Because of all my father and mother did to liberate Europe (I go to the West Bank)

Israel/Palestine
Richard Pinder 544028 crop 1
The photo i.d. for Richard Pinder, the author’s father, when he was a slave laborer in Germany during the war

Why am I so passionate about injustice in Palestine?

I was born in London in 1941. From early childhood I was aware of injustice against the Jewish population in Germany. My mother had visited Berlin and Hamburg in 1936 and been appalled at what she witnessed – both the mass hysteria at a rally addressed by Hitler, and the anti-Semitism. One of my mother’s pre-war beaux, a frequent visitor, was a German Jewish banker who had fled to London; his parents perished. I remember him telling how they had been forced to cut grass with nail scissors.

My father volunteered for extremely dangerous work to defeat Hitler– Special Operations in France, parachuting in to help the resistance. To understand how dangerous, consider that of the 50 or so women who were dropped in, 15 were executed, often after hideous torture. Some survived (one had all her toenails pulled out; one who died recently had been waterboarded multiple times and survived several concentration camps). Dad was caught in a Forced Labor Round-Up and spent 11 months as a slave laborer. He was a skeleton when he came back to England in July 1945, and that was after being fed by the Americans for 5 weeks. After liberating him, they had arrested him and kept him prisoner in Munich, thinking he was Lord Haw-Haw!

Cpt Richard Pinder 123029 crop
The author’s father on 14 July 1945, the day he got back to the UK.

In 1947 I watched him give witness in the War Crimes Trials. And also in 1947 I accompanied my mother when she went to do relief work among the Displaced Persons in what had been the Neuengamme concentration camp. She was a member of the Catholic Women’s League. She worked with the adults, setting up workshops where they could ply their crafts (jewelers) and make leather gloves to sell and to cover prosthetic hands.

I remember the smell of the hides piled up on our dining room chairs. I played with the children. The dolls’ house that was made for me as a gesture of thanks is now on permanent display in the Spertus Museum of Judaica in Chicago. The British rabbi chaplain was a frequent visitor to our home – he always had hard boiled eggs in his pockets so as to have something kosher to eat.

Jessie and Caroline Pinder030 cropHamburg 1948, Author with her mother Jessica Thomson Pinder

So – from a very early age I was aware of injustice, prejudice, and inhumanity and the need for faith-blind ecumenical outreach.

I should add that I had some slightly comic experience of prejudice myself (quite apart from the still fairly standard anti-Catholicism in England) when I was 10 and at the French school on Koblenz (where my father was liaison between the British Army of the Rhine and the French Army of the Rhine). The kids beat me up and rolled me in the mud, because we had burned Joan of Arc. I didn’t hold any grudge – seemed perfectly reasonable to me, my lot had burned their lot’s saint. Though my mother said – Why didn’t you tell them that their leaders handed her over to the Occupying Forces, just as the Temple leaders did to Jesus? Of course I didn’t know that!

So I was all the more appalled when I went to the West Bank in 2007 and saw for myself the long waits in the blazing sun at check points that resembled cattle chutes, the Israeli-only roads, the “settlements” that are new cities of Judean limestone with fountains and swimming pools and irrigation. Excuse me, but bananas are not meant to be grown in the desert! While nearby Palestinian villages have inadequate water supplies, they are forbidden to drill new wells, and filth and garbage is thrown down existing wells (I saw it), and homes are routinely torn down because they may not have had building permits. Palestinians can’t get them!

And the acres and acres and acres of olive stumps – chopped down or dug up. For why?

Didn’t Josephus point out that Jewish law required consideration towards enemies: forbidding Jewish troops to cut down their enemies’ food-bearing trees (Deut.20:19).

I care deeply about the future of Israel and love my Israeli friends, and want their children and grandchildren to live in peace and security. To ensure that, a Palestinian state must be recognized, a real state, not one riddled with holes and exceptions etc. Sure it means working with political parties who currently support terrorism and will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. To reach an agreement the moderate center always has to embrace the extremists on both sides (look at Northern Ireland – ask Senator Mitchell). It is also true that only a tiny minority of Palestinians support Hamas. Don’t keep looking for excuses – Israel should take the lead.

