09 My Jewish mom? Nazi death camps…

auschwitz train rails

Not that it necessarily means anything whatsoever, at all, about my mom being Jewish or not, I was looking up family tree names on both sides of my mom’s side of the family. The last names (totally unimportant for the Jews back in the day), are often Askenazik ultra-Yiddish-ized versions of generic names of whatever language. For this exercise, just out of interest, I put in the “family” names in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum widget thing for the detention and worker and transit and extermination camps, which include the occasional refugee list, transit list, police list, etc.

There were, of course, many instances for the names appearing, some rarely, some in the tens, hundreds, thousands. Not that they are relatives. I was just looking up last names. Some of the first names are rather interesting, for instance, Abram, Abraham, Isaac, Estera, Aron, Aaron, Izrael,  Dawid, Nathan, Chaya, Eljasz.  I only spent some minutes… Oh my…

Names of extermination camps, etc., came up immediately, such as:

  • Dachau (I’ve been there…)
  • Sachsenhausen
  • Stutthof
  • Neuengamme
  • Lublin
  • Floßenbürg
  • Natzweiler-Struthof
  • Teis-Dâmboviţa
  • Bergen-Belsen
  • Jasenovac
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau

There are police station lists which are mentioned, deportation lists, refugee lists such as to far away Tashkent, along with Ghettos, especially with great, great frequency, Łódź… On and on… The lists in Łódź also refer to train deportation to camps such as Chełmno and Auschwitz-Birkenau, where not much in the records would be kept of the killings upon arrival. Indeed, so many were already corpses, or, even if not dead, would just fall out of the train cars and be immediately bulldozed with the rest of the corpses to mass graves. Who’s interested in taking names at that point?

Anyway, this has little to do with anything, this looking up of names. It’s all just coincidental, possibly. I’ll keep on digging, as it were, so to speak. Uggh. Regardless of whether mom is Jewish, this was, for me, an exercise that is emotionally overwhelming.

I cry for the Jews. For humanity.

I need to stop for a while, before even starting. I didn’t verify anything. But the darkness is too much all at once. I think a person can die just for noticing too much evil all at once.

Jesus does not permit us to feel the weight of our sin all at once, what His wounds really mean, for we would instantly be crushed to death by the weight of it all.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to go back to all of this…

Anyway, someone offered an olive branch to me recently. Thanks for that.


Filed under My Jewish Mom

2 responses to “09 My Jewish mom? Nazi death camps…

  1. Aussie Mum

    Father, you explain that “Jesus does not permit us to feel the weight of our sin all at once, what His wounds really mean, for we would instantly be crushed to death by the weight of it all”. That brought to mind that Our Lady, because of her total sinlessness, would have experienced the full horror of sin on Calvary. Her sinlessness and being full of grace meant her love for God was greater than ours and so, too, her capacity for sorrow. She was able to cope but the horror and sorrow must surely have strained every fibre of her being to the verge of breaking point.
    Reflecting on this has me pondering on the following. Our Lady and St John were both standing under the Cross. St John, like the rest of us, inherited original sin and represented us on Calvary. Our Lady who, unlike us, did not inherit original sin or sin herself was able to give the perfect response (on our behalf?) to Our Lord’s sacrifice, cooperating fully in it as no one else could, not even the faithful St John. Thus, she is Co-Redemptrix but do I understand this term properly? Was her freely made response on Calvary the final hurdle to bringing the Church into being – the perfect (and necessary?) response of a human being (Mary) on all mankind’s behalf?

    • Father George David Byers

      She adds nothing to redemption and salvation. Yet, it is most appropriate in all justice that someone of us ask in a manner mirroring all that is given.

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