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Episode: “Days of Remembrance: Holocaust Remembrance Day”
Airing during the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, ths program is dedicated to those who died in that genocide. Myles and Katharine Weiss interview three survivors, who give their firsthand accounts. Viewer discretion is advised.

Caption transcript for “Days of Remembrance: Holocaust Remembrance Day”

  • 00:50 Shalom, and welcome to our program.
  • 00:52 I'm Myles Weiss
  • 00:53 And I'm Katharine Weiss.
  • 00:55 And we want to welcome you to this special program that we have.
  • 00:58 It's a program to honor the Holocaust Survivors
  • 01:01 in Israel on the Remembrance Day.
  • 01:04 Yes, this is a somber program.
  • 01:05 But we need to bring it to you
  • 01:07 because this generation is passing from the scene.
  • 01:09 We want to thank the International Christian Embassy.
  • 01:11 They opened up their Haifa Survivors Home.
  • 01:14 And we were able to interview several of the
  • 01:16 people that went through the Holocaust.
  • 01:18 The first one that we're going to hear from
  • 01:20 is Rita Kasimow Brown.
  • 01:22 She was a young girl, 7 or 8 years old when
  • 01:25 the Germans occupied her native Poland.
  • 01:28 And her father, who was a successful business man
  • 01:31 paid a Christian farmer, a so-called, alleged
  • 01:35 Christian farmer to hide them under his barn.
  • 01:39 It's a harrowing story.
  • 01:40 I ask you to gird yourself up as you hear from Rita.
  • 01:44 Let's go to my interview on that right now
  • 01:46 in Haifa with Rita Brown.
  • 01:56 The thing was that it was under
  • 01:59 the barn, under the cattle barn.
  • 02:02 And the only light we had was when
  • 02:06 there was daylight from the barn and
  • 02:08 it was covered a little bit with straw; a little hole.
  • 02:11 So we had like a little bit of light.
  • 02:14 Then it was the size of the length of my father.
  • 02:18 But no one could stand up,
  • 02:21 only my little brother Harold
  • 02:23 which is... he was a baby.
  • 02:27 And there was no room for me
  • 02:30 so I was sitting in the dugout,
  • 02:33 a connection to the potato bin.
  • 02:36 And it was like a connection from the grub [groob],
  • 02:42 we called it the "grub" [pit] in Yiddish,
  • 02:45 and to the potato bin.
  • 02:47 And then there was a latch to open to the
  • 02:50 home of the Christian family.
  • 02:52 And I was lying in between.
  • 02:56 You woke up at night and it's dark.
  • 03:01 You woke up in the daytime it is dark.
  • 03:03 Also dark.
  • 03:05 You woke up always - fear and hunger.
  • 03:09 Fear and hunger.
  • 03:12 And I would sit like this and
  • 03:14 just like praying all the time,
  • 03:16 and tried to go to sleep.
  • 03:18 Because you see, it was an upside world.
  • 03:22 The...my sleeping I dreamed wish fulfillment,
  • 03:28 dreams of Freud.
  • 03:29 I dreamt only about food!
  • 03:32 And when I woke up the reality was a nightmare.
  • 03:35 It was a surrealistic world.
  • 03:37 I mean, no one can understand
  • 03:39 and I'm not expecting anyone to understand
  • 03:44 because it was a different world.
  • 03:46 We can't conceive a world like this
  • 03:48 because it was surrealistic.
  • 03:50 Upside down.
  • 03:51 Upside down, upside down.
  • 03:54 And I would sit there...
  • 03:56 And my mother she was working and living in Vilna.
  • 04:03 So she was very cultured.
  • 04:04 And she would whisper into my ear
  • 04:07 some Yiddish Jewish songs or mathematics,
  • 04:11 whatever she knew...
  • 04:13 whatever she knew she would whisper.
  • 04:14 And I would sometimes...
  • 04:17 the walls were like clay, you know,
  • 04:19 it was the walls under ground.
  • 04:22 Yes.
  • 04:23 And it was like clay.
  • 04:25 So I used to make...
  • 04:26 I was grabbing with my little hands and
  • 04:28 making little tea cups or coffee cups.