Keep thinking of your grandchildren! Can Israel not be a state for Jews? Does it have to be a Jewish state? All states, especially “made-up” ones change and evolve – look at the USA, look at France. Neither is what they were in 1776 or 1789. Since then France has gone through another monarchy, two Empires (or 3 emperors) and five Republics. England executed a king in the mid-17th Century; invited another one back twenty years later and now is a constitutional monarchy without a constitution!

Surely Israel can stand up and take the lead here, and instead of claiming to be the only democratic state in the Middle East, demonstrate that it is a builder of independent democracies in the Middle East. Surely, surely.

My father parachuted into occupied France with three other men. They were all Jews. One was English, I knew him after the war. The other two were the French Madagascarian Meyer brothers. None of them NEED have done that work. I feel strongly that I owe it to my father and his colleagues to stand up and scream about the injustice being perpetrated by a people Dad and his buddies sacrificed so much to liberate.

About Caroline Pinder Cracraft

Caroline Pinder Cracraft lives in Chicago

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56 Responses

  1. OlegR
    May 24, 2012, 10:09 am

    Found two sentences to be quite amusing
    / Excuse me, but bananas are not meant to be grown in the desert!/
    Why the hell not?
    /. It is also true that only a tiny minority of Palestinians support Hamas./
    Riiight…

    With all due respect to the author’s late father.

    • eljay
      May 24, 2012, 10:41 am

      >> So I was all the more appalled when I went to the West Bank in 2007 and saw for myself the long waits in the blazing sun at check points that resembled cattle chutes, the Israeli-only roads, the “settlements” that are new cities of Judean limestone with fountains and swimming pools and irrigation. … While nearby Palestinian villages have inadequate water supplies, they are forbidden to drill new wells, and filth and garbage is thrown down existing wells (I saw it), and homes are routinely torn down because they may not have had building permits. Palestinians can’t get them!
      >> And the acres and acres and acres of olive stumps – chopped down or dug up.

      When confronted with the hateful and immoral ugliness of the Jewish State, what do Zio-supremacists do? Gloss it over and say “Found two sentences to be quite amusing”.

      >> Surely Israel can stand up and take the lead here …

      It could, but then it wouldn’t live up to the tag-line it boasts:
      “Israel: We may not be as good as the best but, hey, at least we’re not as bad as the worst!” (TM)

    • justicewillprevail
      May 24, 2012, 10:56 am

      Well done, a typically sour, ungracious irrelevant attempt to divert from the theme and the main point of a very well written and humane article.

      • Philip Weiss
        May 24, 2012, 11:21 am

        agreed. its a beautiful article about moral engagement and history.

      • Citizen
        May 24, 2012, 12:01 pm

        Really, Phil? I thought it was an inane article about growing bananas naturally and how most Palestinians support a HAMAS wish to drive all Jews into the sea–simply because they are Jews. With all due respect…

      • OlegR
        May 24, 2012, 7:48 pm

        It’s also posted in the wrong place.
        The target audience of it i think are Israeli Jews
        which are a scarce commodity in these parts.
        Send it to 972 i wonder what would they do with it.

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2012, 9:19 pm

        “Well done, a typically sour, ungracious irrelevant attempt to divert from the theme and the main point of a very well written and humane article.”

        Fredblogs wants to make sure the world (or at least that part of it which reads Mondoweiss) has a true picture of the Zionist Jew. The approach is two-fold: First of all, anything he can say to portray Zionists as sociopaths goes a long way towards impeding communication between Jews and non-Jews, always a “prime directive” for Zionists.
        And of course, he never knows when a budding sociopath will read him and think, “wow, if I stick with Zionism I can be all that!

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 24, 2012, 11:38 am

      “/ Excuse me, but bananas are not meant to be grown in the desert!/
      Why the hell not?”

      Uh, because it’s a tropical plant, genius. Don’t remember reading about the Great Israeli Rainforest anywhere…

      • ToivoS
        May 24, 2012, 4:24 pm

        And let us not forget how Israel’s efforts to cultivate European pine forests has turned out.

      • seafoid
        May 24, 2012, 5:42 pm

        Israel’s efforts to cultivate a european democracy have also fallen short as has the effort to build a polity that reflects the basic values of Judaism. So it’s more than just the trees.

      • OlegR
        May 24, 2012, 7:42 pm

        And yet they are grown in the desert, successfully.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 25, 2012, 9:25 am

        Sure, if you steal the Palestinians land and their water, you can do anything. The wonder of zionism: growing tropical fruit with the broken lives of Palestinian children.

