Monday, June 22, 2009

MSNBC Should Take Responsibility for Pat Buchanan's Remarks

President Phil Griffin
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Dear Sir,

I was a strong supporter of your network , until finally Pat Buchanan's hateful gibberish made me sick to my stomach. I hardly ever found anything to be in agreement with him and his often outrageous opinions.

Miracles of Miracles! At last, I found something on which I can agree with him.

I am an 88 year old survivor of the five Nazi concentration camps, born in Berlin, Germany.

As such , I am receiving the periodical Holocaust survivor's newspaper "TOGETHER ." In their recent edition (volume 23, number 2) they are quoting Buchanan as saying: "Most Historians Believe it was logistically impossible to gas 6 million Jews , and reduce their bodies to ashes ."

What do you know, I am in full agreement with this statement!

Those "historians" and their wonderful buddy Pat Buchanan , must have gotten their information from another wonderful friend, "the great Iranian humanitarian" Ahmadinejad.

I have never seen a claim that 6 million Jews were were killed in the gas chambers. I have seen statistics that 6 million Jews were murdered in the concentration camps, including those horrendous numbers that perished in the gas chambers. (Murdered by starvation, hard labor, beatings, executions, lack of medical assistance, locked for days in cattle cars witout food or sanitary implements, just to name a few.)

I know all about "the First Amendment" and such. If I'm not mistaken, the First Amendment also allows bosses and employers to act responsibly when such idiotic gibberish is put on the air.

It would be nice to hear a response from you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Anne Frank's 80th Bday and 50th Anniversary Edition Film

“Just imagine how forgetful I’ll be when I’m eighty!”

Anne Frank, May 11th, 1944.

Friday was Anne Frank’s 80th birthday so I decided to reread the book this weekend. It is amazing to see this book withstand the test of time. It is as powerful and relevant today as ever. Anne’s desire to leave a lasting mark on the world is confirmed by her book, the film, and the Anne Frank House, the organization that continues to teach her legacy.

In my opinion, one of the most beautiful passages in the book, was written on February 23, 1944:

“When I looked outside right into the depth of Nature and God, then I was really, really, happy. And Peter, so long as I have that happiness here, the joy in nature, health and a lot more besides, all the while one has that, one can always recapture happiness.

Riches can all be lost, but that happiness in your own heart can only be veiled, and it will still bring you happiness, as long as you live. As long as you can look fearlessly up into the heavens, as long as you know that you are pure within, and that you will still find happiness.”

Tomorrow, June 16, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release a special 50th anniversary edition of The Diary of Anne Frank, 50 years after the film’s theatrical debut.

The studio worked closely with George Stevens Jr., son of the film’s legendary director, to create the anniversary edition, available on both standard DVD ($19.98) and Blu-ray Disc ($34.98). Bonus features include an audio commentary with Stevens and Millie Perkins, who portrayed Anne Frank in the film; reflections by the surviving cast members; a documentary on the film’s history; and a featurette on the letters between Stevens and his son written during the making of the film.

Other extras include Perkins’ original screen test, several Movietone news clips about the film; a documentary on the film’s score, which was written by composer Alfred Newman; and the original theatrical trailer.

We aspire to make such a lasting educational tool for the world with our project.

Photo of Anne Frank taken in 1941 by Frans Dupont. Copyright Anne Frank Fonds/ Anne Frank House’.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A look at two 88 year olds' legacies: Holocaust Museum shooting illustrates need for Education and Acceptance

“Regrettably, this is an example of what hate can do. This is why I was preaching at high schools and universities (for the past 40 years.) The worst four letter word is H_A_T_E – it’s the most destructive word of them all. All these horrible killings and disasters are based on hate – religious, political, racial HATE.” Dr. Henry Oertelt told me when I called him tonight and asked for his comments.

I was shocked when I heard the news of James von Brunn, 88, a white supremacist and Holocaust denier, who opened fire on Stephen Tyrone Johns, a six-year veteran of the Washington D.C. Holocaust museum's security staff, who "died heroically in the line of duty," according to Sara Bloomfield, museum director.

This is not just a Jewish issue, this concerns everyone.

My friend, 88 year old Dr. Henry Oertelt, is a Holocaust survivor. He didn’t want to spend his life discussing the worst time in his life, (who would?) but a teacher insisted he come speak to her students 40 years ago and the invitations haven’t stopped since. And Henry has done his duty, trying to educate kids from middle school through college students as well as adults at civic groups, churches and other community organizations.

Both Dr. Oertelt and Van Brunn are 88 years old. And while Henry was spreading education and love, von Brunn was seething with hate and that will be his legacy.

Henry’s motto is, “If you absolutely have to hate, hate HATE.” He was actually an honored guest when the Holocaust Museum was opened and his identity is used in the museum experience, which allows guests to receive a passport when they enter the museum and find out at the end of their visit if that person lived or died.

Dr. Oertelt has already received two honorary doctorates from St. Cloud State University and South West State University, in Minnesota and he will be receiving his third from St. Olaf College on October 15, 2009.

And so, Dr. Oertelt and I will forge ahead with our feature film project, An Unbroken Chain: The Movie. Not because the world needs another holocaust movie, but because the world needs to understand what hate can do.

We have been asked to speak at the Holocaust Educator’s Conference next year in Phoenix at the Bureau of Jewish Education. I’ve joined the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors Association, a group who celebrates their 25th anniversary October 25. These survivors chose life over hate, and as Helen Handler, one of the surviving women so eloquently put it, "We didn’t put a gun in our children’s hands, we put a book in their hands."

Please help spread the word about our project. We will need all the support we can get. Join us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter (see link on this page) to stay in the loop. Thanks. Shalom.

(Photo courtesy of Francis B. Schreiber, St. Cloud State University)

88 year old Holocaust Survivor Comments on Holocaust Museum shooting

“Regrettably, this is an example of what hate can do. This is why I was preaching at high schools and universities (for the past 40 years.) The worst four letter word is H_A_T_E – it’s the most destructive word of them all. All these horrible killings and disasters are based on hate – religious, political, racial HATE.”

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Will Facebook follow Obama's lead on Holocaust denial?

President Obama went to Germany this week, including Buchenwald concentration camp. His own great uncle was part of a unit that liberated the camp. He has said that his great uncle was greatly affected with POST (post traumatic stress syndrome) when he returned to civilian life. You might have seen or heard that Obama also said he "has no patience for people who would deny history."

Chris Matyszczyk of Cnet wrote a great piece today in his Technically Incorrect blog, Will Facebook follow Obama's lead on Holocaust denial? Basically Facebook says that Holocaust denier groups are not hateful. Obama said, "To this day, there are those who insist that the Holocaust never happened--a denial of fact and truth that is baseless and ignorant and hateful," he said. "This place is the ultimate rebuke to such thoughts, a reminder of our duty to confront those who would tell lies about our history."

Facebook, get a clue, and follow your own policy: "You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence."