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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Yesterday It Was The Jews, Tomorrow It Could Be Hispanics, Asians And Folks of Colour

This entry was written by Mona Althaus (* 1987)

Youth as a Jewess in National Socialism

Interview with a Jewish artist Mrs. W. (1928)

On October 12, 2004, I met a Jewish German (born March 2, 1928) and asked her how she had experienced the time under Hitler.

Hitler gets into power
"When Hitler came to power in 1933, something began to change for us, primarily for our parents:

It began quite " harmless ", with our names being entered into lists where every Jew had to register. In addition, the Jewish women and girls, men and boys received a second first name: Sarah and Israel. Everyone got a card with a photo, on which the left ear had to be seen.
The identification card was pure control and harassment. It was provided with a large "J", a Jew, after which everyone, wherever the card had to be shown (food markets, etc.), knew how to deal with the person.

In 1934, when I was six years old, I was trained in a village school in the district of Osnabrück, like any other child. The two teachers who taught us were very friendly and helpful. During the breaks I played with the other children and I participated well in the lessons. "

Nuremberg laws
"But in the course of the second class, in 1935, everything suddenly changed. The Nuremberg Laws, which were passed on 15 September, deprived all non-Aryans of civil rights. This was particularly the case for me at school. I was hardly allowed to participate in the lesson. Our teachers ignored me, even if I snapped my fingers. I remember that we should write an essay on stones, and mine was the best of all. But my essay was not graded because I was Jewish. Although no one said it explicitly, everyone knew that this was the reason.


My sister Inge, who was trained in the summer, was treated as passively as I was in September. During the breaks, we, the only Jews on the school, were locked together with gypsies in a fenced yard. The other children insulted us by calling us names like "Judenschwein" (Jewish pig, or similar). This was very humiliating for us.


“Jew” marked store

None of the classmates or parents have protected my sister or me, or encouraged us, or at least shown their compassion in any form. My friends have turned away from me; I guess because of the influence of the parents, which was very painful. Except for my sister, I only had a single human trust, a teacher at school. But because of the tense situation during this time, I was avoided because of reprisals. He was worried about his job and I faced even more harassment.

After the class we were regularly attacked by boys on the way home. They came running behind us and shouted loudly at us throwing stones and insulted us.

We were only women at home, making our situation even more difficult and unsafe. For example, we could not understand why neighbors, with whom we have understood each other for years, would not have touched us from one second to the next. There was only one family that had been with us, but my mother did not want contact to prevent something from happening to her.

The Reichspogromnacht
"We had been humiliated, abused, and expelled for years. Until November 10, 1938, when we were finally expelled from school. One day before, the so-called Reichskristallnacht,
innumerable Jewish shops and synagogues - were plundered and ignited, Jews were killed in the street by the SS or deported to the concentration camp.


Jews on their march to concentration camp and gassing

That night my father and his two brothers disappeared without a trace. My mother desperately went from authority to authority, but no one wanted to tell her. She also inquired in the neighboring villages, until she finally learned what had happened. He had been taken to Buchenwald concentration camp! We were all shocked and at the same time very sad and anxious. Worst of all was the uncertainty about what would happen to him. The whereabouts of my two uncles were still unsettled.

Finally my father came home. After six weeks of forced labor, he was released with the order not to tell what he had experienced in the concentration camp. "

Escape to Holland
"A few days after the Reichspogromnacht, a children's transport to Holland was organized. My mother accompanied us to the transporter. The neighbors asked what she was doing, she said, "I bring my children to safety." So we were brought to Holland with many other Jewish children. At the station in Holland a relative picked us up. We were afraid, because it was still a trip to completely strange people, whom we had never seen before, a journey into the unknown, without parents, who gave courage. Also, it was very bad for my sister and me that we could not live together.
In the new school I was lovingly received and it was a comfort that I could see my sister there every day. Everyone was delighted to have a Jewess among them. I quickly found friends and had a lot of fun learning.
I have enjoyed my new freedom.

My sister Inge and I had the need to return to Germany to say goodbye to our grandmother. We were young, but no children, because these terrible experiences made us "small adults". With 10 and 7 years, on 05.05.1939, we did put our decision into action and drove to Germany alone.

At the Hamburg main station, we met our parents again by a fortunate coincidence. We were overjoyed and also relieved "

Escape from Germany
"My parents had meanwhile decided to leave Germany. In order to get the necessary money for the emigration, one had to sell his house at ridiculously low price to Aryans, which my parents also  did with a heavy heart. Although the borders for the Jewish people were closed, our parents were given permission to leave for Paraguay by means of a false visa. However, they had to pay for the return trip, because in the time many people wanted to earn a golden nose on the distress of others. But the main thing was that we were on the ship "Monte Olivia" and had our tickets to freedom and back to life, heading to Montevideo. After a long time, we were treated the same way as any other third-class passenger on the ship. It was a nice feeling.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, we did not have permission to leave, so we were to spend eleven days on the boat. But on the ninth day "we were allowed" into a detention center. Our joy did not last long, because we were imprisoned there for six long weeks, it was like in prison. We could walk in the garden, of course only under supervision. The hygienic conditions were not very good, but the food.
The "guards" in the camp were very nice and human, which was very unfamiliar.
We were then told that you could only stay in Argentina if you had family there or paid money. We had neither family nor money and so we had to decide whether we wanted to be taken by ship to Bolivia or Santiago ... "

The new life
"In Chile my experiences from the war influenced me very strongly. Whenever I saw a policeman, I froze. Although the worst times of the war I have been spared, like the Jewish Star, which had to be worn visibly, or when in September 1941 the first gassings were carried out.

