“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6

"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

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Why We Remember...Glenn Beck's Photo/Commentary Documentary of Auschwitz

At the crack of dawn, we are up and fed and ready to hit the road.  While this trip was filled with horrifying, unimaginable evil – there were also moments of light. Like this one taken on a bus in the morning
Take a good look at that picture. Look closely at our faces. Remember that look – that was the morning. Tomorrow, you are going to see what just a HALF DAY touring Auschwitz did to those faces. We leave the two small children behind.  We will meet them at the airport later.  This day will be hard enough to process as an adult.

First stop in Krakow to the grave site of one of the most important rabbis in Jewish history. He was responsible for compiling Jewish law. His grave was meant to be destroyed by the Germans – just one of the many despicable habits they had -  but as a German solider approached the grave, lightening hit the surrounding fence, jumped to the German’s bayonet  and threw him back.

It scared the rest of the soldiers enough that they just left it alone, under a tree. But it didn’t scare them away from the other grave stones… they had plans for the others

It’s hard to wrap your mind around the evil that goes into something like this. At first glance, this looks like an ordinary stone wall. But this is a wall made entirely of broken headstones.
Many of them have the hands of the Aaronic priesthood blessings.
I later found out they not only built the wall, but the destroyed cemeteries and headstones were used for sidewalks! It was overwhelming to see this – the evil – they just did not view Jews as human beings. I just kept thinking – how do people become that evil? Our GBTV documentary crew is searching to find that out. They’ve been along for every moment, and when this comes out you will be blown away by the footage they’ve captured.
I think I understand EVIL and GOOD more than I ever have before… and the day is just beginning…

Also, my understanding of why Israel is so crucial to not just the Middle East – but to the entire world –the best way to prevent another holocaust from happening again are becoming clearer. When we visited a small town, what appeared to be a grassy field actually turned out to be a stone wall. The remains of a moat from the 1400’s. There was a fire in the town – and the Jews were being blamed for starting it. The King, who loved the Jews, gave them this part of the town and built the moat, thinking it would keep them safe. The safety only lasted while the King was alive.
THAT’S why it’s so important that Israel is allowed and capable of defending themselves, not through charity or any other country or the U.N. – because it WILL NOT LAST.

At this point, I am joined this am by a new friend named Jonny Daniels. He was born in England but now lives in Israel.  He has joined me to do something no one else still alive in his family has done – go to Auschwitz.  Every member of his family was killed there except his grandmother.
She remembers Mengele looking into the crowds and selecting who would live and die.  She remembers the day she and all of Johnny’s family got off the train from Hungary.
He gets quieter and quieter the closer we get to the camp. I notice he keeps looking at a piece of paper when he thinks no one is looking.  He later shows it to me.
It is the list of family he never met that were killed at the camp… the camp I will show you tomorrow…

In the last blog I asked you to remember our faces. You are about to see why. In case you forgot, here is what Tania and I looked like before going through Auschwitz:
I knew that this day was going to be tough. But other than close, personal tragedies we’ve experienced in our own lives, our day at Auschwitz is hands down the most emotionally difficult thing I’ve ever experienced. If you have been here you know that you will never experience anything like it in your life. Never. I was prepared for something horrifying – but now I know there is nothing that could ever adequately prepare you for this place

We had barely made it through half the day, saw the trains and a few other things— and already the emotion has hit us like a ton of bricks. And you can see it on our faces.
No matter how many motion pictures you’ve seen or books you’ve read – you’ve NEVER seen evil like thisbefore. My whole family was afraid to go to Auschwitz, and there’s solid justification for that fear. This history will hit even the most apathetic creature right to the core. But we held each other up – here’s a picture of our family moments before we went into Auschwitz.

And as we headed in, something spontaneous happened that spoke volumes to the magnitude of what we were about to see.  In this next shot, myself, Tania Johnny Daniels, and a historian we were with walked arm in arm into the compound. Many years ago Johnny’s family had walked through this same gate all those decades ago… and never came out.
First of all – look at the sign above us. What an evil lie – it reads: ‘Work shall set you free’  – that’s straight from the pits of hell. We didn’t stage walking in arm and arm – that happened because we were terrified at the thought of how many Jews passed through this gate and didn’t make it out.
You might have noticed I’m looking up in this one. We all did. There were giant smokestacks – and we all had the same thought. Was that where they incinerated… people? Turned out it wasn’t – it was just the kitchen. But it gave you just a hint of the terror Jews must have felt as they walked under the gate and saw those stacks.

