Will Yad Vashem Honor Rav Weissmandel zt”l?

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The Ministerial Legislative Committee is to consider a bill submitted by MK Yael German of Yesh Atid and supported by many MKs that would require Yad Vashem to honor not only righteous non-Jews who saved Jews in the Holocaust, but also Jews like Rav Michael Dov Weissmandl who saved their fellow Jews.

Yad Vashem opposes the proposal for a number of reasons. First, it is difficult to set criteria to evaluate which such people deserve special recognition.

Second, most Jewish survivors were helped by other Jews.

Third, unlike non-Jews who risked their lives to help Jews, Jews who helped Jews were already in mortal danger.

Finally, Yad Vashem argues, mutual aid between Jews has already been commemorated in education and research activities.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

14 COMMENTS

  1. Yad Vashem opposes the proposal for a number of reasons. First, it is difficult to set criteria to evaluate which such people deserve special recognition.

    THAT IS TRUE, and the end result will be more arguments, machlokes and anger!!

  2. Yes yes I read all their arguments.
    Seems they forgot the main one.
    He looks too frum, doesn’t he? I mean just look at that beard…
    Not the look we’re after. Definitely will detract from the ambiance in our hallowed halls, says the museum director to his assistant sotto voce…

  3. Yad Vashem presents a purely secular Zionist vision of the Holocaust. To memorialize Rav Weissmandl, who was himself rebuffed by Zionist leadership at every turn in his heroic and selfless efforts to rescue fellow Jews (read “The Unheeded Cry” by Artscroll), would undermine the entire Zionist interpretation of that horrific time, let alone lay bare their own indifference to and complicity in the suffering of their brethren.

    • Excellent Observation! The major rescue operations of Rav Weissmandl with his dedicated team of assistants called the “Working Group” involved their making contact with relevant Nazi officers and negotiating with them with giving them substantial “monetary incentives” to refrain from sending Jews to the death camps. Now, of course, Hitler, himself, Yimach Shemo V’Zichro, could not be bribed or swayed in any way at all. HOWEVER, lower Nazi officials COULD be bribed; they were severely, severely, severely, corrupt people by whom stuffing $$ into their pockets would “influence” them to “neglect” their Jewish deportation tasks.

      AND THIS HAD WORKED!! In Rav Weissmandl’s native Slovakia, Boruch Hashem, with a hefty bribe to the key Nazi in charge, the horrific blood bath that had begun there was suddenly halted AND STAYED HALTED for a good two years! On the basis of this remarkable success, proposed to that official to make some more “halts” — and the official agreed! Please realize, these “other” “halts” were to be halts of the other horrific blood baths in other (than Slovakia) parts of Europe THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED MILLIONS OF JEWS from the Holocaust!

      Now the “small” money for the “small” Slovakia bribe, with severe difficulty, the Working Group had managed to scrape together from local and neighboring communities. However, the “big” money that would be needed for the “big” other-parts-of-Europe bribes, was clearly way, way, way beyond them. So they appealed to the major Jewish organizations, mainly the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency. Now these major Jewish organizations were gigantic massive well established communal offices with countless millions in their financial accounts — BIG money that had been raised and collected as “charity” to help people in need. Especially, the Joint Distribution Committee – the JDC, was THE CENTER for rescue-relief work.*

      However, ALL of these major (secular and Zionist) Jewish organizations flatly rejected the Working Group’s appeals. They stated several different reasons — and excuses — for their rejections,* which clearly showed that they had OTHER considerations that (in their minds) TOOK PRIORITY over the obligations of saving human life. In their twisted wicked thinking, saving human life was a low priority. Numerous times, Rav Weissmandl wrote them back, attempting to reason with them and begging them and pleading with them to realize the exceedingly severe horrors of the horrific bloodbaths that millions of Jews were being put through, but the big organization heads just remained as cold and as hard as ever.

    • Notes on my previous remark:

      * There was a period when the letterhead of JDC stationary contained their motto of the “Three ‘R’s”: Rescue, Relief, and Reconstitution.

      On their web site at http://www.jdc.org/about-jdc/?s=global-topnav, they state their purpose:

      “Who We Are The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. Since 1914, JDC has exemplified that all Jews are responsible for one another and for improving the well-being of vulnerable people around the world. Today, JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, RESCUE JEWS IN DANGER, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters.” (Emphasis mine)

    • * The main reason that the Joint Distribution Committee gave for refusing to help Rav Weissmandl’s rescue projects was that his rescue methods, of bribing Nazi officials, were a clear violation of U.S. Laws that strictly prohibited all trading with the enemy or doing any business with the enemy or aiding the enemy in any way. This was fully part of the JDC’s philosophy, that they certainly DID believe in doing rescue & relief, and they actually DID do a lot of rescue & relief. However, ALL of the rescue & relief that they did, they did ONLY when they felt that it was 1,000% completely legal! If a rescue or relief project had some point that was not 1,000% exactly within their idea of what was “legal,” they would oppose it!