On April 30, 1945, Soviet infantrymen rifled their flag on the Reichstag in Berlin. This ended the war. I sat with my girlfriend in the cinema when I learned this wonderful news. I was euphoric, and we walked home with joy in our eyes, to our parents. "


  1. Not going to happen in the USA! Which race will load the Asians, Hispanics, and Colored Folks into the box cars? I toured the Holocaust Museum--a very sobering experience. The Media tried to sway our election with biased opinions and unsubstantiated reporting. Unfortunately, there are those who were myopic and believed the fodder fed to them. However, experience and awareness of a silent majority prevailed. I appreciate your concern, Peter and enjoy your blog. Welcome to the US. We will treat you well.

    1. Trump has moderated himself to say that he won't deport 11 mill. people. BTW the logistics would have taken 20 years to develop. But he still plans deportations. I think it is alright to deport criminals to where ever they came from. But his terrible talk during the campaign has stirred up elements which frightens a lot of people right now. His hate speech has resulted in the endorsement of the KKK, which now plans a PARADE on Trumps inauguration day. That is gonna cause more violence. I am a peaceful man and I know that wide-spread violence can destroy a country from within. I don't want the U.S. to be destroyed by villains.

    2. Then stop belittling our new President. Understand, our medias have caused so much anger, despicable taste amongst normal, loving and kind Americas. We've had enough, way too much of disrespecting the Americans. Too much taking advantage of the Americans. We're done. D.O.N.E. We chose to elect a man who can talk tough, who can work hard, who has been a winner, and who is not afraid to tell the toxic swamp swimmers, to get out and go home or dry up, as we want that toxic swamp drained. PERIOD.

      Did you hear, President Elect Trump said he will not be taking a $400K salary??? What does that tell you???? It tells us our new President really does love our Country. You see Peter, our roots are more alike than you think. My grandfather came from the old Country too. I grew up in America where it was safe for little girls to walk a mile to the candy store, where it was safe to play outside at the school yard alone. Where we had prayer in public schools, where our American flag was honored each day. I grew up where respect was taught in our homes, in our schools. We were taught to listen, be fair and not be mean to others. We were taught not to steal, cheat or lie. We were taught not to talk back. If we did, we were given a spanking, we were grounded. Most of us learned our lessons early. Some, learned them but felt they were bad, very bad and so they went to DC and changed some laws which then led to the development of the COULD CARELESS GENERATION WHO WANTS AND EXPECTS IT ALL FOR NOTHING AND IF THEY DO NOT GET IT THEY THROW HISSY FITS. THEY PROTEST, THEY HURT PEOPLE AND PROPERTY OF OTHERS. You are seeing them in action right now on the news. They know their days are numbered. Americans are finished supporting the lazy ones. We are tired of career politicians and we're going to get term limits that way America can grow to be the best in the world like it once was. President Trump will not deport the good illegals, he will of course set a path in which they will get themselves legal or they will have the option of leaving for their homeland. America is not a place for free loaders. Never has been but we've had some selfish self centered politicians in office far to long and have made it be a place for people to come and take advantage. Those days are coming to a close. The USA will not be destroyed by villains, they didn't get elected. Their followers are heading into a dark place by their own actions, and where are the Clintons while their followers are breaking into businesses and looting and causing damage??? We are good people with a great love for our Country. We work hard to support our selves, and we pay our taxes. We are tired of supporting others who take us for granted. If you think that is wrong, then please, come get those we are no longer going to support and take them home to your place. You support them, you deal with them, then you will feel the pain so many of us have felt for so many years. Sit back and watch. America has just elected a PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT and things are looking great already.

    3. Belittling your president? I don't have to do that. He does that himself...every time he opens his big mouth. And didn't Republicans "belittle" Obama for 8 years? But I guess that was alright with you then.

    4. Peoples president who hires Steve Bannon as top aide...really !! Keep drinking the Kool-Aid ! I am a Jew and an American...proud to be up until now...Trump and his deplorable comrades will never be my President! He really needs to make room for David Duke in his cabinet. Then we can all be proud AmeriKKKans!

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  3. There is so much overreaction to these demonstrations. There are rumors running rampant throughout the media. Of course this should be expected from people whose source of news is Twitter or Facebook. The New York Times is no better. They are slightly moderating some of their op Ed's, but they are still inciting their biased readers.

    MIDDLE CLASS AMERICAN---- I grew up in the same idyllic time. While all this decency and righteousness was going on, little did I know good hard working people were being tortured, falsely accused, legally imprisoned just because of their skin color. There were atrocities happening everyday I knew nothing about because I was raised in the "good old days".
    Even though I'm pretty sure the dog and pony show Trump put on was probably that, a show, I sure can't fault anyone of color being very worried and afraid of this rhetoric.
    When people start saying things like "the lazy ones", "free loaders", this fuels the fires even more.

    I'm willing to give Trump a fair chance and the respect he deserves, but he doesn't have to make America Great again, it's already great. I hope he can just make it a little better.

  4. I guess we all have to just sit back now and play the "wait and see" game. What's done is done. Breathe, and get over it. Let's see what happens from this point on. I'm Canadian and have lots of American friends, and we are all just going to see what transpires from here. I also don't trust the media to NOT put any bad spin on the Presidency. They are so biased it's stupid.

    1. Agreed, Karyn. Right now I am most worried about "loose canons" attacking minorities. Cases have soared since the election. (FBI-source)


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