Archive for the ‘eye-witnesses not always believed’ Category

People prefer comforting lies than harsh truth

April 24, 2011

But on 3 September 1941 a Jewish woman arrived in the city, bandaged, barefoot, and with dishevelled hair. Her name was Sonia. In the street she spoke to a Jewish doctor, Meir Mark Dvorjetsky – she had come she said from Ponary. No, it was not a labour camp, and then she told the doctor her story:     Corpses at  Rainiai  “She and her two children had been among the Jews seized, imprisoned and then taken out of the city on 31 August – how they were brought to Ponary, how Jews were trying to reckon with their own consciences, how they were trying to confess their sins before death, how she had heard shots and saw blood and fell.”      As the doctor later recalled:     She was among the corpses up to sunset and then she heard the wild shoutings of those who carried out the murder. She somehow or other managed to get out of the heaps of corpses, she got to the barbed wire entanglements – she managed to cross them and she found a common Polish peasant woman who bandaged her wounds, gave her flowers and said, “Run away from here, but carry flowers as if you were a common peasant, so that they shouldn’t recognise that you are a Jewess.”     And then she came to me. She un-wrapped the bandage and I saw the wound. I saw the hole from the bullet and in the hole there were ants creeping. Dvorjetsky hurried to a gathering of Vilna Jews to tell them the story. “This is not a labour camp where you’re going to be sent to, he said. “This is something else.”     But they could not believe him – “You are the one who is a panic monger,” they replied. “Instead of encouraging us, instead of consoling us, you are telling us cock-and-bull stories about extermination. How is it possible that the Jews will be simply taken and shot.”

Martin Gilbert, Holocaust, pp.193-4

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