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New York - Second Edition of Min Hameitzar by Rav Weissmandel After 50 Years New Documents: Zionism Did Little To Save Jews During WWII

Published on: January 7, 2009 11:04 AM
By: VIN News by Ezra Reichman
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In the spring of 1942, at the height of the deportation of Slovakian Jewry for extermination, Michael Dov Weissmandel, rabbi of the Nitra Yeshivah, and the other Working Group members, sought to rescue Europe‚Äôs Jews. Rabbi Weissmandel was among those who conceived the idea that ransom payments to the SS could stop the deportations to Poland, and he acted to put this plan into effect. In 1944, the deportations from Slovakia to Auschwitz were renewed after a hiatus of two years. Rabbi Weissmandel and his family were deported. He jumped from the train, hid and survived. His wife and children were murdered.New York - Min Hameitzar, Rav Michoel Ber Weissmandel’s heartbreaking memoir of his desperate attempts to save European Jewry during the Holocaust, and the callous, stingy and apathetic response of the Jewish establishment and international world, is now in print. The second edition was published almost 50 years after the first, and it contains many new letters and pictures.

Rav Weissmandel was the greatest hero of the Holocaust. If the international and secular Jewish world would have carried out his rescue plans—which involved generous bribes to Nazi leaders and bombing the tracks to Auschwitz—millions of Jews whose lives were snuffed out in gas chambers would have lived.

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Very few today know of his brilliant and comprehensive efforts and rescue plans because Rav Weissmandel is intentionally ignored by Holocaust professionals the worldwide who prefer to commemorate those who talked a lot but did little.

A carefully prepared documentary called “Among Blind Fools” (www.verafilm.cz ) produced by two Czech film students a decade ago catalogued Rav Weissmandel’s efforts together with that of the Slovakian Working Group that he assembled. This painful, informative film was rejected by Holocaust museums and film festivals all over the world. The film includes scenes of pre-war Jewish Europe, the Slovakian partisan uprisings, all the activists who worked with Rav Weissmandel and numerous interviews with survivors and activists.

The book is especially noteworthy for being perhaps the first book to reveal the crimes of the Zionist leadership who preferred building their personal fiefdom in Israel to saving Jewish lives. This edition contains the Kol Koreh written by Rav Weissmandel in 1948, in which he spelled out the crimes of the new State’s leaders. Despite the exposure given to these crimes at the Kastner trial, these crimes are today known by very few.

The information in Min Hameitzar formed the basis for a shorter book written by Rabbi Moshe Sheinfeld which was translated into English “The Crematorium Victims Accuse”

The relevancy of Rav Weissmandel’s sefer is in learning of the disaster that a non-Torah leadership     brings upon the Jewish people—lessons that we tragically are still forced to learn in these difficult days. Jewish soldiers are in these very days dying and being wounded fighting terrorists whom State leaders had bequeathed free terrorist bases to 3 years ago at the same time that these leaders continue to fund, assist, and encourage the terrorists with hundreds of millions of shekels in “humanitarian aid”.



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1

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:12 AM Anonymous Says:

I am amazed that vosizneias would post this, especially now, considering that R. Weismandl z"l despised the Zionists and vosizneias likes them!!

2

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:12 AM Anonymous Says:

The relevancy of Rav Weissmandel's sefer is in learning of the disaster that a non-Torah leadership brings upon the Jewish people -- lessons that we tragically are still forced to learn in these difficult days. Jewish soldiers are in these very days dying and being wounded fighting terrorists whom State leaders had bequeathed free terrorist bases to 3 years ago at the same time that these leaders continue to fund, assist, and encourage the terrorists with hundreds of millions of shekels in "humanitarian aid".

I think this is an outrageous comparison to say the leadership of Eretz Yisroel should be compared to the elitist jewish leadership in the 1930s who simply tried to ignore the holocaust even when it could no longer be denied. People forget how many IDF died over many years simply trying to protect those settlments in Gaza which were simply no longer defensible and did not really add to security since the rockets were launched from the refugee camps and other areas outside the settlements. But to compare the leadership of the medina to those who looked the other way during the holocaust is a shander and disgrace.

3

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:10 AM yossi Says:

And what was the response of the frum and chassidic community - not much better. Check the record

4

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Z"ye!
What a holy man who did so much to save other jews. and if not of the zionists wanting to use jewish blood to justify having a own land (medinah) he could have saved much more lives.

5

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:14 AM Anonymous Says:

wow. this is very one sided and not representative of all the many attempts and success at saving ydden. especially since it was a different america then for jews very much not like it is now.

6

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:34 AM Anonymous Says:

I believe there's a documentary on Kastner running in Israel right now. I forget the name of it.

Does anyone know where I can get this book Min Hamitzer? Also, which language is it written in?

7

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:34 AM Anonymous Says:

I question the wisdom of releasing this during the current matzav. We need more achdus right now, and whether the entire work is emes le'amito shel torah or not, this will not do anything to promote achdus right now. The record of many groups regarding efforts to save the yiddin is Europe during the war years is not one to be proud of, r"l.

knla"d.

8

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:34 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

wow. this is very one sided and not representative of all the many attempts and success at saving ydden. especially since it was a different america then for jews very much not like it is now.

it wasn't his job. in the 130's books were written warning the european jews of such an event. european jews of that time put frowned down upon zionists and their cause.

9

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:29 AM It IS Truth, but better off not published Says:

Though I have great respect and admiration for this tzadik who wrote this book/sefer and those "in the know" know it is 100% accurate and painfully truthful, I am not sure it was good to reprint.

I wish it were not in print.

So many good people are now affliated with Zionism, and totally unaware of its horrendous history, that these people will either deny what the book said, which means denying the truth, and possibly deciding to hate those who believe it, for it is too painful to believe, or they will realize it is truth, and nothing but the truch, and become disillusioned and depressed.

So, what can the book accomplish today?

Sure the purists say, "It is truth and we must tell the truth, we must never hide the truth." I understand that, and this book does tell the truth, I have a copy of the original, and have verified it all from people, mostly now deceased, who lived through it, and normally I am one of them who always wants the truth to be revealed. But sometimes, maybe it is better for us to not know.

But, while I am not happy to see the book/sefer re-printed. I do vouch for its truth and accuracy, no matter how much it hurts.

10

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:55 AM Honestlyfrum Says:

Doesn't seem Rav Elchonon Wasserman did much either. In fact he said it was better to die in Europe than come to the United States. Wasn't just the evil Zionists, the charedim have some blame as well.

11

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Tell me that he doesn't look like Woody Allen with a beard

12

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:40 AM Today is different, I hope. Says:

An old man whom I knew, a friend of my father's, who is now gone, worked with Rav Michoel Ber Weissmandel.
40 years ago, I gave him my copy and asked him how true it was.
His response shocked me. He said, v Michoel Ber TONED IT DOWN TO PREVENT HATRED BETWEEN FELLOW JEWS. He wrote only the minimum which he felt MUST be told.

When I read the sefer the first time I cried and was sick to my stomach. When it was verified, I was sick for weeks, with nightmares.

I guess the booked needed to be reprinted so it is not forgotten. But, the timing is very poor. We have learned from this, and today is different, I hope.

13

 Jan 07, 2009 at 11:56 AM Mordi Says:

Many chassidic leaders told their chasidim not to leave Europe , the frum community in the US avoided most demonstrations. There is a lot of guilt to go around

14

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:12 PM Moishe Zichmemch Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

I am amazed that vosizneias would post this, especially now, considering that R. Weismandl z"l despised the Zionists and vosizneias likes them!!

what makes you think that VIN likes them. They report. YOU decide

15

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:28 PM Anonymous Says:

The US Jews believed the "Jewish Committee" and the Zionists were handling things, and doing all they can do. In this sefer we discovered otherwise.

The Rabbis were also lied to by Roosvelt. He convinced them that he was doing all he can "quietly" and that their "noise" would harm the negotiations. This was, of course, a big lie.

The Southern Jews wanted to speak up, and do something, but the northern Jews told them to trust the Prez.

As much as the material in this sefer hurts, as it is VERY painful to read about the treachery perpretrated by fellow Jews, maybe it does need to be re-printed.

16

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:10 PM class act Says:

I jhave long been fascinated by this piece of history.
However, are we any better?
Do you know how few people showed up at the pro Israel rallys in NYC while our brotehrs and sisters blood is being shed in Israel?
Are we being asked for money? Are we being asked to face German officails to bribe them with money and put our lives in danger?
For crying out loud .. were being asked to give a few hours of our time to join a rally in support of Israel, and we cant find the time to come.
So then I ask you...How are we better????