    • piotr
      May 24, 2012, 12:20 pm

      Why one should not grow bananas in the desert:

      Jordan river is used up and Dead Sea drops every year. What looks pretty in one place leads to devastation elsewhere.

      • OlegR
        May 24, 2012, 7:27 pm

        The Dead Sea drops every year because of extensive mining in the area as well.
        Regarding fresh water supply most of it does not come from Kineret but from the underground aquifers. Which are also gonna be used less
        and less due to Desalination plants.We currently have three operational
        with more to come. (Should also solve the Palestinian state water issues
        once we reach a deal.)

        Mostly i found that phrase amusing because it showed complete
        ignorance regarding one of Zionism basic ethos’s.
        “Making the desert bloom” as Ben Gurion put it which was
        fulfilled with a great success to a large extent.

        The good intentions of the author is not something that i doubted,
        but it is interesting to note the responses from the usual suspects.

      • Talkback
        May 25, 2012, 4:48 am

        OlegR: ““Making the desert bloom” as Ben Gurion put it which was
        fulfilled with a great success to a large extent.”

        Less myths, more facts:
        Of the under 7% of Palestine private Jews and the JNF owned only 44% were used for agricultural purposes in 1945. The indigenous population planted 13 times more than Jewish colonialists. And most of their cultivated land was either confiscated or destroyed by Israel (as were more than 400 villages). So Israel didn’t make the desert bloom, it desertificated cultivated area. With a great success to a large extent and until today.
        http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story665.html

      • Theo
        May 27, 2012, 12:12 pm

        How many US tax dollars were needed to grow just one flower?

      • Hostage
        June 1, 2012, 12:47 am

        The Dead Sea drops every year because of extensive mining in the area as well.

        The Dead Sea isn’t the problem. 30 percent of your drinking water comes from the Sea of Galilee. If the level drops below the lower limit, there won’t be enough pressure to prevent brackish underground water from infiltrating the lake and making it too saline for use as untreated drinking water. You know, over-pumping the underground aquifers in Gaza faster than they could naturally be replenished caused saltwater infiltration. That’s probably the real reason Israel decided to remove its settlers.

        Which are also gonna be used less and less due to Desalination plants.We currently have three operational with more to come. (Should also solve the Palestinian state water issues once we reach a deal.)

        LOL! If you’re going to supply power to desalinization plants, why not just spend a lot less money and purchase imported bananas? That’s what the citrus growers in Israel figured out a few years back. Declining export sales and prices combined with the cost of desalinated water hit citrus growers hard enough that they reduced their plantation areas by about 20 percent. It was simply cheaper to license the trademark “Jaffa oranges” and buy the ones grown elsewhere than it was to produced them for export in Israel.

        Israel doesn’t have any inexpensive sources of energy to run the power plants needed to power those desalinization plants. The emergency plans for this summer call for power to be cut to the desalinization plants during periods of peak demand.

    • Cliff
      May 24, 2012, 12:32 pm

      You really are a pissant OlegR.

      To speak that way to someone whose father fought in WW2 (and did so heroically), with your whiny knee-jerk sound-bite is beyond belief.

      You (along with the other MW Zionist crew) remind of the guests on The Jerry Springer Show. Whenever I used to watch TV and flip past a taping of that crap, I’d linger for a moment, simply to indulge my own voyerueristic need to see people who are really messed up (isn’t that why we watch reality TV?). But then my patience gets the better of me.

      I’m just too sarcastic for people like you. You have zero self-awareness.

      • OlegR
        May 24, 2012, 7:10 pm

        Both of my grandparents fought in WW2
        i don’t think i should get some reprieve on that account.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        May 24, 2012, 7:55 pm

        – “Both of my grandparents fought in WW2”

        Yes I know Oleg, your grandparent’s country was invaded by Germany and they had to fight back. You are a military man also. But whom are you fighting? Someone who invaded your country?

      • Cliff
        May 25, 2012, 2:44 am

        OlegR,

        You miss my point. I won’t analyze personal histories any further but I’ll simply say that your response was predictably histrionic. If you’re going to mention your own grandparents now, then surely you understand the pettiness of your comments and many many others you’ve made here at MW.

        Except you don’t. Which is why it’s futile to draw any parallels to the authors story. It implies that you, yourself, share the same morals/ethics – and clearly you don’t.

