Remembering Those Who Suffered and Those Who Saved on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Never forget.

Remembering the time I spent in Poland in the gas chambers, on the rail tracks and with brave Christians that saved Jews from death. Here are some images and memories I dug up from an old blog post recounting that experience:

Boarded the plane immediately for a long flight to Poland. We were about to stare evil in the eye.

Having Tania and my four children near me made this pensive flight more bearable. My family slept, read and laughed over the next 12 hours. Tania finished "The Hiding Place" by Corrie ten Boom. I had finished it the week before and now was reading all I could to understand the mindset of the Germans, Poles and those rounded up during the seemingly never ending years of the Holocaust. I have never had more nightmares.

I didn’t want to step on that blood soaked land. The sun went down and rose again just as we were about to land. I had slept very little and I was getting sick. By the time we landed I was feverish and exhausted. My body was playing self-defense.

We dropped my family off at the hotel. The children slept for a few hours and then went to the zoo. The adults however would not see their pillows as we had much to do.

Our first stop was the only operating synagogue in Warsaw. It was as rainy, cold and as gray as I had imagined a former Soviet country. I met with the Chief Rabbi of Poland. We had an amazing conversation. And while I was still 18 hours away from the gates, Auschwitz loomed over all of us.

Later, I met with local university students to talk about history, the future and courage.

Always being rushed, never having enough time, I slowed us down again in the Warsaw Ghetto. I couldn’t get over the size of the wall. I tried to imagine the people, sights, sounds and emotions on both sides of that wall. I don’t think there is a better example of the theory of “out of sight, out of mind” --- at least for those on the other side of this wall.

We reflected at a memorial to those lost, ironically, built out of the stone cut for the intended use by Hitler commemorating his Victory. The Lord has a way of making all those who work against Him and His people into Haman of the Old Testament.

Tired, emotionally spent and with my neuropathy finding it’s own again, we arrived at the airport where we had landed just eleven hours earlier. Tomorrow promised the best and worst of humanity.

The first thing you notice in Warsaw is how new everything is --- and also how many ugly gray buildings from the communist years still remain. This is not a country that has seen much prosperity or happiness, at least politically speaking. After the Germans occupied and destroyed the country, their own people and almost all of the Jewish population, they were freed by Stalin’s thugs. They then turned around and did the same thing just with a different attitude and uniform. People still feel the strings a soviet puppet.

Yet the new generation is glorifying the old ways once again. The number of Soviet images you see around out number --- by FAR --- the number of clubs or public images of the Founders in Philadelphia (not including those paid for by the state.)

Freedom is so rare in the history of this planet --- most humans have never tasted it. And those who enjoy the most freedom now are oblivious to not only its scarcity in human history but how fragile and fleeting it really is. Men are at their best when free and closest to the backside of real want. Today, the meaning of want has been carelessly reduced to ‘free wifi’ or the latest Apple gadget. The empty ‘things’ we want are now referred to as things we need.

I wanted to find people who have lived the difference. And I did.

I was expecting to meet two people today before the tour of the camp that understood the difference between want and need --- and also understood duty, honor, compassion and faith. One was a little old lady who just wanted to tell her story. She wanted no credit, no pats on the back, no money, no glory, no nothing --- except to be heard.

She was even hesitant to have her picture taken --- which explains why many of our pictures of her came out like this:

She saved her first Jewish person when she was just 16. Jewish people were only allowed to eat under 300 calories a day, that’s equal to a little more than a bottle of soda. When a hungry Jewish child begged her for food, she told her to meet her the next day. She could have been killed for helping. But did it anyway --- and fed many hungry, starving Jews, saving their lives. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg...

After that overwhelming experience, we slept hard for 6 hours. At the crack of dawn, we are up and fed and ready to hit the road. While this trip was filled with horrifying, unimaginable evil --- there were also moments of light. Like this one taken on a bus in the morning:

Take a good look at that picture. Look closely at our faces. Remember that look --- that was the morning. Tomorrow, you are going to see what just a HALF DAY touring Auschwitz did to those faces. We leave the two small children behind. We will meet them at the airport later. This day will be hard enough to process as an adult.

