Archive for the ‘history’ Category

        Today is a day to remember, it is the 64th anniversary of the liberation of the Jewish people from the concentration camp Auschwitz.  It was a day of relief and a day of sadness.  Sadness for those who’s lives were lost before they could be rescued…and a day of relief for those who were still alive and had a chance for survival.  People want to forget the horrors of the concentration camps…or worse, they deny that it ever existed.  The prisoners at the concentration camps were there because of hatred; they were feared and they were hated just because of their heritage.  There is no excuse for genocide.

       If we are allowed to forget the horror of such evil…it could happen again.  If we deny that it ever existed then we are guilty of adding to the evil that took place and destroyed so many people.  It is a time of world history that must be observed.

      There are some who were there that still have memories of that time.  There are some who have loved ones who went through the extreme torture that was the concentration camps.  No group of human beings should ever be treated the way that the Jews were treated.  We lost so many people that could have added culture, music, craftmanship, business accumen…and so much more to the world.  It was and is a tragedy the likes of which we should hope to never see again.

       Think about the suffering and the misery that they went through.  The fear that consumed the soul.  Yet, there were those who resisted, those who aided others by sharing what they had to keep others alive, there were those who tried to hide individuals and help them escape the power of the SS.  The word hero is thrown around so often that people misunderstand the courage that it takes to stand strong in the face of evil, and destructive controlling power. 

       The human spirit is an amazing thing; the will to survive is amazing and can overcome many obstacles.  There are many individual stories from the holocaust and it is important to document them when you have the opportunity.  I posted an earlier story in this blog about Dina Gottliebova Babbitt, a talented artist who was incarcerated at Auschwitz.  She was forced to use her talent to paint individuals and gypsies from the concentration camp for Dr. Josef Mengeles the angel of death who performed terrible “experiments” on those behind the gates. 

       You can read about her and her efforts to get her artwork returned to her before she passes from this world into the next here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/?s=dina+babbit .  Do you know any  stories of the survivors of the concentration camps?


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     I can’t believe all of the different things that this inauguration appears to mean to each person that i talk to or read about.  Some people are moved to tears by the inspiration of it all.  Some people are in awe of the historical nature.  For others it is more personal; they have invested so much of their own personal hopes and dreams into the candidates for the office of the President of the United States.  Observing the inauguration is a very personal and a very public thing.  The swearing in of the 44th President of the United States is a solemn occasion and is observed by all in a variety of ways.

      For quite some time there has been indiviual stories on the news about individuals who have made the trek to view the ceremonies in person…some have borrowed money to get there or made amazing sacrifices to fund the trip.  Others who are content to watch from their homes watch avidly….others in dismay.

      Supporters of candidates who did not win the nominations have differing views and opinions.  I watch and look for conflicting emotions on the faces of those who could have been in a different place during todays proceedings..and yet…i see pride, joy and excitement in their faces.

       Watching the former Presidents and the mixture of emotions and memories flood their visage is truly something to see.  Their wives remembering their time in the spotlight…reflecting on the changes since their moment…you can see the strength that it takes to endure the pressures and the passage of time.

        It is no simple time …the respect of the responsibility, the solemness of the swearing in…the honor…the pride…the exaltation…it is such a mixture of the past, the present and the future.  Truly…can feel the waves of deeply held beliefs and expectations.  For this one day, we can enjoy the coming together as a nation.  There will be time on another day to examine the differences, the disappointments, the frustrations and the solutions to problems that exist…For now…today is momentous!  I am thrilled that God is acknowledged as the ultimate authority of our nation…I pray that President Barack Obama submits his actions to be wholly acceptable to the only person who he should be in submission to at this point and that is God himself.  May God bless our nation…and may we live up to the standards that he expects from us.

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     President Elect Barack Obama has started out the first day of the inaugural celebrations by taking the train.  He is recreating the trip that President Lincoln took in 1861.  It is a 137 mile trip from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.   It is a deliberate attempt to rally the citizens of the United States.  Obama has called on the American public to rebuild this country and he called for a new declaration of independence.  He acknowledged the issues facing this country and said that we need to make a new declaration of independence not only in our country but also in our personal lives.  This day is a historic day in our nation and one that needs to be viewed as the kick off to a new beginning.

         The things that made this country great when it began can help us to regain it’s strength and pride of achievement if only we can get back to the basics and build upon those things that are the foundation of our country…namely perserverance and ideology according to President Elect Barack Obama. 

       The train stopped and picked up Sen. Joe Biden and his wife in Wilmington, Delaware with just a small misstep.  Joe tried to get on the train to greet Barack and Michelle Obama…but they were not in the caboose when he opened the door.  With a trademark self-effacing grin…he stepped back off of the train when informed that the Obama’s would step off the train to the platform for a meet and greet.  Slightly awkward…but very “real person-like” moment…not one overly rehearsed and performed like many public figure robots.

        Sen. Joe Biden also is acknowledged for his pledge to raise his boys in Wilmington, Delaware  after his first wife and daughter were killed in an accident.  He has a rich history of his dedication of riding the Amtrack train back and forth from Wilmington to Washington daily so that he could keep his commitment of raising his sons in his hometown.

     January 2oth is coming upon us.  There is excitement and hope…and an awareness of the work ahead that must be accomplished to put this country back on the right rails to greatness.



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      It is only a matter of days before we see the United States presidential switch…it will be; out with the old and, in with the new moving day done in style.  This is quite an ordeal for the White House staff…the transition must be accomplished within a matter of about 6 hours; during the swearing in ceremony, and all that goes along with it.  Before all of that begins, the current President and his wife have a traditional  sit down tea with the incoming President and his wife.

