Diane von Furstenberg is an iconic American fashion designer, the inventor of the famous “wrap dress” who enjoys hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. After the outbreak of the current war started by the Hamas she posted a post full of hope, dripping honey and neutrality. Not a word about Israel, no comment about the horrid atrocities so many in Israel have experienced just because of being Jewish. Her mother, an Auschwitz survivor, explained Diane, taught her to believe “in the good even in front of evil. That it is always the light that pushes the darkness away.”
Unfortunately, it is a network of lies that Jews throughout the generations have had a tendency to fall into again and again.
Diane’s mother and my mother were liberated, after World War 2 in the same camp, Neustadt-Glewe, a relatively small Nazi labor camp, 8 Km south of Hamburg Germany, which housed about 5,000 women and girls. A satellite camp to which they were sent in February or March 1945 from Ravensbrouk concentration camp.
Diane’s mother like my mother was dragged 850 km, for two weeks in the freezing Polish winter of January 1945 during the Death March from Auschwitz Poland to Germany. Diane’s mother, weighing 29 Kg when liberated, believed according to her daughter in the La La Land of peace with the whole world. That if we insist on being nice and universal we Jews will be loved.
My mom who weighed 35 Kg upon liberation only aspired to continue the long line of the Jewish heredity of generations and of her parents’ home. She believed with all her heart that the only place under the sun in which she would rebuild her life was the Land of Israel. And that the horrible tradition of “Jew hunting” will cease only with the coming of redemption (Geulah).
On the eve of the 1967 Six-Day War, she summoned me, a young girl at the time, to the kitchen where she opened the bread box and took out the long sharp knife. Saying: If they come to our door we will not let them kill us easily. We will fight with whatever weapon we possess.
Nothing is left from the camp of Neustadt-Glewe, a beautiful small town, with a baroque-style impressive castle in its midst, except for a small plaque mentioning the existence of the camp. Tourists who visit are enchanted with the pastoral dreamlike scenery. Like so many Jews worldwide who insist to continue living in the La La land of peace, fraternity and rights for the Gaza Palestinians. Unfortunately, they still did not realize that the current horrid war was launched against the Jewish people. While there are many who extend a devoted hand to Israel, there are many who insist on ignoring the reality, that honey-coated neutrality, assists those who continue the ideological foundations of the creators of Auschwitz and the Death March.
We in Israel are not living through a second holocaust in spite of various similar motives, deeds and associations. The atrocities experienced by our brothers and sisters in the communities near the Gaza Strip are not equal to one day in Auschwitz or 24 hours of the Death March. The horrors of the Holocaust, the tortures, and the daily, hourly fear of death, lasted for years. But the messages are the same: It is forbidden for a Jew to drown in meaningless promises dipped with honey.
The moral obligation of the descendants of Holocaust survivors wherever they are is to come to arms, to scream, to knock on all possible doors, connections and hearts. To demand, to plead, to cry: do everything to free our brothers and sisters – the captives. Allow Israel to defend itself. We who were born against all odds, despite the world’s silence should not be quiet.
What we experienced in Israel is only the appetizer, according to plans. Sympathy to Hamas and to Gaza might well encourage millions who just dream of annihilating the Jewish nation all over the world. Be it Belgium, England, the U.S. or Israel.
First published: 22:29, 11.02.23