Today I received an email about Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. What’s curious about this is that I didn’t even know about Yom HaShoah, but yesterday I finished reading a book called The Rise & Fall of Adolf Hitler written by William L. Shirer. (Book review at end of this post.)
You know, it dumbfounds me how people can be so blind and indifferent, thereby allowing such unspeakable horrors to continue without correction!
A side note: One evening Dad and I were watching a program on television where people were asked on the street if they think our soldiers saved the world – referring to World War II. One young woman said no, she didn’t think they saved the world. I was aghast! Dad was disgusted. How can she not know the truth of that time? Aren’t our schools teaching anything about that part of our history anymore? Are they just skimming over it?
As soon as I finished the little book mentioned above (which, I must add, said nothing about Canadian soldiers who played a big part, and not much about American soldiers either) I began reading a book called Millions of Souls – the Philip Riteman Story. Mr. Riteman, a Jew, survived the Holocaust but his whole family was exterminated. He now lives here in Nova Scotia. A few years ago he was encouraged to tell his story, the result being this book – although it was extremely emotionally painful for him to do so as it brought back horrible memories. He now travels around the province selflessly telling some of his story to groups who invite him.
It’s timely that I should be reading these books at this time. Although I haven’t read all of Mr. Riteman’s book yet, I am going to include it here for you today on Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. Believe me, it is not for young readers who are not prepared to read about the cruelties and realities of war. What I have read makes me heartsick. It is truly unthinkable what people do to people. The evil in this world … Having said that, at some point everyone should know.
Book: Millions of Souls – the Philip Riteman Story
Author: Philip Riteman, as told to Mireille
Publisher: Flanker Press
Date: October 12, 2010
My Rating: A must-read as a way to know the horrific truth about the Holocaust
I think the best way to tell you about this book is to write here what is on the back cover.
“Philip Riteman is a Holocaust survivor whose mission is to educate today’s youth on the atrocities committed against millions of Jews and Gentiles by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime during World War II. From the Pruzhany Ghetto, Poland, Philip and his family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There, his entire family was exterminated. As the lone survivor, Philip was used as a forced labourer in five concentration camps, where he witnessed the cruellest treatments that can be inflicted on human beings: degradation, dehumanization, starvation, hard labour, daily beatings, torture, and deliberate, cold-blooded murder.
Millions of Souls is told in three parts. First is Philip’s account of life in his hometown and as an eyewitness to the struggle for survival in the concentration camps. Second is the story of Philip’s exodus to Newfoundland after the war, where he discovered that there was still some humanity left in the world. Third is the story of Philip Riteman today, and his commitment to spreading his message: “Hate destroys people, communities, and countries. Love binds us all together and makes a better world.”
Philip Riteman’s story was recorded by Mireille Baulu-MacWillie during a series of interviews at Philip’s home in Nova Scotia, Canada.”
“I speak for millions and millions who cannot speak.” – Philip Riteman
Thank you Mr. Riteman!
You can find Millions of Souls on my BUY THE BOOK! page.
Book: The Rise & Fall of Adolf Hitler
Author: William L. Shirer
Publisher: Scholastic Book Services
Date: 1968; 7th printing January 1970
Price: varies from under $1.00 up
My rating: worth reading to know the shocking truth of the madness behind WWII
I read this book just to know what I may not have otherwise learned along the way. I’m glad I did. It was an easy book to read, but was difficult to read because of the horror of war, the driven insanity of Adolf Hitler, the unspeakable cruelty he promoted and insisted upon toward anyone in his way. It was revolting to me to learn more of the seeming stupidity of those around him to allow him to carry on the way he did. He was terrifying. He was insane.
My father is a WWII veteran, and I deeply respect all WWII soldiers who put their lives on the line to stop the attempted overtaking of the world, a little at a time. It was a long horrific war that could have been stopped many different times – but it wasn’t seen at first as a realistic threat. As it progressed it became very hard to stop, including several attempts on Hitler’s life which were unsuccessful. I had an uncle who was a young German soldier in WWII, one of countless who didn’t want to fight in Hitler’s armies but had no choice. How very sad and tragic it all was.
This is a small book worth reading. Lest we forget.
You can find The Rise & Fall of Adolf Hitler on my BUY THE BOOK! page.
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂
With anti-Semitism on the rise in many places and more and more Governments finding the fascists gaining ground in elections, holocaust deniers being voted into office, I can’t understand why books like these aren’t required reading in schools and colleges the world over.
The world needs peace, but it also needs to teach people why we need peace, how without it we lose our humanity and attack the weak.
How often it seems to be the Jew who bears the brunt of this hate that just wears people down, and how ridiculous the reasons.For something that supposedly happened 2000+ years ago.
The Governor who washed his hands of Jesus was a Roman appointee yet no-one tries to wipe out the Italians.
Stop killing people, stop hating and start living in peace with others. Give your children and their children a chance.
Thank you for your comment, David.
Because the Jews are God’s chosen people there is so much coming against them.
I agree with you: “Stop killing people, stop hating and start living in peace with others. Give your children and their children a chance.”
Two important books. Thanks for reviewing them. If only we could learn from the past.
Yes, Darlene. If only we could .. and would.