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April 24, 2015 3:47 pm

Former Nazi Asked for Break During His Trial Because Auschwitz Testimonies Were too Shocking

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Former Nazi officer Oskar Groening (R) and Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor shake hands at his trial in Germany. Photo: Eva Kor Blog.

Former Nazi officer Oskar Groening (93) asked for a break during his trial after hearing testimonies on Thursday became too shocking.

“Groening heard such powerful testimony from a survivor of the death camp that he asked for a break as he was too shocked and exhausted to cope with hearing any more evidence,” wrote the Daily Mail.

These testimonies included 85-year-old Max Eisen, who described his job extracting gold from the teeth of Jews who were murdered in the gas chambers at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where Groening served.

Eisen described a grueling 3-day train journey from Czechoslovakia where passengers were being made to stand and being ripped apart from his family upon arrival. He said he would complete 10-12 hours of agricultural work a day on a “scant” diet,” according to the Mail

Groening is being tried on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder in the northern German town of Lunenburg, in what has developed into a high-profile trial following testimonies by the former SS sergeant and survivors of Auschwitz.

Thursday was also an emotional day for Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, 81, who had flown to Germany from Indiana to provide testimony.

Following the hearing, Kor — who founded the Candles Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Indiana – approached Groening and in a rare moment of public reconciliation embraced the former Nazi and received a kiss on the cheek.

“I am going back to the U.S. with a kiss on my cheek from a former Nazi,” said Kor according to the Mail.

Responding to the day’s events, Kor reflected in a blog post: “You cannot predict what will happen when someone from the victims’ side and someone from the perpetrators’ side meet in a spirit of humanity.”

“I have forgiven the Nazis and everyone who has hurt me,” she wrote.

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  • Groening was not alone in being so ‘sensitive’. In the early stages of the Holocaust the SS did the entire process, but in Auschwitz the SS appointed Jewish prisoners as Sonderkommando to lead Jews into the gas chambers and remove the bodies from the gas chambers and place them in the four crematoria. The SS found it too distressing to do it themselves!!! 85% of the SS who served in Auschwitz were never put on trial. See Laurence Rees, ‘Auschwitz’ BBC Books 2005.

  • .

    Rosenberg on Interfaith Dialogue & Services – 02/19/2015

    Remembering Amalek

    My motto is never again, never forget, and never forgive. While some have criticized me for never forgiving the Nazis for what they did to my family, it is precisely this hatred that makes me the fighting Rabbi I am. I refuse to forgive. This is what motivates me to speak out against injustice wherever it may be found.

    Yes, I hate the extremist Muslims because they are the new Nazis. They murder Muslims, Christians, Jews, and people of all different backgrounds and faiths. Today is Purim, a time in which we remember how Haman wanted to murder all Jews. The Hitlers and Hamans are alive and well today and continue resounding their pledge to annihilate Jews in both Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

    As the Mishnah teaches us,

    For sins against G”‘d, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) brings forgiveness. For sins against one’s neighbor, the Day of Atonement brings no forgiveness until one has become reconciled with one’s neighbor.

    In order to forgive another human being, that person must first ask for forgiveness, but “turn the other cheek” is not innate to Judaic principle. In Judaism repentance ( Shuvah) is a process of introspection and authentic remorse, which must be manifest and demonstrated through actual deeds — by a recognizable transformation. In other words, true Shuvah means, given the same set of circumstances, one will not return to the evil actions and deeds that prompted the initial behavior. By doing so, we can move closer to G-d, and He is forgiving, as is conveyed in the following Talmudic Tractate, Yoma, 85b:

    A king had a son who had gone astray from him on a journey of hundred days. His friends said to him, ‘Return to your father.’ He said, ‘I cannot.’ Then his father sent a message to him, saying, ‘Return as far as you can, and I will come the rest of the way to you.’ In a similar way, G”‘d says, ‘Return to me and I will return to you.'”