      • OlegR
        May 25, 2012, 4:52 am

        No sorry Cliff no go, you are the one who expressed here the notion
        that having heroic relatives earns you some sort of credit,
        I simply demonstrated why it thinks that this is baloney.

        Besides the general Wow that everybody else here
        expressed regarding this article, is there some other response that you would
        deem to see fit ?
        I read the article 2 things popped to my attention and i wrote about them.
        And not unexpectantly received this
        “How dare you , her father , have some respect , petty , etc”
        BS.
        Good intentions which the author surely hold are not a substitute
        for knowledge which the author apparently lacks.

      • OlegR
        May 25, 2012, 4:57 am

        I was answering Cliff, Klaus
        he dragged the whole issue here (well besides the author).

        I am not a military man , well, not career military anyway.
        The last time i fought, an enemy shot missiles at my country
        in general and at a town where my family lives in particular.
        An you know the history Klauss the I/P is a different (thankfully)
        kind of conflict then what my relatives had to live/fight through.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 25, 2012, 9:18 am

        “Yes I know Oleg, your grandparent’s country was invaded by Germany ”

        Slight amplification: Oleg’s grandparents’ country invaded Poland, hand in hand with Adolf Hitler (committing many attrocities there). The Germans then invaded occupied Poland, passing through to the USSR. It is important to remember that the USSR was not an innocent country at all and by all rights should have suffered the same fate as Nazi Germany at the same time.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 25, 2012, 9:57 am

        “an enemy shot missiles at my country”

        It’s their country. You’re just occupying it. Your country is a couple thousand km north/northeast of their country.

      • Charon
        May 26, 2012, 12:51 am

        OlegR, it sure is different all right. It defies all logic and rationality, and I’m talking about the Israelis by the way. When it comes to the Internet variety of Zionist, we see similar reactions to your initial response to this article. It is as if you lack a conscious and empathy, often resorting to deceptive half-truths and rhetorical tricks. Basically the type that pass Dr. Hare’s checklist with flying colors (google it).

        There is no sense in being neutral or PC about it any longer either which many have done in order to get others to listen to reason. The fact is that Zionists are in the wrong. Period. And there is no sense in being civil or ‘nice’ in our interactions. Not for credibility or any reason. You’re in the wrong as are all of Israel’s cheerleaders. That message is viral now

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2012, 9:24 pm

        “your whiny knee-jerk sound-bite is beyond belief.”

        Zionists think anything they can do to portray Jews as not amenable to normal human decencies and empathies is a point for Zionism. That’s all he tries do do, trying to make sure that that anyone he can reach will take a dim view of Jews.

  2. Annie Robbins
    May 24, 2012, 10:30 am

    fantastic article with photos. huge shout out to Caroline Pinder Cracraft for contributing. it’s articles like this that make mondoweiss one of the best sites on the web! we’re so lucky.

  3. Klaus Bloemker
    May 24, 2012, 2:07 pm

    “… liberate Europe”

    The Germans today like to think that Caroline’s father risked his life to liberate us from the Nazis (instead of France from us).

    • OlegR
      May 24, 2012, 7:34 pm

      The Germans today really should not delude themselves on this particular issue.
      It’s one thing to let go of the guilt for your ancestors crimes
      it’s another thing entirely to rewrite history.

      If this sort of trend continues in a few years Germans might start claiming that their
      particular ancestor was an anti Nazi who fought in the” German Resistance”
      just like the French do sometimes.

      • justicewillprevail
        May 24, 2012, 8:41 pm

        You, of course, consider yourself well placed to apportion blame to millions of Europeans, as well as sneerily undermining Caroline’s heartfelt story, the moral of which you seem unable to understand.

      • Sumud
        May 25, 2012, 6:10 pm

        If this sort of trend continues in a few years Germans might start claiming that their particular ancestor was an anti Nazi who fought in the” German Resistance” just like the French do sometimes.

        There would be at least several hundred thousand Germans who could rightly make that claim Oleg.

        I presume you have German resistance in quotes to mock the concept. Why don’t you start to educate yourself and actually read the information in the link. Note it is ‘German resistance’ not ‘German Resistance’.

        Once you’ve read that you can forget it all then come back and tell us again that:

        Nazi Germany and it’s civilian population fairly earned all the calamities that befell upon them and much more in my opinion.

