The door is open so come on in. Refreshments will be tended to on a daily basis, so feel free to come and go as you wish.
So, I am finding that the personal accounts of suffering are so devastatingly heartbreaking, and very discriptive.
It seems now that the French Jews must now be eliminated but this is much more of a task than thought. They needed to have collaboration. The French authorities agreed to hand over only foreigners, not French Jews. So, does this make it any better?
I felt very sad about this Annette seeing her neighbor who was so clearly proud and respected being reduced to what she saw. I know that this was the norm for the situation, but still just a tear jerker to read. The deliberate humiliation of her brother, Michel, also was so heartwrenching.
All these little ones, torn from their mothers and fathers, unknowingly on their way to the camps.
Post by Blossom/Jackie W. on Apr 28, 2010 7:35:49 GMT -5
Antoinette; I'm still reading myself. It seems I can only handle several pages at a time (I'm on Chapter 4) The author didn't go into a lot of the different experiments that occured, though he mentioned some, but many men/young boys were experimented on as well, and though some of them survived; they were eunuchs
I have to say though the thing that is really sticking in my craw is the number of countries that "participated" in all of this killing. Sure; they kept their hands clean for the most part by "deporting" but they KNEW what they were sending these people to. I also have to say that when I read what France did; I thought to myself..... as a country; you just lost lost a fair bit of respect that I had for you.
As an historical, educational book it's definitely fulfilling it's purpose.
I agree that it was a very enlightening book, at least it was written in a factual way..I found that helped me deal with the info. The 3ed chapter, dealing with the French deportations was heartbreaking in their dealing with the children. And this was in '42, so the Nazi's learned not to separtate children from their mothers, even if it meant the loss of an adult who could be 'worked' to death. It also highlights how the occupied countries collaborated with the Nazi's. Of particular meanness was the Gurrnsey Islands, I found them particularly hateful., but on the other end of the spectrum was how the Danish people handled their 'deportation' orders. If you haven't read that far (Im not sure which chapter it was in) then I won't say more. Jackie commented on the medical experiments, which were horrid, but also the 'selling' of people to companies for drug 'trials' Beyer was one that sticks out in my mind. I don't think I'll buy from that company if I can avoid it. It highlights how advances were made in medical science on the backs of this horror. Makes me wonder how many other companies made profits this way, and then gained interntional status. One part I found interesting was how the Nazi's 'sold' slave labor to different factories, but also opened a brothel for their own men. And how it was possible for some of the Jews to get jobs in 'Canada' a sorting area in Auschwize and in Sono..(something) the removal and cremation of the dead. Interesting how both sides of the killing was set up as 'good' jobs for the prisoners, again keeping the SS's hands distanced from what they were doing. Towards the end, the recording of the 'death marches' which were exactly what it sounds like, and then after liberation how many of the survivors were treated by their 'old' neighbours when they made it back home. One I did get a laugh out of, was when one old man made it back to his old home, the family that was living in it, let him in (for a price) then wanted to cut a deal on the money and jewels that HAD to be hidden. When the old man left, his curiosity satisfied the people in the house literally tore it apart looking for the hidden treasure. There was no treasure, and they ended up with no home. There were many little parts like this that gave me some hope. I'll write more later, I don't want to completely spoil things for you. Only problem now is the rest of the chapters have melded in my brain and I'm not sure when what happened.
Mary, don't worry too much about writing about something that may have happened in another chapter. I am like Jackie on this one, it is slow going, mostly because if I don't read this stuff slow, then I loose most of what I have read. Always been that way.
I agree Jackie, I had absolutely no clue about just how many countries this extended to.
I haven't read much with being sick. I can't grasp it and seem to be reading three times over.
But, I am re reading for the second time about the escape attempts and the punishments when they are caught. Also, what fear the poor people must feel when they know they have been "selected" for extermination.
Post by Blossom/Jackie W. on May 2, 2010 13:44:05 GMT -5
Well.... I finished it! Matter of fact though the other night I had some bad dreams which I KNOW were relevant to the book. Totally unusual for me. I can watch horror movies, read books with the nastiest of outcomes but obviously this one troubled me.
I was thinking back to something I had posted earlier on about wondering how these people would react.... from a "friend" (and I use the word loosely), returning home.... from both sides. Am I surprised? No. Though I was impressed with the (Danish?) I think it was. At least they were the closest to being caring and civiliized.....
Bayer? Mary; I think you mentioned them..... out of my vocabulary now. Flushed them. Really though it's not a lot different than DOW and the thousands they killed in India a number of years back. It just wasn't intentional. (DOW) .... but; the results are the same. Death. You know.... in my previous years od business I'd had a LOT of dealings with DOW. They even refer to themselves as "Do It Our Way) as in what their initials stand for. Anyway; I'm rambling....
I saw the damage (in the book) (oft times permanet) done to the human psyche; more good people gone bad or good people becoming cold and insensitive. I think that was the worst. The loss of "self"
We all have crosses that we bear; oft times borne of sadness, but most people "bear them" This era stepped WAY beyond any crosses. Very very sad. What's also sad now is how I "perceive" a number of countries.
The "liberating" Russinas. So sick and apalling....
One of the nauseating bits about the Russian liberators, when they freed their own men, who were POWs, they 'blamed' them and sent them to Siberia, to die as it was their fault that they were captured in the first place. I think it had more to do with the POWs had seen other countries and ways of life and for that reason were being segregated. Jackie, you were right about it being Denmark who treated their Jews with compassion and evacuated them to Sweden, before the time the SS wanted them at the train station. Thus when it was time for the Danish Jews to be deported, there were none. Oh dear..... France had a history of collaboration and of working with the Nazis, so I never did think too much of them as a people..too eager to switch sides like a weather vane. Italy was also another country that co-operated, (though not mentioned in this book) but at least when push came to shove the Italian people fought back and stopped collaberating. As for the drug companies, and medical experiments, I'm sure that much of the advances made after the war, were made on these peoples backs. But I'm not too sure that our own countries are completly blameless either, there was the agent orange problems during Viet Nam and the physcolgical/physodelic drug testing done in Ottawa during the 60s, and probably many things going on that we never know about. One thing that stuck out was the two sisters, the older one keeping her younger one alive all during the years in Auschwiz and then during liberation by the allies she was shipped off to a hospital, it took decades for her to find out that her sister had died the next day, I found that so heartbreaking. Also the tests run on twins, testing things on one and keeping the other as a control as in a bling study, was unique in its own special hell for those poor twins. Well that's all for now, perhaps bits will come back, but I am soooo done with this book. But I am glad I read it and have already recomended it to 2 other friends.
I am glad that everyone enjoyed this book. I really have nothing new or enlightening to add. Mary and Blossom have done such a wonderful job in summing it all up in the end.
I had heard about experiments, and couldn't wrap myself around it. Now I know. So many find they have lost family when they had real hopes of them being alive. I think that this was a long book to get through...then I think that this was just a few short stories.