Saturday, September 22, 2007

Auschwitz on my mind: a conversation between twodescendants of Holocaust survivors

my father Dr.Stefan Felix Bornstein and I in Sydney ,Australia - excerpt of document published years ago on the Internet about Jacob, RaoulWallenberg and Kalman Lauer,my mother's brother in law.

Dear Miriam
I just read Tears are not Enough Yes,it is that exact feeling that only we can feel.Our heavy load,that we carry in us and not able to get rid of or want to get rid of.
We are the voice of the dead,whether we chose to talk or be silent. And we cannot be silent.And should not be silent.
We have an intractable pain. Only ours.Cannot share with no one as much as we cry or scream.
Many,many years ago,I created a fantastic story,a surreal tale,which I until today was not able to get published.
I turned the story into a puppet theater,staged the play and still have a dream to see my work out in the world.
It is called The Fantastic Stefan and his Carroteers.There is a poster on
My artwork until my father's death was always very dark and sad.
I would draw alienation,solitude and death as I watched my father,who had a brilliant mind and unusual joie de vivre,as well as my mother,despite the impossible and grueling hardship we endured.
When I saw him breathe his last,holding his hands I swore to nevermore create art that would make people sad.
On the next day I went to the mortuary in the hospital where he lay motionless and swore that from now on I will use only colors.
My mother was like that too.She would even wonder about her way of looking at life.
Maybe it was pure escapism. As one day she told me that,when she was in Auschwitz,her mind could not take anymore the pain,so she turned off.
And of course was beaten by a kapo.
This time is also a very sad one for me
as my father died in Brazil,where we were living on September 29
1967,when I was 17 years old,leaving me and my mother,after years
of watching him slowly battling for his life.
We were three only and now only two.
After posting the images,later on I was revulsed and upset,as I
live with that holocaust under my skin forever.
So much so,that my sons cannot deal anymore with the intensity.

I have for years researched as I still did not get to the point of
one of my targets: Raoul Wallenberg,who I am sure you are aware of.
Wallenberg was a partner of Kalman Lauer, my mother's brother in
law and covering for him, as he could not run his business in
Hungary being a Jew.
According to my findings Raoul,was hiding in Zurich,after 1944(did
not disappear as the rumors prevail) and then lived in Krakow in my
mother's apartment and property.
After coming out from Auschwitz my mother went to Zurich and was
not allowed to stay in her sister in law's place: "Because the
Swede involved with helping Jews to escape was there."...) and then she
was not able to return to her home in Krakow by the legal
manoeuvres of her sister in law,which I can prove now through
documentation I found in the Archives.
About Wallenberg.
The reason of the mystery is I believe,after studying all the information so
far,is due to political and financial disclosures,involving
Sueden,America and other parties.Wallenberg is a mere scapegoat in fact,he
was a go between and Poland was under Russian occupation until 1989,thus
confounding the information of him being demised by the "Russians."
By the documents I have and the interactions of my mother's sister in law
and her daughter,one can read through .
I was able also to find a documentation by a member of the the Wallenberg s,Jacob Wallenberg
family who admits that Kalman Lauer was taking care of him .

Sooner or later my theory will come to light,I believe.

On the end we turn out to be the living ghosts,as we are full of
questions and looking forever for answers hard to be found.
How can we explain to anyone what is looming in our minds?
I remember how my mother would tell me
"How could the world
allow this horror?"

Why Raoul Wallenberg Matters -- The Does it make sense and is there any justification to insist on the truth about one man who disappeared 62 years ago?

Over time, Wallenberg has come to personify the importance of individual action and individual rights, first as a rescuer in Budapest and later, as a victim of Stalinist terror in the Soviet Union. While Raoul Wallenberg’s humanitarian achievements are widely recognized, his importance as a victim is much harder to define. In Russia alone 20 million died during World War II, about 20 million more suffered in the Gulag. Today, untold numbers all over the world endure human rights abuses; as child laborers, as sex slaves, as victims of ethnic, religious, political and domestic strife.In Europe especially, much has been done to help the next generation understand the complex dynamics of 20th century history which includes two world wars and the perfidy of the Holocaust.
Unfortunately, the “structural dilemma” of our system, as Simpson calls it, may run even deeper than we think: Our most basic form of organization for human interaction, the exchange of goods and services, is, in its fundamental nature, competitive and utilitarian, not idealistic. Free trade has unquestioningly wide benefits, but that does not make it inherently benevolent. Whatever our human instincts may be to do good, from the beginning they had to operate in a reality which was and is fundamentally amoral. As Tage Erlander saw only too clearly, this tension haunts us and to reconcile its contradictions remains our greatest challenge.

The Wallenberg case is not and was never just about the fate of one man. The question of how one balances the rights of the individual vs. the interests of the state is as current today as it ever was. For this debate alone historic truth is critical and a democratic society has to insist on full disclosure. That is precisely why Raoul Wallenberg matters so much today. One can only hope that the continued insistence on the truth will be a lasting legacy of his case.

Susanne Berger Lorraine L. Borgolini (Judisk Krönika, September 2007)
Nowhere is the tension so acutely felt as at the intersection of politics and economics.
The concept of political neutrality during World War II serves again as a case in point. Neutrality was the sine qua non for Raoul Wallenberg’s humanitarian mission, almost all of the Danish and Norwegian Jews were saved thanks to the haven they found in Sweden and by maintaining close economic relations with Nazi Germany, Sweden avoided painful occupation. But where exactly lies the distinction between forced collaboration with Nazism and blatant opportunism?

Susan Berger

Many countries are simply not in a position to stand up to this pressure. Others, like Germany are showing signs that they will not be bullied. In a 2006 interview with the German news magazine “Der Spiegel”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Human Rights representative, Guenter Nooke, summarized Germany’s position: “Even if one is dependent on Russian gas, one is free enough to insist on human rights.”Ongoing Search for Universal Values

I have been advised by Mats Staffansson and Jan Nyberg that all files on the subject of Swedish citizens missing abroad (including Russia) are open to researchers. This, unfortunately, is not true. Only documentation before 1949 is currently available. With special permission, more recent records can be viewed, but much of the material remains withdrawn.Susan Berger

NEW YORK -- While Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was saving the lives of Jews in Hungary during World War II, some of his relatives were collaborating with the Nazis, according to the World Jewish Congress.According to the documents, The Enskilda Bank, owned by Jacob and Marcus Wallenberg, Raoul's uncles, dealt in large black-market operations, money laundering and concealing German investments in the United States.The documents also contain evidence disproving the belief in some circles that Marcus Wallenberg was on the side of the Allies. He traveled to the United States in 1940 on behalf of German interests to buy back a block of German securities being held by America, according to the documents.The disclosed information about the collaboration between the Nazi regime and Marcus and Jacob Wallenberg suggests a reason for the feeble attempt to find their nephew.

Gustaf, one of André’s sons, was the paternal grandfather of Raoul Wallenberg, whose own father died before he was born in Stockholm in 1912.
Although Wallenberg was not part of the family’s inner circle, his upbringing was like that of the “crown princes.” He, too, traveled and studied abroad, learning several languages and making valuable contacts. Like the others, he was taught a sense of responsibility for his work and for his country.
Unsuccessful as an entrepreneur and bored with the family bank, he was a disappointment to the family until the opportunity arose to rescue what the author terms “the tattered remnants of European Jewry.”
Wallenberg volunteered to save the Hungarian relatives of his Jewish employer, Kalman Lauer. He was likely inspired by his older cousins. Jacob Wallenberg, who would later participate in a plot to kill Hitler, helped some Jews escape from Germany in 1941. Ebba Wallenberg Bonde devoted herself to helping European refugees and “children who were persecuted because of their race.”
As an attaché of the Swedish Embassy, Wallenberg was sent to Budapest in 1944 by the U.S. War Refugee Board and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. “Wallenberg broke all rules of conventional diplomacy,” writes Bartal. “He bribed and lied to Gestapo and Hungarian military officers, provided Jews with bogus passports and protection certificates which he designed himself, and even met personally with [Adolf] Eichmann, the man who engineered the worst mass-killing in the history of mankind.”

(In 1945 Wallenberg was captured by the Russians and imprisoned in a series of jails and mental hospitals. Bartal treats with searing contempt the Swedish government’s timid, half-hearted efforts to find and rescue him. He places some blame on the United States, too. At first, only his family and friends made genuine efforts to find him. Later he became a cause célèbre for the West. Worldwide pressure was unsuccessfully put on the USSR to release him.) ??????????????

READ : Most likely Raoul Wallenberg at that time was in Zurich and
later on in Krakow.

The SÄPO document also brings into focus longstanding questions about the relationship between the Wallenberg family and Raoul Wallenberg. While he was not close to the family, he clearly was not as isolated from his famous relatives as it has generally been portrayed and he seems to have been especially close to Jacob Wallenberg.
According to the papers of Kalman Lauer, Raoul Wallenberg’s business partner, Jacob Wallenberg was Raoul’s “idol” and, as Lauer writes, “(Raoul) was his Private Secretary during the time he was with ‘Meropa‘.” (the Lauer/RW firm -- SB). The Wallenberg family has neither denied nor confirmed Lauer’s claim. It was through Jacob Wallenberg that Raoul obtained his position with ‘Meropa’, whose offices were located just a few doors down from Jacob’s private residence at Strandvägen 27. Jacob also provided the references for both Raoul’s Kabinettspass (issued in late 1941) and later his diplomatic passport. According to a document released by the Wallenberg archive in 2000, it was again Jacob who made a direct request to SS Abwehr Chief Walter Schellenberg for special protection of Raoul Wallenberg before he embarked on his dangerous mission to Budapest.Susan Berger

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