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Never Forget; Never Again

Society and Morals, History

The following email letter was sent to me by a close friend who is a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen born in Israel. His name is Mike Meiberg and his family was originally from Germany, lived there at the time of the Nazi regime and were victims of Adolf Hitler's particular brand of ethnic cleansing. He still has considerable family in Israel and frequently travels over there. (He insists El Al is the world's safest airline because of their sophisticated profiling techniques.)

This is to me a stark reminder of man's potential for evil. I was 13 years old when World War II ended and clearly remember the horrific newspaper photos of the liberated concentration camps like Auschwitz. Believe me, dear readers, the Holocaust really did happen, and we would do well to remember it. And also remember that evil is not gone from the world today. Those who have stared it in the face will never forget and will never permit it to happen again. 

Here is Mike's letter as originally printed and accompanying photo of "The Bricks".

Dear friends and family,

Last month my son-in-law Andrew and I visited Hamburg, Germany. The purpose of our trip was to visit my 83 year old cousin Joachim who still lives there and pay our respects to family members who are interred in two Jewish cemeteries there. 

While at one of the cemeteries we met a German lady, Ms. Cordes, who is a local photographer and was there to snap some pictures. She told us about a program whereby "bricks" are placed in front of homes from where Jewish families were rounded up and deported to concentration camps.

The program intrigued me and I asked her if I could have these markers placed in front of my family's last known address. She asked that I forward to her any information I had about my family and she would see to it that these markers were placed. They obtain information from municipal, telephone (if available), public and utilities records available at the time of deportation. This project, named Stolpersteine, or Stumbling Stones, started in Cologne in 1995 and to-date approximately 20,000 "bricks" have been placed throughout Germany and just under 4,000 in Hamburg.  

 In a separate E-mail I will forward to you the website of the organization sponsoring this project. I will also forward to you a picture which Ms. Cordes forwarded, of what the street on which my family lived, looked like in the early 20th century.

Four years ago, my daughter Linda, sister Tirza and I visited the concentration camp Theresienstadt in The Czech Republic, formerly Czechoslovakia, to where our family was deported from Hamburg. While there, thanks to the meticulous record keeping of the Germans, we were able to obtain the pertinent information about our family's arrival in Theresienstadt.

 When I returned home from my recent trip I forwarded this information to Ms. Cordes.

 Yesterday I received the below pictures from Ms. Cordes. Immediately upon receiving the E-mail I called Ms. Cordes in Hamburg and we chatted for about half an hour. She shared with me that my family's "Stumbling Stones" were put in place in 2004 but could not determine who commissioned them. Since there is absolutely no one of my father's family who survived the holocaust, I am at a loss as to who would have commissioned the bricks.     

For those of you who are not German speakers this is the translation from the German:

 "Here lived"

 Name

Geb=Maiden name

JG.=Year born

Year deported

Where to

Year deported to Auschwitz

???= Indicates no record of their fate after arriving in Auschwitz.

 My grandmother's marker indicates that she was murdered (translation from German) October 16, 1943, in Theresienstadt.

 I find this to be very interesting and am sharing this with you because I think that you may concur, if I am wrong, please just delete.

 Love and regards,

 Mike 

         

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