizens. They should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable and independent people living in their own state.

The Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it. They continue to educate their children to hate[6]. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees.

 

I stood before my people and I said, “I will accept a Palestinian state.” It’s time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say, “I will accept a Jewish state.”[7]

 

The status of the settlements will be decided only in negotiations, but we must also be honest. So I’m saying today something that should be said publicly by all those who are serious about peace. In any real peace agreement, in any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond Israel’s borders. Now the precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. We’ll be generous about the size of the future Palestinian state[8].

Israel will be generous on the size of a Palestinian state but will be very firm on where we put the border with it. This is an important principle, shouldn’t be lost.

Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel.

It’s therefore vital — absolutely vital — that a Palestinian state be fully demilitarized, and it’s vital — absolutely vital — that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River.  

The Palestinian attempt to impose a settlement through the United Nations will not bring peace.

Peace cannot be imposed. It must be negotiated.[9]

What are the issues Obama is raising that has created such controversy?

The two state solution.  First there are radicals, more now I think in Israel than in the Palestinian one, which opposes this and believe in a ‘one state’ solution[10]. Some do not believe Israel has no legitimacy of existence, however due to the actual existence and power of Israel this group are currently seen as radical extremist. On the other side, there are groups who believe in ‘greater Zion’, holding that Israel should not only annex (and of course ethnically cleanse the West bank and Gaza…in a humane manner) but also re-capture the Sinai in order to restore the biblical borders of Israel.  In reality a growing number of Israeli believe that settlement in the West Bank should be increased with the eventual goal of annexation once it has become suitably Jewish not for religious reasons but security and economic reasons. However, for the moment both one-staters are a minority.

Most people accept, including the majority of Israelis and Palestinians, that eventually there will be two states – one Israel and one Palestine; the crux of the issue is what those states will look like – geographically, economically and politically. A number of people forget that during the apartheid era in South Africa, there was created a number of ‘independent’ states as homelands for the ‘blacks’. These states were called Bantustans[11].

Bantu States - homelands generously created by South Africa

Bantu States. These were set up as semi-autonomous homelands for the native population of South Africa. These states were ‘internal’ often no-contiguous states that were intended to ensure the Blacks could not enjoy the rights of South African citizenship (making them more vulnerable to ‘security’ measures and economic pressure). A quick comparison of the map of the current Palestinian controlled lands to that of the Bantustan states[12] does seem rather similar and making such fears of Palestinians that their ‘homeland’ will be little more than a labour pool ghetto intended to insure Israel dominance and control without the legal obligations annexation would entail.

As stated, I get the impression that the current Israeli government (if not national sentiment) is to ensure that the two-state solution is not two EQUAL states. That said, western leaders, the UN and Israeli ‘official’ policy is the creation of two independent equal states…however the boundary of those states was the ‘flash point’ seen in Obama’s speech.

What Obama stated was the same things every President and most of the world (including several UN resolutions) have been saying for decades; that the border between Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 border.  Of course when you say 1967 border it is important whether you mean pre or post 1967 war.

Jerusalem.  Prior to the 1967 war, East Jerusalem was part of the “state” of Palestine however during the war Israel managed to capture all of Jerusalem and later annexed the ‘unified’ city. This is a big issue because both the Israelis and the Palestinians see Jerusalem as their capital.  If the starting point for negotiations is Pre-1967 war, then Jerusalem is open for negotiations, something Israel has stated it will never do and something the Palestinians insist upon…they do not understand why East Jerusalem cannot be the capital of Palestine and “west” Jerusalem Israel’s capital.

Religion. One of the reasons both sides are struggling over East Jerusalem is because it is the “old city’ and the location of three of the most important religious sites – The Wailing Wall which for the Jews is the part of the Second Temple; the Dome of the Rock which for Muslims is where Mohammad assented to heaven and lastly it’s the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Christians believe Jesus was crucified.

Irrespective of which line you use to create the two states, there is a lot of resistance on the Israeli side. This is because of three directly related issues and one indirect.

Security. Although much of the fighting between Israel and Palestinians has been lopsided, it is still true that Israelis feel a genuine fear of violence – be it suicide bombers, rocket attacks or simply mobs. The first two are perhaps realities they will always face…as long as the conflict exists; as I stated earlier, one-staters are a minority on both sides but as long as the issue is unresolved, attacks on Israel will persist.  The mobs (the intifadas for example although protests, mostly peaceful, occur weekly throughout the occupied territories) are the result of occupation; an issue that will disappear with the creation of Palestine and the removal of occupation forces.

Hamas. As part of the security issue, is often used by Israel as an excuse not to negotiate…and to be fair, Hamas has played hardball with the religio-political rhetoric. That said there are three main complaints with Hamas; first it refuses to recognise the state of Israel…however, it has indicated it will when Israel recognizes the state of Palestine with ‘appropriate’ borders. That it will not renounce violence…however Israel still practices ‘targeted killing’. That it will not recognize international agreements…unlike Israel which has dismissed innumerable UN declarations or international law.

BUT I don’t what to really defend Hamas, I think Gaza would be better without it (democracy failing again…Hamas was democratically elected) and feel disheartened conditions in Gaza are so harsh as to allow what I accept a radical group to rise to power (I shall resist the pull of Godwin on this one).

Even if we accepted that Hamas is as evil as Israel claims, the idea it is an actual or existential threat to the Middle East’s only nuclear power…a military giant claiming it fears the noisy mouse that is, at best, Hamas has a hollow ring.

That said, Hamas is in Gaza…an established border; it has little to do with the West Bank…the place where the border issue is discussed. Israel’s refusal to negotiate about borders with Fatah (the government of the West Bank) because the Palestinians are attempting to re-unify after a split in 2009, seems to be more of an excuse to not negotiate…not that I do not think that Hamas’s attitudes toward the state of Israel will not at some point be the main topic of discussion, the point Obama was making is that the location of the border could and should be negotiated now…that perhaps with the ‘land deal’ in hand, these other issues may just solve themselves with the main source of irritation being removed.

First it was war, then it was settlers...compare the 2000 map of Palestine to that of the Bantu States above

Settlers. Of course, Israel cannot remove its occupation forces as long as it has Jewish settlements in the West Bank[13], a lesson learnt in the Gaza Strip. The settlements are perhaps the most formable obstacle to peace. I should point out that the settlements themselves are highly illegal accounting to several international laws[14] and opinion. Sadly this is a classic (if unintentional?) tactic used by the Nazis[15], Soviets[16], Chinese[17] and other to settle ‘nationals’ on newly acquired territory so as to ensure pacification and permanent control. It also explains the resistance of Israel to ACTUALLY use the 1967 line, be it pre or post war, because if one looks at a current map of the West Bank, more than ½ of it is under settler control. IF Israel were to reconstitute the 1967 border with equivalent land swaps…well there isn’t enough land in Israel to really do that.

The Archipelago of Palestine - the view if non-Palestinian land were seen as water, what would the "state" of Palestine look like?

Right of return. This is an indirect issue and a red herring but one that gets played out in the border argument. When Israel was created a significant number of Jews and Arabs were displaced from their ancestral homes.  Most Jews emigrated willingly to the first Jewish state in millenniums while Arabs were unwilling and have been waiting for their own homeland in refugee camps for decades. Most Palestinians wishing to return to their ‘lost homes’ accept the existence of Israel and are willing (more or less) to become Israeli citizens as the price of return. Israel will never allow this to happen because of the number of Arabs claiming a right to return would so alter the demography of Israel so as to recast it as a second Palestinian state. However, most Palestinians claiming ‘right of return’ are second or third generation and do not actually expect to return to their land. They are looking more for an acknowledgment of and restitution for that loss. In this they have moral weight however I think it should be the burden of the “post WWII powers” that created Israel, largely out of guilt for the Holocaust, who should pay this restitution…being the ones ultimately responsible for the appropriation of the land.

It should be noted that Palestine was NOT created in 1967 or 1956 or 1948 because of Israel but because of Jordan and Egypt which occupied the lands the UN declared to be Palestine.

Lastly, why now? Why did Obama choose this moment to make the speech? Well, first there is not much new in the speech that has not been said before. If you look online, G.W. Bush said something similar during his presidency. It is essentially what was accepted in the Oslo Accord of 1993 and Camp David Summit of 2000.