  • 04:31 The beginning of your art work.
  • 04:33 Yes (laughing), my art work.
  • 04:35 And then I used to fanaticize that
  • 04:38 my little friends are coming to me
  • 04:40 dressed in beautiful pink crinolines...
  • 04:44 dresses with crinolines.
  • 04:46 And we're drinking tea in my cups.
  • 04:48 Yes.
  • 04:49 You see?
  • 04:50 And all this fantasies about beautiful clothes
  • 04:54 and I don't know why tea because my parents
  • 04:58 never let me drink tea.
  • 04:59 I had to drink milk.
  • 05:03 But I would drink with tea in the little cups.
  • 05:06 My beginning of creativity
  • 05:09 which saved my sanity really.
  • 05:11 Yes.
  • 05:11 It saved my sanity.
  • 05:12 Yes.
  • 05:14 So life began for the first 3 months they sent down food.
  • 05:20 And then..aahh... the food stopped.
  • 05:25 They stopped after 3 months.
  • 05:27 Yes...he figured the war will end,
  • 05:30 3 months or 4 months the war will end.
  • 05:33 So they used to...
  • 05:35 he had a farm of rabbits.
  • 05:37 The more leftover from the rabbits the more she would bring down.
  • 05:41 And I was so...
  • 05:44 First of all also, the toilet was a
  • 05:49 hole in the ground with a ball of straw covering it.
  • 05:55 Umm hmm
  • 05:57 And when you opened it
  • 05:58 the frogs with feces would jump out.
  • 06:00 And I was so afraid of those frogs.
  • 06:02 So I used to crawl back more into the potato bin
  • 06:06 but it was cold there.
  • 06:08 And many times I didn't...
  • 06:11 I couldn't...
  • 06:14 I couldn't go to the toilet.
  • 06:16 So we were living...we were sleeping on straw.
  • 06:21 So I would pee under myself
  • 06:23 because I couldn't...
  • 06:24 My father understood.
  • 06:26 He used to change it all the time.
  • 06:28 And then I was so discouraged.
  • 06:31 I just didn't want to live.
  • 06:33 I even decided a childish way of committing suicide.
  • 06:38 At 7 or 8 years old you...
  • 06:40 I was already 8 or 9, maybe.
  • 06:44 Yeah, 8 or 9.
  • 06:45 WOW...
  • 06:46 But, I just didn't want to live.
  • 06:50 So this is how I stayed.
  • 06:53 How long were you in that area?
  • 06:55 Well it's almost 2 years.
  • 06:57 There was 19 months and 20...
  • 07:01 There was 22 months and 19 days.
  • 07:04 You know I don't remember exactly the amount.
  • 07:07 But it's almost 2 years like that.
  • 07:10 And our father used to go out at night
  • 07:13 risking his life to find some food, okay?
  • 07:17 Or maybe he knew people.
  • 07:20 And then my mother overheard...
  • 07:23 But she was always listening to what's going on.
  • 07:26 She was going into the potato bin and listening
  • 07:28 to what was going on with the family.
  • 07:31 My father used to go out at night
  • 07:34 and listen to the radio of the farmer, about the war.
  • 07:38 So she heard that they were in such danger
  • 07:44 because if they were discovered
  • 07:48 the Germans will kill them, the family
  • 07:52 and burn the farm.
  • 07:55 So I guess he was very frightened
  • 07:57 and they planned to poison us.
  • 08:00 And you wouldn't have to dig a grave.
  • 08:02 We were already in a grave.
  • 08:03 A "grub" [groob]
  • 08:05 We were already in the grub, in the pit.
  • 08:07 My father devised a plan, you know,
  • 08:10 my father was very intuitive
  • 08:13 and he only wanted to save his family.
  • 08:17 So when he went outside he also brought me a
  • 08:20 white course nightgown.
  • 08:23 That's how I lived the 2 years in it.
  • 08:27 So anyway, this is how it was going on
  • 08:31 until my father heard on the radio
  • 08:36 he decided we have to leave the grub [pit].
