Review: Holocaust Memoir: Hank Brodt -A Candle And A Promise by Deborah Donnelly

JANUARY GRAY

holcaust-memoirs

I received this book yesterday via e-mail from Amsterdam Publishers, and I spent all of last evening reading from beginning to end.

I know I have many friends, social networking friends and followers who are interested in learning more about the Holocaust, but are unsure as to where to start, or are hesitant to read about or see photos of mass execution, slaughter and such horrid mistreatment done to humans by humans.

No matter how wrong or horrid, history must be told. Lessons need to be learned, memories need to be shared, so nothing like this ever happens again.

I highly recommend this book if this time in History interests you.

Hank tells his story to his youngest daughter, and she transcribes it by pen and paper. He did not want it audio recorded. His daughter is trained in trauma, so she was supportive and careful with her father during…

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9 comments

  1. Adolf Hitler’s diet from 1931 onwards was vegetarian. Nazis did pass animal welfare laws which were advanced for it’s time such as Hitler signed law to protect the eagle (Eagle on Swastika is Nazi symbol) and Hitler signed laws which created rules on hunting and Hitler signed laws on fastest way to kill crustaceans. In the end Hitler, his mistress Eva Braun and their dog Blondi all committed suicide.

    Adolf Hitler had fascination with these animals. Adolf Hitler fascinated by birds such as ravens, crows & eagles with eagle being national symbol of Germany. Adolf Hitler also had fascination with dogs, wolves, deer & if you look @ German tanks there were Panthers & Tiger tanks. Adolf Hitler & his wife Eva Braun both fascinated with animals & Wagner operas.

    Adolf Hitler knew that risk was too high for his dog Blondi to become food for a Soviet soldier, so his mistress Eva Braun and Blondi committed suicide by taking Prussic pill while he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. So it was a mercy killing and 1 could say the dog committed suicide to avoid being food for Soviet soldiers.

    Red Army in Germany was killing many people, committing rapes & Soviet soldiers esp. Soviet Mongolians were eating family pets including dogs. Many cases where Germans committed suicide including with their pets because they believed this was lesser evil to having a 10 year old girl raped & murdered by a Soviet soldier and their pets being eaten by Soviet soldiers.

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  2. Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Axis Japan were greedy but they were not cowards & Axis Japanese soldiers fought and died for what they believed & Fascist Italian soldiers fought & died for what they wanted. Nazi German soldiers fought and died for what they wanted. Nazis were greedy but they fought & died for what they wanted and you Nazi soldiers did have courage fighting in battles such as Kursk, Nazi soldiers were not cowards, in that in Stalingrad & Leningrad battles, you must have courage. German Nazi soldiers talk of how they destroyed 3 Soviet tanks in battle.

    Hitler exploited fact that Poles & Czechs mistreated German neighbors to justify his greed. Of course most Germans living in Czechoslovakia & Poland supported Nazis because among other reasons, they no longer wanted to be mistreated by their neighbors. In worst cases, ethnic violence was committed by Poles & Czechs (more so by Poles)against their German neighbors for years. Polish writings from 1848 talked about how Germans are lower than dogs, among other things. If Poles & Czechs better treated their German neighbors, then instead of 95% of Germans living in Poland & Czechoslovakia supporting Nazis, the # would have been less. Hitler would have still invaded, but @least there would’ve been more Germans opposing the Nazis than supporting their invasion.

    Nazi Germany had no right to invade Poland, no right to take Czechoslovakia by war declaration threat (violating 1938 Munich Agreement with Sudeten) as their motive was lebensraum , Germans living in Poland & Czechoslovakia were poorly treated by their Polish & Czech neighbors (Germans sometimes took Polish & Czech names to try to avoid persecution) & in some cases there was violence committed by Poles & Czechs against their German neighbors in Poland & Czechoslovakia. Hitler would have invaded Poland regardless but if Polish treatment of their German neighbors had been good, then fewer Germans living in Poland would have supported Nazi invasion. Again, while Nazi Germany had no right to invade Poland, etc. as they were doing that mainly for Nazi Germany’s interest against others, Germans were poorly treated in Poland for many years, long before Hitler was born.

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    1. With indoctrination or brainwashing. When things are bad, then it’s easier to brainwash or indoctrinate. The fact Germans living in Poland and Czechoslovakia were mistreated by their Pole and Czech neighbors long before Adolf Hitler was born made it easier for Adolf Hitler and teh Nazis to justify lebensraum greed. It made it easier for Nazis to brainwash or indoctrinate because they exploit the bad things happening to Germans living in Poland and Czechoslovakia to justify invading Poland in 1939 and taking Czechoslovakia by war declaration threat (violating 1938 Munich Agreement with Sudeten).

