Example: Your friend can become your enemy

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From the 24 Feb London Times online edition:


Friend who 'helped Nazis'


A SURVIVOR of the massacre of more than 2,000 Jews in Domachevo told a court yesterday that his childhood friend, Anthony Sawoniuk, had turned into a cruel man of power once he became a policeman after the Nazis invaded the village. Mr Sawoniuk, 77, of southeast London, who later became a British Rail inspector, denies four charges of murder after the German occupation in 1941 of his village, which is now in Belarus. Yesterday Ben-Zion Blustein, 76, who had flown from Israel for the Old Bailey trial and spoke in Hebrew through an interpreter, related the horrors of life in the ghetto.

He said that before the war he had known Mr Sawoniuk when they were at school together. "He used to breed pigeons and we used to play and run along the streets."

But when Mr Sawoniuk became a policeman, "he became a man of power - a master, a lord - and I was a Jew. He had taken away from me all the rights that a person needs to live. He behaved cruelly towards whom he wanted to." Mr Blustein was answering questions from John Nutting, QC, for the prosecution.

Mr Blustein escaped the massacre by hiding in a pit under his home. He told the court that he witnessed Mr Sawoniuk and other policemen beat a girl and drag her to the police station after she tried to smuggle potatoes into the ghetto. The case continues.

-- straw berry (strawberry9@worldnet.att.net), February 24, 1999


Straw berry,

"Mr Blustein escaped the massacre by hiding in a pit under his home." Yuk. Yuk. Yukky.

I recently read a book called Stella. (Simon & Schuster 1992) written by. Peter Wyden.

It was about Stella Goldschlag, whom Wyden referred to as 'the Marilyn Monroe of Goldschmidt School'.

She was a Jew in Hitlers Germany. Not the best position to be in. Her parents tried & failed to get exit visas. They were ultimately arrested and she turned into an informant. The author knew her from school, but was wealthy enough to emigrate to the U.S.

She used her looks, sex, whatever it took to survive. She turned in many people she knew from school (friends) & her neighborhood, arguably sending them to their deaths.

At the end of the war she was arrested & tried by Russia and spent ten years in a Soviet Work Camp. Upon her release, she was publicly tried again (more than once) in a German media blitz. She never served another day in prison.

It was a facinating book which revealed a side of WWII, I had never learned about. MANY people Jew & Gentile betrayed 'friends' and even 'family' , sending them to their deaths.

Although there is the equally mysterious side (not really covered in this book), in which people risked their own lives and families to save/hide others during this same time period. Some of them went to Concentration Camps for their actions. Some lived to tell the tale, such as; Corrie TenBoom who wrote The Hiding Place. This short book is jam packed with experience, although it is unapologetically Christian, which may be a turn off for some people.

Human Beings are fascinating.

-- Deborah (reads@too.much), February 24, 1999.

High on my wish list: to see Stella and people like her face trial, not in Russia or Germany, but in Israel. How come the Mossad hasn't nabbed her yet? Aren't Jewish collaborators treated like other war criminals?

-- nope (cant@understand.it), February 24, 1999.


Actually, that was covered in the book Stella. Israel did have a panel called the "Courts of Honor" oftentimes held in all places; former Concentration Camps, which investigated 'war crimes' and such. They were amazingly lenient with any type of penalty . The punishments would be things such as, excommunication & witholding modest aid available for Holocost survivors permanently or for a short period of time. It seemed to be enough to have their guilt decided upon & on record.

To quote the Author: "...the Jewish courts went to remarkable lengths to weigh judgement fairly, and their treatment of the accused was astonishingly lenient."


-- Deborah (strong@people.com), February 25, 1999.

Wow. Talk about a double standard, they'd see to it (and rightly so) that Germans got punished for doing such things, but it was OK if their own did it to them? Something's VERY wrong with this picture. More like "Court of Dis-Honor"...

Brings to mind a story a friend told me. A close friend of his, who's Jewish, decided to move with his wife to Israel. He lasted about 6 months before he had to move back to the states. The reason? He had no problems with the people, but his wife was a Sefardic (sp?) Jew, and apparently was treated very badly. They wouldn't even let her in the same restaurant or hotel as him, in some cases... basically, she was treated like an Arab. I'm mystified by this... I had no idea that segregation was practiced in Israel. Can anyone confirm this?

-- puzzled (is@this.true?), February 25, 1999.

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