Wednesday, January 28, 2015

CNN's Wolf Bitzer hosts documentary "Voices of Auschwitz"

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer hosted “Voices of Auschwitz” on CNN on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, one day after the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Saturday, January 27, 1945 at 4:30 PM.  The main link is here
Blitzer found out about his ancestors’ capture during WWII during a CNN ancestry project. But Wikipedia says his parents were Holocaust survivors from Poland. 
Eva Kor, one of two twin sisters at age 10, as one of the first freed.  She had survived horrific experiments conducted by Joseph Mengele. She also says she forgives her captors. 
Anita Laske-Walfisch actually played the cello at Auschwitz, and became part of the English Chamber Orchestra. She had been an accomplished artist before capture, but her situation at home had become desperate after Nazi invasion.  Not all prisoners were taken at once during invasions. 
Martin Greenfield, a tailor, survived on discarded Gestapo garments in which he kept warm.
Renee Firestone explained how gradually the crisis came, and shocked everyone was when the Nazis showed up and gave them one hour to pack up, before three days on the boxcar trains.  She said she had a happy childhood and had no sense of anti-Semitism as growing up until she started overhearing Hitler’s speeches on the radio. She did some design drawings and got a “job” making dresses in the camp.  After freedom, she found her brother in Budapest and started a parachute business in France. 
The program concludes with an appearance by Stephen Spielberg (“Schindler’s List”, 1993, which I saw at the Avalon in Washington DC). An article in the Daily Mail reports that Spielberg warns of anti-Semitism resurgence, link here.   The number of survivors is dwindling.
I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau for a day in May, 1999. I had arrived on the train from Berlin that morning and took a taxi for a day from Krakow, which was inexpensive.  I then took the train next day to Warsaw and was surprised to see people farming with primitive tools from the train.  So far, former East Germany and Poland are the only two former Communist countries I have visited.  
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of barracks ruins at Birkenau.  I think I remember seeing these,  Wiki author is “WeEzE”.

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