Friday, February 4, 2011

Giorno della Memoria 2011 - Remembrance Day

Queen Esther
by Andrea Del Castagno
(Venice, Italy) Esther by G.F. Handel was the offering for Sunday morning's official celebration of the Giorno della Memoria, presented before a full house at the Malibran Theatre on January 30th. However, this Esther was set during World War II, and did not end happily-ever-after with Esther saving the Jews from being massacred. In this version of Esther, directed by Dan Rapoport, Esther is a young woman captured by the Nazis and forced into prostitution, and ends up servicing Achashverosh, the chief of the German secret police.

Captain Haman, second in command, is a brutal SS officer, determined to kill Esther's uncle, Mordechai, because he refuses to bow to Haman, saying he bows only to God. Haman decides to eliminate Mordechai and all Jews by ordering their destruction. Esther works up her courage and reveals Haman's plot, asking Aschashverosh to save her people. Aschashverosh, who is in love with Esther, says it will be Haman who falls. But in this version, set in 1939, Haman is not destroyed by Aschashverosh. In this version, the brutal SS officer Captain Haman strangles Esther to death.

With images from World War II projected on the screen behind the musicians and the singers, it made the experience a deeply moving one. To see the faces of innocent children... to see official documents... to see Jews forced to wear the Star of David on their clothes... to see the deliberate humiliation and defamation of character, the isolation, the propaganda...

I have become consumed by the Holocaust, riveted with a kind of horrible fascination that such atrocities actually happened such a short time ago. Part of this fascination has to do with my own quest to understand the horrific experiences that I have recently survived on a personal level. Most people live their lives in blissful ignorance, and never have to look Evil in the face. I certainly kept myself innocent -- in fact, I had deliberately stopped watching television or reading the newspaper for about ten years because I found the violent images of war unbearable to watch. Oh, I understood on an intellectual level that crimes against humanity had been committed, and were still being committed every day. But it seemed far away, in other country, another world, another time; certainly the United States of America would never be involved in crimes against humanity...

Then Evil literally broke down my door and demanded my attention. One thing I have learned about Evil is that it hates the light. Evil creatures like to crawl around under the surface like cockroaches, planting  dark thoughts into the minds of innocents, twisting the truth, lying, cheating, using violence, intimidation, manipulation, threats. It goes on "anonymous" character assassination missions and whisper campaigns. It forces you to be constantly on the defense, fighting unnamed phantoms against unknown allegations. If Evil does use names, the credentials are often ambiguous. But if you shine the light on Evil, it starts scurrying around, trying to cover-up its despicable behavior. And then you have a chance to catch it.

From Wikipedia:

A whispering campaign or whisper campaign is a method of persuasion in which damaging rumors or innuendo are spread about the target, while the source of the rumors seeks to avoid being detected while spreading them (for example, a political campaign might distribute anonymous flyers attacking the other candidate). It is generally considered unethical in open societies, particularly in matters of public policy. The speed and anonymity of communication made possible by modern technologies like the Internet has increased public awareness of whisper campaigns and their ability to succeed. This phenomenon has also led to the failure of whisper campaigns, as those seeking to prevent them are able to publicize their existence much more readily than in the past.

Here in Europe, there is a differentiation between the word "Holocaust" and the Hebrew word "Shoah." From Wikipedia:

The term holocaust comes from the Greek word holókauston, an animal sacrifice offered to a god in which the whole (holos) animal is completely burnt (kaustos).[10] Its Latin form (holocaustum) was first used with specific reference to a massacre of Jews by the chroniclers Roger of Howden[11] and Richard of Devizes in England in the 1190s. For hundreds of years, the word "holocaust" was used in English to denote massive sacrifices and great slaughters or massacres. During World War II, the word was used to describe Nazi atrocities regardless of whether the victims were Jews or non-Jews. Since the 1960s, the term has come to be used by scholars and popular writers to refer exclusively to the genocide of Jews.[4]
The term entered common parlance after 1978, the year that the popular mini-series Holocaust was broadcast on the American NBC television network. The series proved that the subject matter could have popular appeal, as well as providing a convenient and enduring term.[12]
The biblical word Shoah (שואה) (also spelled Sho'ah and Shoa), meaning "calamity", became the standard Hebrew term for the Holocaust as early as the 1940s, especially in Europe and Israel.[13] Shoah is preferred by many Jews for a number of reasons, including the theologically offensive nature of the word "holocaust", which they take to refer to the Greek pagan custom.[14]
Hitler and Mussolini in Venice
I prefer to use the word "Shoah" when speaking about the deliberate targeting of Jews for extermination, and the word "Holocaust" for all the atrocities the Nazis committed during World War II. Because they did not only target Jews. They also targeted:  "RomaniSoviet prisoners of warPolish and Soviet civilians, homosexualspeople with disabilitiesJehovah's Witnesses and other political and religious opponents, which occurred whether they were of German or non-German ethnic origin.[6]

Why did Hitler do such a thing? According to Wikipedia:

Prior to the beginning of World War II, during a speech given on January 30, 1939 (the six year anniversary of his accession to power), Hitler foretold the coming Holocaust of European Jewry when he said:

"Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!"[3][4][5]
It is pure insanity. You cannot exterminate an entire race because you don't want the Jewish bankers to start another war. That is not the solution, even though it was called "The Final Solution." Hitler was angry because he blamed the Jewish bankers for the deaths of too many Germans:
"In his diary entry of December 13, 1941, the day after Hitler’s private speech, Joseph Goebbels wrote:
"Regarding the Jewish Question, the Führer is determined to clear the table. He warned the Jews that if they were to cause another world war, it would lead to their own destruction. Those were not empty words. Now the world war has come. The destruction of the Jews must be its necessary consequence. We cannot be sentimental about it. It is not for us to feel sympathy for the Jews. We should have sympathy rather with our own German people. If the German people have to sacrifice 160,000 victims in yet another campaign in the east, then those responsible for this bloody conflict will have to pay for it with their lives."[6] 

What sense does that make? You do not stick a Star of David on a small child, corral them onto a train, force them to do hard labor or use them for human experimentation and then kill them to get the international bankers to stop manipulating wars. What about the homosexuals? What about the Jehovah Witnesses, etc? Speaking as a blue-eyed white-skinned Christian female of German descent who has been tortured by creatures of this ilk -- that ain't the reason

To me, it doesn't matter if six million Jews died or one Jew died. 
Torture is against the rules. 
From the United Nations

and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment

Part I

Article 1

  1. For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
  2. This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.
To read the entire UN Convention, click HERE.

Let's look at that list of undesirables again. Jews and homosexuals. (The gays had to wear pink triangles. If you were Jewish and a homosexual, you got a pink and yellow star.) I have been involved for most of my life in the arts. Before moving to Venice, I lived most of my life in New York City and Los Angeles. Which means that I have spent most of my life surrounded by Jews and homosexuals, so I am speaking from personal experience when I say that they are the kindest, most generous and most compassionate people I have ever known. I even had a Jewish "mother," Lois Eckstein, who treated me like the daughter she never had. I loved her deeply, and was heartbroken when she died. I used to work with the elderly and the handicapped. The maternal side of my family is of Polish descent. I never knew many Soviets, and I don't know any Jehovah's Witnesses at all, and can't even imagine why they are on the list.

In other words, "they" think that a lot of the people I know are expendable. How boring would the world be without us! What fun are all the bad guys going to have after they exterminate all the good guys? What are they going to do with themselves to pass the time? To me, the only reason anyone would work for the CIA is because their own lives are too boring. Instead of being simply a court reporter, you get to be a "spy" court reporter. Instead of simply being a physical therapist, you get to be a "spy" physical therapist.

In any event, after reading several sides of the argument, I am convinced that the Jews were deliberately targeted by the Nazis for extermination. Many cultures have been targeted for extermination throughout the history of mankind, but the Jews won't let it go. They say, "Look at this. This really happened. Here are the photos. Here is the art. Here is the music. Here are the stories. Here are the people. Here are photos of the sadists that tortured innocent human beings, and nobody did anything to stop it. We are going to make museums about this. We are going to write operas and make movies and we are not going to let this disappear. We are going to name names." 

