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Behind the Aegis

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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 03:58 AM
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Manfred Goldberg and Zigi Shipper: 'If it wasn't for Manfred I wouldn't be alive today'

Manfred Goldberg BEM and Zigi Shipper BEM both survived the Nazi death camps. They are both 92 years old — and have been friends for 78 years.

I met Zigi at Stolp concentration camp in 1944, where we were slave labourers on the railways. Because Zigi and I were the only youngsters — we were 14 —we became friends. I was a German speaker and Zigi was a Polish speaker, but we had Yiddish in common.

We were together for four or five months, but became separated when I was sent back to Stutthof concentration camp at the end of 1944. I had no idea if Zigi was still alive.

One morning, at the end of April, 1945, several thousand of us were each given a chunk of bread and under the watch of armed SS guards, were marched out of Stutthof. This was the beginning of the death march. My mother had been in the women’s camp in Stutthof and now the women were marching with the men. I began winding my way through the long column, searching for my mother and it was then that I met Zigi again, who had also been sent back to Stutthof. I’d had no idea.

During the march, Zigi was in a pretty awful state and kept saying: “I must sit down. I can’t walk another step.” I said: “Zigi, if you sit down, you’re dead” because the moment anyone traipsed behind, the guards would put a bullet in their head. I, my mother, whom I had found, and a few other people dragged Zigi along. The one friend I had made in all those years was Zigi and I was determined that if I could possibly assist him in saving himself, then I would do so.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Apr 25, 2022, 12:24 AM (0 replies)

Two Ukrainians whose family hid someone during the Holocaust say they've found refuge in Israel...

Two Ukrainians whose family hid someone during the Holocaust say they've found refuge in Israel because the survivor's granddaughter took them in

Two Ukrainian women who've fled their country amid turmoil brought on by the Russian invasion have found refuge in Israel.

Their grandmother — Maria Blishchik — hid a Jewish girl named Fanya Bass in Ukraine during World War II from Nazis, saving her life and ensuring that her family lineage would not end, The Jewish Press reported.

Today, Fanya's granddaughter Sharon Bass welcomed Lasia Orshoko and Alona Chugai, Blishchik's granddaughters. She took them in when they arrived on Sunday at the Ben Guion International Airport, according to the Jewish Press.

Sharon said she visited the gravesite where her grandmother's body lies to pray that she would be able to take in the two Ukrainian refugees, the Jewish Press reported.


Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Mar 12, 2022, 04:51 PM (7 replies)

Michigan state House candidate posts, calling feminism 'a Jewish program to degrade white men'

Michigan state House candidate has shared antisemitic posts, including one calling feminism ‘a Jewish program to degrade white men’

Robert Regan, the Republican nominee for a safely conservative state House seat in Michigan, has frequently re-posted antisemitic content and shared his own extreme views on Jews.

Regan is in a good position to win a May 3 special election for a vacant seat representing Kent County, Michigan’s 74th state district, after winning a crowded Republican primary last week by a narrow margin of 81 votes (according to unofficial tallies). Michigan’s Republican Party congratulated Regan on Wednesday for winning the primary.

In May 2021, Regan’s personal Facebook page shared two posts, still visible on his page as of Monday, in which he expressed antisemitic opinions. In one, he shared an image of a quote branded by the logo of Smoloko News, a now-defunct antisemitic website. The quote described “feminism” as “a Jewish program to degrade and subjugate white men.”

In January of last year, Regan shared a link to an antisemitic “family history” of the Rothschilds, the Jewish banking family often at the center of conspiracy theories about Jews and world banking domination. Two months later, he shared a meme made by a QAnon influencer that called “(((Them)))” the “real virus” in a post calling public health measures to combat COVID-19 “nonsense.” The triple parentheses, or echo symbol, is used online by antisemites to identify Jews.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Mar 7, 2022, 09:58 PM (17 replies)

A Ukrainian synagogue turns into a bomb shelter

As air raid sirens blared in the small Ukrainian city of Uman, about 125 miles south of the capital Kyiv, families crowded into a makeshift bomb shelter underneath a central synagogue.

Before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine last week, the basement of the temple was used as a bathhouse for Jewish worshippers to do their ritual washing -- or mivkeh -- before prayers.