There are many buildings to go through.  The whole atmosphere is evil – strangely as it may seem, the grounds don’t feel evil .But it doesn’t feel good or positive in anyway either. The other thing is it’s strangely void of any spirit. It’s like a dead spot on planet earth. I’ve never felt anything like it. But evil was on display at every turn. One building was full of shoes, suitcases, glasses, gold teeth and more. The items were stripped off their victims and redistributed to German citizens.
These are more than just a pile of glasses or shoes. Each represents a person, a person who was face to face with perhaps the biggest evil the world has ever seen. I was already overwhelmed at this point, but there was another room I hadn’t visited yet. It would be the room that broke me up and pushed me over the edge.

This room was filled with prosthetics and braces — worn into the chambers and later taken off the dead bodies. This was all that was left over:
What remained were only the ones NOT good enough to send to Germans to pass on to their kids and relatives. This was just a fraction of the carnage.  My question was –  why didn’t anyone bother to askwhere all the free shoes were coming from? The Germans didn’t know? Or they was it they just didn’t wantto know.

That’s when my daughter just couldn’t take it any longer.  She turned around and left the gates. It was extremely painful to watch. But I couldn’t help but think -  if only it were so easy to leave those gates 70 years ago.  This is a horrible, horrible place.
But that was just the beginning.  Up next we saw the place where they did operations on women – without anesthesia.  The images were so disturbing – even though we had complete access, everyone just knew it was time to turn the cameras off. We shot nothing.  All I can tell you is no one – and I mean no one – said a word for several minutes after.

When the Nazi’s weren’t busy torturing prisoners and performing hideous ‘surgeries’ – they had another pastime: executions.
This wall was for the Polish who betrayed the Germans, and committed horrible crimes like feeding a hungry Jew. Not many Jews were executed here – the Nazi’s felt it was a waste of resources (bullets) to use them on Jews.

We all stood outside ,afraid to go into the final area: the gas chambers . By this point, we thought we knew what we were going to see. But we still had no idea.

This is the gas chamber.  In the roof is the square shaft of blue light. This is where the Zyklon B was dropped.
I have always assumed that it killed relatively quickly. But when I saw this wall:
I knew I was wrong.   To stand in this room where hundreds of thousands died was horrifying.   The children were always on the top of the bodies. Heroes to the end. – the adults all assumed the air would be clearer higher and they tried to give these children a chance to live by holding the up close to the ceiling.   It didn’t work.  The gas killed everyone – but not instantly. It took at twenty long horrific minutes.  And the walls show it. Many of the children weren’t with their mom or dad, but with strangers.  Oh, the special hell that awaited all those who were silent.

When I walked back behind one the execution and rape rooms – that soldiers used for their own gratification – there was yet another layer of evil to pile on. It was a swimming pool. Yes, just a few feet away from people (including children) being tortured and murdered – they were outside enjoying themselves with a nice refreshing soak in the pool.

Even after the gas chamber, we couldn’t leave yet. We walked out of Auschwitz 1 and loaded a bus, tried to eat something even though none of us were hungry, and rested before heading to Birkenau.

We came to a place known as Auschwitz 2- many of you may know it as the camp from the film Schindler’s List. It is the camp my new friend Johnny has been dreading. Remember the list Johnny has been carrying?
Most of his family died here. Mengele performed most of his experiments here, and almost two million people were murdered here.
We went to the gas chamber of the last camp.  The crematorium was built by a private company and had been patented so, in case these acts of horror took off, only they could profit. There were two stories of crematoriums in the camp, and here is the logo of that company on one of the doors.

Aside from moments of tragedy and joy with family – this day was the most life changing of any in my life. The only thing in my life that has been harder hitting has been the death of a family member.  I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, but I would wish it for my best friend – you connect with yourself and history in a way I have never experienced.

The final picture – a warning put there by us after communism fell.  Remember, the horrors we witnessed today were held behind the Iron Curtain until the USSR fell.
To me the first part of this plaque says it all:
It is true.
I, like my family and probably everyone else who has ever seen this – was left completely speechless. There’s nothing left to say.




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