17

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:42 PM Near Mt. Kisco Says:

R' Michoel Ber Weissmandl was a tzaddik. He wrote the book, because he wanted people to do teshuva. When he came to America, he was devastated that frum yidden had continued living their lives almost normally while Jews were being slaughtered. He couldn't understand how they didn't FEEL what was going on.

He moved away, because it took him some time to find an ayin tova again. He never intended for the book to be used to malign yidden. Only to teach them how to prevent a recurrence. His message was very simple.

Do not bury your head in the sand.
It's not a mitzvah.

kechu imachem devarim, v'shuvu el hashem

18

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
class act Says:

I jhave long been fascinated by this piece of history.
However, are we any better?
Do you know how few people showed up at the pro Israel rallys in NYC while our brotehrs and sisters blood is being shed in Israel?
Are we being asked for money? Are we being asked to face German officails to bribe them with money and put our lives in danger?
For crying out loud .. were being asked to give a few hours of our time to join a rally in support of Israel, and we cant find the time to come.
So then I ask you...How are we better????

Read this book. You may still disagree with today's anti-zionists, but it will help you understand them.

19

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:52 PM Stupid Says:

Reply to #3  
yossi Says:

And what was the response of the frum and chassidic community - not much better. Check the record

What the HELL are you talking about??? the frum went collecting on SHABBOS to send money to try to help!!!

20

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:50 PM EXPLAIN Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

The relevancy of Rav Weissmandel's sefer is in learning of the disaster that a non-Torah leadership brings upon the Jewish people -- lessons that we tragically are still forced to learn in these difficult days. Jewish soldiers are in these very days dying and being wounded fighting terrorists whom State leaders had bequeathed free terrorist bases to 3 years ago at the same time that these leaders continue to fund, assist, and encourage the terrorists with hundreds of millions of shekels in "humanitarian aid".

I think this is an outrageous comparison to say the leadership of Eretz Yisroel should be compared to the elitist jewish leadership in the 1930s who simply tried to ignore the holocaust even when it could no longer be denied. People forget how many IDF died over many years simply trying to protect those settlments in Gaza which were simply no longer defensible and did not really add to security since the rockets were launched from the refugee camps and other areas outside the settlements. But to compare the leadership of the medina to those who looked the other way during the holocaust is a shander and disgrace.

Are you trying to say that the medinah is better now or worse?

21

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Honestlyfrum Says:

Doesn't seem Rav Elchonon Wasserman did much either. In fact he said it was better to die in Europe than come to the United States. Wasn't just the evil Zionists, the charedim have some blame as well.

Maskim. there were people who would now be called "yeshivish" who made such insane decrees. of course you can never say so in the modern crowded batei medrash but they were just as "evil" as this protrays certain zionists to be.
We have all heard of the ones who had said that it would be better to stay in europe and risk getting hurt or killed than to come to the treife medineh america.

22

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:39 PM EMBARRASSING BUT TRUE Says:

This material is EMBARRASSING BUT TRUE.

There was a man in my shul, a Holocaust survivor. He was one of the first to get away, as a young teen, and went to Palestine, where he worked with the Zionists. He told me that the attitude of his fellow Zionists was, "Better those old religious Jews die in Europe than save them to go to any other place than to Palestine to fight the Zionist cause.
He said his associates clearly said the money needs to be spent on Zionism. And if they could "redeem" a Jew from a camp and have him sent to Palestine, then they would pay up. If it meant his going to the US or Canada - LET HIM DIE.

At that time he was so into the Zionism that he went along with it. Later, when he found out HIS family died in the ovens, he changed his mind, and escaped to the US. He grew to hate the Zionists more than the Nazis. He refused to
put on tefillin until he was 75, the year he told me this story.

23

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:09 PM Anonymous Says:

#13

U R wrong!

The frum community in the US did as much as they could proportinate to their influence and their knowledge of the facts at that time.

As for the Rebbes telling Chassidim not to leave Europe. We are all well aware of the refrain "Di shteiner in America zennen treif" Indeed the statistics show that nearly all of the orthodox jewish migrants to the USA prior to 1940 are fully assimilated at the 3rd generation.

24

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:06 PM Anonymous Says:

What have we learned from this? The Zionists just agreed to a three-hour a day cease fire for "humanitarian" reasons, so the enemy can restock, refuel, and continue its barrage of rockets on Jewish metropolitan areas.

25

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:01 PM CRAZY Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Maskim. there were people who would now be called "yeshivish" who made such insane decrees. of course you can never say so in the modern crowded batei medrash but they were just as "evil" as this protrays certain zionists to be.
We have all heard of the ones who had said that it would be better to stay in europe and risk getting hurt or killed than to come to the treife medineh america.

I thought that there was just one meshugena here and now I see 2?
Reb Elchonon did not try to save the jews? or he prevented the jews from being saved???
If you can't see a difference then somethings wrong with you!!!

26

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:55 PM Daniel Says:

If hey have any honesty they would include Rav Weissmandl's fued with R' Aharon Kotler whom Wiessmandl accused of not helping in the saving of Hungarian Jews.

27

 Jan 07, 2009 at 12:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Honestlyfrum Says:

Doesn't seem Rav Elchonon Wasserman did much either. In fact he said it was better to die in Europe than come to the United States. Wasn't just the evil Zionists, the charedim have some blame as well.

You have your facts wrong! Rav E. Wasserman Hy"d went back to Eurpoe to be with his talmidim. He didnt go back because he did not want to be in America! No different than some of our Tana'im did in their time of being persecuted from the Romans!!!

28

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
yossi Says:

And what was the response of the frum and chassidic community - not much better. Check the record

you have a perverted sick mind! what about Reb Mike Tress Z"L Reb Eliezer Silver Z'L and countless other frum Yidden who lived by the Torah's law of "Pikuach Nefesh is Doicha Hakol" (sorry by posting your comment it is clear that you probably dont know what this phrase means).

Also maybe if you would actually read Rabbi Weissmandel's book you will see what the frum jews did to try and save the jews from the Nazis,but were contstantly twarted by the secular Zionists.

for further referance also please read the book of Rabbi Griffel Z"L

29

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Stupid Says:

What the HELL are you talking about??? the frum went collecting on SHABBOS to send money to try to help!!!

Read, and you will be shocked to find out the money was misdirected.

30

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:11 PM Anonymous Says:

What about all the Rebbe's who forbade their chassedim in the 1930's to leave Europe for the US?

31

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:35 PM Not so Poshut Says:

There is no doubt that Rav Weissmandel was a great man, a great talmid chancham, and a great tzaddik. His memoirs reflect his personal experience and are very valuable.

However, great care must be given before accepting his ANALYSIS of the larger picture. See, for instance, the works of Prof. Yehuda Bauer, also a holocaust survivor, who painstakingly shows that Rav Weissmandel was very sincere and well-meaning, but completely misunderstood the larger picture and completely misread the intentions os those he was dealing with. Additionally, he shows that Rav Weissmandel's view of things is not historically accurate, as may be demonstrated
through historic documents and testimony.

In short, just because Rav Weismandel was a great man and a great hero, that does not make his perspective on the zionists, Kastner, or the Nazis he negotiated with anything more than an OPINION, not HISTORY.

32

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

What about all the Rebbe's who forbade their chassedim in the 1930's to leave Europe for the US?

Maybe at that time they were afraid they would become goyim. And it is better to died a Yid than live like a Goy.

33

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:33 PM Yes! We Need This Sefer Today! Says:

Reply to #9  
It IS Truth, but better off not published Says:

Though I have great respect and admiration for this tzadik who wrote this book/sefer and those "in the know" know it is 100% accurate and painfully truthful, I am not sure it was good to reprint.

I wish it were not in print.

So many good people are now affliated with Zionism, and totally unaware of its horrendous history, that these people will either deny what the book said, which means denying the truth, and possibly deciding to hate those who believe it, for it is too painful to believe, or they will realize it is truth, and nothing but the truch, and become disillusioned and depressed.

So, what can the book accomplish today?

Sure the purists say, "It is truth and we must tell the truth, we must never hide the truth." I understand that, and this book does tell the truth, I have a copy of the original, and have verified it all from people, mostly now deceased, who lived through it, and normally I am one of them who always wants the truth to be revealed. But sometimes, maybe it is better for us to not know.

But, while I am not happy to see the book/sefer re-printed. I do vouch for its truth and accuracy, no matter how much it hurts.

I respectuflly disagree with you.
I do understand why you would not want this painful topic brought up, but ....

Far too many Jews, including many, many rabbis, are totally unaware of what really went on back then.

It is VITAL that this sefer be re-published.

Only knowing the TRUTH can save our future.

34

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:31 PM Anonymous Says:

While some of my jewish brethern are pointing fingers at one another, I prefer to point it in one direction.

At FDR.
Yimach Shmo.

Why he did not bomb those railroad tracks to Auschwitz is mind boggling.

Rav Michoel Ber Z"TL drew detailed maps for the allies.

The bombing of the tracks would have minimized the Nazis YS"V ability to transport our Yiddeshe brothers and sisters to their untimely deaths.

I am sick of the FDR appoligist that say that bombing the tracks would be useless because the Nazis Ymach Shemom Vzichrum would have had the tracks rebuilt.

This argument is without merit.
The Nazis did not have much time in 1945 to begin rebuilding tracks. And if they did, it would still take time. Bombing the tracks would have spared possibly 100,000 from their deaths R'L

President Bush at his recent visit to Yad Vshem ask Condi Rice:
Why the allies did not bomb the tracks.

President Bush's question was never answered properly.

FDR blew it big time.

35

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Near Mt. Kisco Says:

R' Michoel Ber Weissmandl was a tzaddik. He wrote the book, because he wanted people to do teshuva. When he came to America, he was devastated that frum yidden had continued living their lives almost normally while Jews were being slaughtered. He couldn't understand how they didn't FEEL what was going on.

He moved away, because it took him some time to find an ayin tova again. He never intended for the book to be used to malign yidden. Only to teach them how to prevent a recurrence. His message was very simple.

Do not bury your head in the sand.
It's not a mitzvah.

kechu imachem devarim, v'shuvu el hashem

Very well said.

36

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #34  
Anonymous Says:

While some of my jewish brethern are pointing fingers at one another, I prefer to point it in one direction.

At FDR.
Yimach Shmo.

Why he did not bomb those railroad tracks to Auschwitz is mind boggling.

Rav Michoel Ber Z"TL drew detailed maps for the allies.

The bombing of the tracks would have minimized the Nazis YS"V ability to transport our Yiddeshe brothers and sisters to their untimely deaths.

I am sick of the FDR appoligist that say that bombing the tracks would be useless because the Nazis Ymach Shemom Vzichrum would have had the tracks rebuilt.

This argument is without merit.
The Nazis did not have much time in 1945 to begin rebuilding tracks. And if they did, it would still take time. Bombing the tracks would have spared possibly 100,000 from their deaths R'L

President Bush at his recent visit to Yad Vshem ask Condi Rice:
Why the allies did not bomb the tracks.

President Bush's question was never answered properly.

FDR blew it big time.

You are correct but left out two points.
1 The British also did not bomb the tracks
2. The Allied Bomber Command had aerial photos of the entire Auschwitz-Birkenau complex.

37

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #32  
Anonymous Says:

Maybe at that time they were afraid they would become goyim. And it is better to died a Yid than live like a Goy.

My family came to America over 100 years ago. Funny thing is that virtually all of us (5 generations later) have yeshiva educations and remain shomrei torah u'mitzvot (note not shoymrei toyrah u'mitzvoys). Those who wanted to ditch their "old world" beliefs did so and those who wanted to remain dedicated to Yiddeshkeit figured out how to do it, and not just in the NYC area.

38

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Honestlyfrum Says:

Doesn't seem Rav Elchonon Wasserman did much either. In fact he said it was better to die in Europe than come to the United States. Wasn't just the evil Zionists, the charedim have some blame as well.

excuse me but "how dare u besmirtsch" and vilify one of the gedoly hador a kodosh ontop of that by saying he didnt do enough for european jewry
he came to the USA and fundraised so bochurim would have a piece of bread to eat as he felt responsible to the few hunderd teen agers who were in his yeshive crying from hunger
he was well aware that by going back to europe he may be (and did in fact end up forfiting his life!)
giving up his life but didnt want to leave his talmidim and felt responsible see book fire in your soul by authored by rabbi amos bunim which has conversations between his father ah mr irving bunim and rav elchonon ztkl

39

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

What have we learned from this? The Zionists just agreed to a three-hour a day cease fire for "humanitarian" reasons, so the enemy can restock, refuel, and continue its barrage of rockets on Jewish metropolitan areas.

3 hour ceasefire. It was a great political move and gave our biys a chance to rest.

40

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:45 PM Not so Poshut Says:

Those who think that Rav Weissmandel's views are historically accurate can read, for instance, the new edition of his kinah for Tisha B'Av. There, in the footnotes, they quote Rav Weismandel as writing that "it is a fact" that the holocaust was brought by Hashem as punishment for Zionism. He says there that "All" the Rabbis "know" that this is "true" and that "all" have said so.

Rav Weismandel is certainly entitled to his perspective, but I would tend to think that even the readers of Vos iz Neias appreciate the difference between opinion and fact. However one feels about zionism, it is not a "fact' that Hashem brought the holcaust to punish the Jewish People fo it and it is not a "fact" that "all" Rabbis agree with this view of history or this interpretation of Hashem's will.

41

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #32  
Anonymous Says:

Maybe at that time they were afraid they would become goyim. And it is better to died a Yid than live like a Goy.

Perfectly spoken.

42

 Jan 07, 2009 at 01:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

What about all the Rebbe's who forbade their chassedim in the 1930's to leave Europe for the US?

Some may have misjudged the matter. True.

But, they did send messengers to see the US and they returned telling them that in the US people have thrown away their dress codes, and were assimilating.

They did NOT know for sure that they would die in Europe. But is did seem VERY dangerous to the neshama to move to the US.
To assimilate, means giving up olam haba. To perish physically means only giving up our goof.
And though we are commanded to take care of that goof, and saving a life is one of the strongest mitzvois, it seems like an almost definate loss of neshama/olam haba vs only a possible loss of physical life.
Losing our olam haba is scarier; isn't it?

Had their messengers arrived here to find people dressed like Jews
(remember, we ARE supposed to look different, and not like the gentiles. We are NOT supposed to look the same.), and having beards and payus, with their kids in Yeshivas, they would have advised differently.

Instead, they found Jews wearing regular short suits!
Instead, they found Jews sending their kids to Public School.
Instead they found Jews with their beards shaved or trimmed short.
Instead they found Jews without payus.
Instead they found Jews going to movies and/or Broadway shows.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with the women dressed like goyim.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with mixed dancing!

It seemed like a slam dunk. Move to the US, and lose your Yiddishkeit. Remain in Europe and keep it. The fear of losing their Yiddishkeit was stronger than the fear of losing their lives!

Now can you understand why some rabbonim of both the Yeshivish and the Chassidish world said, "Stay here!"

43

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

My family came to America over 100 years ago. Funny thing is that virtually all of us (5 generations later) have yeshiva educations and remain shomrei torah u'mitzvot (note not shoymrei toyrah u'mitzvoys). Those who wanted to ditch their "old world" beliefs did so and those who wanted to remain dedicated to Yiddeshkeit figured out how to do it, and not just in the NYC area.

I'm not saying that no one stayed frum. However, they knew that to be frum in American was a big Nisayon and when given the choice it is better to die a Jew than live like a Goy.

44

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:21 PM Yes, I believe they are accurate Says:

Reply to #40  
Not so Poshut Says:

Those who think that Rav Weissmandel's views are historically accurate can read, for instance, the new edition of his kinah for Tisha B'Av. There, in the footnotes, they quote Rav Weismandel as writing that "it is a fact" that the holocaust was brought by Hashem as punishment for Zionism. He says there that "All" the Rabbis "know" that this is "true" and that "all" have said so.

Rav Weismandel is certainly entitled to his perspective, but I would tend to think that even the readers of Vos iz Neias appreciate the difference between opinion and fact. However one feels about zionism, it is not a "fact' that Hashem brought the holcaust to punish the Jewish People fo it and it is not a "fact" that "all" Rabbis agree with this view of history or this interpretation of Hashem's will.

Yes, I believe that Rav Weissmandel's views are historically accurate, and I have read, and actually studied, ALL of those who disagree.

45

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

My family came to America over 100 years ago. Funny thing is that virtually all of us (5 generations later) have yeshiva educations and remain shomrei torah u'mitzvot (note not shoymrei toyrah u'mitzvoys). Those who wanted to ditch their "old world" beliefs did so and those who wanted to remain dedicated to Yiddeshkeit figured out how to do it, and not just in the NYC area.

Yes, the "malachim" came here ealier also. But, they "hid" upstate until the Chassidim arrived in the mid 50's. They hid to avoid assimilation.