First stop in Krakow to the grave site of one of the most important rabbis in Jewish history. He was responsible for compiling Jewish law. His grave was meant to be destroyed by the Germans --- just one of the many despicable habits they had --- but as a German solider approached the grave, lightening hit the surrounding fence, jumped to the German’s bayonet and threw him back.

It scared the rest of the soldiers enough that they just left it alone, under a tree. But it didn’t scare them away from the other grave stones... They had plans for the others.

It’s hard to wrap your mind around the evil that goes into something like this. At first glance, this looks like an ordinary stone wall. But this is a wall made entirely of broken headstones:

Many of them have the hands of the Aaronic priesthood blessings. I later found out they not only built the wall, but the destroyed cemeteries and headstones were used for sidewalks! It was overwhelming to see this --- the evil --- they just did not view Jews as human beings. I just kept thinking --- how do people become that evil?

I think I understand EVIL and GOOD more than I ever have before... and the day is just beginning...

Next, Tania and I visited a beautiful synagogue used during the war as a horse stable. Yes, a horse stable. It is in the town much of ‘Schindler’s List’ was filmed. This was a brave community --- they built the synagogue in the 1800s right next to the street. Unusual from a people that feel as though they should almost hide from those that are not Jewish.

Also, my understanding of why Israel is so crucial to not just the Middle East --- but to the entire world --- the best way to prevent another holocaust from happening again is becoming clearer.

When we visited a small town, what appeared to be a grassy field actually turned out to be a stone wall. The remains of a moat from the 1400’s. There was a fire in the town --- and the Jews were being blamed for starting it. The King, who loved the Jews, gave them this part of the town and built the moat, thinking it would keep them safe. The safety only lasted while the King was alive.

THAT’S why it’s so important that Israel is allowed and capable of defending themselves, not through charity or any other country or the U.N. --- because it WILL NOT LAST.

Tomorrow... Auschwitz.

I knew that this day was going to be tough. But other than close, personal tragedies we’ve experienced in our own lives, our day at Auschwitz is hands down the most emotionally difficult thing I’ve ever experienced. If you have been here you know that you will never experience anything like it in your life. Never. I was prepared for something horrifying --- but now I know there is nothing that could ever adequately prepare you for this place...

We had barely made it through half the day, saw the trains and a few other things --- and already the emotion has hit us like a ton of bricks.

And you can see it on our faces:

No matter how many motion pictures you’ve seen or books you’ve read --- you’ve NEVER seen evil like this before. My whole family was afraid to go to Auschwitz, and there’s solid justification for that fear. This history will hit even the most apathetic creature right to the core. But we held each other up --- here’s a picture of our family moments before we went into Auschwitz:

There are many buildings to go through. The whole atmosphere is evil --- strangely as it may seem, the grounds don’t feel evil. But it doesn’t feel good or positive in any way either. The other thing is it’s strangely void of any spirit. It’s like a dead spot on planet earth. I’ve never felt anything like it. But evil was on display at every turn. One building was full of shoes, suitcases, glasses, gold teeth and more. The items were stripped off their victims and redistributed to German citizens.

Each represents a person, a person who was face to face with perhaps the biggest evil the world has ever seen. I was already overwhelmed at this point, but there was another room I hadn’t visited yet. It would be the room that broke me up and pushed me over the edge.

This room was filled with prosthetics and braces — worn into the chambers and later taken off the dead bodies. This was all that was left over:

What remained were only the ones NOT good enough to send to Germans to pass on to their kids and relatives. This was just a fraction of the carnage. My question was --- why didn’t anyone bother to ask where all the free shoes were coming from? The Germans didn’t know? Or was it they just didn’t want to know?

That’s when my daughter just couldn’t take it any longer. She turned around and left the gates. It was extremely painful to watch. But I couldn’t help but think --- if only it were so easy to leave those gates 70 years ago. This is a horrible, horrible place.

