25 September 2020

Published September 23, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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As fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors remain in our midst, it seems easier to forget. It’s not taught in schools and increasing numbers of misinformed believe the Holocaust never happened. 

INTERVIEW WITH PRISONER A5714

Remember Robert Clary as LeBeau of Stalag 13? Hogan’s shortest hero? The connoisseur of French cuisine.  

               He reminisces about the rabbi who helped him study for his Bar Mitzvah. “He smelled of schmaltz, herring, onion and garlic.”

             “Ah food.”

             He shrugs. “In Buchenwald we had little to eat. I sang for the prisoners and sometimes the chef in the kitchen gave me an extra piece of bread.”

             “What’s your greatest achievement? Performing?”

              “No.  I’m most proud to have spent twenty years keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. Warning against man’s inhumanity. While I am living, I have to tell.”   

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

110 comments on “25 September 2020

  • Dear Rochelle,

    In your inimitable way, you’ve shared an important piece of history. There are fewer and fewer survivors left to tell the truth. It’s a good thing they have you to share them.

    Shalom and Lotsa love to remember,

    Dale

    Liked by 3 people

  • I used to watch reruns as a kid, but obviously didn’t understand what really happened during the war. And I didn’t realize that Robert Clary was a Holocaust survivor. Even with their numbers growing fewer, lets hope they are never forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      My mom had a penchant for apprising me of which of my favorite stars were Jewish. I knew Robert Clary was but the story I’d gotten from her was that he fought in the French resistance. Turns out it was his sister who did. So this was something of an education for me. I’m appalled by how many deniers there are. Frightened by them, actually. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • It can never be remembered enough. It’s still taught in schools over here. I think part of the problem is the further away it gets in the past, the harder it is to emphasise the scale and horror of what happened. The more stories that are shared the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Iain,

      It warms my heart that it’s still being taught in schools somewhere. It should be everywhere. I think the films the Nazis made of the camps and bodies being piled into communal graves need to shown. You know me, I’ll share them whenever I can. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I love this. That Clary survived the camps was amazing, but even more so were the three Jewish actors John Banner, Leon Askin, and Werner Kleperer donning Nazi uniforms and playing Germans. I understand Klemperer had reservations about it, but the fact that show’s Germans were such bumbling fools convinced him to do it. This is yet another show that would never get made today. Even then it was a hard sell, but Stalag 17 and The Great Escape showed that Americans liked POW stories. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

  • A great story that needs to be continually told. A newscaster conducted a pole of younger people and found a very large percent had never heard of, or knew about the Holocaust and the atrocities of the war. Destroying works of art makes it easier to not remember or deal with it. Forget history and you are doomed to repeat it. Keep on reminding us.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,
    I’ve been reading the Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn and in it he says:

    “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart…even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains…an uprooted small corner of evil.

    Thanks to ideology the twentieth century was fated to experience evildoing calculated on a scale in the millions.

    Alas, all the evil of the twentieth century is possible everywhere on earth. Yet, I have not given up all hope that human beings and nations may be able, in spite of all, to learn from the experience of other people without having to go through it personally.”

    From what you’ve written it seems Robert Clary was one of those who did not give up this hope. Timely story. Thank you for sharing and may your heart be comforted by all the achievements toward peace recently made in the Mideast.
    Shalom,
    Dora

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      It’s very much the same story here. Tragic. While I agree some statues should perhaps be moved to museums with plaques explaining why the person wasn’t a hero, the destruction of property…well, nuff said. Thank you for coming by.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • The Holocaust isn’t taught in schools? How is that possible? I had to look it up. It’s only required in 9 states. That’s ridiculous.

    I know diluted people can deny anything, The Holocaust, the moon landing, Sandy Hook school shooting… It’s still beyond my understanding. The Holocaust doesn’t seem like something we have to remember. It seems like it should be burned in our collective psyche. It happened before my parents were born, and I know I’ll never forget. It’s horrible that we still need those reminders, “Warning against man’s inhumanity.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      9 states out of 50? We should hang our heads in shame. I was born just a few years after the Holocaust. The memory of it hung heavily over my head in our home. I’m grateful my mother tenaciously reminded me.
      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Here’s to hope and the human spirit and to determination to never ever stop speaking about the horrors that ought not be forgotten. Lest they be repeated. Especially when there are those who are actively invested in making people forget. Not on our watch!
    Left my contribution, milder in every aspect …
    Shalom and may we keep history and its untold stories, told.
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Paula,

      Yes, it was an elaborate hoax. How clever of all those Jews to tattoo their own arms and stage film footage and photos. 😦 I’m appalled at the deniers and those who are just plain ignorant through lack of education. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • LeBeau was a universal favorite, but then I think most of the other characters were, too.

    It is appalling to me that the Holocaust is not taught in history classes any more. It surely was taught in my history classes. Every student left my classroom understanding that man’s inhumanity toward man has a long and ugly history. And denial is always a part of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • We must never forget!😢 I remember reading The Diary of Anne Frank in school. It was required reading back then and I’m pleased to say my grand daughter is reading it this year in her high school class. Thank you for sharing another important history lesson with your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sue,

      There were so many Anne Franks. I’m glad you and your granddaughter are reading or have read it. Please don’t stop at that one. Surely we must never forget but I fear we are. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • What I find horrifying is, the wars & the holocaust was taught to me in school and we the people collectively swore never again but history repeats, it’s happening elsewhere in the world. Same story different people, blind eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I can believe people deny the Holocaust. A German-American aunt of mine by marriage was a denier. My Dad had a hard time with her reasoning. His trying to reason with her was like talking to the wall. A lovely story of Robert Clary. We need more people like him. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Squirrelly Temple W(T)F,

    A lot of great characters in that show. Can’t wait for your expose on John Banner (who was also born of Jewish parents).According to fellow Hogan’s Heroes actor Robert Clary, “John lost a lot of his family” to the Holocaust.

    They say the nut doesn’t fall far from the wine work.
    Happy painting,
    Detective Lowry

    Like

    • Dear Brenda,

      Watching an interview with him was the inspiration for this story. There were things about him I didn’t know. Loved it. Thank you for reading and taking time to know more. I hope my small voice does some good. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • It shocks me that there are some horrible idiotic people who think it never happened. I studied European history in school HS and Uni. It’s horrifying to see it happening in real life once more… Every step a step closer. Great story this week Rochelle. (LeBeau was my favorite Hogans Heroes character)

    Liked by 1 person

  • This brings a lump to my throat, Rochelle. I too have noticed a disturbing trend to ignorance of the holocaust at best and worst, dismissing it or down playing the extent of the horror, to fit agendas. Quite honestly, that there are people in this day and age who can think that way, scares me rigid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      My mother told me back in the day that he was Jewish and had been a French resistance fighter. Actually his sister was. According to the interview I watched he had no problem playing LeBeau. He said, “it was acting and it wasn’t a concentration camp.”
      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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