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November 26th, 2013
08:49 PM ET

Giving thanks for the miracle of survival

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Leon Gersten could not bear to watch “Schindler’s List,” the movie about Czech industrialist Oskar Schindler who saved 1,200 Jews from Nazi extermination camps. It was too painful for the Holocaust survivor, too close to reality.

But now, almost 70 years after his village in Poland was liberated by the Soviet army, Gersten is meeting the man who is the Oskar Schindler of his own life: Czeslaw Polziec.

Like Schindler, Polziec is Catholic. His family secretly sheltered Gersten in rural Poland for two years during World War II.

As though such a reunion between survivor and rescuer were not emotional enough, this one is taking place Wednesday on the eve of Hanukkah, which coincides this year with Thanksgiving. Two celebrations of gratitude.

Gersten, 79, had tried to imagine how he might feel when he would finally meet his Polish friend at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He said only this: “I think it will be a physical reaction.”

And it was. The two men embraced. Then, they embraced again.

"Hi, hi, hi," Polziec said, his English limited to just a few words.

But words seemed useless now anyway. For Gersten, none seemed adequate for a man who saved his life. A man who had, through his actions, given him precious assurance there was goodness left in a world that seemed purely evil.

“I am alive because of them,” Gersten said of Polziec and his family. “They are heroes.”

Gersten had waited for this day when he could express his gratitude in person. When he could show Polziec his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They were the greatest proof of the enormity of the Polziec family's actions.

As a boy, Leon Gersten hid for two years with his mother and other family members in the attic of a barn.

On Thanksgiving, the two men will sit down for a formal dinner and on Sunday, several generations of Gersten’s family, including a granddaughter traveling from Israel, will share a meal with Polziec at a New York restaurant.

“How wonderful to be able to see him,” Gersten said earlier this week, each word laced with the kind of anticipation a soldier coming home after battle feels. “How wonderful to be reunited, share memories.”

With Polziec by his side, Gersten’s Hanukkah promises to be special. He plans to perform an act he was never able to do when he was in hiding on Polziec’s family farm, one that will celebrate the miracle of his survival.

Life in the attic

The shared memories will take Gersten back to Frystak, Poland. To July 1942.

Gersten’s mother, Frieda Tepper Gersten, worked as a peddler and traveled throughout southern Poland, selling fabric and other items. She and Leon moved from the town of Rzeszow to Frystak to live with her parents shortly after Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. Gersten’s father, Yonasan, was unable to get work in Frystak and stayed in Rzeszow with Gersten’s sister and three brothers.

Gersten never saw his father or siblings again. He has no photos except one of his sister. He knows they all perished but everything else is blank. Where? When? How?

Then one July day, the Germans ordered the Jews of Frystak to assemble in the marketplace. They rounded up 1,600 people, mostly children and the elderly, marched them outside town, slaughtered them and tossed their bodies like garbage into a mass grave.

Among the dead were Gersten’s grandparents.

His mother knew she and her son would die, too, unless she escaped the Jewish ghetto. She disguised herself as a Catholic, a cross around her neck. With her boy, she walked into the countryside and knocked on the doors of her customers to ask for shelter for herself and her son - as well as her sister and brother-in-law and their son.

Many turned her away. It was risky to come to the aid of Jews. It could prove fatal.

But the Polziecs were different.

Now almost 70 years later, Gersten has been reunited with one of his rescuers.

Maria and Stanislaw Polziec lived on a farm in nearby Zawadka with their four daughters and son, Czeslaw. They had barely the means to feed their own family, let alone buy food for five strangers.

But they took in the desperate Jews and created a living space for them in a dark attic above their barn. Czeslaw Polziec brought them food and stood guard when other people came to the farm.

Gersten remembers receiving one big loaf of bread a week. It was divided into five – the two boys got first pick. And there were potatoes. Gersten offered his uncle an extra potato for every two hours he entertained the boys with stories.

“Food was very tight,” Gersten said. “But we weren’t starving.”

The space was adequate, too. The main problem was inactivity. There was nothing to do. Gersten watched spiders catch flies. Or plucked lice from his cousin’s head. That’s how he passed time.

Gersten was only 8 then; Polziec, 10. Their interaction was limited.

Stanislaw and Maria Polziec hid Leon Gersten and his family from the Nazis in rural Poland.

Sometimes, in the early morning, Gersten climbed down the ladder to help Polziec in the stable. There were two cows, a horse and pig.

Other times, Polziec picked mushrooms and brought them up for soup.

On some winter nights, the attic got cold and the Polziecs invited their Jewish guests into their home to spend the evening in warmth.

They built an earthen bunker in the barn to hide Gersten and his family for the times when Germans raided the farm. It measured 4 feet by 3 feet and was just big enough to hold five people. It resembled a grave, really. The Polziecs slid a big, wooden grain storage bin over the opening to deflect suspicion.

One night, Nazi collaborators raided the farm and heard the footsteps of Gersten’s family scurrying into the bunker. They questioned Stanislaw Polziec, who blamed the noise on children in the attic. The collaborators beat Stanislaw, bloodied him without mercy. Gersten could hear the Polziec family’s screams. Still, the Polziecs did not betray the Jews.

Gersten said he remains impressed the Polziecs never showed any resentment toward their Jewish guests for the enormous danger they had brought them.

Gersten remained in the Polziec’s attic for two years, until the day in 1944 when Soviet soldiers liberated the area. Gersten and his mother eventually moved to America.

'Should we have let them die?'

For many years after, Gersten had dreams of being shot by the Nazis. He liked sleeping when it rained. All those months in hiding, he’d felt secure on stormy nights, knowing the Nazis would not go out to look for Jews then.

He grappled with his own survival as he made a new life for himself in New York.

“My mother was very religious,” he said. “She had a more positive outlook about surviving, although we could never answer why God would want us to survive over others.”

Gersten and his mother kept up with the Polziecs after the war. They sent a few dollars and care packages with clothes back to Poland.

Gersten earned a doctorate in educational psychology from Columbia University and started his own practice. He stopped speaking Polish – his mother tongue was Yiddish - and forgot it with time. He never yearned to return to the town where he lived as a boy. His house and the life he once knew were gone. So were most of his loved ones.

“I have ambivalent feelings about going back there,” he said.

Over the years, he lost contact with the Polziecs. But after his mother died, Gersten wrote to the Jewish Historical Society in Poland about what the Polziecs had done. About two years ago, he decided to submit the family’s name to Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to victims of the Holocaust. The memorial also recognizes non-Jews who helped Jews survive. Schindler’s name is in that database, as are the Polziecs'.

In America, The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous helped Gersten find Czeslaw Polziec in Poland. His parents had passed away years before.

The New York-based foundation supports non-Jews who refused to remain passive during the Holocaust. About 650 rescuers in Europe receive funding for food and essential goods like heating fuel.

The foundation is sponsoring Polziec’s visit to New York, including a dinner honoring him and his family.

Stanlee Stahl, the executive director of the foundation, visited Polziec in Poland. It was not possible for CNN to speak with him before the reunion - he was preparing to make the long journey across the Atlantic.

But Stahl described him as someone who has the handsomely rugged looks of a retired Marine. He served in the Polish army and then worked in security for many years.

Polziec doesn’t think of himself or his family as heroes, he told the foundation. They were God-fearing people, ordinary people, who simply did what they deemed the right thing to do in a desperate situation.

Gersten's entire family will share a meal with Czeslaw Polziec in New York.

Should we have let them die? he asked in a statement to the foundation.

“The question alone does not bear thinking about,” he said. “They had every right to live. Nobody who has not lived through those desolate days will ever really understand what my parents did, and I am sure, were they still with us, they would be surprised that an honor has been bestowed upon them.”

Stahl said the foundation has helped arrange 18 reunions between survivors and rescuers. But this year, because Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving, Gersten’s reunion with Polziec is truly special.

“We owe a great deal of gratitude to these righteous gentiles,” Stahl said. “They saved the honor of humanity.”

Gersten, meanwhile, said he remains amazed by the loyalty of the Polziecs, especially Czeslaw and his sisters, who were so young then. They went to school and church and interacted with so many people. Yet they never uttered a word.

That’s something Gersten plans to point out when he sits down for Thanksgiving dinner with Polziec. He will be grateful that for two years, his Polish friend kept a secret.

But before that, on Wednesday night, Gersten is looking forward to lighting a Hanukkah menorah, which commemorates the rededication of the ancient temple and the miracle of one day’s worth of oil lasting eight.

Gersten was never able to light a menorah when he was hiding in Polziec’s home. The light would have given away the family’s presence, put an end to their survival. Now with Polziec finally by his side again, Gersten’s menorah will symbolize his own family’s miracle.

Leon Gersten (at the far left end of the third row back) with other schoolchildren in a displaced persons camp in Germany after the war.

- Moni Basu

Filed under: Catholic Church • Hanukkah • Holocaust • Israel • Judaism • New York • Poland • Thanksgiving

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soundoff (1,346 Responses)
  1. Positron

    Well, folks, that is going to do it for me...I'm sure many of you will say good riddance....if I offended anyone I apologize as that was certainly not my intention. I did of course err on the side of being provocative in order to try to get people to talk about what is going on in this country and what IMO is way beneath most people's radars. Israel is prospering while our country is getting poorer and poorer...we now are having to worry about even keeping our Government operating. We have spent trillions of dollars in the Middle east since the 90s and who knows how much since this whole conundrum was placed on our doorstep in 1948. I'm not saying that our involvement over there is the cause of all of our economic hardship over here...but one thing is for sure, it is not helping.

    I wonder what Albert Einstein would of thought about the Iraq Wars and the whole Middle East "situation"

    December 1, 2013 at 12:25 am |
  2. Positron

    I henceforth challenge ANYONE here to get that string to appear on this thread.

    IF CNN is censoring that out, WOW, I just can't believe what I am seeing...absolute Jewish tyranny. (with the help of dumb submissive Germans of course)...or is it the other way around...who knows...oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.

    November 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Akira

      Michael Savage

      November 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • Positron

        I can't get it to go through....I don't know how you did that but it won't work for me. May I ask where you are posting from?