It was also a good time because of the ‘Arab Spring’ which has seen the great apparent growth of freedom and secular democracy. However, this may not be as good as you might think. Israel, although perhaps morally opposed to the Middle Eastern dictatorships had learned to work with most of them. Their over thought has left Israel worried about threats ‘free and open’ elections might have on its own security.

However the biggest impetus for this “Moment of Opportunity” is the expected vote in September by the UN general assembly on the Palestine statehood. Palestine is planning to recognize, for the first time, the STATE of Palestine. It does this in an effort to shame Israel to the negotiation table as well as allow it greater rights under international law. It remains to be seen where this opportunity may play out but it cannot be denied it has set a fire under the Israeli government.

 


[4] By stating it this way, there is an implied denial of Palestine’s right to exist. IF we accept that the Israelis are not the British but the Indians, then this implicitly cast the Palestinians as the British…invaders who have not legitimate right to the land.

[5] A claim that is historically dubious, let us remember Israel ‘conquered’ the promised land from peoples whom the Palestinians could claim heritage. That said, the modern context (allowing modern to go back centuries), the lands Israel occupy now are NOT theirs…they are more akin to Americans or Canadians. That said, the state exists and as a reality has as much legitimacy to exist as Canada.

[6] This is a term that is based on perspective. Americans ‘taught’ hatred of imperial Britain before independence.

[7] This statement is equivalent, not to get all Godwin, to recognizing Germany and an Aryan State…states defined by race are innately racist and should be, even in this historically unique case, rejected. Both should recognize each STATE not racial states.

[8] He used the term ‘negotiate’ a lot and yet he seems to be dictating terms. That the state of Palestine will be a (reluctant) gift given (or taken away…if security requires it) to the Palestinians.

[13] Settlements on occupied territory are against several international laws. T

[14] (Geneva Convention-2001;UN General Assembly resolution 39/146-1984; UN Security Council Resolution 446-1979;International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion-2004…)

[15] Germans were encouraged to settle “unused” agricultural lands in Poland and Belarus as part of the “Lebensraum” principle.

[16] Russians were encouraged to settle in the Baltic countries (and to a lesser extent Central Asian countries) to help strengthen “communism”.

[17] Tibet has complained about the  high rates of Han Chinese the Chinese government has encouraged to settle Tibet.

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Saturday Stub: Get the Nazis for $49.99!!

Posted by Ethan Clow on March 26, 2011

While watching TV the other day I was shocked when I saw this commercial for a DVD documentary called Nazis: A Warning from History It was one of those “order now and you’ll get free shipping” type commercials that you usually see hocking Slapchop or Hitcut or whatever it’s called.

Take a look and see for yourself.

Now here’s my problem. I’ve seen Nazis: A Warning from History and yes the title is awful. However, it’s actually a great documentary. There is a ton of footage that was literally never-seen-before (when it came out back in 1997) and it did offer some really well thought-out perspectives on the rise of the Third Reich and why Nazism as a phenomena was able to capture the imagination of not just the German people but people all over the world.

All that being said, this commercial is terrible. Someone at Time Life (the organization selling it) apparently felt the Holocaust needed to be jazzed up a bit with an announcer who sounds like a guy telling us about Truckasaurus in the upcoming monster truck rally.

The wording of the commercial is also really questionable. At one point the announcer says “from deep within secret German achieves” which I assume is a reference to Nazi German achieves, of course it doesn’t help that the words “secret archives” is a huge red flag for historians.

Then we are informed that some of the footage is too “shocking” for TV…is that supposed to titillate us into buying the DVD’s? Does it come with a sticker that says “Unrated – Too Hot for TV!!”

When someone excitedly tells me to “Get the Nazis on Four DVDs for just $59.99″ I kind of want to rip my face off and die. But that’s just me.

But really, it’s only $49.99 and you save on the shipping and handling! For that low low price you can “feel Hitler’s uncanny force of will!”

And don’t you want to learn how “everyday Germans turned into killers overnight”???

Ugh.

And again, it’s all the more frustrating that this actually is a good documentary. The series was produced by Lawrence Rees, a respected documentarian who also produced the amazing Auschwitz – The Nazis And The Final Solution for the BBC and featured some of the most respected historians in the field of Holocaust History.

