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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 12, 2011 12 Menachem-Av, 5771

Remembering the Shame

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We're all children of our histories. Some of us become victims, others reactors and rebels. Some of us just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Commemorations, celebrations and memorials become important, documenting what is, what was and what might have been.

Germany commemorates the 50th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall this week. That wall wasn't as lengthy as the Great Wall of China, nor did it have the mythic significance of the wall that Joshua's trumpet brought down at Jericho. But the Berlin Wall marks a significant milestone in the history of the Cold War, when a supposedly civilized nation locked in its people and described it, in the Orwellian rhetoric every government bureaucrat could envy, as an "anti-fascist protection rampart."

West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt correctly called it the "Wall of Shame."

This was not the beginning, the middle or the end of German history, but it will be remembered for a long time because it affected so many lives, personally, politically, nationally and worldwide. The wall sealed in the East Berliners, but it told the Allies that the Soviet Union was not likely to make a move on the rest of Berlin. The wall became a concrete expression, literally, of the evil inherent in communism.

The wall contributed to the growth of two separate cultures, communist and capitalist, conformist and free, rigid and expansive. Initiative and creativity in art and the spirit were limited in East Germany, stifling the soul and wounding the spirit, but imagination and ambition inspired those eager enough for freedom to try all kinds of adventurous attempts to escape. Some East Berliners dug tunnels; others launched themselves aloft in primitive hot-air balloons. Some even tried sliding across aerial wires that crossed over the wall. A few tried to sneak through "ghost stations" of the subway that no longer resounded to the noise of trains from the West.

Workmen first chipped away at the cobblestone streets, using the stones to build barriers, but quickly moved on to barbed wire and ugly concrete blocks. Ida Siekmann, an ordinary Hausfrau, watched in desperation as the wall rose to block the view from her third-floor apartment. She finally jumped rather than be stuck permanently behind a wall. She would have been 59 the next day. A memorial, often decorated with flowers, marks the spot where she died.

Between the end of the war in 1945 and 1961, when the Wall was built, more than 3 million Germans fled the Soviet occupation to the Federal Republic of Germany and the West. Those who lived on Bernauer Strasse at the base of the Wall, who had always just walked across the street to the West, couldn't believe their eyes. They soon learned that more than their view was blocked.

Today, 22 years after the wall fell, their neighborhood is the center of city life. Mothers push children in strollers to the market and shop for a variety of good things to eat that East Berliners never dreamed of. It's also home to a museum dedicated to the wall, which tells its story in film and exhibits.

With the same thoroughness the Germans employed to record atrocities committed in their name by the Third Reich, the victims of the commissars of East Germany are commemorated as new research uncovers chilling facts from the files of the Stasi, the secret police that replaced the Gestapo in East Berlin. Many were shot by guards when they tried to climb over the wall. A few tried to swim across the river Spree and were shot or drowned. One baby was smothered accidentally while hiding in a truck with his parents.

"The Victims at the Berlin Wall 1961-1989," edited by historians Hans-Hermann Hertle and Maria Nooke, tells the stories of 136 men and women (and children) who died at the wall. (Full disclosure: My daughter, Miriamne Fields, translated the stories into English.)

Siegfried Kroboth, age 5, was playing at the bank of the river Spree after his family had safely fled East Germany and fell into the water. A little friend ran for help, but the West German police couldn't save him because he was bobbing in a stretch of the river under Soviet control. The West German cops sought permission from guards to retrieve, but their pleas were ignored. The East German government said guards, "good Germans all," had acted "in accordance" with the rules.

The 50th-anniversary commemoration is a reminder of how quickly times change. John F. Kennedy was right when he went to Berlin in 1963 and sent Berliners on both sides of the wall into a frenzy with his proclamation that "Ich bin ein Berliner." He was, he said, a Berliner, too. And so we all are.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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