  • 08:38 But also the German front
  • 08:42 or the army was getting closer
  • 08:44 to where the farm was
  • 08:46 because they had dogs.
  • 08:48 And the dogs would go by the cattle shed
  • 08:51 and try digging but the Germans
  • 08:55 [didn't] believe that under the shed there were people
  • 08:59 so they started whistling but
  • 09:01 our hearts stopped
  • 09:03 because we were all the time...
  • 09:07 It was hard to live under...
  • 09:11 Get up hungry, go to sleep hungry.
  • 09:14 You get up with fear and hungry
  • 09:17 and an eminent specter of death;
  • 09:20 an eminent specter of death.
  • 09:23 So you want to die already - finish.
  • 09:28 So we decided to leave the group.
  • 09:34 I call it "The March to Freedom" in my book.
  • 09:40 And my father said we have to...
  • 09:43 So imagine we're going out,
  • 09:47 the farmer,
  • 09:50 and I remember so many things
  • 09:52 because I was writing a diary, you see.
  • 09:55 My mother is walking me like I couldn't walk.
  • 10:01 So I crawled like a dog.
  • 10:04 My two small, my brother and sister...
  • 10:08 My sister was always in the group crying
  • 10:13 because she was getting arthritis
  • 10:17 very strong arthritis.
  • 10:22 So my father took a sack and made two holes,
  • 10:24 and had the two kids sticking out of the holes, on his back.
  • 10:28 Two holes.
  • 10:30 My mother was in some kind of a red sweater.
  • 10:33 She was a great knitter
  • 10:35 because when we were in the small ghetto
  • 10:37 we had to do socks for the German Army,
  • 10:41 for the Nazi German Army.
  • 10:45 And so this is how we started working.
  • 10:50 Our father said we have to walk to the Russian front.
  • 10:54 And he knew the area how to go.
  • 10:57 So we started out at night.
  • 10:59 Did the family.. They didn't know you had left?
  • 11:02 No, we told them we were leaving.
  • 11:04 You did tell them.
  • 11:05 Yes, the were relieved it's over.
  • 11:07 And the Germans cannot find them,
  • 11:09 nobody can find us.
  • 11:10 And this is how I was crawling
  • 11:12 and I remember there was pricking and maybe
  • 11:15 it was the grass or something
  • 11:17 because I was crawling on all fours.
  • 11:20 And then we came to...
  • 11:25 It's called, like an opening -
  • 11:26 a glade, okay?
  • 11:29 And we heard a first shot.
  • 11:32 Ummm
  • 11:33 And then another shot.
  • 11:36 And we're in the middle of the war,
  • 11:41 of the battle between the Russians and the Germans.
  • 11:44 And we're walking.
  • 11:46 This is the person walking... the living death.
  • 11:54 living dead,okay? living dead.
  • 11:57 Like, you can imagine I'm in this nightgown.
  • 12:00 We shaved our hair.
  • 12:04 We are walking...
  • 12:06 miracle number, I don't know - 60, whatever.
  • 12:10 We are walking and
  • 12:14 the fighting is over our head
  • 12:17 like God put a roof over our heads.
  • 12:19 I mean, you know? we're just walking,
  • 12:20 until we came to a forest.
  • 12:25 And it was already getting dark.
  • 12:27 And so when it is dark the shooting stops.
  • 12:35 So we came to the woods and...
  • 12:39 the smell of the moss and the little flowers I saw...
  • 12:45 there was still a little light.
  • 12:49 And we all just fell on the moss and went to sleep.
  • 12:55 Life.
  • 12:56 Went to sleep.
  • 12:58 And then - ahhh
  • 13:02 I woke up and the birds were singing.
  • 13:05 [whisper] The birds were singing.
  • 13:08 And you know the trees are high in Poland.
  • 13:13 So the sound was like floating in the leaves.
  • 13:19 And I don't know what came over me
  • 13:24 but I wanted to live,
  • 13:27 like an energy flowed in me.
  • 13:29 And all the pain and everything dissolved.
  • 13:32 And I just wanted to live.
  • 13:44 We are so grateful that
  • 13:45 Rita did live to tell her story.
