Menachem Bodern (born Eli Gottesman in the Ukraine) left Auchwitz on January 27, 1945 with an adopted father who took him to Israel. Now 73 years old, the survivor of the Third Reich’s most notorious death camp has turned to Facebook in the hopes of finding out what happened to his twin brother, Jeno Gottesman.
Equipped only with his faded Auschwitz ID number (A7733) and limited Nazi records, Menachem has sought assistance from Social Media to finally learn the fate of his identical twin brother. The search has turned up some promising but also disturbing news. Both boys were subject to twin testing by the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele (a fate that Menachem fortunately does not remember). Additionally, he learned that he had a younger brother that died at Auschwitz along with their father. However, amongst the sad news there is also a ray of hope, that his brother Jeno was officially declared healthy and alive by medical staff at Auschwitz on February 9, 1945.
Menachem and his family have set up a facebook page, A7734 (the number given to his brother Josef). To learn more about his journey, please visit his page on Facebook and the story on CNN.
More than one million children died during the Holocaust, many of them separated from their families and alone. Now, the United States Holocaust Museum has begun the “Remember Me Project,” a program aimed at identifying more than 1,100 children of the Holocaust who as of yet remain nameless – girls and boys, blondes, brunettes, some teens, some infants, all unique but with one unifying factor – they remain nameless victims of the Third Reich.
I came across a great video of famous African American athlete Jesse Owens (courtesy of HistoryToday.com) that depicts the Olympic legend (and personal her of mine) winning the final for the 100m.
Jesse Owens represented the United States during the 1936 Summer Olympics – hosted in Berlin and often termed the “Nazi Olympics.” Hitler was the state representative at the festivities (the head of the host country often serves in this position even today). The 1936 Summer Olympics were famous for the prominent displays of Nazi paraphernalia and propaganda. Hitler had intended for the Olympics to be a demonstration of the superior athleticism of the “Aryan Peoples” of Germany. However, after the clear victories of Owens at the games, Albert Speer (Hitler’s architect) reported the Führer as saying:
Each of the German victories, and there were a surprising number of these, made him happy, but he was highly annoyed by the series of triumphs by the marvelous colored American runner, Jesse Owens. People whose antecedents came from the jungle were primitive, Hitler said with a shrug; their physiques were stronger than those of civilized whites and hence should be excluded from future games. (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Jesse Owens’ participation in the game was controversial as America still practiced wide-spread segregation throughout the country. Even so, while in Germany, Owens was allowed to use public transportation and stay in desegregated hotels.
Owens’ success in the games was highlighted by his four gold medals – 100m, the Long Jump, 200m, and the 4 x 100m relay. He was a hugely popular participant at the games and was adored by the German spectators. In spite of his success and popularity, on his return Owens was snubbed by the President (Franklin D. Roosevelt) – receiving no acknowledgment from the President recognizing his immense success.
Looted Nazi Art and monies are often the center of public and emotional debate. The catalogue of looted art pieces has now been digitized in the hopes of helping victims’ estates reclaim items and to assist curators in identifying stolen pieces.
“By digitising and linking archival records online, researchers will be able to piece together the stories of what became of cultural objects,” said Oliver Morley. chief executive and keeper of the National Archives.