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Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust denial’

I’m a teacher.

This blog is about the Power of Teaching.

If you decide to spend a few moments here, you will see what I mean…

Start by studying the photograph below.

I mean, click on it to enlarge, really look at it.

Study the faces.

Imagine being the man behind the lens…

Matthew Rozell

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You may be here to find out more about the photograph that shows the moment of liberation. Watch the ABC News clip below about how I was first shown it by US Army veterans of World War II, the story they told me, and what I did afterwards, and the consequences of those actions.

[My new book on this will be out this July. You can put in a pre-order notice, above- GET THE BOOK HERE]

It is nothing short of a miracle.

Then again, in the words of one survivor, there are no coincidences.

Feel free to contact me or re-post this website.

Sign up for amazing updates on the upper right.

Do you know that nearly 250 survivors of this train transport have now had contact with their actual American liberators? It’s true. There are 10 other photos of the liberation that day on this site, and many folks have been identified.

Feel free to explore. Thanks for stopping by.

Matt

During our second Holocaust survivor/American soldier reunion, we reached out to a student audience of 1500 kids over three days. Just before the final farewell  banquet  the ABC piece below aired, and the soldiers, survivors, teachers and students watched it together in a restaurant lounge.

Not a dry eye!

Matthew Rozell

Official ABC site and video

THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTOGRAPH

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The Museum today released the following statement:

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is deeply dismayed by the recent decision of the Vatican regarding the status within the Church of Richard Williamson, a Bishop of the Society of St. Pius X. Bishop Williamson’s statements denying the Holocaust are openly antisemitic and antithetical to the growing spirit of mutual respect that has characterized Catholic-Jewish relations for an entire generation since Vatican II. Holocaust denial is an insult to the victims and an affront to Catholics who rescued Jews. Pope John Paul II, who witnessed firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust in his native Poland, declared, “Antisemitism is a sin against God and humanity.” The recent action of the Vatican appears to lend legitimacy to Bishop Williamson’s opinions, official statements to the contrary notwithstanding.

During his recent visit to the United States, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI accepted as a gift a menorah in memory of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. The Museum calls upon Pope Benedict to make it clear that antisemitism and Holocaust denial have no standing in the Church and to publicly repudiate all forms of Holocaust denial and trivialization, whatever their source.

The Museum will continue to work together with Catholics who are committed to educating about the Holocaust and honoring the memory of its victims.

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A friend and co teacher burst into my room yesterday, upset and needing to tell me that a 14 year old student was denying the Holocaust ever took place, telling her that “images can be manipulated by computer, blah, blah, blah.” (She is an English teacher and the Remembrance song by our student Kylie was a culmination of our mutual Holocaust Days of Remembrance program last year with the kids.)
My first instinct was to let the kid know what I thought about his comments. Then again, this is what the kid is probably seeking- attention. He’s probably yanking her chain.  I myself have been attacked by cowardly types on-line or by email, and I’m afraid I did not trust myself that I would not unleash some pent-up frustrations. So I let it be and I will talk to the teacher about how things went and are going. And if I ever have the kid in class, we will see what happens- she was so upset she could not tell me his name.  And really I don’t think I want to know… forcing him to watch Schindler’s List won’t change anything. As educators we can try to persuade, but I think ultimately it’s about what the other kids learn from this encounter with Holocaust denial.  A lot of kids have not been exposed to it (though every third website in a Holocaust-related search seems to be devoted to it), and without having to point fingers or make examples, now they witness it firsthand…

The wisdom to know the difference… It’s not about the boy, the teacher, or me, but what rational individuals can learn from personal encounters with Holocaust denial.

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Found this photo while in Washington at the USHMM searching their photo archives. It’s our train, and the Museum was not aware that it was

A woman and two children rest next to a stopped train.

A woman and two children rest next to a stopped train.

the train liberated near Farsleben. The photographer is identified as Harry E. Boll. I’m going to try to track him down.

Normally I don’t respond to the Holocaust deniers who have attacked this story (“Who Actually Believes This Garbage, These Are Starving Concentration Camps Survivors?”) but to the creeps out there who find my work offensive, thanks for the honor of annoying you. This one’s especially for you.

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