    The above Tractate imparts a significant lesson about the individual’s responsibility to build a personal relationship with G-d, which is through demonstrable remorse and action — through a conscious return to the laws and the path He provides in the Torah.

    Yet, there are some things beyond us to personally forgive. Thus, Rabbi or not, it is not my personal obligation or place to forgive the atrocities that the Nazis committed when they wiped out most of my family or for me to judge and decide their sense of remorse and whether or not the deeds of another reflect a genuine transformation. That is between them and G-d alone.

    Images from WarNevertheless, on this day of Purim, the Commandment “Zachor Et Amalek, “Remember Amalek” ( Devarim 25:17-19; Sanhedrin 20b), resounds, reminding us not to forget the harsh lessons we learned from the Amalekite, the descendants of Esau, when in the desert from Egypt and when Saul took pity on Agag, the Amalekite king, sparing his life but disobeying G-d’s Command to destroy every last one, and, analogously, the incarnation of evil. The Lubavitcher Rebbe expands on this concept in ” The Everlasting Battle: Parshas Zachor”:

    The war with Amalek was not a one-time affair, to be forgotten as soon as it was over. The Jewish people are commanded by G”‘d to always remember Amalek’s evil actions, and to destroy his memory utterly. Torah is most explicit:

    ‘Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt; how he met you on the way, and cut down all the weak who struggled behind you, when you were weary and exhausted; and he did not fear G”‘d. Therefore, when the L”‘rd your G”‘d will relieve you of all your enemies around you, in the land which the L”‘rd your G”‘d gives you as a hereditary portion, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!'”

    In essence, to forgive is also to forget, and, once again, we are reminded by G-d’s Command never to do so. Imbued in Torah are the instructions for leading an ethical life, and G-d provides us with the blueprints to do so through His laws and also with the Free Will to choose whether or not to follow the path He has set. Suffice it to say, if we are to choose to live by His laws, tolerance and forgiveness are not to apply to the incarnation of evil. Otherwise, we make no distinctions between good and evil or right from wrong, and there is nothing to set us apart, as the following passage clearly denotes:

    Whoever is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate.

    Former Nazi hugs Auschwitz survivor at his Germany trial

    After testifying in horrific detail about her imprisonment at Auschwitz, Eva Kor, 81, was embraced by former Nazi Oskar Groening.

    New York Daily News

  • Leah

    With all due With all due respect for Ms. Kor, I believe she has been duped and I will now heave into a bucket.

  • Bernhard Rosenberg shared a link on New York Daily News.

    6 mins ·



    Former Nazi hugs Auschwitz survivor at his Germany trial

    After testifying in horrific detail about her imprisonment at Auschwitz, Eva Kor, 81, was embraced by former Nazi Oskar Groening.

    New York Daily News

  • We have received much material for the new book. Please understand THEIR IS NO COMPENSATION for work contributed nor can we deal with copyright issues as I am not an attorney. I am paying for the publication out of my own pocket and my secretary has volunteered her time. I seriously doubt this will be a best seller or if there will be any profit. I am doing this book as a MITZVAH to allow those who wish to contribute material to have their children and grandchildren read this material in the future. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

    I have been inundated by requests to extend the dead line for the new book. IT IS TRULY AMAZING. EXTENDED TO MAY 8..

    We are including pictures of those who submit material as well as bio. This is a once in a life time opportunity to share your thoughts regarding the holocaust…with future generations

    Send the info to,

    Please send material including: poems,art work, essays, belief in G-d, philosophy regarding the Shoah, Yiddish expressions,language you spoke as a child,characteristics you learned from your parents, did your parents speak about the Shoah, what profession were your parents, what profession did you enter. I especially would like contributions by 2g and 3g RABBIS…. Include you picture and a brief bio.

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  • Rick Freedman

    The pictures of this guy on trial looked like a bewildered, bespecled intellectual. An accountant. I have no sympathy for the Nazi’s, but I am sure that a lot of good people got caught up in something they had no control over. I believe that to be the case with this guy.