|A: Hello! What’s up?
B: Hey! What’s up?
A: Long time no see.
A: Are you coming to the party tonight?
B: The party?
A: The party. Come, it will be fun
B: I don’t know. I just got home from work. I have to shower and change clothes.
A: So, go and change. It will be fun.
B: Where is it exactly?
A: The party? It’s on ‘Gallows Martyrs’. You go by ‘Dov Gruner’, and take the second left. The first is ‘Eli Cohen’ and the second is ‘Gallows Martyrs’.
B: Can I turn left on ‘Eli Cohen’?
A: Are you coming by car? Listen to me, Drive on ‘Warsaw Ghetto’, make a U-turn, enter ‘Concentration Camps
Avenue’ and park on ‘Dachau Square’.
B: Is it nearby?
A: Dachau? It’s here, just around the corner.
||א: הלו! מה העניינים?
ב: אהלן! מה העניינים?
א: לונג טיים נו סי.
א: אתה בא למסיבה היום?
א: ה! תבוא, יהיה פאן.
ב: אני יודע?! רק עכשיו חזרתי מהעבודה, אני צריך עוד להתרחץ, ללבוש משהו, אני כולי…
א: נו, אז תעלה תתרחץ, תלבש משהו ותבוא. יהיה פאן.
ב: איפה זה יוצא?
א: המסיבה? זה בעולי הגרדום. אתה עולה בדב גרונר, השני שמאלה. הראשון זה אלי כהן והשני זה עולי הגרדום.
ב: יש לי שמאלה באלי כהן?
א: אתה בא עם אוטו? אז תשמע מה תעשה, סע בגטו ורשה, תעשה שם יו-טרן, תכנס לשדרות מחנות הריכוז ותחנה בכיכר דכאו.
ב: זה קרוב?
א: מה, דכאו? זה פה, מעבר לפינה.
Additional reading: Critical laughter – humor, popular culture and Israeli Holocaust commemoration by Eyal Zandberg – PDF in English or Hebrew
On a recent trip to Europe, a family of three generations (a Holocaust survivor, his daughter and his grandchildren) dance to Gloria Gaynor’s pop song – ‘I Will Survive’ at concentration camps and memorials throughout Europe. The dance is a tribute to the tenacity of the human spirit and a celebration of life.
YouTube keeps DMCA’ing this video. Click here for alternatives.
2009 TV spot: Müller Yoghurt – TBWA/Yehoshua
2010 TV spot: Procter & Gamble’s Pampers Premium – Adler Chomsky & Warshavsky
[singlepic id=265 w=320 h=240 float=right]Today, within the pages of my daily newspaper I have found a flier titled ‘We must know, we must remember‘, sporting a Jewish yellow badge. As Holocaust Remembrance Day is next week I was interested in seeing what was inside the flier, as invoking such a powerful image, a Star of David patch with the German word ‘Jude‘ on it is a potent emotional symbol in Israel to this day. Opening the flier I found out that this is actually an advertisement and for 99NIS I can get my hands on two Holocaust-related books, thanks to a collaboration between the subscription department of Yedioth Ahronot and Steimatzky, Israel’s leading bookstore chain.
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With the opening of the second Israeli IKEA store and the first ever H&M store, this has certainly been a successful week for Swedish corporations. The Israelis never seem to disappoint, proving time and time again they are willing to go to any distance for discounts. I guess you can get more crap when you pay less.
Most Israelis do not know IKEA’s founder Ingvar Kamprad was a member of the pro-Nazi Swedish Movement, and those who do know that fact don’t seem to care much. Holocaust-Shmolocaust, at these prices who can afford to hold a grudge.
Apparently I’m not the only one disgusted with retail to the point of evoking the memory of the Third Reich; A fellow Israeli saw the masses of Jews huddled in front of the H&M store, flooding in upon its opening, and decided to juxtapose the video footage with the famous Yiddish song ‘Our Town is Burning‘ (Undzer shtetl brent) by Mordecai Gebirtig. Here is the video, followed by the English version of the first stanza:
Our Town is Burning – Mordecai Gebirtig – English Lyrics
It’s burning, brothers! It’s burning!
Oh, our poor village, brothers, burns!
Evil winds, full of anger,
Rage and ravage, smash and shatter;
Stronger now that wild flames grow —
All around now burns!
And you stand there looking on
With futile, folded arms
And you stand there looking on —
While our village burns!
Show me the soap, Nanna
The one you said you kept,
The one inscribed R.I.F. for
You do not know where it is
You say with clear frustration,
A bar of soap that proves, mind you,
Our people’s extermination.
You never had a bar of soap,
You liar! Liar! Liar!
You never had a bar of soap,
You Holocaust denier!
When Americans say
‘We liberated Europe’
I shudder and think:
It ain’t no mystery
If it’s politics or history
The thing you gotta know is
Everything is showbiz
– – “Springtime for Hitler” from “The Producers” by Melvin Kaminsky
Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad has demanded that Israeli radio station Galgalatz stop playing the song Allein Allein (Alone, Alone) by German pop band Polarkreis 18 (Polar Circle 18), saying that the chorus is full of ‘shouting voices’ and that ‘as long as there are living Jews for whom shouting in German triggers a flashback to the time of the Holocaust in Europe, we cannot trample their feelings”.
Have a listen to find out what made the MK cringe (lyrics at the end of the post):
As a third generation Holocaust survivor myself I am eager to have a serious discussion about the subject, but a pop song is not where we should start.
Let’s start with the audacity of Israelis expressing anti-German sentiments while driving German cars and buying furniture from a former Nazi supporter.
Let’s talk about how survivors were ignored by the newly formed State of Israel and by its citizens, and let’s discuss whether these things are perpetuated to this day.
Let’s talk about Israelis captioning the Fuehrer so to make him complain about parking spaces in Tel-Aviv, let’s discuss why the two Israelis who made this thought it might be a positive outlet for their feelings, and why 90,000 Israelis wanted to watch it. Let’s discuss why the deplorable act is not making such videos but finding the nearest Holocaust survivor and forcing him to watch it.
Let’s talk about the German language and the German heritage of many of us, let’s talk about Yiddish and how we are witnessing this beautiful language die without intervening, let’s discuss why hearing a gentile uttering ‘wir sind allein‘ in German may trigger flashbacks and why a Jew saying ‘mir zaynen allein‘ in Yiddish does not have the same effect.
By all means, let’s have a serious discussion. But please, save me the fake wars about German pop songs in English. While this is a sure way of getting your name in the papers, I believe it belittles this serious subject.
Continue reading Breaking News: Knesset Member Unable to Switch Channels on Radio
Now, I realize the White House may have been busy with the whole FlickrGate thing these last couple of days, but can we agree posting the following photo on the official White House website was not the brightest idea?
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I’m not sure if this image offends all Jews or just this one, but after 27 months and scores of Obama photos, I think this is the first photo I have seen that does not compliment him.
Due to recent comments left on my blog, I feel I need to explain these kind of observations:
My beef is not with Obama, as he is free to raise his hands as much as he likes.
My beef is not with White House photographer Chuck Kennedy, as he is free to take as much photos as he likes.
My beef is with the WhiteHouse.gov editor who exhibited poor judgement by posting this photo which does not flatter the president and does not convey the right sentiments towards his constituents.