Event Reflection: Rabbi Polak discussing his book "After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring"

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016


I attended the holocaust speaker event at the synagogue last night. It was really interesting! It had a deep meaning to him and the rest of the community there because it was the "anniversary" of Kristelnaut, which was when the Nazis went around bombing synagogues and other buildings. He talked about his experiences and read two chapters from his book. He really expressed the point about when people of Jewish religion were sent to concentration camps, he kept asking the question "where was everyone?" I had never actually thought about it this way. He was asking where was everyone else? People could have sent money to help them get out of these concentration camps. The government could have also become involved, but our country didn't want to get involved in war.

Another thing I found interesting was that yes, many Jewish people died by getting murdered, however in one concentration camp they let the carbon monoxide out of trains and cars into the cabins, which resulted in the death of everyone in that concentration camp in just three hours.

He talked about Anne Frank (his mother actually knew Anne Frank). His entire family died during the Holocaust. He said that although some non-Jewish families hid Jews in their attics (like the experience that Anne Frank went through), majority would not hide Jews. The ones who did not hide Jews would tell Nazis about their neighbors wrong-doings of hiding Jews and then they would be exonerated. They had more people against them than on their side, even in other countries because, for example, the USA did not bother to help. This goes along with the idea that someone else will help, so I don't have to.

He also mentioned that he will probably be the last survivor of the Holocaust because he was just a baby during it. He mentioned that Nazis actually threw living babies into a fire pit without hesitation. How he made it, he said, was by the miracle of God. It is really haunting and interesting to know that I probably just met the last survivor of the Holocaust.