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Behind the Aegis

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The Little Known Holocaust, Before the Death Camps: Babi Yar (Graphic photos)

Almost 75 years ago, between September 29 and 30, 1941, 33,771 Jews were murdered at a ravine just outside of Kiev, known as Babi Yar. They weren't sent to the death camps of Poland or other places. When the Germans had finally taken Kiev, after a few months of battling the Soviets, they issued the following edict:

All (Jews) living in the city of Kiev and its vicinity are to report by 8 o'clock on the morning of Monday, September 29th, 1941, at the corner of Melnikovsky and Dokhturov Streets (near the cemetery). They are to take with them documents, money, valuables, as well as warm clothes, underwear, etc. Any (Jew) not carrying out this instruction and who is found elsewhere will be shot. Any civilian entering flats evacuated by (Jews) and stealing property will be shot. (source)

Of course, the word "Jew" was not used, instead it was the equivalent of the word "kike" and was posted in both Russian and Ukrainian. (source). Once the Jews gathered, they were taken to the gorge, made to strip naked, then in groups of about 10-20 people, they were systematically gunned down by an Einsatzgruppe and fell into the gorge. Men, women, and children were sent to their deaths in this manner. Over the next few years, the total of those murdered at Babi Yar was believed to have grown to 100,000 and include Jews who escaped the initial massacre, the Roma, communists, and prisoners of war.

The grotesque nature of the event wasn't over; as the Soviet army advanced to reclaim Kiev in 1943, the Nazi's did what they could to hide the evidence of what happened. They "enlisted" several prisoners, some were Jews, to get rid of the remains. First, they had to dig up the bodies, then they used special hooks to pull the bodies from the grave, many of the bodies had fused together. To further the desecration, they were instructed to search the bodies for any valuables which may have been missed, especially gold teeth, and remove them. A pyre was created of which the base was made of the gravestones from the local Jewish cemetery. Once the bodies were reduced to ash, then the ash was sifted to check for gold and pieces of bone, which were then pulverized.

This was The Holocaust. Most people are only familiar with the death camps, and while they certainly played a part in the destruction of the Jewish people of Europe, as well as many others, including gays, Romani people, Poles, and the list goes on, events like Babi Yar were happening well before the death camps were established. The continued to happen throughout the war, just on a much, much smaller scale. Given some recent events and demonstrations of the lack of knowledge about the Holocaust, I felt it was important to bring this event to light here and give people an opportunity to learn something they may not have known about the Holocaust, WWII, and the Nazi regime and its depraved cruelty.

An aerial photograph of Babi Yar taken by the German air force. September 26, 1943.
— National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.

Nazi SS Special Commanders line up Kiev Jews to execute them with guns and push them in to a ditch, already containing bodies of victims, The Babi Yar Massacre, World War II, 1941. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Babi Yar memorial to the Jewish victims (picture from http://thewanderingscot.com/), which wasn't allowed until 1991 and vandalized in 2006 (source).
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Sep 30, 2015, 12:58 AM (48 replies)

The lynching of Leo Frank and the lessons it imparts 100 years on

In the early hours of Aug. 17, 1915, a 31-year-old man took his last breath as the table beneath him was kicked out and the short rope hung from an oak branch snapped his neck.

The man hanging from that tree was an American Jew by the name of Leo Frank. Although Frank was the only Jew in the history of America lynched by a mob, his death had a profound and lasting impact on American Jewry.

Earlier, Leo Frank, a superintendent at a pencil factory in Atlanta, had been sentenced to death on questionable evidence for murdering 13-year-old Mary Phagan in 1913. She had worked at the factory. His trial was a foregone conclusion; Frank had already been convicted in the court of public opinion.

The Northern Jew was the obvious target of the people’s rage. A hate-infused trial ensued, and Frank was portrayed as the insidious Jewish infiltrator, taking what he pleased.

A conviction quickly came, and Frank was sentenced to death.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Aug 20, 2015, 12:47 AM (1 replies)

Jews in the 20th Century

This is an hour long program about the Jewish experience in the 20th century. It is about the experience as a world minority.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:16 AM (0 replies)

The Jewish Americans

These are very long, so it is not a 5 minute blub, it is 6 hours about the history of the Jewish experience in the United States. It seems these videos are severely needed!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:11 AM (2 replies)

UK anti-Semitic incidents soar in first half of year – report

The number of recorded anti-Semitic incidents in Britain soared in the first six months of this year compared with 2014, probably due to a surge in reporting among fearful Jews, a report by a Jewish community body said on Thursday.

There were 473 recorded incidents between January and June this year including two classified as “extreme violence”, said the Community Security Trust (CST), which advises Britain’s estimated 260,000 Jews on security.

That represented a 53 percent rise compared to the same period last year, said the CST which has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984.

Across Europe, Jews have warned of a growing undercurrent of anti-Semitism, fuelled by anger at Israeli policy in the Middle East and social tensions over immigration and increasing economic hardship under austerity policies that have helped far-right movements gain popularity.