      Germans living in Poland & Czechoslovakia were poorly treated by their Polish & Czech neighbors (Germans sometimes took Polish & Czech names to try to avoid persecution) & in some cases there was violence committed by Poles & Czechs against their German neighbors in Poland & Czechoslovakia. While most Czechs and Poles didn’t commit violence against their German neighbors, Czechs and Poles were likely to think poorly of Germans and while most Czechs and Poles didn’t commit violence against ethnic Germans, they’re more likely to tolerate that. If a Pole or Czech adult abused a 6 year old German girl- many Poles and Czechs would not think much of that or they’d tolerate the abuse. The right thing to have done was boycott Poland and Czechoslovakia, until Poland and Czechoslovakia better treats Germans living there.

      Hitler exploited fact that Poles & Czechs mistreated German neighbors to justify his greed. Of course most Germans living in Czechoslovakia & Poland supported Nazis because among other reasons, they no longer wanted to be mistreated by their neighbors. In worst cases, ethnic violence was committed by Poles & Czechs (more so by Poles)against their German neighbors for years. Polish writings from 1848 talked about how Germans are lower than dogs, among other things. If Poles & Czechs better treated their German neighbors, then instead of 95% of Germans living in Poland & Czechoslovakia supporting Nazis, the # would have been less. Hitler would have still invaded, but @least there would’ve been more Germans opposing the Nazis than supporting their invasion.

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  3. With history, it’s best to read history as a juror. I think it’s best that US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, etc. ask visitors what do they think happened or do you believe all that I’m telling you? If a person visits Holocaust Museum in Washington DC & they have a different conclusion to what the Holocaust Museum said, then find out why they think this. Usually I have found that most people who have different conclusions about what the Holocaust was usually are shy as they don’t want to be called neo-Nazi.

    What I wonder with Holocaust is how many people say they agree with eg. all of US Holocaust Museum’s conclusions because they believe this & how many don’t agree with all of US Holocaust Museum’s conclusions but don’t talk because they don’t want to be condemned as Nazis? I believe only a few were killed by gassing & it’s more common for Nazi soldiers to have raped Jewess & Gypsy women in the ghettos & concentration camps which is bad by itself.

    I read Prof RJ Evans book 3d Reich @ war for second time & my thoughts. I agree with most of what Prof. RJ Evans says when he talks about Adolf Hitler wanting lebensraum or living room & Nazi Germany’s invasions of Poland, former Yugoslavia & USSR were to do things for Germany’s interests @ expense of Slavs. Germans would settle in these places, Slavs would have limited education & do things for German’s interests. Adolf Hitler knew many would die in WW2 & he didn’t care if Slavs starved to death, etc.

    With did Nazi Germany have plans to exterminate Jews, Prof. RJ Evans in book among other things talks of radio broadcasts given by Adolf Hitler, Paul J. Goebbells diary, along with Henrich Luitpold Himmler’s comments where they talk of Jewish deaths, so Adolf Hitler along with many Germans would have known about Nazi soldiers Wehrmacht, Einsatzgruppen, German militias & in some cases Ukrainians & others shooting and killing Jewish men, women & kids on Eastern Front.

    Adolf Hitler made no secret about fact that many Jews would die in concentration camps & ghettos because if you put millions of people in camps, don’t give enough food, H20, etc. many die. Prof. RJ Evans is right that Nazis believed Gypsies, Slavs, Jews, etc. were subhumans & that highest ethnic groups were Germans and Scandinavians. January 23, 1942, Hitler told his associates: The Jew must clear out of Europe. Otherwise no understanding will be possible between Europeans restrict myself to telling them they must go away. If they break their pipes on the journey, I can’t do anything about it. But if they refuse to go voluntarily, I see no other solution but extermination. Hitler added: A good three or four hundred years will go by before the Jews set foot again in Europe. They return first of all as commercial travelers, then gradually they become emboldened to settle here the better to exploit.

    While the Wannsee Conference was written in codes and codes such as resettlement and reservation were made instead of extermination, in this speech, Hitler doesn’t talk in codes and admits an exterminating war. But it sounds here to be exterminate if they refuse to leave but not exterminate no matter what. Hitler’s view would be that if let’s say the Jews & Gypsies lived in India (Gypsies originally are from India) that he wouldn’t care, but that they would be exterminated if they refused to leave places of Nazi power. An exterminating war, but I don’t think it’s exterminate no matter what.

