Night of the Murdered Poets

But this Resurrection Morning, April 20, 2014 I write with a very heavy heart because you see, another type of discovery was made this time just outside of Jewish synagogues in the Crimea.

Image       

Soviet Anti-Semites Deny Jewish
Heroism in War time circa 1946

                                             

         Image

“In January 1948 Solomon Mikhoels, a popular actor-director of the Moscow State Jewish Theater and the chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, was killed in a staged car accident. Mass arrests of prominent Jewish intellectuals and suppression of Jewish culture followed under the banners of campaign against “rootless cosmopolitans” and anti-Zionism. On 12 August 1952, in the event known as the Night of the Murdered Poets, thirteen most prominent Yiddish writers, poets, actors and other intellectuals were executed on the orders of Joseph Stalin, among them Peretz MarkishLeib KvitkoDavid HofsteinItzik Feffer and David Bergelson. In the 1955 UN Assembly‘s session a high Soviet official still denied the “rumors” about their disappearance.

In 2012, Yad Vashem began releasing more than a million new testimonial pages about Jews in the Soviet Union that are expected to help researchers measure the scope of persecution and extermination of Jews in the former Soviet Union.“(1)

Right now, as I write these words, there are Christians at the Garden Tomb just outside of Jerusalem celebrating the most magnificent act of love and grace the world will ever know – it is Resurrection Morning in Jerusalem! Praise Be to God! But this Resurrection Morning, April 20, 2014 I write with a very heavy heart because you see, another type of discovery was made this time just outside of Jewish synagogues in the Crimea. According to a USA Today report, as Jewish worshippers left the synagogue they were met by people handing out flyers to each of them. They were being ordered to report to the Russian authorities and register their families, the addresses, a list of all of their property and proof of citizenship. They were warned that if they failed to do so they would have their passports and citizenship revoked and their property confiscated. The only thing missing was the time of their curfew and their being ordered to wear a ‘Jude’ star identifying them as Jewish. Where is the worldwide outcry? According to the media U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made known his displeasure at the announcement. Heaven forbid that the U.S. Secretary of State boil over and call the anti-Semite acts the horrific crimes against humanity that they are! Whether they are carried out by Putin himself or some radicalized group of Russian citizens of Crimea acting on Putins orders, it might even warrant hearing some measured disdain from President Obama himself. The Nation of Israel did step up, as they always do, and rightfully declared the horrid nature of this crime, but the world seems to turn a deaf ear (See: Chamberlain – comma, Berlin – comma, Hitler – comma, 1938 – comma, Peace in Our Time – comma…)

I do not write this to rain on anyone’s Easter Parade. Today, in the Christian world is a time of celebration of our Savior, but it is also a day to remember that our Savior, the Son of God determined to come to earth as a Jewish carpenter. Maybe, as we celebrate here in the United States this Resurrection Morning in just a few hours, just maybe, this should be a picture in our minds..

.Image

                        with the declaration… “NEVER AGAIN”

 

 

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust_in_Russia

extermination

Dr. Ross L. Riggs Ministry Minute 29 April 2012 http://www.docriggs.com


The sun was as bright as we had seen it and the sky as blue as we had experienced since arriving in the northern city of Sopot, Poland the week before. This day was the 28th of April 2012, a date of no particular importance until mid-way through our day. It was with mixed emotions that I had asked our host to indulge our request to visit a Nazis death camp not too far from the town. The camp was named Stutthof, which was one that was not particularly familiar to me, even as a student of history.
I soon learned that Stutthof was the first concentration camp in Poland used by the Nazis to house prisoners of a political nature, the teachers, professors, doctors, the best and the brightest from the early years of the Poland calmpaign. Hitler had begun his invasion of Poland in the port ciy of Gdansk and it was in the Grand Hotel of Sopot that he kept his offices. It was not long, though, before ‘concentration’ camps were replaced in their methodology by ‘extermination camps’ with Stutthof as the principle camp, feeding other camps and directing the final solution.
In stark contrast to the sign over the Aushwitz gate that proclaimed “Arbeit Macht Frei – Work Makes One Free” the sign below at Stutthof, “Extermination through Work” declared no such reason for hope. Much has been written about life (death) in the camps; some of the most moving by survivors themselves. To quote American President, Abraham Lincoln, as he was taken aback by the sites of Gettysburg, “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”

The brave who struggled at Stutthof included women and children too, of all ages. I cannot, by my words, add to what was accomplished by the 65,000 murdered at Stutthof and over double the number that went through there, most transferred to other camps.

The emphasis of the 28 April date became clear from a sign within the unit which described the medical mal-treatment and surgical experimentation that was done without anesthesia nor any method to fight infection. Our visit on 28 April was seventy years exactly from the date when a new commander was brought to the camp with some fanfare; who would serve until the camp’s liberation.

Houpsturmfuhrer

A side note, other Nazis SS that held the rank of Haupsturmfuhrer included Joseph Mengele, the butcher and Klaus Barbie the Gestapo Chief of Lyon. It was yet another indication of the barbaric nature of the treatment of all who came into the death grip of the Gestapo.

Dehumanization of the prisoners kept them at bay while it also ‘vindicated’ the men who followed orders, in their own minds, if they could see these fellow human beings as less than dogs. The sunshine, blue skies, green fields with wild flowers growing where once men, women and children huddled together dying of disease, starvation and abuse seemed God’s way of reclaiming this part of His creation. If tortured human souls could haunt their last abode of earth’s plateau, it would be in a place like this. God’s Word tells us though that souls departed from the body are either with the Lord or in Gahanna awaiting future judgment. It follows, though that the demonic forces that once worked their evil would enjoy such a place as this if God does not chose to prevent their return. I would caution any believer when visiting a place of any such atrocity to bathe the visit and themselves in prayer, before, during and after the visit. Protection from the evil one is always a good plea to make before the Throne of Grace.

The purpose here, however, is first to remind folks that, regardless of the lunacy around Holocaust denials, it did happen and civilization must remember through the stories and the faces of the heroes, both living and dead. It must be remembered through visits such as this one and the short narratives of those who chose to write about them. Jesus Christ proclaims the antithesis of Auschwitz, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)