Those fears were exacerbated in January when an Islamist militant gunman killed four people in a Jewish supermarket in Paris, followed a month later by an attack on Copenhagen’s main synagogue.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 02:10 PM (18 replies)

A brief history of homophobia in Dewey decimal classification

Libraries in more than 138 countries organise their resources according to Dewey decimal classification, or DDC for short. This proprietary system is the most widely used in the world. The DDC number reflects specific subject areas. Browsing shelves for books on similar topics, grouped together to make them easy to find, is both the beauty of and the frustration with the Dewey decimal system.

Once upon a time and yet not so long ago, LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) topics have variously been assigned to DDC categories such as Abnormal Psychology, Perversion, Derangement, as a Social Problem and even as Medical Disorders. Is it any wonder that someone browsing ‘similar’ library items in this area could feel alienated?

Addressing inclusion and alienation, in June 2015 Linda Rudell-Betts of the Los Angeles Public Libraries wrote a post on making sure its LGBTI Collection was assigned DDC call numbers from the twenty-second edition, so that its users are not confronted with earlier, demeaning classifications:

Dewey decimal classification (DDC) itself would assign lesbians, gay men, bisexual people and transgender people (LGBTI people) to a call number, 301.4157, as a kind of ‘abnormal sexual relations’ (modified fourteenth edition of the DDC).

Admittedly the fourteenth edition of DDC was published in 1942, but nonetheless, the spectre of earlier hurtful classifications can linger even when improved numbers have been assigned.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Jul 25, 2015, 03:42 AM (4 replies)

WATCH: Cardin rips C-SPAN caller who questions his Jewish faith, loyalty to US

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) ripped a caller to C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Wednesday who suggested Cardin's Jewish faith poses a conflict of interest with his duties as a U.S. senator.

“I'm normally pretty tolerant to people who ask questions, but I'm not to your assumption,” said Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"I take great offense to that. Our loyalty is to America, our concerns are with America, our religion is our personal business and should have nothing to do with an evaluation from anyone as to our objectivity on issues concerning America,” he said.


“Mr. Cardin looks like a regular white guy, nice guy, but in actuality he's a Jewish white guy,” said the caller, identified as Eric from Georgia. “If the public was informed of that by C-SPAN, I think they would take his comments differently.”


Some things never go out of style.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Jul 20, 2015, 12:11 AM (9 replies)

The international war on LGBT people

As Americans gathered in cities across the country to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage, several thousand Turks also tried to march in support of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Police in Istanbul attacked them with water cannons and rubber pellets. The repression reflected the narrowing of freedom under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; in past years, Turkey was the site of the largest gay pride marches in the Muslim world.

But Turkey is hardly alone in vilifying, isolating and threatening LGBT people. While 25 countries and territories now allow gay marriage, 75 nations treat homosexual behavior as a crime.

In 10 countries, it is punishable by death — and even where it is not, just being gay is often fatal. A May U.N. report found “continuing, serious and widespread human rights violations perpetrated, too often with impunity, against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“Since 2011, hundreds of people have been killed and thousands more injured in brutal, violent attacks,” the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reported.


Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Jul 14, 2015, 12:17 AM (19 replies)

It's been a year.

This time last year, I sat with my cat, Tony, as he journeyed on to the other side. It has been an interesting year for us, but there was a part that always seemed to be missing. When I got married, finally became legal in Oklahoma, in November, I was sad because Tony wasn't physically there. I did place his picture and ashes on the table of family photos representing those at the wedding who couldn't be there. Of course, had he been there, he probably would have jumped on the table and annoyed me by batting at the candles.

I cried everyday for at least two weeks, then it got better; I'd only cry every other day for another two weeks. I cry every now and again, but the pain isn't as bad. Of course, it didn't help for almost a month, Marigny, Tony's favorite pest, one of our chihuahuas, ran around the house looking for him, then crying when she couldn't find him. Sometimes, I could swear I heard his collar jingling. Each of our pets have a distinct 'jingle' from their collars, well, distinct to me, so I was hearing his jingle. A few times I swear I'd catch a glimpse of him; still do.

I just wanted to share my memories of the cat who came into my life when I met the love of life, and became a beloved friend, and whom I miss very much, even today. He was my "bad kitty; baddest of the bad!" That was the off key phrase I'd sing to him, while I held him like a baby. I think he hated both (my 'singing' and being cradled)!

For those who have lost pets recently, it does get less painful, but the memories come back all the time...and sometimes, so do the tears.

My Tony, baddest of the bad:

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Jun 30, 2015, 12:43 AM (15 replies)

Diane Rehm Presses Sanders On Whether He’s US-Israel Dual Citizen

An interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stopped in its tracks on Wednesday when NPR's Diane Rehm repeatedly pressed the Democratic presidential candidate whether he was a citizen of Israel.

"Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel," Rehm said during the interview on her nationally broadcast show based on station WAMU.

"Well, no I do not have dual citizenship with Israel," Sanders, who is Jewish, interjected. "I'm an American. I don't know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. I'm an American citizen, period."

Rehm cited "a list we have gotten" at NPR that said Sanders was "on that list."

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bernie-sanders-diane-rehm-israel

demmiblue post in GD.

Moment of truth...raise your hand if this was unexpected to you.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jun 10, 2015, 04:25 PM (5 replies)
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