Sure, there were those who flourished here, and formed R Yitzchak Elchonon Yeshiva, and one or two others. But these were the "Ultimate" of what was Yiddishkeit in the US at the time. And, as compared to Europe, they did not compare well.

We all know, at least those of us who had relatives here in the early 20th century, that many "religious" Jews, had to work late Friday, to not get fired.
Some "Orthodox" shuls had minyans later on Friday night, way into Shabbos already, to accommodate those who had to work late.

It was really hard. My own mother, A"H had to get a new Job almost every two weeks, because she got sick the first Friday at work, and had to go home. Then, when she would try it the next week, they would tell her to not come back. Sometimes they never paid her.
My father, who had much more education and skills worked in a factory, because he found one which did not work Shabbos, and began its workday at 7AM. He would refuse overtime on Friday, so he could run home at 4PM, just making it home for Shabbos.

Sure, some of our parents survived, others did not.
But even my father, had to cut his beard off to get that job! He told me he cried when he did it. He left his payus, but hid them under his hat, which he never too off. He used to come in and work every Sunday as a janitor, all year long, to make up for Yomim Tovim.

When the Chassidim came in the 50's, he got a better job and grew his beard back.

I can and do understand why the Rabbis told people to stay there.

46

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

#13

U R wrong!

The frum community in the US did as much as they could proportinate to their influence and their knowledge of the facts at that time.

As for the Rebbes telling Chassidim not to leave Europe. We are all well aware of the refrain "Di shteiner in America zennen treif" Indeed the statistics show that nearly all of the orthodox jewish migrants to the USA prior to 1940 are fully assimilated at the 3rd generation.

Your statement is idiotic. You mean if a person had a chance to escape to the US he should have chosen to be cremated instead? So why did Reb Aharon escape to America if it was was so treif? Why did R. Ruderman, R. Yakkov and R. Moshe come here? Obviously, where pikuach nefesh is concerned, you're supposed to do everything to save yourself. It is your thinking that imperils us.

47

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
Anonymous Says:

Some may have misjudged the matter. True.

But, they did send messengers to see the US and they returned telling them that in the US people have thrown away their dress codes, and were assimilating.

They did NOT know for sure that they would die in Europe. But is did seem VERY dangerous to the neshama to move to the US.
To assimilate, means giving up olam haba. To perish physically means only giving up our goof.
And though we are commanded to take care of that goof, and saving a life is one of the strongest mitzvois, it seems like an almost definate loss of neshama/olam haba vs only a possible loss of physical life.
Losing our olam haba is scarier; isn't it?

Had their messengers arrived here to find people dressed like Jews
(remember, we ARE supposed to look different, and not like the gentiles. We are NOT supposed to look the same.), and having beards and payus, with their kids in Yeshivas, they would have advised differently.

Instead, they found Jews wearing regular short suits!
Instead, they found Jews sending their kids to Public School.
Instead they found Jews with their beards shaved or trimmed short.
Instead they found Jews without payus.
Instead they found Jews going to movies and/or Broadway shows.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with the women dressed like goyim.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with mixed dancing!

It seemed like a slam dunk. Move to the US, and lose your Yiddishkeit. Remain in Europe and keep it. The fear of losing their Yiddishkeit was stronger than the fear of losing their lives!

Now can you understand why some rabbonim of both the Yeshivish and the Chassidish world said, "Stay here!"

I think what you are saying is that it was easier to remain observant in Europe then it was in America. Very true. But plenty of people in Europe gave up their beliefs too (they didn't bother traveling to America).

I think many Rebeim could have moved their communities to the America or Canada and thus maintain their standards and practices. But, unfortunately, many lacked a world view that had they had may have saved portions of their communities.

48

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #31  
Not so Poshut Says:

There is no doubt that Rav Weissmandel was a great man, a great talmid chancham, and a great tzaddik. His memoirs reflect his personal experience and are very valuable.

However, great care must be given before accepting his ANALYSIS of the larger picture. See, for instance, the works of Prof. Yehuda Bauer, also a holocaust survivor, who painstakingly shows that Rav Weissmandel was very sincere and well-meaning, but completely misunderstood the larger picture and completely misread the intentions os those he was dealing with. Additionally, he shows that Rav Weissmandel's view of things is not historically accurate, as may be demonstrated
through historic documents and testimony.

In short, just because Rav Weismandel was a great man and a great hero, that does not make his perspective on the zionists, Kastner, or the Nazis he negotiated with anything more than an OPINION, not HISTORY.

I have read Baur too. I believe Weismandl was much, much more honest, factual and accurate.

His words may be more painful to read, since they tear down so many people whom we have grown to believe are heros, but painful is not wrong. This book is TRUTH, not just opinion.

49

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:57 PM Yossi Says:

Reply to #32  
Anonymous Says:

Maybe at that time they were afraid they would become goyim. And it is better to died a Yid than live like a Goy.

Dead people can't do teshuva live people can - at least some would have remained Jewish. Maybe the Zionists agreed with the rebbes. You, at least are admitting that the rebbes did that.

50

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:01 PM Yossi Says:

Reply to #42  
Anonymous Says:

Some may have misjudged the matter. True.

But, they did send messengers to see the US and they returned telling them that in the US people have thrown away their dress codes, and were assimilating.

They did NOT know for sure that they would die in Europe. But is did seem VERY dangerous to the neshama to move to the US.
To assimilate, means giving up olam haba. To perish physically means only giving up our goof.
And though we are commanded to take care of that goof, and saving a life is one of the strongest mitzvois, it seems like an almost definate loss of neshama/olam haba vs only a possible loss of physical life.
Losing our olam haba is scarier; isn't it?

Had their messengers arrived here to find people dressed like Jews
(remember, we ARE supposed to look different, and not like the gentiles. We are NOT supposed to look the same.), and having beards and payus, with their kids in Yeshivas, they would have advised differently.

Instead, they found Jews wearing regular short suits!
Instead, they found Jews sending their kids to Public School.
Instead they found Jews with their beards shaved or trimmed short.
Instead they found Jews without payus.
Instead they found Jews going to movies and/or Broadway shows.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with the women dressed like goyim.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with mixed dancing!

It seemed like a slam dunk. Move to the US, and lose your Yiddishkeit. Remain in Europe and keep it. The fear of losing their Yiddishkeit was stronger than the fear of losing their lives!

Now can you understand why some rabbonim of both the Yeshivish and the Chassidish world said, "Stay here!"

The risks inthe US are greater today with TV and the internet yet Jews are staying frum. So you are saying better Auschwitz than mixed dancing? How did that work out for you?

51

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:06 PM Guilty as Charged Says:

Reply to #26  
Daniel Says:

If hey have any honesty they would include Rav Weissmandl's fued with R' Aharon Kotler whom Wiessmandl accused of not helping in the saving of Hungarian Jews.

You are right in that it is known that the head of the Vaad Hatzalah gave a helping hand in no saving Yidden if they were simple Jews, unless he thought they were the "learned type".

The Zionists only cared to save Zionists and those who who's yiddishkiet consists of nothing more than inventing ponim betorah sheloy kehalacha did the same in their own way - to save only their own kind.

52

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

The relevancy of Rav Weissmandel's sefer is in learning of the disaster that a non-Torah leadership brings upon the Jewish people -- lessons that we tragically are still forced to learn in these difficult days. Jewish soldiers are in these very days dying and being wounded fighting terrorists whom State leaders had bequeathed free terrorist bases to 3 years ago at the same time that these leaders continue to fund, assist, and encourage the terrorists with hundreds of millions of shekels in "humanitarian aid".

I think this is an outrageous comparison to say the leadership of Eretz Yisroel should be compared to the elitist jewish leadership in the 1930s who simply tried to ignore the holocaust even when it could no longer be denied. People forget how many IDF died over many years simply trying to protect those settlments in Gaza which were simply no longer defensible and did not really add to security since the rockets were launched from the refugee camps and other areas outside the settlements. But to compare the leadership of the medina to those who looked the other way during the holocaust is a shander and disgrace.

so which side of this argument are you on? and why do you blast people you obviouslt cant know or judge anything about???

53

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:01 PM Yossi Says:

Reply to #42  
Anonymous Says:

Some may have misjudged the matter. True.

But, they did send messengers to see the US and they returned telling them that in the US people have thrown away their dress codes, and were assimilating.

They did NOT know for sure that they would die in Europe. But is did seem VERY dangerous to the neshama to move to the US.
To assimilate, means giving up olam haba. To perish physically means only giving up our goof.
And though we are commanded to take care of that goof, and saving a life is one of the strongest mitzvois, it seems like an almost definate loss of neshama/olam haba vs only a possible loss of physical life.
Losing our olam haba is scarier; isn't it?

Had their messengers arrived here to find people dressed like Jews
(remember, we ARE supposed to look different, and not like the gentiles. We are NOT supposed to look the same.), and having beards and payus, with their kids in Yeshivas, they would have advised differently.

Instead, they found Jews wearing regular short suits!
Instead, they found Jews sending their kids to Public School.
Instead they found Jews with their beards shaved or trimmed short.
Instead they found Jews without payus.
Instead they found Jews going to movies and/or Broadway shows.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with the women dressed like goyim.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with mixed dancing!

It seemed like a slam dunk. Move to the US, and lose your Yiddishkeit. Remain in Europe and keep it. The fear of losing their Yiddishkeit was stronger than the fear of losing their lives!

Now can you understand why some rabbonim of both the Yeshivish and the Chassidish world said, "Stay here!"

The risks inthe US are greater today with TV and the internet yet Jews are staying frum. So you are saying better Auschwitz than mixed dancing? How did that work out for you?

54

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:00 PM Anonymous Says:

It would take hundreds of pages to accurately discuss and debate the opinions expressed in the articles and the comments, most of which do not provide citations to sources with first hand knowledge. Similarly the issue of how feasible and effective it would have been to bomb the rail tracks, bribe more Nazis, etc. is open to much legitimate debate. However, it does not take hundreds of pages to state the obvious that seems to be getting lost -- the Nazi's and their accomplices killed the jews, not Zionists or Chassidim or Haredis. We have a common enemy. Let's stop spewing all this hatred. Further, if some Chassidim/Haredis made mistakes in the years leading up to WWII and if some Zionists made mistakes, please remember that was over 65 years ago and people were dealing with a world gone mad. That is not a reason to draw broad generalizations or to express hatred toward current members of various groups/sects. In this week when there are daily reports of new and ominous anti-semitic attacks, let,s try to show some unity toward all yiden, religious or secular, zionist or anti-zionist.

55

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #45  
Anonymous Says:

Yes, the "malachim" came here ealier also. But, they "hid" upstate until the Chassidim arrived in the mid 50's. They hid to avoid assimilation.

Sure, there were those who flourished here, and formed R Yitzchak Elchonon Yeshiva, and one or two others. But these were the "Ultimate" of what was Yiddishkeit in the US at the time. And, as compared to Europe, they did not compare well.

We all know, at least those of us who had relatives here in the early 20th century, that many "religious" Jews, had to work late Friday, to not get fired.
Some "Orthodox" shuls had minyans later on Friday night, way into Shabbos already, to accommodate those who had to work late.

It was really hard. My own mother, A"H had to get a new Job almost every two weeks, because she got sick the first Friday at work, and had to go home. Then, when she would try it the next week, they would tell her to not come back. Sometimes they never paid her.
My father, who had much more education and skills worked in a factory, because he found one which did not work Shabbos, and began its workday at 7AM. He would refuse overtime on Friday, so he could run home at 4PM, just making it home for Shabbos.

Sure, some of our parents survived, others did not.
But even my father, had to cut his beard off to get that job! He told me he cried when he did it. He left his payus, but hid them under his hat, which he never too off. He used to come in and work every Sunday as a janitor, all year long, to make up for Yomim Tovim.

When the Chassidim came in the 50's, he got a better job and grew his beard back.

I can and do understand why the Rabbis told people to stay there.

Yup America was treif until the Chasidim came. Thanks to them yiddeshkeit was saved. Anyone who says differently is just anti-Chassedim. Wonder why they weren't succesfull in saving Yiddeshkeit in Europe. How do you explain all of the non-observant folks in Europe before the holocaust?

56

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:48 PM Chana Says:

During the Late 30's the Jews in Europe didn't believe it could get much worse.
The Rebbe's and Roshei Yeshivos were oblivious to the apparent danger approaching, therefore, they were more concerened with the spiritual state of their Chassidim/Talmidim. By the time they realized what was really happening, it was too late for most of them.

As for Jews in the US who tried to help and rescue Jews from Europe - there definitely were quite a few Tzadikim, but, on the whole there was not an uproar!!! At first there was little information and then it was hard to believe it.

To No 31: History is just that: A true story based upon an opinion!!! ( Of course, it depends where you grew up and what school you went to in order to know what history lesson you got).


There is no doubt about it, the zionist leadership has a lot to answer for, but then again, so do the Frum leadership.

57

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:42 PM Not So Poshut Says:

Reply to #44  
Yes, I believe they are accurate Says:

Yes, I believe that Rav Weissmandel's views are historically accurate, and I have read, and actually studied, ALL of those who disagree.

Really!

Perhaps, then, you would like to address and refute Professor Bauer's points, for the edification of Vos iz Neias readers and for the benefit of holocaust scholars, who consider Prof Bauer a first-class scholar.

Perhaps you would also like to address Rav Weismmandel's writing that it is a "fact" (not an opinion) that Hashem brought the holocaust to punish the Jews for Zionism. And prove to us that "all" the Rabbis -- not just some -- agree that this is a "fact."

Again, I'm not interested in whether one could have such an opinion, but am interested how one could say this is a demonstrable fact -- especially the one about "all" Rabbis agreeing to this point.

My point is not to disparage Rav Weismandel, but to explain that just because someone is a great man who is worthy of being revered, this does not make him someone whose view of history and politics is well-informed and accurate.

58

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:34 PM feivish Says:

Reply to #3  
yossi Says:

And what was the response of the frum and chassidic community - not much better. Check the record

you are nuts - they did very very much

59

 Jan 07, 2009 at 02:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
Anonymous Says:

Some may have misjudged the matter. True.

But, they did send messengers to see the US and they returned telling them that in the US people have thrown away their dress codes, and were assimilating.

They did NOT know for sure that they would die in Europe. But is did seem VERY dangerous to the neshama to move to the US.
To assimilate, means giving up olam haba. To perish physically means only giving up our goof.
And though we are commanded to take care of that goof, and saving a life is one of the strongest mitzvois, it seems like an almost definate loss of neshama/olam haba vs only a possible loss of physical life.
Losing our olam haba is scarier; isn't it?

Had their messengers arrived here to find people dressed like Jews
(remember, we ARE supposed to look different, and not like the gentiles. We are NOT supposed to look the same.), and having beards and payus, with their kids in Yeshivas, they would have advised differently.

Instead, they found Jews wearing regular short suits!
Instead, they found Jews sending their kids to Public School.
Instead they found Jews with their beards shaved or trimmed short.
Instead they found Jews without payus.
Instead they found Jews going to movies and/or Broadway shows.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with the women dressed like goyim.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with mixed dancing!

It seemed like a slam dunk. Move to the US, and lose your Yiddishkeit. Remain in Europe and keep it. The fear of losing their Yiddishkeit was stronger than the fear of losing their lives!

Now can you understand why some rabbonim of both the Yeshivish and the Chassidish world said, "Stay here!"

rediculous.

they only had short suits in america (nebach, because wearing long is one of the ten commandements)

nebuch they didnt have big yeshivas and beis yaakovs. (they had talmud torahs o'bm)

boy are you stupid

60

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:15 PM state of israel Says:

Thank Gd, Israel was available as a safe haven to help many of the holocaaust survivors.

61

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:23 PM Who Stomewalled the Truth Says:

Kastner, with his famous Kastner Train got his train full of Zionists out by doing two things.

1) He made a deal with the Nazis to pay them off in money

2) He made a deal to keep the killings a secret form the Yidden so that it will be easier to kill them with no revolt of local Jews and no world protest.

The Nazis need the money and needed the secret and could not succeed if the secret made headline news in all world wide papers.

The Plan was sealed by top brass Nazis and everything went according to plan that Kastener would save only Zionists and let all Frum Jews die.

The Only exception was the Satmar Rebbe who made it out only with the help of the Zionists of Kastners Train.

The Satmar Rebbe knew why he was escaping but his Chassidim were left behind and not told in accordance with Kastners promised made to the Nazis to help the Natzis succeed in their secret plan.

62

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:13 PM Ich Vil Zein A Rebbe Says:

Kasters Train was full of zionists and included only one Orthodox Jew in a position of leadership over thousands of other followers.

63

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:32 PM Yitzchok Says:

Reply to #51  
Guilty as Charged Says:

You are right in that it is known that the head of the Vaad Hatzalah gave a helping hand in no saving Yidden if they were simple Jews, unless he thought they were the "learned type".

The Zionists only cared to save Zionists and those who who's yiddishkiet consists of nothing more than inventing ponim betorah sheloy kehalacha did the same in their own way - to save only their own kind.