      That they did this, that they would refuse to save people in severe danger — and thus leave those people to definitely die — because the method being used to save them was not 1,000% in exact accordance with what they said was U.S. Law, obviously showed that in their wicked philosophy, U.S. Law was MORE IMPORTANT than human life! Saving human life was at a LOWER PRIORITY than super strict adherence to U.S. Law!

      Furthermore, what Rav Weissmandl was doing, of bribing Nazi officers, HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO with such crimes of, Chas V’Shalom, “trading with the enemy” or “doing business with the enemy” or “helping the enemy”! Instead, it was exactly like — only obviously on a massively many thousands of times greater scale — a businessman is walking on a low end city street and is suddenly jumped by a bunch of wicked thugs WHO FLASH THEIR 10 INCH KNIFE BLADES AT HIM!! So he FRANTICALLY offers them his gold watch and his laptop computer and his iPhone and the $326 cash in his wallet along with whole wallet with all of its credit cards and ATM cards and their pin numbers — all in the hope that they will be “satisfied” with that and not kill him!!

    • (continuation of my notes)

      * The reason that the Jewish Agency gave for refusing to help Rav Weissmandl’s rescue projects was much deeper and far reaching. For they stated that (the issue was not only that his methods were “wrong,” the issue was that) Rav Weissmandl’s ENTIRE EFFORT was wrong! Rav Weissmandl’s entire effort of attempting to save Jews (from the Nazis) was wrong! He was going in the wrong direction! He was barking up the wrong tree!

      They explained: At that moment, the world was engulfed in a very terrible war. The nations who were standing up against and fiercely battling the unstoppable onslaught of the powerful axis forces were suffering greatly and incurring severe losses. They were making immense sacrifices in this epic battle for human civilization.

      The end result will be though, that they will prevail; the axis armies will be smashed, while the allies will emerge in brilliant victory.

      At this celebration of triumph, these victorious nations will gather to apportion out the newly freed world among its peoples. Everyone will want a piece, but the pieces will be apportioned according to those who fought and those who sacrificed in the difficult fight. We — the Jewish Nation — will be there too, for we will be pining for our long hoped for piece, the establishment of our own country of the State of Israel.

      However, we will be asked to show what losses did we incur and what sacrifices did we make in the terrible war. How will we be able to sit at the apportionment table with the victor nations unless (like them) we too had suffered grievous losses and made painful sacrifices???

      But Rav Weissmandl is trying to SAVE (from the Nazis) a significant number of, maybe even almost all of the Jews in Europe!! That means that he is attempting to PREVENT US from having these ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL losses and sacrifices that we are going to need to be able to sit at the future apportionment table!! He is attempting to PREVENT US from having THE CRUCIAL BARTER that we will need to secure for us the establishment of our State of Israel!!

      So Rav Weissmandl is doing a tremendous wrong!! Rav Weissmandl is committing a horrendous crime!! Rav Weissmandl must DESIST from saving Europe’s Jews; those are the sacrifices that we must make!!

    • (continuation of my remark)

      In summation: The Jewish Agency’s rejection of Rav Weissmandl was that we were NOT ALLOWED to attempt to save the Jews of Europe. There were two reasons for this:

      1.) Like everyone else (who was fighting the Nazi axis) was doing, we were obligated to MAKE SACRIFICES of giving up the lives of our people.

      2.) We were obligated (to make these sacrifices) to absolutely ensure that, in the victory aftermath of the war, we would be given our own new country of the State of Israel.

      So, conversely, if Rav Weissmandl had been successful in his bid to save the Jews of Europe, then:

      1.) We would have failed in our obligation to make sacrifices.

      2.) Having failed to make the necessary sacrifices, we would be denied being given the State of Israel.

      From all of this, it is glaringly obvious that in the Jewish Agency’s exceedingly extremely wicked philosophy, the saving of human life had a very low, virtually non-existent priority. Even human life itself, was of ABSOLUTE ZERO VALUE, except to be “sacrificed” in the attack of war. Thus, in that hyper-convoluted view, the killing of human life — the most sadistic severe torture and brutal cruel murder of it more than six million times over — was actually a very “good” thing, in that it would facilitate the establishment of the modern country they were trying to build. And thus they rebuked Rav Weissmandl for attempting to stop it.

    • (continuation of my remark)

      This “theology” of our “obligation” to make “sacrifices” that the holy, holy, holy (UN)-Jewish Agency teaches us is such a beautiful, noble “doctrine”!

      There is though, one little problem with it:

      NO ONE ELSE DOES IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

      That’s right: No one else does it!!

      No one else does it, and no one else did it!!