In this respect, I am very "Jewish." I will never let what happened to me go, either, especially when it involves the US "State Department" torturing one of their own citizens. No. I am not going to let that go, William R. Gill, Megan H. Jones, Sara Jane Boyers, and Steven R. Boyers. (The irony is that Sara Jane Boyers and Steven R. Boyers are both Jewish with two adopted children.)

One thing I have always believed is that the truth sounds different. It rings.

Hans Michael Rascher, one of the people involved my personal story is little known, but his half-brother, Sigmund, is notorious, and his handiwork fits perfectly with the theme of this post about the Holocaust. From Wikipedia:

A cold water immersion experiment at
Dachau concentration camp
presided over by
Professor Ernst Holzlohner (left) and
Dr.Sigmund Rascher (right).
The subject is wearing an experimental Luftwaffe garment

Sigmund Rascher, M.D. (born February 12, 1909 in Munich, executed April 26,1945 in the Dachau concentration camp) was a German SS doctor.

His deadly experiments on humans, planned and executed in the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, were judged inhumane and criminal during the Nuremberg Trials.
To read the Wikipedia article, click HERE.

Michael Rascher often spoke about his half-brother, Sigmund; in fact, he had a photo of him on his bureau in Merano. Michael Rascher was in contact with John-Henry Bowden, the former Chaplain of the Anglican Church in Venice, another active participant my personal story. Both men have since vanished, John-Henry Bowden apparently back to the UK, Michael Rascher apparently into the tomb. I got a bizarre phone call on March 29, 2010 at 2:08PM from a woman informing me that Michael Rascher had died in Munich. I do not know if this is true. 
This is one of my favorite stories about Sigmund Rascher because, after knowing Michael Rascher, the physical description is eerily similar, even though they had different mothers. From Scrapbook Pages:
"In his book entitled "The Venlo Incident," Captain Sigismund Payne Best wrote the following regarding a conversation he had with Dr. Rascher while both were prisoners at Buchenwald:

Next morning when I went to wash, there was a little man with a ginger moustache in the lavatory who introduced himself as Dr. Rascher saying that he was half English and that his mother was related to the Chamberlain family. When I told him my name he was much interested saying that he knew about my case and that he had also met Stevens (R. H. Stevens was another British intelligence agent who had been arrested along with Payne Best.) when he was medical officer in Dachau. ... He was a queer fellow; possibly the queerest character which has ever come my way.

Almost at our first meeting he told me that he had belonged to Himmler's personal staff, and that it was he who had planned and supervised the construction of the gas chambers and was responsible for the use of prisoners as guinea pigs in medical research. Obviously he saw nothing wrong in this and considered it merely a matter of expediency. As regards the gas chambers he said that Himmler, a very kind-hearted man, was most anxious that prisoners should be exterminated in a manner which caused them least anxiety and suffering, and the greatest trouble had been taken to design a gas chamber so camouflaged that its purpose would not be apparent, and to regulate the flow of the lethal gas so that the patients might fall asleep without recognizing that they would never wake. Unfortunately, Rascher said, they had never quite succeeded in solving the problem caused by the varying resistance of different people to the effects of poison gases, and always there had been a few who lived longer than others and recognized where they were and what was happening. Rascher said that the main difficulty was that the numbers to be killed were so great that it was impossible to prevent the gas chambers being overfilled, which greatly impeded any attempts to ensure a regular and simultaneous death-rate.

It sounds like something out of a John Le Carré novel, right? I don't know if Captain Sigismund Payne Best is a credible source, but the way he describes Sigmund Rascher physically is the way I would describe Michael Rascher. 

Sigmund Rascher and his wife were arrested at one point in time before they were assassinated, but not for human experimentation, which they often did together. They were arrested for illegally adopting children:
"Dr. Sigmund Rascher had conducted medical experiments for the Luftwaffe at Dachau, starting in May 1942, with the consent and approval of Himmler. Then in May 1944, Dr. Rascher and his wife were arrested because they had illegally adopted a child and registered it as their own, according to an affidavit signed by Dr. Friedrich Karl Rascher, the uncle of Dr. Sigmund Rascher, which was entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT." 
Click HERE to read more.

[While re-reading this on September 11, 2014, I discovered that the links I posted three years ago have been dismantled. To read more about Dr. Sigmund Rascher, now click HERE. To this day, I stand by everything I wrote in this post.]

Even more horrific is the medical experiments on twins performed by Josef Mengele. From Wikipedia:
He seemed particularly keen on working with Romani children. He would bring them sweets and toys, and personally take them to the gas chamber. They would call him "Onkel Mengele".[45]Vera Alexander was a Jewish inmate at Auschwitz who looked after 50 sets of Romani twins:
I remember one set of twins in particular: Guido and Ina, aged about four. One day, Mengele took them away. When they returned, they were in a terrible state: they had been sewn together, back to back, like Siamese twins. Their wounds were infected and oozing pus. They screamed day and night. Then their parents – I remember the mother's name was Stella – managed to get some morphine and they killed the children in order to end their suffering.[45]
If you consider those horrors, it makes a little thing like having a piece of plexi-glass measuring 12mm by 40mm (more than an inch and a half long) in the shape of a dagger shoved into a deliberately-infected wound on one's right foot during a pedicure seem almost trivial. But that really happened to me on July 1, 2009, and I have got the scar tissue to prove it, along with witnesses, police reports, and hospital records. It nearly went through my foot. I have since found out that the Nazis often deliberately infected wounds. That a United States citizen, in the year 2009, should be subjected to such an atrocity, is appalling. I recently had an ultra-sound because I was still feeling pain. Apparently there is still a small fragment of glass that remains lodged above the scar tissue. That to this day the condition remains untreated is scandalous.
U.S. Consul General Deborah E. Graze, Venice Consular Agent Megan Jones,
and Northern Italy Consular Officer in Charge Donald Moore. 
I was also perplexed about why no one in my family in the States called me, or helped me, or even believed a word I said. Instead, they participated in the defamation of character campaign, going so far as to contact friends of mine they didn't even know through Facebook, telling that I had a "mental problem," and warning them not to give me money. This was at time when I was starving, and sleeping literally on the street. 

I was determined to uncover why they were behaving so far out of character, doing things they would normally never do. I recently came across the Milgram Experiment, first conducted in 1961 during the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, which explains a lot. Apparently when an authority figure -- for example, someone from the US State Department, like William R. Gill and Megan H. Jones, or Los Angeles attorneys like Sara Jane Boyers and Steven R. Boyers -- instructs an ordinary citizen -- like a member of my family -- the authority figure can easily convince an average citizen to do something that conflicts with their conscience -- even inflict extreme pain on total strangers. (To this day, I do not know what fabricated story my family has been told because they have been instructed not to tell me, nor send me documents. I have confirmed, however, that the names I have listed -- William R. Gill, Megan H. Jones, Sara Jane Boyers and Steven R. Boyers -- are actively involved.)

The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' [participants'] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' [participants'] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.
Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.[3]
To read about the Milgram Experiment, click HERE.

Sara Jane Boyers in 2005
Old photo of
Sara Jane Boyers
That I first encountered Sara Jane Boyers in 1996 at the Society of Children Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in Los Angeles is alarming. That same year, Erzsi Deak established the SCBWI branch in Paris, France, and I won the very first Sue Alexander "Most Promising New Work Award" for Harley, Like a Person, which was then called Zee. The prize was a trip to New York City and meetings with three editors. Instead of staying in hotel, I stayed in apartment owned by Sara Jane Boyers, and the SCBWI paid her. Looking back, I see that Sara Jane Boyers has interfered with nearly every aspect of my life, both on a professional and personal level since that time. Now that Sara Jane Boyers, Steven R. Boyers, William R. Gill and Megan H. Jones have gone so far as to interfere with my family, deliberately lying, distorting the truth and giving them false information about me, they have gone too far. 

Steven R. Boyers, Attorney at Law
The atrocities of the Holocaust happened just a short time ago, during the World War II. The atrocities of the Holocaust are still happening today. If the USA has included outspoken blue-eyed females of German descent who do not blindly obey authority -- a writer who encourages young people to be creative and use their imagination, and make their way out of the suburbs -- if someone like me has been added to their list of undesirables, the world should be very afraid.  