  • 13:48 And it's thanks to the Russian Army
  • 13:50 that she was rescued.
  • 13:51 But millions were not.
  • 13:53 And we dedicate this program to their lives
  • 13:56 and the remembrance of their lives.
  • 13:58 You know it's been said,
  • 14:00 "To remember is to live"
  • 14:02 So that is why we remember the Holocaust
  • 14:04 so that lives that are before us will
  • 14:07 have the chance to live.
  • 14:09 We'll be back after this.
  • 14:13 For insightful perspectives on Israel and Bible Prophecy
  • 14:17 ask for our free monthly newsletter, the "Levitt Letter.
  • 14:21 At levitt.com you can read the newsletter,
  • 14:24 watch the TV program,
  • 14:26 or visit our online store.
  • 14:29 Stay current with us on social media
  • 14:31 via Facebook and Twitter.
  • 14:33 Come with us on a tour of Israel or Petra
  • 14:36 or a cruise to Greece and Ephesus.
  • 14:39 Please contact us for more information.
  • 14:44 The number of people with first hand memory of the Holocaust is dwindling.
  • 14:48 But the importance of remembering this atrocity and
  • 14:51 paying tribute to both victims and survivors
  • 14:54 remains as significant as ever.
  • 14:57 On this, the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel
  • 15:01 We ask your help in assisting survivors
  • 15:03 with the love and support they desperately need.
  • 15:07 Your contribution to Zola Levitt Ministries
  • 15:10 will help provide assisted living
  • 15:12 for those who have suffered enough.
  • 15:15 Please...earmark your contribution for:
  • 15:20 THANK YOU!
  • 15:24 There's so many remarkable Holocaust stories to be told.
  • 15:27 They're gut-wrenching
  • 15:28 but they're full of miraculous intervention
  • 15:30 where people came through this
  • 15:32 tremendously, terrible time.
  • 15:34 Katharine had a chance to speak with Yudit Rosenzwieg
  • 15:37 who survived the death camp at Auschwitz.
  • 15:42 In 1944 of October
  • 15:44 they sent many, many people to Auschwitz.
  • 15:51 I don't know why
  • 15:53 but in this time
  • 15:57 we didn't know where we were going.
  • 16:00 They told us we were going to another ghetto
  • 16:04 because we have no space anymore in Thereseinstadt.
  • 16:12 In this time how they sent us
  • 16:16 it was a train for animals, not for people.
  • 16:24 And the door was closed from the outside
  • 16:30 and it was not the place for anything,
  • 16:35 even to sit.
  • 16:38 There was not a toilet
  • 16:41 and we had nothing to eat.
  • 16:45 and I can't remember how long we was on the way.
  • 16:50 But in the train we knew already
  • 16:56 it cannot be better
  • 16:59 because it was so bad in the train.
  • 17:03 Right
  • 17:04 And after we are coming they opened the door
  • 17:13 and it was really noisy to send us,
  • 17:22 "Go out from the train!"
  • 17:25 "Everything stay in the train!"
  • 17:28 "Just the people go out!"
  • 17:32 So, the train for animals is really high.
  • 17:36 So the kids couldn't go out
  • 17:40 and the older people couldn't
  • 17:43 so the Germans came and they pushed everyone out.
  • 17:49 The give not any stairs or something to go out.
  • 17:57 And after, they again make
  • 18:01 separate men and separate women.
  • 18:06 So they took my father
  • 18:10 and that was the last time I saw him.
  • 18:14 And my mother, my sister and I,
  • 18:17 we go with a woman and at the end of the line
  • 18:25 there was Mengele.
  • 18:29 If you hear [of him]?
  • 18:30 Yes
  • 18:31 And he just made with the hand,
  • 18:34 go right or left,
  • 18:39 who goes to work
  • 18:41 and who goes to death.
  • 18:45 Also...death we didn't know.
  • 18:49 But we all three go to work.
  • 18:55 We go in the back.
  • 18:59 They told us to [take] off the clothes.
  • 19:06 Every jewelry you must [give] up.
  • 19:09 Even the ring from my mother.
  • 19:13 They took everything.
  • 19:18 And we stayed there in October without clothes.