      No one else made or makes sacrifices of sacrificing their people to be definitely killed!! On the contrary, they do whatever they can to ensure that their people will definitely NOT be killed!! Even in the horrors of war, whether they are suffering severe enemy attack or sending soldiers into immensely fierce combat, they will act in whatever manner that will AVOID any of their people getting hurt. If (despite their efforts to keep everyone safe) some people are injured, they will send in rescue crews to, yes, SAVE them. If some people are killed, well then that was a noble “sacrifice” that had been made in the terrible situation.

      BUT THEY DID NOT MAKE THAT SACRIFICE!! AND THEY HAD NOT WANTED THAT SACRIFICE TO HAPPEN!! ON THE CONTRARY, THEY HAD DONE EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO STOP IT FROM HAPPENING!!

      It was only that the attacks of the enemy overwhelmed them and thus there were sacrifices. But, again, they did whatever they could to try to PREVENT those sacrifices and to MINIMIZE the number of the sacrifices.

  4. (continuation of my remark)

    Of course, there are endless numbers of examples of this. B’Ezras Hashem, I will show a few very well known ones from World War II.

    Already before the actual outbreak of the war, in England, tens of thousands of children were evacuated from their homes in the cities of the southern part of the country (where they knew there would be intensive German attacks) to go temporarily stay in the rural countryside of the northern part of the country. There were even large contingents of children that were sent to go temporarily stay all the way over in the United States!

    Throughout the horrors of the massive German aerial assaults of the Battle of Britain, the civilian population was under strict regulations of keeping total blackouts and obligations to go into protective shelters. Some of the most famous pictures of World War II show (during the air raids) throngs of people camped out in the deep underground stations of the London Subway.

    On the other side of the world, toward the end of the war, United States military leaders realized that to remove the threat of the Japanese enemy, like they did with Germany, they would need to send soldiers into Japan to subdue the country. However, they well knew the severe difficulties of fighting the Japanese. Every campaign to remove the Japanese from one of the numerous islands they had illicitly taken, came with exceedingly fierce combat in which excessively large numbers of U.S. soldiers were injured and killed. So to invade the islands of Japan itself would probably incur astronomical casualty numbers.

    So they tried “something else.” They saw (in the European war) how wide area carpet bombing with incendiary devices (bombs that explode into fire) created massive firestorms that virtually obliterated much of Germany’s cities. So they did the same to Japan — on a much larger scale. They had a new more powerful incendiary bomb made of gelled gasoline; they also had a new much larger bomber plane called the “B-29.” Hundreds of these big planes were packed with huge amounts of the new incendiaries, which then poured them out on Japan’s cities. So almost night after night, super massive firestorms — burning temperatures of over 2,000 degrees — were ignited on the island’s horizon.

    Then, on August 6, 1945, in Hiroshima, and on August 9, 1945, in Nagasaki, they ignited “other” new “incendiary bombs.” These were made of “Uranium” and “Plutonium,” and the temperatures of their fireballs were hotter than the surface of the sun!

    Needless to say, on August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered.

    Hitting Japan with two nuclear weapons brought on its people excruciating severe suffering and pain and torture that was far, far, far beyond any concept we could ever have of the word “description.”

    However, justification for the action has been from several considerations: Rav Avigdor Miller, ZT’L, exclaimed that what Japan did at Pearl Harbour (of sending envoys to discuss peace while massively attacking the navel base, like someone who hugs his friend while stabbing him in the back) “WAS A COWERDLY ACT!” When Japan’s armies conquered the countries of eastern Asia, they brutally massacred several hundreds of thousands of people, horrifically tortured several thousands of people in insidious scientific experiments, and very severely abused countless other inhabitants. When U.S. troops were caught in the path of advancing Japanese armies and thus captured, they too were severely abused.

    So the severe pain of the firestorms of the gasoline incendiaries and the nuclear incendiaries may have well been proper revenge for what Japan had done to others.

    Furthermore, as explained above, to subdue Japan, it had been necessary for a huge U.S. (& other allies) army to invade the country. Exceedingly intensive fighting would have ensued killing vast numbers of allied soldiers — maybe even over a million. Now though, with the nuclear strikes, Japan surrendered. There was no longer a need for any invasion; there was no longer any fear of millions of more soldiers being injured or killed. The soldiers could all now go home, for the war was over.

    So we are now back at our original subject of sacrifice in war. There had been a real possibility of having to “sacrifice” over a million more allied soldiers, but it never happened. Why? Because the U.S. hit Japan with the atom bomb. Using the atom bomb PREVENTED the sacrifice of over a million more allied soldiers. It also though, brought much, much more pain and suffering to the Japanese; it sharply increased the sacrifices that the JAPANESE had to make.

    So the U.S. glaringly declared that, yes, in war, there may have to be sacrifices. But who will be the one to make the sacrifices??? THE ENEMY will be the one who will make the sacrifices!! NOT US!! We will absolutely NOT be the one to make any sacrifices!!

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