How dare you speak out against the greatest Godol Hador?

If not for him there would be no more learn'ed Beney Torah in America today and no more future generations of true Gedolim.

64

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:24 PM Not So Poshut Says:

Reply to #54  
Anonymous Says:

It would take hundreds of pages to accurately discuss and debate the opinions expressed in the articles and the comments, most of which do not provide citations to sources with first hand knowledge. Similarly the issue of how feasible and effective it would have been to bomb the rail tracks, bribe more Nazis, etc. is open to much legitimate debate. However, it does not take hundreds of pages to state the obvious that seems to be getting lost -- the Nazi's and their accomplices killed the jews, not Zionists or Chassidim or Haredis. We have a common enemy. Let's stop spewing all this hatred. Further, if some Chassidim/Haredis made mistakes in the years leading up to WWII and if some Zionists made mistakes, please remember that was over 65 years ago and people were dealing with a world gone mad. That is not a reason to draw broad generalizations or to express hatred toward current members of various groups/sects. In this week when there are daily reports of new and ominous anti-semitic attacks, let,s try to show some unity toward all yiden, religious or secular, zionist or anti-zionist.

I agree.
The primary issue is not what certain people may or may not have done 60 years ago, but what meaning it should have for us today.

That is my primary issue with using Rav Weismandel's writings as a way of stirring up hatred towards other Jews today.

Unfortunately, that is what is being done with the new book of his kinnah, which contains a Rabbinnic statement that it serves to remind today's youth about the "amalek amongst us." Of all things tot hink of on Tisha B'Av, imagine that someone would say that we should focus ion why we should hate some our fellow Jews even more!

65

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #53  
Yossi Says:

The risks inthe US are greater today with TV and the internet yet Jews are staying frum. So you are saying better Auschwitz than mixed dancing? How did that work out for you?

You are not wrong. The risks are horrendous today, both from the Internet, and from the political correctness of "tolerance."

The problems today, do not take away from the problems of yesteryear.

66

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #63  
Yitzchok Says:

How dare you speak out against the greatest Godol Hador?

If not for him there would be no more learn'ed Beney Torah in America today and no more future generations of true Gedolim.

I agree with you that you should not belittle a gadol.

But I beg to differ about your second statement. There were gedolim in America long before the war. Maybe not as many as there were in Europe but they were here building yeshivas and training the next generation of bnei torah. Some of these bnei torah are today gedollim in their own right (both in the US and in Israel). Yes, there was yiddeshkeit in America. It was comprised of plain old common folk, who worked very hard so their kids can get a jewish education (if not in yeshiva then with a personal rebbe) and put kosher (not glatt) food on the table. The mesirat nefesh was incredible especially in the work place. But it all changed when the Frum people arrived.

67

 Jan 07, 2009 at 03:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #64  
Not So Poshut Says:

I agree.
The primary issue is not what certain people may or may not have done 60 years ago, but what meaning it should have for us today.

That is my primary issue with using Rav Weismandel's writings as a way of stirring up hatred towards other Jews today.

Unfortunately, that is what is being done with the new book of his kinnah, which contains a Rabbinnic statement that it serves to remind today's youth about the "amalek amongst us." Of all things tot hink of on Tisha B'Av, imagine that someone would say that we should focus ion why we should hate some our fellow Jews even more!

NO!

His writing were never intended, nor is the republication today intended, to stir up any hatred towards other Jews.
God forbid.
Rather they were and are intended to be a warning to not assume everything we hear from "Jewish leaders" should have any value to us, and that we must listen to the gedolai hador, the poskim of the generation.
That we should be be leaning mussar from political hacks, or any goverment, just because they have "rabbi" before their name, or from others who are not the accepted leaders, respected by the dedolai hador.
G-d forbid is anything here intended to created hatred.
But it IS important to know to seek the Torah leaders's guidance, not politicians and not leaders of Associations or other groups.
We need to make sure we are seeking our leadership from the top few roshai yeshivos, and the top few Rebbes and Rabbonim.
The undisputed gedolai hador, like Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner, and/or others of his gadlus.
Not to decide whom to listen to based upon

68

 Jan 07, 2009 at 04:48 PM Dag Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

#13

U R wrong!

The frum community in the US did as much as they could proportinate to their influence and their knowledge of the facts at that time.

As for the Rebbes telling Chassidim not to leave Europe. We are all well aware of the refrain "Di shteiner in America zennen treif" Indeed the statistics show that nearly all of the orthodox jewish migrants to the USA prior to 1940 are fully assimilated at the 3rd generation.

Where are these stats? My grandparents and Great-Grandparents came in the 1910s and 20's

69

 Jan 07, 2009 at 04:41 PM joseph Says:

Reply to #61  
Who Stomewalled the Truth Says:

Kastner, with his famous Kastner Train got his train full of Zionists out by doing two things.

1) He made a deal with the Nazis to pay them off in money

2) He made a deal to keep the killings a secret form the Yidden so that it will be easier to kill them with no revolt of local Jews and no world protest.

The Nazis need the money and needed the secret and could not succeed if the secret made headline news in all world wide papers.

The Plan was sealed by top brass Nazis and everything went according to plan that Kastener would save only Zionists and let all Frum Jews die.

The Only exception was the Satmar Rebbe who made it out only with the help of the Zionists of Kastners Train.

The Satmar Rebbe knew why he was escaping but his Chassidim were left behind and not told in accordance with Kastners promised made to the Nazis to help the Natzis succeed in their secret plan.

i dont know where your misinformation is coming from as there were many religous people on the kastner train
jungreis family i believe r yonason steif and many others

70

 Jan 07, 2009 at 05:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #46  
Anonymous Says:

Your statement is idiotic. You mean if a person had a chance to escape to the US he should have chosen to be cremated instead? So why did Reb Aharon escape to America if it was was so treif? Why did R. Ruderman, R. Yakkov and R. Moshe come here? Obviously, where pikuach nefesh is concerned, you're supposed to do everything to save yourself. It is your thinking that imperils us.

The last three did come to America, but I believe all did so several years before the war.

Rav Aharon Kotler did not intend to stay. He came to colect for the yeshiva and could not go back.

71

 Jan 07, 2009 at 05:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

My family came to America over 100 years ago. Funny thing is that virtually all of us (5 generations later) have yeshiva educations and remain shomrei torah u'mitzvot (note not shoymrei toyrah u'mitzvoys). Those who wanted to ditch their "old world" beliefs did so and those who wanted to remain dedicated to Yiddeshkeit figured out how to do it, and not just in the NYC area.

Our history here is also a long one but I know from my grandparents who did B"H stay loyal to torah and mitzvos that is was not as simple as 'those who wanted to stay frum found a way to do it'.

72

 Jan 07, 2009 at 05:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #67  
Anonymous Says:

NO!

His writing were never intended, nor is the republication today intended, to stir up any hatred towards other Jews.
God forbid.
Rather they were and are intended to be a warning to not assume everything we hear from "Jewish leaders" should have any value to us, and that we must listen to the gedolai hador, the poskim of the generation.
That we should be be leaning mussar from political hacks, or any goverment, just because they have "rabbi" before their name, or from others who are not the accepted leaders, respected by the dedolai hador.
G-d forbid is anything here intended to created hatred.
But it IS important to know to seek the Torah leaders's guidance, not politicians and not leaders of Associations or other groups.
We need to make sure we are seeking our leadership from the top few roshai yeshivos, and the top few Rebbes and Rabbonim.
The undisputed gedolai hador, like Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner, and/or others of his gadlus.
Not to decide whom to listen to based upon

But if it were up to them, would there even be a State of Israel and would be there be soldiers defending it?

73

 Jan 07, 2009 at 04:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #68  
Dag Says:

Where are these stats? My grandparents and Great-Grandparents came in the 1910s and 20's

My Great grand parents came here in 1895. Virtually the whole family is frum

74

 Jan 07, 2009 at 05:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

I question the wisdom of releasing this during the current matzav. We need more achdus right now, and whether the entire work is emes le'amito shel torah or not, this will not do anything to promote achdus right now. The record of many groups regarding efforts to save the yiddin is Europe during the war years is not one to be proud of, r"l.

knla"d.

I posted the above comment shortly after this item came up on VIN earlier today.

Please, all this back and forth does no one any good right now.

Please, please, whatever your opinions are about Rav Weismandel, please, for the sake of the boys fighting for klal yisroel in Gaza, please, please, please keep your opinions to yourselves.