  • 19:25 It was terrible.
  • 19:28 In January we hear already detonation very close.
  • 19:34 So we was sure the war was over.
  • 19:40 But not for us.
  • 19:42 Not for you, why?
  • 19:44 Because one day they took us not to work
  • 19:51 but to the death march.
  • 19:56 The Death March.
  • 19:59 It was to go long way without nothing.
  • 20:06 Just the Germans took us and made sure we are going.
  • 20:17 And why that march?
  • 20:19 Because those who couldn't go anymore sat down.
  • 20:28 Right.
  • 20:29 So they shoot them.
  • 20:31 They don't leave them alone to sit
  • 20:35 just in the really cold days.
  • 20:39 It was everything frozen and snowing.
  • 20:44 It was January and [beginning] of February
  • 20:51 so it was really cold.
  • 20:55 How did you survive that?
  • 20:58 I can say I survived
  • 21:03 because [of] my mother and my sister.
  • 21:06 Because I once sit down also.
  • 21:10 And they didn't let me.
  • 21:14 So I... I go farther.
  • 21:28 Yudit's story is a microcosm
  • 21:30 of the Jewish people today
  • 21:32 Her story was that her family
  • 21:34 just wouldn't let her sit down.
  • 21:37 In the midst of her pain,
  • 21:38 in the midst of her ache,
  • 21:39 in the midst of hunger,
  • 21:42 her family said, just keep walking.
  • 21:45 And that's...
  • 21:46 They're doing that today.
  • 21:47 They keep on moving on and
  • 21:49 the family unit is so beautiful in Israel that
  • 21:52 they encourage each other to keep on walking.
  • 21:55 That's really true.
  • 21:56 And the background behind that all is
  • 21:58 God saying, These are my people.
  • 22:00 They will survive.
  • 22:02 We want to thank again
  • 22:04 the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem
  • 22:07 for opening the doors
  • 22:08 of the Haifa Holocaust Survivors House.
  • 22:11 Katharine spoke with Yudit Setz.
  • 22:12 She's the Deputy Director of their program,
  • 22:15 their aid program that does this incredible work with assisted living
  • 22:19 for these survivors, many of whom are in very fragile condition.
  • 22:22 So let's go to that interview now.
  • 22:26 You know, God gave the Embassy
  • 22:28 the mandate of comfort, comfort ye my people
  • 22:33 I discovered through the years
  • 22:35 that's not an easy thing to do
  • 22:37 for us as Christians especially
  • 22:39 because of our terrible history of Christianity.
  • 22:44 And so we have tried in the work I've been doing
  • 22:47 to give hands and feet to that Scripture.
  • 22:51 So we've been doing all kinds of projects.
  • 22:54 And actually since 2009 we became very much involved with
  • 23:00 Holocaust Survivors in Haifa, and why?
  • 23:02 Because it's the last generation that's still alive.
  • 23:08 And I think I felt such an urgency in 2009
  • 23:12 we have to do something, like yesterday
  • 23:15 because soon there will be no time any more.
  • 23:18 And in an amazing way that is a joy of this project.
  • 23:23 I've seen God's hand on it.
  • 23:25 He's brought us here.
  • 23:26 We established an amazing partnership
  • 23:29 with an organization that had already a few Holocaust Survivors.
  • 23:34 Okay
  • 23:35 And through the years, it's now almost 6 years,
  • 23:40 we just have been seeing God's hand
  • 23:43 in a place...you see,
  • 23:45 you know it's the Haifa Home,
  • 23:47 it's not like a home.
  • 23:48 Right
  • 23:48 That's what people think.
  • 23:50 But it's really...
  • 23:51 We call it an assisted living facility
  • 23:53 that has many buildings and
  • 23:55 where Holocaust Survivors live
  • 23:58 who don't have the means to live in their old age by themselves
  • 24:05 or they have no children
  • 24:07 or they are desperately lonely.
  • 24:09 Right.
  • 24:10 And they find a home here where there're
  • 24:12 some people who don't pay a cent to live here.
  • 24:15 And others pay a symbolic amount.
