At the time, or at least in the present, we are used to seeing Muslims carry their mat and pray, the legacy of the Mosque in the tent of the caravanserai variety, but at the time,WWII America, the idea of a portable religion, where people could worship anywhere seemed absurd without the sanctity of the physical structure of a house of worship to Christians.But the again, Jewish history is unique, particularly after Ezra in the fifth century B.C. where Jews as a “peculiar people” with rigid standards of behavior in such matters of diet and observance of the Sabbath emerged in history.
( for the photo below) ..FRIGHTENED? It’s how the victory looks! March 17, 1945. Mönchengladbach city, in the home of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. You see Jewish traditional morning prayer of American Army soldiers Abraham Mirmelstein, Manuel Poliakoff and
Martin Willen (photo by US Signal Corps)
It was the Pharisees after the destruction of the Temple by Rome , that was both fortunate in their interpretation of the Law far beyond its literal meaning that enabled Judaism to survive as a way of life in all parts of the world.It became more than a profession of faith or pattern of ritual as it had been under the Sadducees who mostly perished in the Temple’s destruction. These priests, with their hereditary caste and aristocratic pretensions lacked the deep sense of the ethical implications of all human actions, that the Rabbi was able to determine as to the nature of Jewish religious life. It now became possible for a Jewish community to exist anywhere in the world, linked to other jewish communities not by political organization but by a common knowledge and practice of the Law as interpreted by the rabbi.
(see link at end)… In December 1944, a month before the liberation of Auschwitz, the Germans inaugurated the death camp’s last building. This was the so-called “reception building.” It was a huge star-shaped structure intended for the reception of new inmates. A short time earlier, and a few dozen meters away, outside the main camp, another 20 new buildings had been constructed to house female inmates.
The Germans never had the opportunity to utilize these new structures. The huge, star-shaped building today houses the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum as well as the museum’s restoration laboratory, which fights the progress of time in order to preserve its authentic findings. Residents of the Polish town of Oswiecim now inhabit those other 20 structures. “The Germans did not want to face reality and recognize the fact that they were about to lose the war and that the end of the fighting was imminent,” says Prof. Gideon M. Greif, an Israeli historian and a Holocaust scholar who specializes in the study of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. “Their megalomania knew no bounds.”
…For the past few years, Greif has been heading a new and highly unusual project whose goal, as he puts it, is “to reconstruct Auschwitz as it was.” Greif has joined forces with German architect Peter Siebers, with whom he is working to produce 3-D computer visualizations based on detailed blueprints and architectural plans of each of the hundreds of structures located in the three central parts of the camp: the main camp, which was also the administrative center of the network of Auschwitz camps; Birkenau, a giant concentration and extermination camp; and Auschwitz III (also called Buna or Monowitz ), which was a huge industrial complex.
It is hard to remain indifferent to the monumentality of their work: They have produced over a hundred three-dimensional blueprints that make it possible to envision – on the computer screen and in an exhibition that will open late next year in Cologne – every brick and tile in that immense factory of death. “We have included every detail,” Greif points out. “It is an obsessive, almost insane project. This is the topography of Auschwitz.”
…At one time, Auschwitz was an empire comprising 45 camps sprawling over an area of 40 square kilometers. A total of 1,300,000 persons, most of them Jews, were murdered at this site, which was the largest concentration and death camp established by the Germans on Polish soil. Today, only 20 percent of its original structures are still standing. All of the buildings belonging to the main camp have remained intact because they were stone structures. In Birkenau, however, where most of the extermination of the Jews took place, only a relatively small number of the original structures are still standing. The quality of construction was inferior to begin with: The buildings were erected by Soviet prisoners of war and the fact that they were made of wood meant that they would not remain standing for any extended period of time.
In the winter of 1945, a short while after the fighting in Europe had ended, residents of the surrounding area dismantled the wooden structures, using the building materials to heat their homes.
Auschwitz III was a forced labor camp, where thousands of inmates were employed in a row of factories, including one belonging to the Siemens company. Some of the buildings that were part of the network of factories have survived and are even today used as factories, but there is almost nothing left of the inmates’ barracks.
“We are reconstructing these camps down to the last building,” explains Greif, “down to the last house and the last stone. I admit that this is a very ambitious project, but it is our goal to be absolutely precise right down to the last millimeter and to thereby accomplish something that no one has ever done before.”
The blend of architecture and history has turned this project into the first of its kind. “We are describing the reality that existed behind the architectural structures,” notes Greif. Through the blueprints and the research work being carried out in connection with them, Greif is trying to understand the thinking behind the planning. “Strangely enough, it is this cold, technical part of the project that actually amplifies the feeling of a giant death factory, and tells us what Auschwitz was really like.” Read More:http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/a-german-israeli-team-undertakes-the-reconstruction-of-auschwitz.premium-1.458948
“The Hanukkiyah was photographed in the family’s window in Kiel in 1931, by the Rabbi’s wife, Rachel (nee Wirtzburg) Mansbach. On the back of the photo, she wrote in German,
‘Judea Dies,’ thus saith the banner.
‘Judea will live forever,’ thus responds the light.””