The name means nothing to you, and there is no reason why it should. She was a cousin. My Grandfather, Rabbi Issac Klein's cousin Steve (Zoltan) was married to Klara. She passed away yesterday; she was in her 86th year.
Klara passed away in California where she had lived for many years. But she was not born there. She came to America as a survivor. She survived Hitler, the camps, the Nazis, the Hungarians. She survived physically but like most/all of our survivors she retained the emotional trauma for her entire life and passed it on to the next generation. The suffering never ended.
At first they were called Victims. After the War the remnants of our people, the Dry Bones came back from the camps, the ghettos, the forests and were called "Victims". This implied weakness, and negativity. Over the years the term changed to "Survivors", which was more dignified, and finally they became known as "Witnesses".
Klara was a Witness, she saw it all, she experienced it all. But she was 86 and in poor health and now she is gone. Everyday more of our true and authentic witnesses pass on. And tragically, also in California, not far from where Klara and Steve, of blessed memory, lived, there is purported to be a 15 year girl who earned an "A" on a school paper arguing the Holocaust is a hoax; a lie invented by the Jews.
She is not alone. Long ago there was a man named Martin Luther, you may know him as a Protestant and the founder of the Lutheran Church. We know him as a venomous anti-Semite who wrote a book called, "The Jews and their Lies", this book led directly to the slaughter of countless Jews, murdered by believing Christians.
Antisemitism is not new. It just keeps coming back in new forms. But lets take a look at some FACTS.
Back in the 1640's Khmelnytsky and his gang in Ukraine murdered thousands of Jews. Historians still debate if it was closer to 50,000 Jews murdered in cold blood, or closer to 200,000.
Why the confusion? because the Ukrainian Cossacks were wild and crazy warriors. They did not keep accurate records, they rampaged villages and killed all the Jews, there was no systematic record keeping, no lists and no statistics.
Fast forward to the 1940's (although there were plenty of massacres in between.) The Germans were not simple peasants like the Ukrainians. There were sophisticated and organized.
Everything was documented.
The Nazis (Political party that ruled Germany at the time) believed that they were performing a great service for humanity. So much so that they wanted to prove to future generations that it was they who had solved, once and for all, the "Jewish Problem". As such everything was documented, filed, recorded, and filmed.
Not only that but when the Americans came they too documented what they saw. American GIs, commanders, generals, they all saw it! There was and is no doubt.
The following is reported about when General Eisenhower and this troops liberated one of the concentration camps were Jews were held and murdered.
Eisenhower reported. "I visited every nook and cranny." It was his duty, he felt, "to be in a position from then on to testify about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief … that the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda." (Seemingly, he intuited then that these crimes might be denied.)
Eisenhower issued an order that American units in the area were to visit the camp. He also issued a call to the press back home. A group of prominent journalists, led by the dean of American publishers, Joseph Pulitzer, came to see the concentration camps. Pulitzer initially had "a suspicious frame of mind," he wrote. He expected to find that many of "the terrible reports" printed in the United States were "exaggerations and largely propaganda." But they were understatements, he reported.
Within days, Congressional delegations came to visit the concentration camps, accompanied by journalists and photographers.
Klara and Steve were wonderful people, and we will miss them. They were sweet and I never heard them complain. Steve always admired Israelis for being tough and fighting back. When I would visit him he would say, "You look so tan and strong, Israel has that effect on people."
Our family will miss them, but more importantly the world will miss them. We, the civilized world, have lost another witness to the worse crime ever committed. That horrible girl in California, and all her ilk, should be tried and convicted for sharing this crime against humanity. She should be forced to spend every day with a different Witness. She should listen to their histories until she cries her little heart out and begs for forgiveness. We will never show any tolerance to such haters!
We still have thousands of witnesses with us, but their average age is 80 and eventually they will go the way of all flesh.
The great filmmaker Steven Spielberg, having made enough money from his great films, has devoted himself to the holy task of recording the testimonies of our Witnesses, May God strengthen his hands and bless him.
While they are still with us, each and every one of us should make an effort to meet these Witnesses and hear their stories directly, from the source. We must know the truth.
We live in a world where lies grow freely. Lies perpetuated against the Jewish people have survived for centuries, despite having no logic to them whatsoever. We must never allow the movement of "Holocaust Deniers" to ever grow. We must educate all people.
Klara, I hope you find in the afterlife the peace you were denied in this life. Now you are in the World of Truth. You have left our world of lies.
May your memory be a blessing to us all.