  • 24:21 It's like God is giving them a piece of their dignity back
  • 24:25 through this organization.
  • 24:27 That's such in a wonderful way
  • 24:30 because I see sometimes Holocaust
  • 24:32 being painted like poor and needy.
  • 24:35 And you know I see them as they're my heroes.
  • 24:38 Absolutely.
  • 24:39 And you know what?
  • 24:40 People sometimes forget it's not
  • 24:42 just a terrible trauma that we
  • 24:45 can never understand as Christians
  • 24:47 what they went through.
  • 24:49 But with the trauma
  • 24:50 all these people that are still alive today
  • 24:52 they are actually...
  • 24:54 they were children, some teenagers,
  • 24:56 some who are now already in their 90's they were 22.
  • 25:01 And they came to this country often without parents,
  • 25:04 maybe with a sibling.
  • 25:06 But they came in a country that had to
  • 25:08 fight also for its survival.
  • 25:11 Right
  • 25:12 And they were the ones that established
  • 25:14 this amazing miracle nation of Israel.
  • 25:16 So they are my heroes.
  • 25:18 That's why we have also young people we bring here.
  • 25:21 Because we want the younger generation
  • 25:23 who often doesn't know anymore.
  • 25:26 And I think all of us know that we
  • 25:27 have to learn from history
  • 25:29 but somehow we never do.
  • 25:30 Right.
  • 25:31 And for the Survivors who are able to tell their story
  • 25:36 it's as a fire burning in them because they know
  • 25:39 when they're not there anymore
  • 25:41 who will still believe?
  • 25:43 So we need to educate our children, our grandchildren
  • 25:47 about the most horrible things that have happened
  • 25:49 so that it will never happen again.
  • 25:58 There is a pastor in Germany at the time of the Holocaust
  • 26:01 whose name was Dietrich Bonnoeffer.
  • 26:03 And it's worth quoting what he said.
  • 26:05 He says, to see evil
  • 26:07 and not to say that it's evil
  • 26:09 is evil.
  • 26:10 Or not to speak about it's evil
  • 26:12 is evil.
  • 26:14 Or to not take action
  • 26:15 is evil.
  • 26:17 So I believe that God is wanting us
  • 26:19 to take a stand for the Jewish people
  • 26:22 and to stand and to speak up for
  • 26:24 what God is doing in this earth.
  • 26:27 Yeah, I agree.
  • 26:28 And I think that our audience and
  • 26:30 I think our viewers are wanting to live
  • 26:33 in the spirit of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
  • 26:35 or Corrie ten Boom,
  • 26:37 Oscar Schindler.
  • 26:38 The heroes that separated themselves
  • 26:40 from the mentality, the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age,
  • 26:44 of what was going one direction and to stand up and say
  • 26:47 this is wrong, I won't be part of it.
  • 26:49 I'm going to do something else,
  • 26:50 do something different.
  • 26:52 And sometimes that leads to people being marginalized.
  • 26:54 So it's a real commitment.
  • 26:56 It's a profound set of stories here.
  • 26:58 And I think one of the most moving things that we experience
  • 27:01 is on the Yom Ha'Shoah ,
  • 27:04 the Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel
  • 27:06 when the sirens go off and the people
  • 27:08 get out of their cars
  • 27:09 and stand for a moment of silence.
  • 27:11 It's very moving.
  • 27:12 And you know, we want our audience to do what we do
  • 27:15 is to say, "Never Again"
  • 27:17 That this will never happen.
  • 27:18 And so we want to live that way, Amen?
  • 27:22 And so that's why we always remind you
  • 27:24 to remember God's mandate from Psalm 122:6
  • 27:29 Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalayim
  • 27:31 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
  • 27:35 Our monthly newsletter the Levitt Letter is free
  • 27:38 and full of insightful articles and news commentary
  • 27:40 from a Messianic perspective.
  • 27:43 Visit levitt.com to find our newsletter
  • 27:45 along with current and past programs,
  • 27:48 our television schedule,
  • 27:49 and much more!
  • 27:51 Your donations to Zola Levitt Ministries
  • 27:52 help the organizations
  • 27:54 bless Israel.

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