    Adolf Hitler refused to use nerve gases such as Sarin, Tabun and Soman which are deadlier than Zyklon B and carbon monoxide. Now do I think Nazis killed people in gas vans? I believe the Nazis in some cases did kill people in experimental gassings & I can believe the Nazis killed 200 people in gas chambers. But I don’t believe the #s are hundreds of thousands, because Nazis had easier ways to kill people such as starving & working people to death, shootings, beatings & lethal injections. There are hundreds of cases where Nazis killed prisoners in experiments such as cooling, high altitude, malaria & wounds. Sometimes prisoners survived such as seaH20 tests. Nazi Drs. took pictures of these experiments. & the Nazis tried to justify the experiments such as saying the people killed in experiments were Communists.

    But there are no photos of Nazis taking pictures of prisoners being gassed which is why I don’t believe hundreds of thousands were killed. Prof. RJ Evans in book says that Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hoess and Heinrich Luitpold Himmler witnessed people being gassed & that Nazis destroyed gas vans, but it’s odd that they wouldn’t photograph this while photographing experiments & it’s odd Nazis wouldn’t destroy proof of things like experiments. I think the Nazis if anything would try to justify the gassing deaths by saying they killed Commies, Soviet Commisars, etc. in the gas vans and that the Commies were thugs.

    Nazi Alois Brunner in 1987 (hiding in Syria) interview said that he did not know of gas vans until he read newspapers after war. Alois Brunner said that he would do it again in that he would send Jews & others to concentration camps & ghettos where many would die of starvation (if you put millions & not enough food many starve to death which is bad by itself), but he didn’t know of gas vans. Alois Brunner believed that Germans were the greatest with Slavs doing things for German interests. Alois Brunner knew again that many Jews would die of starvation deaths in concentration camps & ghettoes. Alois Brunner also knew that Wehrmacht, Einsatzgruppen & their allies shot and killed Jewish men, Jewess women & kids such as Babi Yar. But Alois Brunner said that he didn’t know of gas vans until he read newspapers after war.

    Alois Brunner said he’d do it again because he believed that since Soviet Jewish Commie henchmen & henchwomen could send millions of people to starvation deaths in Soviet Gulags like Dubno, Kolyma, Krasnogorsk, then Nazi Germans could put Jews in concentration camps & ghettos where people starve to death & in some cases, people were worked to death. Alois Brunner also knew that German soldiers raped Jewess women.

    Professor RJ Evans talks about other things about how Hitler & other Nazis talk of how Germany lost WW1 because of Jews and that it was war against Bolshevik Jews, with Slavs being tools working with Churchill & Roosevelt. Professor RJ Evans didn’t mention this but some Soviet henchmen & henchwomen were Jewish & millions of people were starved & worked to death, killed by shootings, etc. in Soviet Gulags because of Commies such as LM Kaganovitch, GG Yagoda, etc. in 1930s called Holdomor. & some of Lenin’s henchmen such as Leon Davidovich Trotsky were Jewish.

    Did Holocaust happen because of Holodomor ? Among the millions who were starved & worked to death in Soviet Gulags in Holodomor, this includes thousands of Germans living in USSR. Adolf Hitler, Goebbels used words like eye for eye & tooth for tooth. 1 could say that Hitler went with view that since Commie Jews sent Aryans, etc. to starvation deaths in Soviet Gulags, that Nazis would put millions of Jews in concentration camps & ghettos where they were starved & worked to death such as building Trans Saharan railroad (Africa campaign), the same way as Volga Germans in 1930s were starved & worked to death working on Trans Siberian railway. Soviet Gulag eg. would be Dubno, Kolyma & Krasnogorsk .

    Yes, Jews were a group involved in committing Soviet Holocaust called Holodomor 10 years before Nazi Holocaust. Nazi Holocaust was wrong as it’s wrong to send millions of people to death in ghettos & concentration camps. Only saying that Jews were not always innocent & Nazis believed they committed Holocaust because of Holodomor.

    During lebensborn, Heinrich Lutipold Himmler pushed things such as Nazis taking Czech children, Polish children during war and having them raised by German families-Germanized. Don’t believe Adolf Hitler approved of this since Poles, Czechs, etc. would be Slavs and do not believe Adolf Hitler would want Germans to raise Slav children as Slavs would be Untermensch, so think this part of Lebensborn was done without Hitler’s approval but by Himmler.