But now, the Synagogue of the Breslover Hasidim is opening its doors to all locals looking for shelter from the threat of Russian troops. Uman was hit by missile attacks on the first day of the invasion, but has not seen any major fighting yet. Still, the city is on edge, and remaining residents are preparing for the worst.

"We invite all the people, all Ukrainians, all Hasidic people, doesn't matter who," said Irina Rybnitskaya, a lawyer for the US-owned foundation that runs the synagogue. "We prepare this place especially for them, in order to hide (when) there is (an) alarm."

The temporary hideout is lined with wooden benches and has been stocked with mattresses, blankets and hot drinks. The residents have arrived carrying their valuables and bags of clothing, in case they have to camp out for days -- or longer -- in the shelter.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Mar 3, 2022, 04:29 PM (0 replies)

Toronto middle school students give a Jewish teacher the Hitler salute

Police and school authorities are investigating an incident in which Toronto middle school students gave the Hitler salute to a teacher who is the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

The incident is the third such display of Nazi symbology at middle schools in North York, a Toronto district, in recent weeks.

“One of our teachers, a French teacher, a Jewish teacher walked out of the room,” Shari Schwartz-Maltz, a spokeswoman for the Toronto District School Board, told City News, a local TV news outlet, on Tuesday. “When she came back into the room, several students surrounded her and gave her the Heil Hitler salute. This particular incident was very hateful, very hurtful, very upsetting to the teacher who happens to be Jewish, and she’s just allowed me to share with you that she’s also the child of Holocaust survivors. So this is something that hits her in the heart.”

Schwartz-Maltz, who chairs the school board’s Jewish Heritage Committee, said there would be “consequences” for the children involved, and that there would be expanded Holocaust education. “This has come from the top that we are committed to proactively bringing more Holocaust education into our schools for middle school up,” she said.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Feb 23, 2022, 06:51 AM (9 replies)

After a Jewish lawmaker's impassioned speech, Wyoming's conservative legislature rejects CRT ban

After a Jewish lawmaker’s impassioned speech, Wyoming’s conservative legislature rejects critical race theory ban

It seemed a slam dunk: The popular conservative cause of banning “critical race theory” in schools, being taken up for a vote in one of the country’s most lopsidedly conservative legislatures.

Then a Democrat, one of just seven in the 60-member Wyoming legislature, stood up Thursday and said he could not support the bill because he was Jewish.

“In this bill, page 9, line 19 states, ‘The teaching of history must be neutral, without judgment,'” state Rep. Andy Schwartz said during debate. “Now, how can that be possible? If I were a Native American, I doubt I could accept the neutral, judgment-free approach about the relocation, the decimation of the Indigenous population. If I were a Black American, I doubt I could accept a neutral, judgment-free approach on the enslavement of millions of Americans.

“But I’m Jewish, and I cannot accept a neutral judgment-free approach on the murder of 6 million Jews in World War Two.”

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Feb 19, 2022, 06:59 AM (39 replies)

Report: Conspiracy theorists fuel bump in extremist killings

Newer strains of far-right movements fueled by conspiracy theories, misogyny and anti-vaccine proponents contributed to a modest rise in killings by domestic extremists in the United States last year, according to a report released Tuesday by a Jewish civil rights group.

Killings by domestic extremists increased from 23 in 2020 to at least 29 last year, with right-wing extremists killing 26 of those people in 2021, the Anti-Defamation League said in a report first provided to The Associated Press.

The ADL’s report says white supremacists, antigovernment sovereign citizens and other adherents of long-standing movements were responsible for most of the 19 deadly attacks it counted in 2021. The New York City-based organization’s list also included killings linked to newer right-wing movements that spread online during the coronavirus pandemic and former President Donald Trump’s presidency.

The ADL concluded that roughly half of the 2021 killings didn’t have a clear ideological motive, fitting a pattern that stretches back at least a decade.


This shouldn't come as a surprise, and may only be the beginning of things to come.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Feb 17, 2022, 03:42 PM (0 replies)

'Gazpacho Police' is now an original klezmer song

Since Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene’s “gazpacho police” gaffe went viral in an interview earlier this week, jokes, memes, snarky tweets and the like have circulated far and wide across the internet.

And just when we thought the joke had gone cold (get it?), we caught wind of a creative, and very Jewish, interpretation of the Republican’s blooper: a klezmer song, “Gazpacho Police,” from Brooklyn-based clarinetist and composer Michael Winograd.