       Did you ever stop to think about the quick transition that the actual living quarters must go through during this time period?  The way that i understand it, the furniture and personal belongings must be swapped out…from one presidential family, to the next.

        There are only two elevators to handle the workers in charge of the ebb and flow of the personal belongings of each family.  This is no easy task.  For when the new leadership steps into the residence for the first time after the switch…it is to appear as if it is home; for that is what it will be, their new home for the next four years.

         Just this past week it was announced that Barack Obama’s mother in law, Marian Robinson, will be moving in with the new first family.  Wow…that was a surprise.

           Although his mother -in- law took off time to help with the grandchildren during the presidential campaign…I don’t think that too many people thought that she would be moving into the White House, once the family took residence.  I am sure that this will be a wonderful thing for Malia and Sasha to have their grandmother right there with them.  It will help to ease their transition to a new life and all of the personal changes that will go along with that change.  Living in the family quarters, I am sure can be lonely for children of the President.  Having Grandma Marian there will be a wonderful gift for the family.  

       On the other hand, there will be those who question who pays for her stay.  I could be wrong…but, it seems to me that I remember a news program once talking about a previous presidency and how the first family pays for all of their own food ,and such, when they are eating in residence.  Of course, that doesn’t include all of those big public dinners that Presidents and their families are required to endure.   

         It is going to take some time for things to settle down after this transfer of power takes place.  How long will it take before the White House feels like home to the new first family do you think?  I know every time i have moved in the past it took a good couple of weeks before i felt like i wasn’t staying in someone else’s home.  If some comfort can be found it will be a blessing in the early days as I am sure it will take quite a bit of time to get used to the loss of privacy that this new phase of life will require. 


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        Dina Gottliebova Babbitt is a woman who has a rich history; she was in the concentration camp, Auschwitz with her mother in 1944.  Dina was a 20 something, young woman who had an artistic talent.  She had been an art student before she was sent to Auschwitz.  While in the camp, she decided to do something daring and she painted Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on the walls of the children’s barracks, in an attempt to cheer them up.  This was bravery, as the consequences would be severe if she was caught.

         When it was discovered what she had done…she was called before Dr. Mengele who was also known as the Angel of Death in the camp.  She could have been sent to the gas chamber like so many others were.  Instead, she was ordered by Dr. Josef Mengele to paint portraits for him of the gypsies in the camp; as well as, to draw pictures of the many horrible “medical experiments” that he performed on those who were imprisoned in the camp.  Dina thought for many years that the portraits of the gypsies were destroyed.  It was in performing the artwork in the camp that her life and that of her mother were spared.

       In fact the portraits were not destroyed…they were sold to the Auschwitz-Burkenau State Museum after the war ended.  There are seven watercolor portraits of the gypsies; and, Dina Babbitt would like them returned.  Dina says that she feels that neither she, nor the gypsies can have spiritual freedom unless the portraits are returned to her.  I would imagine that Dina poured her soul into those portraits.  After all, how can you look upon such individuals, knowing their probable fate, and trace their very visage upon the canvas; and, not be one with them in spirit?   She has much support internationally; however, at this point, the museum allegedly refuses to return them.  You can write to the museum here in support of Dina:  muzeum@auschwitzorg.pl .

          You can also visit Dina’s website to learn more about her and see some of her work here: http://www.dinababbitt.com/  .

           After WWII, Dinah was hired as an assistant to Art Babbitt who was working for Warner Brother’s in Paris at the time; and, who was a former Disney animator who worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  They fell in love and later married, Dina was Art’s second wife.  Together they raised two daughters, Michele and Karin.  At least some good came out of such an evil time in history.  Their love and marriage I am sure  brought about a healing balm.  After all, Dina used the images of the talented animator to soothe the young children, who daily faced death daily in the concentration camps.  It is as if God himself sent a bit of the comforter to them thru Dina and the artistry of two talented artists.

           Dina was born on January 21, 1923 in Czechoslovakia, but, is now a U.S. citizen.  Just as recently as this past  summer of 2008, Dina was diagnosed with an aggressive tumor in her abdomin and was scheduled to have surgery performed to remove it.  It is her most fervent desire to have her portraits returned to her so that she can hold them in her hands one more time before she passes away.  She would like to see the portraits visit the Holocaust museums in the United States!  Please feel free to contact her family to help support their cause of the return the portraits to a woman who risked much to bring a smile to the children of Auschwitz; here is an email address:  michele@dinababbitt.com  or mushkane@yahoo.com

         This time in history can never be forgotten or denied.  If by looking into the faces of the victims of the concentration camps helps to make it real…then Dina Gottliebova Babbitt has used her talents in a very serviceable way.   Those portraits bring the horrible cost of forgetting that those who are different from us are still human and deserve to live life to it’s fullest.  It should not be up to another individual or organization to get to decide who should live and who should die.  We must uphold the lessons learned from setting back and waiting for the world to right itself in the area of human rights.  May the powers that be bring Dina’s portraits home to her, to soothe her heart and her soul.


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     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!



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       It is D day…make sure that you vote today.  The balance of the well-being hangs on who becomes President of the United States.  Vote your beliefs, vote your convictions, vote your values.  It will be a long day…tomorrow will be a day of all of the talking heads analyzing this and that…and how so and so should have done this and should not have done that.  This country needs to somehow find it’s way back to common sense and put it’s affairs in order.

       No matter who wins…half of the country will be down and depressed for a little while.  This has been one of the most contested prolonged political battles in the history of the United States.  So, now we wait for the news to tell us what happens next.  The next four year’s journey begins today.  I did my part…did you?


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