Clara was never the same.

Sep 1, 2016

After the Nazis reached the small village of Zolkiew in Poland, the life of a 15 year old girl was
never the same. While those around her were being killed or transported to the camps, Clara’s
family was being hidden together with two other families in a bunker dug by hand. Above them
lived the Becks family.
He was a heavy drinker, a philandering husband, who was actually an…anti-Semite and was known
in his village as a spy. Yet he hid three families, in total 18 people, for 28 months under his house.
Life under his protection was anything but predictable. He often spent his night hours drinking with
the SS. One Sunday, when his wife and daughter were gone to church, he called one of the women
up from the bunker, and abused her sexually. No one in the bunker dared say anything. Clara’s
sister was later shot dead when the whole street went up in flames and she tried to flee. The rest
of the family survived the war, but Clara was never the same.

Seventy years ago.
Today, January 27, one commemorates the liberation of the German Nazi extermination and
concentration camp near the Polish city, Auschwitz. It was liberated 70 years ago, in 1945, by the
Russian Red Army. In November 2005, the United Nations declared that the liberation of Auschwitz
on January 27, 1945 would be commemorated as Holocaust Memorial Day.

More than 1.5 million people were deported to Auschwitz. Of these, about 1.1 million were gassed
on arrival or shot dead. At least 200,000 people died due to diseases or hunger, or were still sent to
the gas chambers after a short time.
The evacuation started in January, 1945
Many prisoners had to march to the west, the
infamous death marches – some 50 000 prisoners
were forced to take part in this march. The intention
was that they would be put to work somewhere else.
During the death march, many prisoners died due to
the hardship (temperatures dropped below -20°C) or
by execution.

Those who were too weak or too ill were left behind, estimated at about 10,000. When the Red Army liberated the camp on January 27, 1945, there were approximately 7,500 sick and dying people present. The Germans were originally planning to kill all these people, but did not have time. The remaining German guards were killed in half an hour by the Russians
Were the Germans the only guilty ones? No, certainly not. Where were we, the Dutch, when the trains passed with the 102,000 Jews who went via Westerbork to the gas chambers of Auschwitz? Westerbork was a transit camp, and most Dutch Jews went through this camp on the way to the death camps in Eastern Europe.
Westerbork was originally founded in October 1939 by the Dutch government to house the German Jewish refugees who had entered the Netherlands illegally. The Netherlands didn’t protect them. The final destination was the gas chamber.
Six million Jews were then brutally murdered and gassed in the camps, also known by the Netherlands, the UK, and throughout Europe.
Today: Anti-Semitism is growing alarmingly and is worse than in the 40s.
Let’s shout aloud together: ………. “NEVER AGAIN!”
Around 12,000 Holocaust survivors died in the past year in Israel. Every hour at least one victim of Nazi atrocities dies in Israel.
We cannot make up for what happened then, only then ask for forgiveness to God and the Jewish people. What we can do is lighten their last years by helping them financially.
Therefore we ask today for a special gift for these people.
See the website, where articles can be found how Yad L’Ami helps