“I’m drawn to punny titles and I felt like, whether the Representative knew it or not, she was encroaching on my territory,” Winograd, 39, told The New York Jewish Week. “What was I supposed to do? It would be a shonda (shame) to let that go to waste.”


“While it’s funny, obviously [‘Gazpacho Police’] is unfortunately about more than just the music,” Winograd said, hinting at the more sinister intentions behind her ridiculous statements, such as blaming “Jewish space lasers” for California’s wildfires in January 2021. “But still, when someone says something like that, what are you going to do? Not make it into klezmer song?”


This is a oh so Jewish response! LOL!

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Feb 11, 2022, 09:38 PM (1 replies)

It has been 6 months since my little man, Voodoo, left us.

Every 4th, I instinctively cry. Every 4th, I try to remember something happy about him, and not why this day is so sad for me. Every 4th, I remember the people who were so kind with words of sympathy, solidarity, and love. But, every 4th, I still mourn.

Voodoo was a huge part of my life. At two months, he came to live me and my, then partner, now husband, and for 15 and a half years, he was a major part of our lives. He moved with us from Oklahoma to New Orleans, which is why he was named Voodoo. He moved back to OK with us 5 years later. He loved us both, but he and I had a special relationship, especially toward the end.

I hoped after all this time it would be easier, and, in some ways it is. I no longer cry every time I see his picture, like I did for almost two months. I can talk about him with tearing up. I spend more time talking about the things that made us happy or that were so quirky about him like the fact that when the dogs were outside, they come back to the door to be let in, but they all act different ways; Laveau, well, she just stands there until someone sees her. Her sister, Marigny, presses her nose against the door and sometimes scratches at it. The baby, Zatanna, she raises holy hell by barking until someone lets her back inside. Voodoo? Well, he would stand there for about a minute, if you didn't make it to the door in time, he would just walk off and it might be another 5, 10, 20 minutes before he decided to "allow" you to open the door for him to go back in. The other dogs respond to my call, not so much my husband (LOL), not Voodoo. Oh, he'd hear me, look at me, then go back to whatever he was doing. When I come downstairs after a long period, the dogs clamor at the gate, Voodoo would walk by, glance at me, and keep walking. He never tried to compete with the girls.

Voodoo also had a distinctive "woof". Despite his size, he could muster a loud-ish woof when he wanted attention or thought someone was in the house that shouldn't be. A few days ago, after working on some things in my office upstairs, I needed to go down to get a soda. Predictably the dogs hear me coming and started barking at the doggie gate. I heard his "woof". I KNOW I heard it. I almost fell down the stairs because I ran and missed two of them on the way down. My mind, for whatever reason, decided to torture me and make me think I would round the corner and see my little man looking at me, then casually walking off after a nod to my presence.

The reason I am relaying this, reliving this, is to let others who are in similar positions know, yes, it does get easier with time. Yes, the happy memories start to outweigh the grief. It is true, you will find yourself smiling more than tearing up when you think of the lost one. But there will be days, for whatever reason, the pain, sorrow, and grief will come back. It's OK. It will pass too, but it reminds you how much the one no longer with you physically is always with you.

I miss Voodoo.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Feb 4, 2022, 04:37 PM (8 replies)

TikTok adds new features to direct users to reliable information about the Holocaust

TikTok announced a raft of new features intended to reduce the spread of misinformation about the Holocaust shared on the platform and to direct users to trustworthy sources about the subject.

Beginning Thursday, a banner will pop up when users search for Holocaust-related terms and direct them to aboutholocaust.org, a website run by the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO to offer information about Holocaust history. A link to the website will also pop up for users viewing hashtags related to the Holocaust like #Holocaust and #HolocaustSurvivor.

The new features were announced on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is marked on the day that Auschwitz was liberated. The social media platform, which features short videos, has pledged to crack down on hate speech shared on the platform in the past and has worked with the Anti-Defamation League to develop protocols for determining hate speech.

“Hateful behavior of any kind is incompatible with our values and the inclusive environment we are building at TikTok. We condemn antisemitism in all its forms and deploy a combination of technologies and moderation teams to remove antisemitic content and accounts from our platform, including Holocaust denial or any other form of hate speech directed at the Jewish community,” the company said in an announcement.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Jan 27, 2022, 04:24 AM (0 replies)
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