Tag Archives: Italy

And the DOPA goes to….

n-ITALY-largeIt is my great honor to give the Dove of Peace award to Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.   I couldn’t wait with this one. When I read that a European nation took such real and decisive action against anti-Semitism I knew this was something special.  I commend the Italian government as a whole since it may have been one Minister enforcing policy, but he’s the man who took the action so he’s the one I’m giving the credit.  The expulsion was as a result of the following comment by Raoudi Aldelbar in reference to the Jewish people: “Oh Allah, count them one by one and kill them all.”

Minister Alfano said the following:

“Uttering anti-Semitic sermons that explicitly incite violence and sectarian hatred is unacceptable. May my decision in this case be a warning to all those who think you can preach hatred in Italy.”

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FOR BEING A POLITICIAN THAT BACKED UP HIS GOOD WORDS WITH ACTIONS, SOMETHING WE DON’T OFTEN SEE, MINISTER ALFANO GETS A HOLLANDS HEROES THANK YOU AND A DOPA!

dove of peaceIf you have anyone you want to nominate for future DOPAs please feel free to leave a comment on this page.

 

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Europe 1940 to Euro 2012

Whenever possible, Holland’s Heroes attempts to take current events and link it to the story in Jew Face.  Sometimes it is an obvious connection, sometimes it is a stretch requiring imagination, and occasionally it is a connection that in its insignificance is mildly entertaining and sometimes even funny or ironic.  This particular post falls into that last category.

Over the next 5 days the champion for Euro 2012 International Football(soccer) tournament will be crowned.  The semifinal matches are as follows.  Today, Spain against Portugal.  Tomorrow, Germany against Italy.

The book Jew Face is the story of my parents Nardus and Sipora Groen, primarily surrounding the events taking place between 1940-1945.  My mother’s maiden name was Rodrigues-Lopes.  A Dutch Jew from Spanish-Portuguese descent, my mother spent 5 years either hiding or running from the Nazi killing machine with the help of my father Nardus Groen.  This book chronicles the events that took place as they lived through the time when Germany occupied Holland.  One of Germany’s allies during World War II; Italy.

I think the irony is obvious.  The not so obvious question, seeing as these countries are very different countries today is, who would I like to see win this thing.  I will keep that answer to myself.  At least for today.


The Holocaust made simple

Recently I’ve engaged in conversation with numerous people regarding the book Jew Face and in doing so something struck me as somewhat concerning.  I have found that there are many intelligent, moderately educated people who do not have a basic knowledge of what took place in Europe between 1933-1945 and the subsequent Holocaust that resulted in the death of 6 million Jews.  As a result I decided to put together this post as a quick guide for those I come across who wish to know more and for anyone else who wishes to use this as a reference for anyone they encounter with a similar need for basic information.

It starts with World War I.  The first Great War took place between 1914-1918.  Germany was one of the major aggressors in Europe, and by the time they were defeated by the Allied forces that consisted of Britain, France, and the United States, among others, the German army was brought to its knees and the country’s economy was left in shambles.  Recovery was slow and with the great worldwide depression of the 1930s, poverty and discontent was on the rise all over Europe.  Conditions were ideal for revolutions.  Spain and Italy both went the direction of fascist dictatorships, and in Germany, an Austrian born ex-Corporal in the German Army by the name of Adolph Hitler would seize the opportunity and rise to leadership.  He would rise to power as leader of the Nationalist Socialist party, better known as the Nazi party, which would become the ruling party of Germany in 1933.

Hitler would rule his nation as an absolute dictator and would be known as and referred to as “the Fuhrer”.  The German masses would follow him with a degree of commitment and hysteria unlike any seen in history.  Hitler felt that the Germans were a master race, and that any nation or people not of pure German blood would be an obstacle to his goal.  Germany’s Nazi party would invade and occupy much of Europe and would continue fighting on numerous fronts as it attempted to achieve worldwide domination and the formation of this master race.

At the time this was happening, the majority of the worldwide Jewish population was in Europe, primarily Poland, Russia, and Hungary.  Hitler would use the Jews as a rallying point around which he would motivate his people through hate, blaming them for the misfortunes of the German people and accusing International Jewry of being the force behind an imminent World War.  When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, for all intents and purposes, not only did World War II begin, but what was to be known as The Holocaust would begin as well.  By 1941, with the implementation of what was to be known as the “Final Solution”, no Jew in Europe was safe.  Although anti-Semitism had been in full force for some time in Germany, once the Nazis invaded and occupied countries all over Europe, they would set out to capture, deport, and murder as many Jews as possible.  Death camps and Concentration camps were set up in various countries where Jewish people would be killed in Gas Chambers or shot en masse by firing squads.  The most infamous of all these camps was Auschwitz which was located in Poland.  The Nazis would not only kill these people, they would strip them of all their possessions, starve them, torture them, conduct medical experiments on them, rape them, and force them to do hard labor sometimes until they died in the process.  Hitler’s Nazi Germany was responsible for the death of millions of Russians, Poles, gypsies, and anyone else not considered by their standards to be a viable part of the future master race.  Nothing however represented the horrors and evil committed by Nazi Germany more than the fate of the Jewish people.  By the time it would be over in 1945, the Holocaust would result in the death of 6 million Jews.

There are a lot more details to the history, but for those who do not know what happened, it is my hope that this will provide you with a foundation on which to not only learn more but to identify the signs of evil rising up again.