We don't need to know every last detail of who did and who didn't do enough during the war. It won't stop all the machlokes and sinas chinam that is destroying us and endangering the life of all the heileger boys fighting to destroy the chayos who want to pick up the job where Hitler ym"s left off, c"v.

I wish I knew a hundred more ways to ask you all to put this aside for the sake of achdus.

75

 Jan 07, 2009 at 07:05 PM SHOITE Says:

Reply to #3  
yossi Says:

And what was the response of the frum and chassidic community - not much better. Check the record

you're stam BEHIEME !!!! the zionist did "every thing" in their ability to destroy every kind hatzule ... as one of there leader said ONE COW IN ISRAEL IS WORTH MORE THEN THE WHOLE EUROPEAN JEWERY afre le'pine

76

 Jan 07, 2009 at 06:49 PM me2 Says:

Reply to #73  
Anonymous Says:

My Great grand parents came here in 1895. Virtually the whole family is frum

same here. both grandparents and their respective families came in the 1920's. everyone on both sides is all shmteir torah umitzvos throughout

77

 Jan 07, 2009 at 07:54 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

I am amazed that vosizneias would post this, especially now, considering that R. Weismandl z"l despised the Zionists and vosizneias likes them!!

The Zionist at least made an attempt through the Youth Aliyah which saved some Jewish children. After the war we said better a yid oon a burd eider a burd oon a Yidden. The malarkey I am reading is full of ignorance

78

 Jan 07, 2009 at 07:51 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #41  
Anonymous Says:

Perfectly spoken.

It is easy for you to talk , quote torah and speak about Rabbi Weissmandl. The fact is none of you saw or smelled a crematorium, none of you saw the terror in eyes of children who stood in a selektion, none saw Jews starving to death. Lodz, Czenstochau and Buchenwald gave me that lesson at the age of 15, some of us even davened. The fact is Rabbi Weissmandl only speaks from a narrow perspective and that is Slovakia but not entire Europe. Every saved Jews,the Agudah saved members of the Agudah, the Gordonia saved members of the Gordonia and Hashomer Hazair saved their members. Nobody saved just plain Jews, Jewish children, men and women. Everybody saved his group. For this reason all my friends when to places you never heard but were extermination centers, Maly Strotinec, Izbica, Chelmno and many more. After the war the same happened again. People died because they did not fit in the protocol and that was after the defeat of the Nazis. The best you could shut up and instead of making silly comments

79

 Jan 07, 2009 at 07:59 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #47  
Anonymous Says:

I think what you are saying is that it was easier to remain observant in Europe then it was in America. Very true. But plenty of people in Europe gave up their beliefs too (they didn't bother traveling to America).

I think many Rebeim could have moved their communities to the America or Canada and thus maintain their standards and practices. But, unfortunately, many lacked a world view that had they had may have saved portions of their communities.

Maybe if any of you would have stood in Brikenau you would talk all that expertise

80

 Jan 07, 2009 at 07:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #46  
Anonymous Says:

Your statement is idiotic. You mean if a person had a chance to escape to the US he should have chosen to be cremated instead? So why did Reb Aharon escape to America if it was was so treif? Why did R. Ruderman, R. Yakkov and R. Moshe come here? Obviously, where pikuach nefesh is concerned, you're supposed to do everything to save yourself. It is your thinking that imperils us.

I don't know about other rabonim you mention, but R. Moishe went to America from the Soviet Union. At that time America was definitely better. There if you didn't work on Shabbos you lost your job; in Soviet Union you were very likely to loose your life.

81

 Jan 07, 2009 at 08:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #80  
Anonymous Says:

I don't know about other rabonim you mention, but R. Moishe went to America from the Soviet Union. At that time America was definitely better. There if you didn't work on Shabbos you lost your job; in Soviet Union you were very likely to loose your life.


You have missed the point. It is irreelvant where they came from. The point is that Gedolim came here because they had to. Therefore, it is ludicrous to assert that Gedolei Yisroel preferred Jews to be cremated in Europe than to come to "treife" America as has been suggest by many comments on this site.

82

 Jan 07, 2009 at 08:52 PM ERLICHER YID Says:

for all of this comments, Remember one thing! RAV WEISSMANDL ZT"L was a very very smart man a really genius, and he was the one who wrote A KOL KOIRE by the founding of the MEMSHELES HAKOFRIM in isreal - that the war came because of this, ant the Zionist silly self haters made a boucut on Hitler Ym"s and made sure he should kill the Yidden, and that what Rav Weissmandl want "we should hate this POSHIM the Tzionim, and with no Difference from 50 years ago and today,he want we should what this Reshoim did with us, and of course by this war in Gaze he would tell his DAAS TORAH that the zionist leader they bring on us this whole trouble, and for you comment 31 who is calling "Not so Poshut" i want to tell you its "Not so Poshut" when you are trying to bring from silly theories what Prof. Bauer a heater from ERLICHE YIDEN trying to minimize Rav Weissmandl's work with no really showings. and Prof. Avruhom Fox and the well known David Kranzler had shoud already this l this lying from this Prof. Bauer, so aren't you ashamed to write from him. anyway wer dont have the time to deal with this all painful comments, Yes! i understand it! but you who are talking from Money Collection in shabbes in USA ,yes its right! But its painful to write what happend with the money!... what one of the collectors R' Usher Forst z"l told, that the collected with the leter from Rav Weissmndl, but he also claimed what they did with the money, and i will not write it over here, because its a Chilel Hashem, but don't blaim Rav Weissmandl zt"l - and thanks for reprint this great Seifer - hope you shold reprint whit new offset and Perish like is saw the KINNAS MIN HAMEITZAR

83

 Jan 07, 2009 at 09:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Does the blood of the boys fighting in Gaza mean so little to you that you'd rather keep up the machlokes and sinas chinam to prove a point in an arguement no one will win anyway, rather than be a mentch and keep your opinions to yourself?

84

 Jan 07, 2009 at 10:09 PM Noclue Says:

To 70. That is not my understanding. Do you have a source for this?

85

 Jan 07, 2009 at 10:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

Tell me that he doesn't look like Woody Allen with a beard

I see you have no fear making fun of R' weissmandel that he looks like woody ....Shame on you! You should deffinately go out to his
kever in Woodbridge NJ viener chelkah to ask mechilah.

J

86

 Jan 07, 2009 at 10:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #84  
Noclue Says:

To 70. That is not my understanding. Do you have a source for this?

Torah sheba'al peh. I remember who I heard it from and I'll see if I can find out where he got the information. (The person who told it to me is old enough to have heard it from RAK himself. He didn't learn in Lakewwod but it is possible that this was a well known fact sixty years ago.

87

 Jan 08, 2009 at 04:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #85  
Anonymous Says:

I see you have no fear making fun of R' weissmandel that he looks like woody ....Shame on you! You should deffinately go out to his
kever in Woodbridge NJ viener chelkah to ask mechilah.

J

answer to stupid-o saying that
the holy Rav Weissmendel can
'resemble' that nervous wreck
woody allen (not even his real name -- too ashamed to use his real jewish name) the question should be, maybe woody allen would lookd like
Rav Weissmendel if he lived
a half-way normal life of Yahaduit

88

 Jan 08, 2009 at 05:06 AM Anonymous Says:

With all due respect to R' Weissmandel, there are other books and documents that contradict what he said. Not that he was Chas v'sholem misleading deliberately , but he didn't have all the facts in front of him.
I doubt whether anybody here has ever even read other versions about the Slovakian situation. Re-publishing this book will only bring more sinas chinom because unfortunately , except for a precious few , most orthodox have closed and narrow minds. R' Weissmandel's book is not the last word on Zionists or other rescue efforts. It is OPINION , my friends , OPINION , not necessarily the full facts. Maybe the true facts will never be known , but at least read another book before cursing the Zionists.
By the way , what did the majority of orthodox leaders at that time do to help?? Hmmmm ... food for thought.

89

 Jan 08, 2009 at 06:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
Anonymous Says:

Some may have misjudged the matter. True.

But, they did send messengers to see the US and they returned telling them that in the US people have thrown away their dress codes, and were assimilating.

They did NOT know for sure that they would die in Europe. But is did seem VERY dangerous to the neshama to move to the US.
To assimilate, means giving up olam haba. To perish physically means only giving up our goof.
And though we are commanded to take care of that goof, and saving a life is one of the strongest mitzvois, it seems like an almost definate loss of neshama/olam haba vs only a possible loss of physical life.
Losing our olam haba is scarier; isn't it?

Had their messengers arrived here to find people dressed like Jews
(remember, we ARE supposed to look different, and not like the gentiles. We are NOT supposed to look the same.), and having beards and payus, with their kids in Yeshivas, they would have advised differently.

