The entrance to Auschwitz concentration camp, with the words “Arbeit macht frei”, meaning “work sets you free”. The phrase is known for appearing on the entrance of other labour camps, including Dachau and Theresienstadt. (Photo from the post “Untangling memory, taking a stand.” By Moyukh Mahtab & Shamsuddoza Sajen; The Daily Star; 1/28/17 12:00 AM Last update on: 7/18/17 03:57 PM)
Email from Ari Bussel of which I begin with an email sent to Ari from Matthew Ball and follow that with Ari’s response. The topic: International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
As you discover Mr. Ball is a member of the Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons). In full disclosure I am among the Biblical Christians that believe Mormons follow extra-Biblical teachings which some describe as modern day Gnosticism. And yet who am I to criticize? I belong to a group of Christians labeled Word of Faith and another labeled as Christian Zionists. Many Christians critical of Mormonism also have no difficulty in labeling the Christian groups I associate with as heretics.
The point to be recognized here is one religious group recognizes age old Antisemitism (which predates Christianity by-the-way) is sadly not only ongoing but might be reaching Nazi-Germany era levels again among those who call themselves Christians who should assuredly by now no better.
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Re: January 27: International Holocaust Commemoration Day 2022
Email from Ari Bussel
Sent 1/28/2022 12:04 AM
On Jan 27, 2022, at 6:54 PM, Matthew Ball <mball@…> wrote:
It is with great sadness and acute awareness of the many sacrifices and suffering of our Jewish Brothers and Sisters that I share this letter from some of our Church Leaders–with you. Our hearts go out to you and your international community with a gratitude for your friendship and a desire to extend our love to you during a very difficult time of remembrance.
Attached is a letter that my colleagues across Europe have shared with their Diplomatic friends and associates. I wanted you to know that we share these feelings.
Amidst the very difficult your memory of this tragic era in our history, we express our support and concern for your well-being.
Embracing you as one of our own,
P.S. – It’s rather amazing to hear of the snow that fell in Israel today. Apparently, not since the 50’s has such a phenomenon occurred. I hope this helps to codify the “cold” but necessary remembrance of today.
Director of Public & International Affairs, NAWA
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
1591 E. Temple Way
Los Angeles, CA 90024
[Ari sent attachments of the letter in PDF format and jpg format. Below is the photo. Following the photo is Ari’s email response.]
When a family member goes out to try and secure food and does not come back, another family member goes out looking for her. She does not return either to the hiding place of the family.
Some of the good Polish neighbors squealed on them. Neither was ever heard of or seen again.
One of the two was my grandmother – my sister is named after her – the other was her mother.
The Poles, these wonderful people who were “under occupation” and neither participated nor took part in and derived great joy from the atrocities carried out, who did not smell or felt the human ashes being spewed from the Crematoriums, passed certain laws in recent years to re-write history. In fact, for what I have written here, I can face dire consequences today in Poland.
And yet, we rush to send our kids to the March of Living in Poland every year. What a very big business it is!
The Poles were indeed most amazing people who cared greatly about the Jews in their midst. There were a few – the Righteous Gentiles – who risked their own lives and that of their families for Jews, sometimes Jews they did not even know. After escaping the Warsaw Ghetto, my father and my uncle hid for the duration of the war with one such family.
The very same loving nation continues to fight to this very day against the Survivors who are trying to get their properties back. As the Hebrew saying goes, “Have you murdered and inherited too?” Another law was recently passed, but that law simply codified what we already knew by experience – the Poles utterly refuse to return property to its rightful owners. Just ask my father and my uncle who spent the last few decades fighting – at all levels of the judicial system in Poland. One court case after the next, more than a dozen in total, where each level sends it to the next – up and back down, like a rollercoaster.
And then we were invited to the Academy, right here in BH, when an entire nation went on a blitz to persuade itself and the world that it is just [an] innocent victim like everybody else – Poland was occupied by the Nazis, and the Poles had nothing to do with anything.
There is no remorse. There are no second thoughts. Just a complete revision of history and the utter determination not to allow the flood gates to open. After all, the Survivors are getting older and die, and when they all die, their descendants will not continue to fight. That is the human story; this is life.
Tomorrow my uncle turns 89. My father is 84. They were young when the War erupted. Now they are the last of the Survivors. Everyone else – those few still with us – is in his or her 90s. They are determined not to give up, no matter what. They were deprived of their childhood and early adulthood, and they are being wronged to this day.
Israel does not take care of Holocaust Survivors outside of Israel. Shamefully, even the care and concern within Israel proper is something to be desired. But let us worry not – soon there will be no more Survivors, and no more firsthand, live accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust. Then when a child will ask Siri or Alexa, “Tell Me, What Was the Holocaust,” she or he may receive an answer along the lines, “A scientific international conference, convened by a sovereign nation (Iran), determined it was a sophisticated hoax perpetrated by the Jews.”
Included here is a former professor of mine from UCLA from decades ago. One of the foremost experts on that period, she had to prove in a (British) court of law that the Holocaust did happen.
Included herein is a brilliant researcher in Israel who is publishing one book after another about the Holocaust. Yet, publishing houses stay away from publishing these books – for there is no demand, and so it is not profitable to engage in such publications. Yet, he does not stop, for he is on a mission.
All together, we are a team. My parents and my uncles, Survivors; dear friends who are part of this e-mail – daughters and sons and spouses of Holocaust Survivors; dear friends, protectors and defenders of Israel who fight day in and day out to safeguard the Jewish State; and our Christian brethren whose steadfast support of Israel and the Jewish people is a miracle in and of its own.
TOGETHER WE ARE TEAM ISRAEL.
As my dear friend Zohreh says,
AM ISRAEL CHAI (the nation of Israel lives; and is strong)
Edited by John R. Houk
© Ari Bussel