3) "the experimental building where various toxins were tried; truckloads of the dead; CU weapon of torture; INT, crematorium ovens showing skeletons inside and piles of bone ash."
4) "1200 German civilians from Weimar march to the camp, many smiling....Cut to, German civilians viewing display of parchments of human skin, lampshade made from human skin stretched and etched upon, and two shrunken heads; all trophies of the Nazis."
5) What motivates a Holocaust survivor's grandchild?
6) Well, you look at those pictures, and you know that in an instant...it could easily be you. God forbid.
7) Just... Like... That.
8) November 9-10, 1938: On the excuse that a Jew had assassinated a German diplomat, the Nazis carried out a devastating pogrom against the Jews.
9) "Nazi authorities turned a blind eye as SA stormtroopers and civilians destroyed storefronts with hammers, leaving the streets covered in pieces of smashed windows. Ninety-one Jews were killed, and 30,000 Jewish men were taken to concentration camps."
12) Rabbi Einhorn was there at the liberation of Dachau.
His grandson, the lawyer Mark Zaid, edited a book of Rabbi Einhorn's letters, with others.
In May 2015, Zaid spoke at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History about this.
13) Zaid is clearly very emotionally attached to his grandfather's experience, and influenced by it.
Around an hour into the talk (approximately 1:09), Zaid talks about his grandfather -- who is a man of God -- feeling hatred toward the Germans.
14) Zaid is answering a question from the audience about what he thinks his grandfather's attitude toward the German civilians was. (Start around 1:09:45)
15) Zaid recalls "the seven year old girl that was wounded and the bombing of this town" - "that and the paragraph about when they got to Dachau" and "what had happened to the guards that remained" - all of it "set it off" (for his grandfather).
16) "There was hatred," says Zaid. "And to me, when I first went through the letters, that struck me the strongest, again when I'm thinking of this man of God."
16) The summary of his grandfather's book, "The GI's Rabbi: WW2 Letters of David Max Eichhorn" emphasizes this feeling of hatred as well.
17) "We saw 39 boxcars loaded with Jewish dead in the Dachau railway yard, 39 carloads of little, shriveled mummies that had literally been starved to death; we saw the gas chambers and crematoria, still filled with charred bones and ashes," wrote Zaid's grandfather.
18) "And we cried not merely tears of sorrow. We cried tears of hate."
19) Now - as the granddaughter of a woman who was imprisoned in Auschwitz, I am telling you from personal experience that the emotions are very real for me. Even though I have never been there.
20) What do I feel when I think of the Nazis?
Blocks and blocks of hate.
Thick, smoky, hate.
21) What do I think when I think of the Nazis?
"NEVER EVER AGAIN."
22) Any child or grandchild of a person who was homicidally horrifically harmed, whether by the Holocaust or some other despicable event -- is going to be marked in some way by their relatives' experience.
23) You might be evolved enough not to hate (I can't say I am that evolved).
But as a productive response, you would logically want to turn your attention to making the world a better place.
Better enough so that genocidal maniacs can't repeat the past.
24) "Being human meant that you didn't see these Germans as human," says Zaid, meaning that they were so disgustingly cruel that the only normal response was to hate them.
25) At 1:10:48, Zaid starts to talk about the nexus between his grandfather's experience and his own. As a young lawyer in the 1990s he dealt with war crimes, human rights, etc. type of cases and recalls the impact of drone strikes on civilians in contemporary war.
26) You can see where Zaid - who dedicates an entire page on his website to his grandfather's book - would try to honor the rabbi's legacy, by acting to prevent human rights abuses by modern-day Nazis if he could.
27) You can imagine how the man might see parallels to his grandfather's experience, not just once in his life, but throughout his career as a lawyer as particularly relevant situations arose.
28) All of this background is just logic. It is circumstantial - I don't know Mr. Zaid personally. But it helps to understand what might motivate the man's behavior. In the absence of provable facts, all we can do is hypothesize, and then try to prove or disprove those.
29) I am going to take a short break, and if nobody interrupts me, will move on to Part II of this thread.
30) Okay. Let's end Part I here and then start a new thread. This is a multi-part thesis and each part needs to be understood in its own right.
By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author's own. Public domain.