        I shudder to think what the “much more” you have fantasised about for German civilians involves.

        Meanwhile on that same thread you write about what you see as the powerless of the individual against a regime like that of the Third Reich )and that’s why think Israel is a necessity for jews).

        Your ethics are so full of contradictions and inconsistency Oleg.

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2012, 9:27 pm

        “Nazi Germany and it’s civilian population fairly earned all the calamities that befell upon them and much more in my opinion.”

        Yeah, well at least they didn’t kill Jesus! How do you propose, OlegR that we Jews escape that guilt?

        So, moderators, is it all right now to say that the Jews “fairly earned all the calamities that befell upon them and much more in my opinion”
        I thought people got banned for that, but maybe things have changed.

        I think it’s about time Oleg was liqui, whoops, sorry, “wiped from the pages”

    • Annie Robbins
      May 24, 2012, 7:47 pm

      klaus, can you direct us to any literature or articles referencing what oleg references and you imply is a ‘trend’. or is this word of mouth. i’ve never heard it before. assuming by “us” you mean germans. it wouldn’t have made sense for us to carpet bomb thousands of people at the end of the war if our intent was to liberate them.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 25, 2012, 7:05 pm

        thanks for the links. one, about a speech by President Horst Köhler in 2005. the other , 2006, about an exhibit.

        not sure i would characterize either as evidence of a trend but at least it describes the sentiment. the wiki link was helpful also.

      • Citizen
        May 25, 2012, 9:21 pm

        Mostly all Germans born before or during WW2 are dead or retired, methinks. It’s a different country, same as USA. One could make a reasonable argument, it’s a better country today than the USA is. A big sign of this is Germany was against Bush Jr attacking Iraq. Germans should be proud of that, and Americans should be ashamed. And, now both countries will be tested in a similar fashion with Iran.

      • OlegR
        May 24, 2012, 8:59 pm

        This also might be of interest but it’s
        from a different angle
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_Expellees

      • Citizen
        May 25, 2012, 9:28 pm

        You mean the fact that German reunification of E and W German states was made conditional on cutting of right of ethnic German refugees from beyond the borders of those two states?

  4. Klaus Bloemker
    May 24, 2012, 8:15 pm

    -“rewrite history” of WW II ?

    On May 7, 1945 Germany unconditionally surrendered. End of WW II in Europe.

    This day is often referred to in Germany – especially by the left – as “the day of liberation” (from the Nazis). This is not to rewrite history but to give a different interpretation to our defeat. A defeat that was also a liberation.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 24, 2012, 8:35 pm

      klaus, any links? literature, anything. i googled it and nothing came up. something in german is fine i can translate it. thanks.

      • Citizen
        May 24, 2012, 9:50 pm

        Annie, you might find this article and, more especially, the comments from young Germans (and inter alia Americans) under it, apropos May 7, 2010 and German guilt, or not, today: http://blogs.reuters.com/global/2010/05/07/65-years-after-ww2-should-germans-still-feel-guilty/

      • Annie Robbins
        May 25, 2012, 7:01 pm

        thanks citizen..i think this segment best represents the article:

        Having lived in Germany and Austria for most of the last 28 years, I’ve watched a very gradual shift in the “guilt vs. responsibility” debate that has weighed on these two countries that have done much to atone for the unfathomable crimes of their parents and grandparents.

        Many of their neighbours might still harbour animosity with origins rooted in the war. But Germany has clearly become more and more a normal country in recent decades and less and less burdened by the guilt over its horrific past.

        FRANCE DDAYThere have been a few notable turning points on that long road. I remember standing close enough to former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at a ceremony in Normandy in 2004 marking the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landing to see him quietly wiping tears from his eyes. Schroeder, who was born in 1944 and whose father was killed fighting for a lost cause near the end of the war, was the first German leader to be invited to the regular gatherings of the leaders of the World War Two allies on the French coast where one of the major battles of the war was fought — something his predecessors had long hoped for in vain as a symbol of reconciliation. It had taken 60 years to invite the German leader and even that modest act nevertheless still managed to stir some resentment in Allied countries at the time.

        (my bold)

        i read about 1/2 the comments but it more reflected the opinions of non germans speaking about germany. but, i didn’t read anything reflecting an trend of victim so much as younger germans not feeling responsible.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        May 25, 2012, 9:38 pm

        Defeat or liberation?