Horrible commercial but worthy documentary.

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The inerrant word!

Posted by Don McLenaghen on February 7, 2011


New Catholic Bible deletes ‘booty’ and ‘holocaust’…the unerring word revised again. Just a short note about the pending publication of the new Catholic bible – New American Bible Revised Edition – this Ash Wednesday or March 9th for those of us atheist who may not be acquainted the Catholic myth holidays. In this addition they are following the current trend we have documented in altering the text to reflect current sensibilities. Words like ‘booty’ have been replaced with ‘plunder’ because there were fears readers may be confused with parts of the human anatomy to which this word makes colloquial reference. It also removed the word ‘holocaust’ because it was deemed a term to refer exclusively to the Jewish genocide on WWII.

Lost in translation

This is the fourth edition of the New American Bible, when coupled with the fact that the latest of hundreds, if not millions of translations of the ‘original’ Latin bible, which was itself the product of multiple revision and translations, The Latin bible was often based on Greek and/or Hebrew

Logica carens

and/or Aramaic bibles. Why am making such a point about this LONG line of revisions and translations? Historically, if less so today depending on where you live of course, people believed it the PERFECT and INERRANT word of god, to be followed to the letter…unto death be it oneself or others.

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Heroic Miep Gies passes away at 100

Posted by Ethan Clow on January 15, 2010

Today I was saddened to hear that Miep Gies died. For those who don’t know, Miep Gies was one of the “helpers” who protected Ann Frank and her family while they hid in her father’s office attic.

As most people know, the story of Anne Frank is chronicled in her diaries that many of us have read. In actuality there are two versions. The 1953 version is edited for content (much to the chagrin of historians) a complete version is The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition.

If you don’t know the story of Anne Frank than I’m hesitant to tell you, I’d much rather you read her diary. Her words are far more powerful than mine.

I would like to talk a bit about Miep Gies though.

She was born in 1909 in Vienna; she moved to the Netherlands after the First World War and decided to stay there.

She grew up and eventually became the secretary of Otto Frank in 1933. She became friends with Otto Frank and his family, and their daughters Margot and Anne. The Frank’s had fled Germany to escape Jewish persecution.

When Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940, the Franks, as Jews, were in mortal danger. So they went into hiding. Otto asked Miep for help. She agreed to not only to hide the family and keep them a secret even though she was risking her life just for that alone. She also brought them food and supplies and companionship. For more than two years, together with her colleagues Johannes Kleiman, Victor Kugler and Bep Voskuijl. She made sure that Otto, his wife Edith and their daughters Margot and Anne were kept safe.

Tragically they were betrayed and the Frank family along with the Van Pels family, who were hiding with them, were captured and transferred to concentration camps. Miep preserved the diaries and when Otto Frank was released she returned the last trace of Anne Frank to her father.

She continued to lead a courageous life, telling the world of Anne Frank, speaking out against neo-Nazi’s who denied the diary, and corresponding with people whose lives she touched.

You can find more information about Miep and the Franks at the Anne Frank House website.

On a personal note, I visited the Anne Frank House when I was in Amsterdam. I’d like to share some the notes I wrote about that experience from two years ago.

” You can walk through the rooms and they have quotes from her diary and pictures and of her family. There are also small exhibits of stuff that was left behind, videos that show interviews with people who worked there and such. It’s pretty emotional and ultimately it’s a very tragic story.

One neat antidote I heard was from an interview with one of the helpers who was there. Miep Gies told how she came into the room one day and didn’t realize Anne was there, and when she saw her, at her desk writing Anne gave her this really angry look and slammed her diary closed. Anne’s mother came in and said, “Miep, you see, we have a daughter who writes…” And Anne looked up at Miep giving her this uppity look and said “Yes, and I’m writing about you too!” and walked out of the room. “

Miep was the last surviving members of Anne Franks protectors. She insisted for her whole life that she wasn’t a hero for protecting the Franks. She said that her actions were those of a human being helping someone in need and she did was anyone else would do. However I think the tragic lesson of the Holocaust is that Miep’s actions were far from what anyone would do…in actuality it was the opposite. Most chose to do nothing.

Miep, I know you claimed to not be a hero, but I respectfully disagree.

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