Instead, they found Jews wearing regular short suits!
Instead, they found Jews sending their kids to Public School.
Instead they found Jews with their beards shaved or trimmed short.
Instead they found Jews without payus.
Instead they found Jews going to movies and/or Broadway shows.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with the women dressed like goyim.
Instead they found Jewish weddings with mixed dancing!

It seemed like a slam dunk. Move to the US, and lose your Yiddishkeit. Remain in Europe and keep it. The fear of losing their Yiddishkeit was stronger than the fear of losing their lives!

Now can you understand why some rabbonim of both the Yeshivish and the Chassidish world said, "Stay here!"

No, I cannot understand why some rabbonim of both the Yeshivish and the Chassidish world said, "Stay here!"

90

 Jan 08, 2009 at 05:58 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

#13

U R wrong!

The frum community in the US did as much as they could proportinate to their influence and their knowledge of the facts at that time.

As for the Rebbes telling Chassidim not to leave Europe. We are all well aware of the refrain "Di shteiner in America zennen treif" Indeed the statistics show that nearly all of the orthodox jewish migrants to the USA prior to 1940 are fully assimilated at the 3rd generation.

Wow! What you are saying that if the choice is to immigrate to the US and possibly become non-frum or staying in Europe and being killed, then the latter is preferable. You justify those who gave this advice.
All four of my grandparents arrived in America before 1906. At least 90 percent of their descendents (grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren - very nearly 100) are frum.

91

 Jan 08, 2009 at 06:58 AM To #90 #59 and the others Says:

You gotta understand that those like your grandparents, and mine, were a small minority. Most of what they saw was assimilation.

Remember, they walked the streets and did not see black hats.
They walked the streets and did not see tzniusdik dresses and skirts.
They walked into shul, and saw people putting on those shiny cheap tefillin which all know are possul. (no, the people wearing them did not know)
They walked into Temple Emanuel, and saw tiny talleisim, and women sitting with the men.
They walked down Lee Ave, and 13th Ave and saw Jewish owned stores open on Shabbos.

They found Jewish Neighborhoods with NO MIKVAH.
They walked in to an Orthodox shul on purim, and saw maybe 2 or 3 megillas in the entire shul.

Sure, there were good pockets, like the Lower East Side, but even there, half the stores were open on Shabbos.

They passed by Jewish butchers with signs which read "Bosor Bosor" instead of "Bosor Kosher" They went inside, found no hechsher, treif meat, and the store full on Jewish customer thinking it was kosher. The Bosor Bosor was writtten in a way that at first glance it appeared to say Bosor Kosher.

Remember, at that time, they did not KNOW the Holocaust would happen. They only knew it was getting bad. Here in the US it appeard that it already got bad.

They did not understand that those clean shaven men were shomer shabbos. Where they came from shaving off your beard meant you were porek ol. After all, it is a B'Farhesya statement that one will not obey the halacha. They did not know that anyone actually followed those heterim which were used here. They thought only Yekis had that mesorah and heter, so if they saw a non Yeki clean shaven, it looked bad. Really bad.

They looked in the stores on Peisach and saw only machine matzos! Pure chometz in their eyes. They checked out the matzah bakeries and found there were nothing like the ones the Chasam Sofer had issued a heter on. So to them this was chumetz gomur.

It is easy in retrospect to say they made a bad decision. Maybe they did. But, can't we all understand where their fears came from?

92

 Jan 08, 2009 at 07:51 AM Pashuteh Yid Says:

With all due respect to Rav Weissmandl, a possible reason the ransom plan could have been received coolly by world leaders, is that it involved trusting Nazis that they would keep their word. In return for money they would spare Jews' lives.

However, countless times the Nazis would promise XYZ and after the Jews delivered, they would double cross them. They would tell Jews to gather in town square for a census, and leave their houses unlocked, and anybody not complying will be shot. Then when they gathered, they would deport them, or begin an action. The Jews would have been better off staying home. (It just made the Nazis life easier.) Other times they would tell Jews if they worked, they would be treated better, and kept alive. The Jews obeyed, and after getting free labor, they would be shot anyway. Other times they were told if they became Kapos, and ratted out their fellow Jews, then they would be safe. But in the endm they were killed, anyway. At the gas chambers, they were told to leave their clothes and valuables, just for a shower, but then after being gassed, this only made it easier for the Nazis to take their property.

I therefore submit, that after paying ransom, as Rav Weiismandl proposed, the Nazis would, as always, simply take the money, use it to replenish their ammo, and kill even more Jews than before. I do not see how one could make any deal with the Nazis. One can't cast aspersions on any segment of Jewry for rejecting a plan such as this, and refusing to support it with Jewish money, when there is every chance it would backfire and lead to an even greater loss of lives, and would be throwing out sorely needed funds down the drain.

93

 Jan 08, 2009 at 08:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #91  
To #90 #59 and the others Says:

You gotta understand that those like your grandparents, and mine, were a small minority. Most of what they saw was assimilation.

Remember, they walked the streets and did not see black hats.
They walked the streets and did not see tzniusdik dresses and skirts.
They walked into shul, and saw people putting on those shiny cheap tefillin which all know are possul. (no, the people wearing them did not know)
They walked into Temple Emanuel, and saw tiny talleisim, and women sitting with the men.
They walked down Lee Ave, and 13th Ave and saw Jewish owned stores open on Shabbos.

They found Jewish Neighborhoods with NO MIKVAH.
They walked in to an Orthodox shul on purim, and saw maybe 2 or 3 megillas in the entire shul.

Sure, there were good pockets, like the Lower East Side, but even there, half the stores were open on Shabbos.

They passed by Jewish butchers with signs which read "Bosor Bosor" instead of "Bosor Kosher" They went inside, found no hechsher, treif meat, and the store full on Jewish customer thinking it was kosher. The Bosor Bosor was writtten in a way that at first glance it appeared to say Bosor Kosher.

Remember, at that time, they did not KNOW the Holocaust would happen. They only knew it was getting bad. Here in the US it appeard that it already got bad.

They did not understand that those clean shaven men were shomer shabbos. Where they came from shaving off your beard meant you were porek ol. After all, it is a B'Farhesya statement that one will not obey the halacha. They did not know that anyone actually followed those heterim which were used here. They thought only Yekis had that mesorah and heter, so if they saw a non Yeki clean shaven, it looked bad. Really bad.

They looked in the stores on Peisach and saw only machine matzos! Pure chometz in their eyes. They checked out the matzah bakeries and found there were nothing like the ones the Chasam Sofer had issued a heter on. So to them this was chumetz gomur.

It is easy in retrospect to say they made a bad decision. Maybe they did. But, can't we all understand where their fears came from?

What percentage of Poland was anyway running away from yiddishkeit without the help of being in America?

94

 Jan 08, 2009 at 09:41 AM Anonymous Says:

#93
Poland was in trouble before the war, there was a lot of assimilation. Zionism was all the rage as well.

However, in comparison with America, Poland was by far safer.

95

 Jan 08, 2009 at 09:36 AM Anonymous Says:

To #93

90, 59, 68, 71, 43, and 37, they are of the small minority that came to the US and remained frum. I would however challenge you to prove that 90% of your 3rd and 4th cousins are frum as well. If yes you must be of the same family.

46

Its better to die as a Jew than live as a Goy

97

 Jan 08, 2009 at 11:13 PM Noclue Says:

Reply to #86  
Anonymous Says:

Torah sheba'al peh. I remember who I heard it from and I'll see if I can find out where he got the information. (The person who told it to me is old enough to have heard it from RAK himself. He didn't learn in Lakewwod but it is possible that this was a well known fact sixty years ago.

Its possible, but I highly doubt it. I remember reading that Rav Aaron Kutler, ztl was in Vilna during the beginning of the war and that he was quoted later as saying that he left in order to save his Talmidim, presumably by trying to get them out to the U.S. I doubt that he was fund raising.

98

 Jan 09, 2009 at 06:17 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #93  
Anonymous Says:

What percentage of Poland was anyway running away from yiddishkeit without the help of being in America?

Sure there were problems in Poland, and all over Europe. But the US was much worse.
The European large cities were problems of assimilation too.
Ever since the "enlightenment" period, there were problems of people throwing away their connections to G-d.
THAT is what was worrying the rabbis. In Europe at least they were there TRYING desperately to get a handle on it. In the US it was much harder.

In Europe a Jew looked like a Jew, so if somone strayed a little, he did not give it all up, because he felt funny doing it.
In the US, the Jew took his kippa off and looked like a gentile. Assimilation here was much easier.

99

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