        I just talked to a friend about Caroline’s father and the Normandie landing.
        He told me that his grandfather had always thought that fighting in Hitler’s war had been wrong to begin with and that he had wished that Caroline’s father and the Americans who landed in the Normandie should have come to Germany tomorrow rather than the day after tomorrow to get rid of the Hitler regime. – This is not an ex-post interpretation of Germany’s defeat as “liberation”.

    • OlegR
      May 24, 2012, 8:47 pm

      /”rewrite history” of WW II ?/
      No rewrite history of the Nazi regime and attitudes towards it by the German
      population.
      (No it wasn’t us the Nazi’s did it.
      And who were the Nazis?
      Not us some one else.)
      I get it why the left uses this kind of rhetoric, i suppose they borrowed it
      from the Soviet’s who did think of themselves as liberators of Europe in general,
      even of Germans.
      But this kind of logic if taken to extremes makes people forget that the Germans
      fought a very hard and costly battle to the bitter end against their “liberation”.

      • eljay
        May 25, 2012, 11:01 pm

        >> I get it why the left uses this kind of rhetoric, i suppose they borrowed it from the Soviet’s who did think of themselves as liberators of Europe in general, even of Germans.

        The hateful and immoral Russian-turned-Israeli Zio-supremacist lectures the German on morality. Very amusing. :-)

      • Klaus Bloemker
        May 26, 2012, 9:28 am

        – “the Soviet’s who did think of themselves as liberators of Europe in general, even of Germans.”

        I think, Oleg is in this case critical of the Soviets and their claim of “liberation” of the Germans.

        Except for the German communists – who claimed a monopoly as having been the opposition to Faschism – nearly no one in the Soviet occupation zone turned East Germany considered the Soviets their liberators. The attitude was different in the western occupation zones turned the Federal Republic of Germany. I remember a survey in which people were asked how they got along with the occupation forces in their respective zone.
        The ranking was this (best to worst): British – American – French – Soviet.

      • Citizen
        May 26, 2012, 12:15 pm

        Mmmm, if the Germans were not really liberated by the Americans and Stalin, especially considering how Ike changed the label on German POWS so he cold starve them to death, and considering the millions of ethnic Germans ethnically erased and “transferred” from the homes of their birth, and, oh say, Dresden et al, not to mention what Stalin did to Stalingrad’s German POWS, and considering how each successive Post WW2 generation of Germans funds Israel and practically gives it nuke-ready subs and fully fundible cash for Israel to enhance Greater Israel at the expense of the natives and any just stability in the ME, key of Western civilization’s economy via oil and location, then what does all that mean, e.g., for the US troops, navy, and airmen who fought WW2 on two fronts, same as the Germans did, while Stalin used USA’s largess to defeat the Germans on one front (coupled heartedly by the Russian winter)? Is that a loaded question? Why, why not? And, carrying forward, what does it mean for US cannonfodder that US invaded Iraq and killed millions of Iraqis, both before Shrub attacked ( al la Madeleine Albright’s “it was worth it” to kill all those Iraqi kids), and when he Iraq attacked, and right up to today?

      • Citizen
        May 26, 2012, 12:27 pm

        About a half million American men were killed in WW2, one third in fighting the Japanese, and 1/3rd in air war against Germany and another third in ground war against Germany. What we got for our effort of our “greatest generation” was a Cold War with USSR and Israel’s conquest of the natives of Palestine and their land in the name of the Jewish people, which is still going on.
        For comparison purposes, At least 618000 Americans died in the technologically inferior Civil War, where American fought American.

  5. Klaus Bloemker
    May 24, 2012, 10:27 pm

    Actually, it’s May, 8th that’s called “The Day of Liberation” – “Tag der Befreiung”
    —————————
    In East (communist) Germany the day was for many years an official holiday as “the day of the liberation of Germany from Hitler-Faschism”.

    A member of the West German parliament also used this phrase (some 30 years ago) – causing some uproar: ‘Do you want to rewrite history?’

    Why is this important? My remark on Caroline’s father was to ridicule some lefty German political correctness that wants to paint the Germans in the Third Reich as the poor victims of Hitler’s dictatorship that had to be liberated by the allies (Caroline’s father). What Oleg says is not completely beside the point.