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  4. 1. Jerusalem Mufti M. Amin Al Hussaini’s alliance with Hitler. Mufti sought alliance with Nazi Germany because he wanted Axis help to fight British rule in then Palestine. Yes, he had asked Adolf Hitler’s help to destroy Jewish settlements in then Palestine (Nazi Germany first wanted Jews to emigrate to among other places Palestine before it turned to war) & he also asked that Jewish emigration to Palestine end.

    Mufti Mohammed Amin Al Hussaini definitely didn’t want Jews living in Arab & Berber nations. There were Arab and Beber soldiers in Wehrmacht & Fascist Italian military during the African campaign. & there were Albanian & Croat soldiers (mostly Muslim) in the Wehrmacht and Fascist Italian military on Eastern Front & of course the Mufti would morally support the Arab, Berber and Muslim soldiers. But the alliance between Mufti and Hitler was minor. Don’t think the Mufti M. Amin al Hussaini believed in master race theory & the Mufti M. Amin al Hussaini was against Libya, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Somalia being Italian colonies or invaded by them.

    Mufti M. Amin al Hussaini wanted to do things 1 step @ a time & he became allies with Nazi Germany & Fascist Italy (including doing radio broadcasts supporting Axis) because he wanted their help to end British rule in then Palestine and to end Jewish settlements in Arab and Berber lands. If the Axis had not lost the war (incl. losing African campaign in 1943), then 1 can be sure that the Mufti M. Amin Al Hussaini would support Libya, Ethiopia, Tunisia and Somalia’s independence from Italy.

    Mufti Amin Al Husseini wanted Jews out of Arab lands & would use exterminating war to get this, but don’t think Mufti wanted all exterminated. Don’t think Hitler needed Mufti Amin Al Husseini advice.Mufti Amin Al Husseini is minor with Nazi Germany. Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini is friend who Hitler had. Nazi Germany’s alliance with Axis Japan was not trustworthy. Axis Allies Mannerheim (Finland), Horthy (Hungary), Antonescu (Rumania), King Boris (Bulgaria) & other puppets were not friends.

    Mufti Amin Al Husseini sought alliance with Adolf Hitler to fight British rule in Palestine the same way as Indian leader SC Bose sought help from Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Axis Japan to fight for India’s independence from the British. Arabs have said that accusation made that the Mufti Amin Al Husseini was a Nazi who took part in Holocaust is because of the Arab-Jewish (esp. Palestinian) conflicts such as 1948 war, 6 day 1967 war, and that if Hindus and Jews were fighting each other, Indian leader SC Bose would get the same accusation as the Mufti does.

    2. Commissar Order. Wilhelm Johann Gustav Keitel Commissar Order executed Commies. Soviet partisans & Comissars were Commie thugs comparable to Kim Il Sung & Kim Jong Il. As it is a war, the Soviet Red Army Commissars were Communists and some of them did Soviet Holodomor in 1930s, where many Ukrainians, Latvians and others killed in Ukrainian Famine. Soviet Red Army Commissars often killed people who were against Communism and many Soviet citizens killed, starved and worked to deaths in Gulags such as Dubno, Krasnogorsk, or forced to work in Kolyma which is north of Arctic Circle. Red Army Commissars also forced people to work in building the TransSiberian Railways. I agree with Commissar Order.

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  5. Julius & Ethel Rosenberg gave atomic or nuclear weapons secrets to Commie USSR & thus we had cold war with former USSR. Other things, it’s not controversial to say that the last time PM Ariel Sharon made love was in 1971 or that Golda Meir was womenopausal (menopausal) when she was PM. It’s also not controversial to say that Menachem Begin was impotent. Yet the Holocaust is a topic where if you say Holocaust isn’t much different from other war atrocities, then controversy.

    I don’t want any ethnic group exterminated. There are many talented Jewish people such as Stephen A. Spielberg, those who created Marvel & DC Comics, 3 stooges, Twilight Zone & as posters know I have watched all episodes of Bewitched, I dream of Jeannie, Honeymooners, Twilight Zone & Incredible Hulk-those shows often had Jewish producers & sometimes Jewish actors such as actor who played Abner & Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched, JE Gleason of Honeymooners & Rodman Edward Serling of Twilight Zone. When I was a boy in 1970s & early 1980s, I liked watching Laverne & Shirley along with Happy Days, Jewish & Jewess actors.

