Yad Vashem launches third digital exhibition of letters from the Holocaust • “She always wrote with a lot of hope and never depressive,” says survivor Betty Kazin Rosenbaum of her mother, murdered at the Sobibor concentration camp with her baby.
Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff
Hope to see you in good health, a thousand kisses, mommy,” were the last words Betty’s mother wrote to her before being sent with her eight-week-old baby to their deaths at the Sobibor Nazi concentration camp in eastern Poland in 1943.
Sitting at her home with a pastoral view from a hilltop town overlooking the Mediterranean sea, 76-year-old Betty Kazin Rosenbaum read the hand-written letter in Dutch from the mother she never really got to know.
Betty keeps her mother’s original letter in her home, but she provided a scanned copy for a new digital exhibition unveiled at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust research center and museum in Jerusalem.
After spending several years in a ghetto in Amsterdam, the family separated. In 1943, 2-year-old Betty was sent to a Christian foster home in the town of Eibergen in The Netherlands until the end of the war.
Her mother and eight-week-old baby brother were hidden by a Christian family in Neede, but were betrayed by locals in the town and were subsequently sent on a train to their deaths. The father, too, according to records, was eventually sent to Sobibor.
Betty did not know who sent her the letter her mother had written, nor the postcard she wrote from the train. But the handwriting was the same as in the well-kept baby record book that she carried, along with several other articles, in a big square blue box that she brought with her from Holland when she immigrated to Israel in 1964.
“She always wrote with a lot of hope and never depressive,” said Betty with a smile. “Here she writes mommy. It is her and then I feel very close with her.”
Yad Vashem recently launched its third digital exhibition of letters obtained from the Holocaust, entitled “Last Letters from the Holocaust: 1943.” The exhibit “I Left Everyone at Home” includes 10 handwritten letters in different languages.
The letters are mostly hopeful and optimistic.
“All those who wrote the letters and are presented online … became victims of the Holocaust. They didn’t know that when they wrote it,” said Yona Kobo, the digital curator and researcher at Yad Vashem. Their fates, she said, were all “more or less the same.”
Kobo tracked down each family of the people who wrote the letters. “Each story is different and each family is different and that also allows us to give them back their names, their human dignity and to commemorate them,” she said.
Like the rest of Israel, Betty will mark the annual Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday to commemorate six million Jews murdered by the Nazis in World War Two.
Betty said sometimes she feels anger, but now she is focused on researching her family’s history, putting together the pieces of the puzzle and sharing her story with younger generations.
“The war years vanished, and they never told me anything. Now … there’s nobody to ask anymore and that is very painful,” she said as she looked at the fading photographs, prayer books and old, yellowing paper notes she has carried with her around the world.
According to Yad Vashem, fewer than 80,000 Holocaust survivors are still alive in Israel.
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases