To the opening of the new museum in Bergen-Belzen I bring greetings from the State of Israel.
The State of Israel developed in spite of the piles of ashes that piled up here, from burning bodies. Yes, not only Jews were burnt here but the Jewish Nation was marked to be destroyed by all means. Maybe this is what provides the State of Israel secondary value and validity to flourish as she flourishes nowadays.
The sad thing is that what happened here, happened in the cradle of world culture. Most European countries participated in the annihilation of the Jews with all forcefulness, only on account of Jews being Jews, and the world stood at a distance and did not do a thing.
Since then, the Jewish nation learned that it must defend itself, and we indeed do, as blood thirsty murderers only alternate when relating to the state of Israel or the Jewish Nation.
I want to congratulate the initiators and establishers of the museum, and in particular the Minister of Education, Mr. Bernd Busemann, the Fund Manager, Mr. Wilfried Weidman, as well as all the people that have engaged in the holy work of perpetuation here in this place over the years.
We, who were here in real time, lost parts of our bodies and soul.
Every time that I arrive, I search for that childish happiness of mine that was lost here.
In my mind I hear the prayers and souls of the poor people that could not hold on still hovering around in this space. In hearing the prayers of these white naked skeletons screaming with open mouths, I am once again that little girl watching in fear, hoping that maybe they will come back to life. But this does not happen. At night time, just as I heard my opposed neighbors weeping after seeing their dear ones lead to the altar, my fears prevail that we will all die then and there.
But we survived, and maybe we are here to tell this generation, who will pass it on to the next generations, that these victims, in their death, ordered us life and screamed the outcry of the Jewish Nation.
I, Sara Atzmon from Israel, a native of Hungary, at the age of eleven was imprisoned here at Bergen-Belzen for about half a year with another twelve family members. Today, my husband Uri who was born in Israel and I, gave birth to six children, and have twenty two grandchildren god bless them. Close to twenty years now, I paint, sculpture, present and lecture my memories before thousands of young people in Israel and around the world. I try to describe the course of perdition that I went through here with my family members. Thank god it did not succeed.
Yes, the Messiah came for the Gottdiener family twice. The first miracle happened from within the earthquake and boiling lava that burnt and mangled entire communities. Whole families disappeared without leaving a memory or refugee. And we, the Gottdiner family, in spite of the death paths and agonies, had a "miracle ". Despite the sixty family members that were murdered and burned in various ways, almost a complete tribe had survived.
Out of sixteen Gottdiner siblings - thirteen survived, even though only eight are alive still today. All of them are living in Israel except for one brother and his sons. The number of offspring has multiplied itself by twelve.
Some four months ago, we, the survivors, gathered with our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to mark sixty-two years to our arrival in the country of Israel which occurred ninety days after the release from the camps of the death. Our promised land was not yet called the State of Israel. In the gathering participated one-hundred and fifty Gottdiner family members out of two-hundred family members that were born after the persecution. Therefore, when history states that six million Jews had been murdered, one needs to understand that nowadays they would be more than 60 million. Imagine the amount of burnt hands and feet that need to be counted, in order to arrive at the number sixty million.
As a twelve year old girl arriving in Israel, I was so excited and happy, that I wanted to run around shouting that I am alive and that I am a free Jewish girl. Immediately we learned Hebrew and how to defend ourselves with sticks in face to face combat. Indeed, we had not been able to conquer the seats of college and university as we were busy trying to redeem the new-old country and to get back the soul of life that was almost lost.
Lessons of the homeland we learned in the new-old country that was not given to us on a silver tray. Bible lessons were given during battles and between wars or quieter times. We built, ploughed, seeded, gave birth to children and tried to teach them the values of life in mutual respect.
Most of my brothers that are still capable, deal in perpetuation throughout the year by visiting campuses, schools, army bases, etc.
The duty of explaining is sacred. We must explain to today's youth that they are the last to meet living survivors, that they are our hope that the message to the next generations will be passed on because they are the ones that met survivors. We are the remaining living evidence, remember the atrocities that were done by humans with abysmal hatred in their mind and in their soul. The atrocities were done to people that looked exactly like them out of hatred and jealousy that was fed to them from childhood and brain washed them over the years.
No, we do not hate and we do not teach our children to hate. We saw and learned what hatred leads to.
According to the Hebrew calendar, about a month ago the Jewish New Year began.
I would like to greet all this holy audience with a year of peace, health and creation.
Shalom and Sehen Sie Sie spatter in Israel.