  6. Klaus Bloemker
    May 25, 2012, 8:44 am

    P.S. on rewriting Nazi history

    In my view, the Jewish organisations managed to rewrite that history.

    Today, the first and main association to “Nazis, Third Reich, Hitler” is “Holocaust” – whereas the main association should be and historically was: “World War II”. Some people don’t even realize that the Holocaust took place during WW II and that that war was a precondition to it.

    I remember a BBC news saying at 9 p.m.: “Millions of Jews were killed in Nazi Germany.” – I thought, what historical nonsense.
    Then, at 11 p.m. the news said: “Millions of Jews were killed during World War II.”

    • Mooser
      May 31, 2012, 9:41 pm

      “In my view, the Jewish organisations managed to rewrite that history.”

      Careful Klaus! When you think of the power which Jews have to blind, make mute and deaf an exponentionally greater number of non-Jews to work their distortions of history, it should make you careful about what you say. They may send a golem after you!
      Just uncanny the things (unnamed) “Jewish organisations” can accomplish. And more so when you think that nobody else had the slightest motivation to distort history after WW2. How did they do it? Must be Kaballah or something.

    • Mooser
      May 31, 2012, 9:43 pm

      “I thought, what historical nonsense.”

      You tell ’em Klaus! Most of those Jews (and others) were killed by the Nazis in German-occupied lands, the way I heard it. And that, of course, makes all the difference.

  7. Kathleen
    May 27, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Caroline what a beautiful and meaningful post. Remember as a child reading such horrific stories about what had happenned to Jews and others during Hitlers killing machine reign that I would sob in my room for hours so shaken that my mother tried to forbid me from reading WWII books. But I refused. Would shake my core as did reading stories about what took place for people brutally forced from their lives in Africa to shores far away or what took place for Native Americans as genocide was committed against them. Cruelty, torture, enslavement death. These human rights issues and crimes against humanity have shaken many of us to our cores. What we decide to do about it takes these humanitarian instincts to greater levels. Thank you for your activities in the West Bank

  8. Caroline Pinder Cracraft
    May 31, 2012, 8:43 pm

    Just picking up on a couple of points:
    a) my father was not part of the Normandy Landings, though the work he and the Resistance did held up the advance of SS Division “Das Reich” (and another – name I forget-? Der Fuhrer?) moving north. Dad dropped into France on March 11, 1944. The aim of his outfit SOE (Special Operations Executive) was to destroy the Axis world wide – not just drive the Nazis out of France.
    b) as regards Germans claiming to be part of a German Resistance (just as there were plenty of faux French Resisters): as a child in Germany from 1947 onwards, I was amused that you could not find a single German who ever admitted to being a Nazi Party member (my father was involved then in “DeNazification” so there was some talk at home). The role of the genuine resisters is well-known and documented from Sophie Scholl and the Weisse Rose group of students, to Father Delp SJ to Adam von Trott zu Solz etc. When we lived in Berlin in the early 1950s and I met the Jesuit priests there (my father had been SJ-educated in France), it always gave me a shiver to think that these men were the brethren of a man who had been hanged for his role in the Resistance. As an Oxonian, I took great pride that almost all the pre-war German Rhodes Scholars were in the German Resistance and died for it. A friend of mine’s mother had dated Adam von Trott zu Solz while he was at Oxford; von Moltke’s son was a contemporary of mine. In the same way, I take pride in the fact that many Israeli alumnae of my college, Somerville, are active in B’tselem (?sp.) and other such organisations.
    c) Finally – I recently received a letter that was found in the desk of one of Dad’s French Resistance buddies -Jacques Para – who died this Spring. It was addressed to me. It concluded:”I am happy that the daughters of Richard and Jacques still preserve the spirit of recollection and remembrance. Shed no more tears and think of the affection I have for you.” Those bonds forged by our fathers as they opposed tyranny have indeed been passed on to the next generation, and we will not stand back and fail to denounce injustice.
    Caroline Pinder Cracraft
    (daughter of Major Richard Pinder, Royal Artillery, and SOE – F Section)

    • Annie Robbins
      May 31, 2012, 10:08 pm

      I recently received a letter that was found in the desk of one of Dad’s French Resistance buddies -Jacques Para – who died this Spring. It was addressed to me.

      what a precious gesture from your father’s comrade. i am sure you will cherish it always.

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