But that was just the beginning. Up next we saw the place where they did operations on women --- without anesthesia. The images were so disturbing --- even though we had complete access, everyone just knew it was time to turn the cameras off. We shot nothing. All I can tell you is no one --- and I mean no one --- said a word for several minutes after.

When the Nazi’s weren’t busy torturing prisoners and performing hideous "surgeries" --- they had another pastime: executions.

This wall was for the Polish who betrayed the Germans, and committed horrible crimes like feeding a hungry Jew. Not many Jews were executed here --- the Nazi’s felt it was a waste of resources (bullets) to use them on Jews.

We all stood outside, afraid to go into the final area: the gas chambers. By this point, we thought we knew what we were going to see. But we still had no idea.

This is the gas chamber. In the roof is the square shaft of blue light. This is where the Zyklon B was dropped.

I have always assumed that it killed relatively quickly. But when I saw this wall:

I knew I was wrong.

To stand in this room where hundreds of thousands died was horrifying. The children were always on the top of the bodies. Heroes to the end. the adults all assumed the air would be clearer higher and they tried to give these children a chance to live by holding the up close to the ceiling. It didn’t work. The gas killed everyone --- but not instantly. It took at twenty long horrific minutes. And the walls show it. Many of the children weren’t with their mom or dad, but with strangers. Oh, the special hell that awaited all those who were silent.

When I walked back behind one the execution and rape rooms --- that soldiers used for their own gratification --- there was yet another layer of evil to pile on. It was a swimming pool. Yes, just a few feet away from people (including children) being tortured and murdered --- they were outside enjoying themselves with a nice refreshing soak in the pool.

Even after the gas chamber, we couldn’t leave yet. We walked out of Auschwitz 1 and loaded a bus, tried to eat something even though none of us were hungry, and rested before heading to Birkenau.

We came to a place known as Auschwitz 2 --- many of you may know it as the camp from the film Schindler’s List. Mengele performed most of his experiments here, and almost two million people were murdered here.

We went to the gas chamber of the last camp. The crematorium was built by a private company and had been patented so, in case these acts of horror took off, only they could profit. There were two stories of crematoriums in the camp, and here is the logo of that company on one of the doors:

Aside from moments of tragedy and joy with family --- this day was the most life changing of any in my life. The only thing in my life that has been harder hitting has been the death of a family member. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, but I would wish it for my best friend --- you connect with yourself and history in a way I have never experienced.

The final picture --- a warning put there by us after communism fell. Remember, the horrors we witnessed today were held behind the Iron Curtain until the USSR fell. To me the first part of this plaque says it all:

It is true. I, like my family and probably everyone else who has ever seen this --- was left completely speechless. There’s nothing left to say.

What is your line in the sand — the point at which you take a stand and say "no"? Is it an assault on your religion? Your kids and their education? The breakdown of society? The rule of law? Is it impoverishment and the collapse of the economy?

Frighteningly, ALL of them are currently under assault, and we’re being demoralized into submission. We’re being made to look the other way in the face of evil and to accept all of it as just part of the "new normal." We were warned this would happen back in the early 1980s. Now the media and Left try to dismiss any sane objection to depravity as “the new Satanic Panic.”

There is no cabal orchestrating our demise, but IT DID have an origin. There are but a few stages left until it’s all over. On "Glenn TV," Wednesday, Glenn Beck exposes the ultimate Achilles' heel of the entire process. We can stop America’s moral decline, but more Americans need to rise up and find the courage to say "NO FARTHER!" or this will be our new Alamo.

Watch the full episode below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

A Russian submarine equipped with a “doomsday weapon” — a nuclear bomb that Russia claims can create a "radioactive tsunami" — has apparently vanished from its base in the White Sea, according to reports.

NATO has reportedly warned that the "Belgorod," a massive nuclear submarine, has "gone missing" from a Russian base in the Arctic Circle, and officials are concerned that Russia could be gearing up to test its advanced weapon system known as "Poseidon" or the "weapon of the Apocalypse."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, has suddenly been declared combat-ready after years of setbacks, technology issues, and delays.