Megan H. Jones
& the US Flag
UPDATE: May 26, 2011. I just got off the phone with Megan Jones of the US State Department. I listened to how I "won't accept reality" and how she prevented the Italian police from arresting me the day that John-Henry Bowden assaulted me at the Anglican Church on July 19, 2009! It is an outrageous lie. The Italian police had no intention of arresting me since I had not committed any crime whatsoever; instead they were frustrated by the United States repeatedly blocking Italy's efforts to protect me. Apparently the USA is still sticking by their fantasy that I am "mentally disturbed," that they have done everything in their power to help me, and all their generous efforts have gone unappreciated by me. Newsflash: There were no weapons of mass destruction.

To Megan H. Jones, US State Department: Can you please explain to the world why Catherine Ann Bauer's United States passport No. 039706546, which expires on May 15, 2016, has been locked inside her apartment at San Polo 622, Venezia since June 11, 2010 and the US State Department is doing absolutely nothing to have it returned?

In reality, the United States of America is guilty of punitive psychiatry, something the Soviet Union was notorious for using to discredit, isolate and physically and mentally break those who were considered "troublemakers." Just as there never were any weapons of mass destruction, Catherine Ann "Cat" Bauer is not paranoid, schizophrenic, bi-polar, suicidal or any other fantasy the US might try to impose upon me. I am perfectly sane, and am not taking any medication whatsoever except aspirin. It has been nearly a year since I was injected with drugs and forced into the hospital against my will on June 11, 2010. Of course they must lie. They have committed an outrageous injustice against me, one of the their own citizens. At least Bradley Manning and Julian Assange know what they are accused of. At least Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound knew why the USA was after them. Since Sara Jane Boyers has been in my life since 1996, I can only conclude that the USA has been monitoring outspoken individuals for a long time. This, I will admit to. I am most definitely an outspoken individual, and injecting me with drugs and forcing me into the hospital against my will is not going to "break" me. Anyone who has ever known me can attest that I speak with a strong voice when I see injustice, and anyone who has been at the receiving end of this voice might join the United States government in ganging up against me -- including members of my own family. 

That the USA is trampling all over the US Constitution, the UN Convention Against Torture and Italian law in their attempt to defame and discredit me, a legal Italian resident who has committed no crime, is an outrage.

From the Washington Post:

Journalists attacked by mobs, detained in Cairo

"This is a dark day for Egypt and a dark day for journalism," said Joel Simon, the group's executive director. "Egypt is seeking to create an information vacuum that puts it in the company of the world's worst oppressors."

The New York Times reported that two of the most prominent U.S. television journalists covering the protests, evening news anchors Katie Couric of CBS and Brian Williams of NBC, have left Egypt. Couric returned to New York and Williams was to anchor his show from Jordan, the Times reported on its media blog.

UPDATE: As of February 22, 2011, the February 3, 2011 Washington Post story seems to have disappeared. Here is a similar story from CNS NEWS.COM.

From Foreign Policy Magazine:

It's sword versus pen on the bloody streets of Cairo.


There's really only one reason to attack journalists -- if you don't want them to report their observations to the outside world. Although the protesters occupying Tahrir Square on Thursday had a relatively peaceful day, the sudden wave of attacks against journalists has fueled concerns that there's a tsunami coming -- something the government and its supporters don't want the world to see.
But Mubarak and his supporters should also be concerned. The forces they're unleashing will not be so easy to contain again. The paranoia and xenophobia I witnessed on Thursday were unlike anything I've seen from the Egyptian people in 13 years of covering this country. For a country that depends heavily on a steady flow of foreign tourists, turning the Egyptian people against the outside world could have catastrophic long-term consequences.

I love that title, "The Day of Hunting Journalists" because that is exactly what it feels like -- that you are being hunted. Venice, too, depends on a steady flow of foreign tourists. And I most definitely enjoy writing more about the art and culture of Venice than about the US State Department, and the deranged people who work with them like Sara Jane and Steven R. Boyers. 

Ciao from Venice,

1 comment:

  1. Esther by G.F. Handel was the offering for Sunday morning's official celebration of the Giorno della Memora, presented before a full house at the Malibran Theatre on January 30th. However, this Esther was set during World War II, and did not end happily-ever-after with Esther saving the Jews from being massacred. In this version of Esther, directed by Dan Rapoport, Esther is a young woman captured by the Nazis and forced into prostitution, and ends up servicing Achashverosh, the chief of the German secret police.