Thursday, January 7, 2010


In the news recently, 3 stories with good outcomes in which Auschwitz figures.
  1. You may have heard the news that the sign over the gates to the Auschwitz concentration camp, which bears the ironic phrase that translates "work sets you free," went missing. The theft on December 17th at dawn sparked a chorus of outrage from world leaders, Jewish groups, and Holocaust survivors. Polish authorities locked down the borders and sought the assistance of Interpol, the Auschwitz Museum offered a reward for information leading to its recovery, and a temporary replacement of the 16' sign - which had been forged by prisoners on orders of the Nazis - was quickly put in place. The sign was found 2 days later in northern Poland, under the snow. It had been cut into 3 pieces, some of the steel forming the outline had been bent, and a letter "i" (recovered at the scene) was missing. The theft was commissioned by someone outside Poland, presumably a collector of Nazi memorabilia, and 3 men aged 25-39 were arrested.
  2. In January of last year, it was reported that an abundance of twins in Cândido Godói, Bolivia, resulted from continued genetic experiments by the diabolical Nazi doctor Josef Mengele (1911-1979). After World War II, Mengele had escaped to Argentina and Paraguay, and according to an Argentinian researcher made several trips to the farming community in the early 1960s, offering his services as first a vet and then a doctor under an alias. But in November, National Geographic reported that the rate of twinning in the Bolivian town (1000% higher than the global average) predates Mengele's visits and cannot be attributed to him. The twins' fair features are not evidence of his attempts to create an Aryan master race, but rather a product of their German heritage.
  3. Lastly, the story of 85-year-old Israeili Yitzhak Ganon, who had a medical scare in November. He had a viral infection that required treatment at the hospital. His daughter convinced him to go, and once there, he had a heart attack and after a 2nd was outfitted with a pacemaker. Ganon had avoided doctors for 65 years, ever since Mengele removed one of his kidneys without anesthetic. He remembers, "I saw the kidney pulsing in his hand and cried like a crazy man. I screamed the 'Shema Yisrael.' I begged for death, to stop the suffering." His family had been sent to Auschwitz from Greece: his father died on the journey; his mother and 5 of his 7 siblings were sent to the gas chambers; and he, too, would have been killed but for the fact that the chamber held only 200 people and Ganon was number 201.

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