On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn Beck detailed just how powerful Russia's "missing" submarine really is and broke down how these "coincidental" current events mirror those that led up to World War II.

"It's really not a good thing ... but the world has gone through things like this before," Glenn said. "In the end, after it's all over, good things can happen. You just gotta get to the other side."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Did the FBI just get away with the BIGGEST armed robbery in US history?

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In 2021, an armed group broke into a U.S. Private Vaults store in Beverly Hills and stole $86 million worth of valuables — the largest armed robbery in U.S. history. That "armed group" was the FBI. Now, it appears that the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles "misled" the judge who signed the warrant for the seizure and still haven't returned the stolen goods to the 700 customers affected, according to newly disclosed court filings.

The details of the government’s alleged deception have come to light in a class-action lawsuit by U.S. Private Vaults customers who say the raid violated their rights, the Los Angeles Times reported. The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office denied misleading the judge, and a spokesperson claimed the warrants were lawfully executed.

On the radio program, Glenn Beck and producer Stu Burguiere reviewed some of the shocking story's details and discussed why incidents like this may become more common.

"None of the customers have been charged with any crimes. Not a single customer, out of the 700, not a single customer has been charged with a crime, but they can't get their stuff back," Glenn noted. "And this is going to happen more and more."

"It's incomprehensible that this stuff goes on in the United States of America," Stu said. "If you were to tell me this happened, you know, in Russia, I'd expect it. The fact that the United States government is claiming and just taking stuff from citizens all around the country with no crime, many times without even being charged, let alone ... conviction."

"Listen to this," Glenn continued. "The lawsuit also claims that some of the box holders who came forward to reclaim their seized property were then subjected to another investigation. If you went to the FBI and said, 'I want my stuff back,' the FBI examined their bank accounts, their DMV records, their tax return, and any criminal history checks."

However, box holders who decided to forfeit their property were also suspected of trying to "avoid becoming an FBI target," Glenn noted.

"So, you're guilty if you walk away and you're guilty if you ask," Stu added.

"This is America, gang," Glenn said. "It doesn't seem like it because it's not a constitutional America. But this is the America we now live in, and it is important that you wake up and stand up. ... God's people have got to start standing up, or we'll lose freedom. The world's freedom will be on our heads."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Glenn Beck: One TERRIFYING thing is clear no matter who caused the Nord Stream pipeline leaks

Photo by Danish Defence/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Evidence strongly suggests that the Nord Stream pipeline leaks were the result of sabotage, and U.S. and European officials have been working to discover who could be behind the explosions that damaged the natural gas pipelines running from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

Was it Russia? Ukraine? Germany? But no matter who carried this out, it has put the entire world in grave danger, because if this is indeed an attack, it means that non-military key infrastructure outside Ukraine is now on the "target menu," warned Glenn Beck on the radio program.

"It is so important for you to understand, this is now a non-military key infrastructure that has been destroyed," Glenn explained. "If Russia thinks we did it, they've already said, 'Nukes are now on the table.' That gives us a green light to use nukes," he added.

"This is non-military key infrastructure outside of the borders of Ukraine. To date, as far as we know, combat targets were either in Ukraine, or were military targets hit inside of Russia by Ukrainian Air Force or special forces. But the target menu now includes key civilian infrastructure: electricity, water utilities, energy production. That makes Russia more dangerous than ever. And that would be true no matter who carried out the attack," Glenn stated.

Now, the Russians are saying the Unted States did it, and the U.S. is saying it was Russia. But no matter who carried out the attack, "We are facing a Cuban Missile Crisis," said Glenn.

"This could end up being the biggest story of our lifetime and ... if it isn't played calmly by every side, this could be World War III," he continued. "Russia has already said that this gives them the right to use nuclear weapons as soon as they find out for sure who did it. That would be catastrophic, absolutely catastrophic."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.