    I listen to music by Ariana Grande, Meghan Elizabeth Trainor, Lady Gaga, Justin Drew Bieber etc. who often have Jewish music executives. I don’t want Jews exterminated, because then we lose so many talented people. But I don’t think I’m a Nazi because I don’t think Holocaust is much different from other war atrocities & I don’t think I’m a Nazi because I support the Commissar Order. Most people who were killed by the Nazis were not Jewish. I also didn’t say that most Soviet henchmen & henchwomen were Jewish as most of the Soviet henchmen & henchwomen were non-Jewish Slavs & most people who the Nazis killed were Slavs.

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  6. During WW2, the Chinese lost 19 to 40 million people. USSR lost 20 + million. Yet we hear most about estimated 6 million Jewish Holocaust deaths when other ethnic groups lost as many or more. All wars are about exterminating enemies until 1 gets what they want be it land, water, etc. During WW2, we bombed German, Italian & Japanese cities believing they would surrender. The 3 year old German, Italian & Japanese kids are innocent even if parents were guilty. The side with the better weapons & military strategies wins the war. If Germany, Italy & Japan had the atom bombs, they would have used them against us & we’d possibly still be dealing with them today.

    My view always will be that the atom bombs should have been dropped in other places in Japan with fewer civilians death but admit that there is no guarantee there would be surrender. There are only wrong and bad choices which President Harry S. Truman had. There was no guarantee that Japan would surrender after Hiroshima and Nagasaki as they had not surrendered after Tokyo and other cities were bombed with so many civilian deaths. If it goes to an invasion, many more civilians get killed and Japanese would have used women and children soldiers. Japanese boys would fly planes in kamikaze missions. In Okinawa, families committed suicide such as Japanese women with their children would jump off of cliffs to their deaths.

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  7. While Adolf Hitler & the Nazi Party died in 1945, Nazi ideas have not. As known, wars happened before and after the Nazis, such as Armenian genocide during WW1 & the 1994 Rwandan genocide against Tutsis. I don’t blame all Turks (certainly not Turks after WW1) for the Armenian genocide & I don’t blame all Hutus for the 1994 Rwanda genocide. I don’t blame Japanese people born after WW2 for Nanking, Bataan, Unit731 in Manchuria etc. as we don’t fault people for what their grandparents did. The Japanese, Germans and Italians have done nice things for science, art, etc. & there’s more to those 3 nations besides 1931 to 1945, where Tojo, Hitler and Mussolini took their 3 nations to a world war which killed millions.

    Fascist Italy was the only friend who Adolf Hitler had when it came to allies. The alliance between Nazi Germany and Axis Japan was not trustworthy. Nazi Germany’s alliances with Hungary (Horthy), Finland (Mannerheim), Romania (Antonescu), Bulgaria (King Boris), Vichy France (Petain), etc. were not of friendship but forced alliances, which in many cases (except for Finland) the result of Germany invading the nations and putting up puppets. When the war went against Nazi Germany, the nations either abandoned the war wanting peace (Finland did peace) or they declared war on Germany as their ex allies Romania and Bulgaria did, where Romania and Bulgaria joined Communist USSR.

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  8. Commisar Order would be described as bad people killing other bad people. Soviet guerrillas were sometimes thugs and as bad as the Nazis. Some of the Soviet partisans helped Stalin commit his 1930s Holocaust called the Holodomor, where millions of Ukrainians, Latvians, Estonians & others were sent to GULag such as Krasnogorsk, Kolyma, Dubno or Workuta (North of Arctic Circle) to be starved and worked to death, shot and killed, tortured to death. In some cases the Nazis did kill bad people-Commissar Order where the Germans executed Stalin Red Army officers and partisans and again those who were executed by the Commissar Order were Communists who had taken part in Stalin Holodomor.

    Was the Commissar Order justified ? As it is a war, the Soviet Red Army Commissars were Communists and some of them did Soviet Holodomor in 1930s, where many Ukrainians, Latvians and others killed in Ukrainian Famine. Soviet Red Army Commissars often killed people who were against Communism and many Soviet citizens killed, starved and worked to deaths in Gulags such as Dubno, Krasnogorsk, or forced to work in Kolyma which is north of Arctic Circle. Red Army Commissars also forced people to work in building the TransSiberian Railways. As Soviet Red Army Commissars were thugs who killed many people including kids, then was the Keitel Commissar Order justified ? Wilhelm Johann Gustav Keitel Commissar Order executed Commies. Soviet partisans & Comissars were Commie thugs comparable to Kim Il Sung & Kim Jong Il. I agree with Commissar Order.

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