        November 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
        • Akira

          To be honest, I know some HTML, so I can get around the filter.
          Sure you can ask. My phone.

          November 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Open and close an html format code in the offending syllable. Michael Savage can't be used as written because of this string: "vage" If you want to see how it's done just open the page source and search on Sava and see how it is written on this page. In Firefox Page source is under Tools -> Web developer

          November 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • Positron

          Thanks for pointing that out, I was going to use a script to scan my posts before attempting to get them past the filter but
          that is far easier.

          November 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You didn't suggests that Jews participated to some degree in their own destruction, I hope. That would almost certainly be deleted – and rightly so.

      November 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm |

      • Michael Savage?

        November 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  3. Positron

    Wow folks.

    OK kids...here try this one at home for yourselves.

    CNN, has apparently censored the string "Michael S# av#ge"

    Can you believe this?

    I may be mistaken, I will try it again, because I surely cannot believe what I am seeing...but I cannot get that string through the
    filter.

    November 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Dave & Buster

      What are you talking about? I see it below... Did they delete something else?

      November 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Maddy

      It's the word savage that's getting hung up in the word filter.

      November 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Maddy

      If you're at all familiar with the trolls here, you understand why.

      November 30, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Hints

      Positron,

      You have been given the list of word fragments which set off the word filter. Go back an look at it again.

      One of them is v.ag. It has NOTHING to do with Michael Sav.age.

      November 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • Positron

        OK, acknowledged, I missed that one....I keep forgetting just how bizarre CNNs string filter is...of course other people were able to get it through...can you explain that?

        November 30, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • Akira

          Html.

          November 30, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  4. Positron

    @ Judas Priest

    November 30, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  5. Positron

    Flatly stated most of what you have said here is either incorrect or includes various forms of distortion.

    1. It amazes me how many people don't understand basic concepts of probability theory and statistics in regards to my statement that Germans are a 15% ethnic majority in this country. When you are looking at a collection (in math terms a distribution) of things which can be grouped into subgroups according to similar characteristics...a majority is defined not ONLY as the quant1ty of things in a subgroup in relation to the total number of all things, but as the quant1ty of things in a subgroup in relation to the quant1ties of things in other subgroups. As an example: A basket of 100 pieces of fruit containing 15 apples, 14 bananas, 13 pears, 12 oranges, 11 plums, 10 gr#pes, 9 kiwis, 8 tangerines, 7 gr#pefruits,
    1 pomegranate. This distribution has a 15% majority of apples in it. Now let us consider what happens, in a democracy, and how a relatively small majority can control decision making.

    November 30, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Positron

      Consider a group of 100 people with a a distribution consisting of people whose favorite type of fruit corresponds to the distribution of fruit in the basket above...ie 15 people's favorite fruit is apples, 14 people's is bananas, and so on.

      The country takes a vote on what the favorite fruit will be FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY based on the above. Everyone votes for their favorite fruit...the end result is apples are the chosen fruit. What is the parallel, GERMAN OPINION, is the chosen opinion for this country.

      2. "You're equating the German population of the US with Neo-Nazis"

      The question that needs to be addressed here is: The majority of the German populace during WWII were not card carrying Nazis..however, were they aware of what was going on and if so did they do anything to stop what was going? The situation today is much different...EVERYONE is aware of what is going on in Iraq...are any German people in this country standing up to speak out against it...and doing so in a highly visible way which showcases their German heritage? When your country is at war, as a citizen of that country, there is NO NEUTRAL position. People in other countries can be
      neutral if they are not involved, but the moment your country is involved, YOU, as a citizen, can no longer maintain a neutral position.

      3. "else why would conservatives keep screaming about liberal bias in the media?"

      This one is a joke, conservatives who scream about liberal bias in the media are IMO simply playing a card (overplaying it IMO) that has worked since the 80s. In any even there is no way to debate this because it is a highly subjective issue. Did Fox News exist in the 80s? Have CNN and other major liberal news sources become more conservative over the years. Conservatives will keep whining (just as liberals did) until the ammo runs out...its just that simple

      4 "There is no oil in Israel."

      Who said there was? (other than you)
      This comment is borderline absurd and makes me seriously question your integrity.(either that or your age, please tell me you are under 21)
      IF the US is after Oil, (we cant know this officially because there has never been anything published through official channels to support it) a 5 year old can see that any control the US has in the region would serve as a foundation upon which control of its resources could be built.

      5. "The Jews simply wanted their own territory."

      I agree, and I feel that they, more than any other people deserve and should have it, this is, especially important for world piece as much of the World sees Jews as the chosen people and whether this is true, it is, at the present time, BELIEVED by many to be the case...so the Jews should have a place of their own. The problem, beginning in 1948, is that NO LEGAL INSTRUMENT was invoked to create such a place. The whole thing was done under the table. UN Resolution 181 WAS NOT A LEGAL INSTRUMENT. Let me repeat that, THE UN RESOLUTION 181 WAS NOT A LEGAL INSTRUMENT.
      The subsequent Jewish declaration of a State of Isreal within Mandatory Palestine was basically FORCED. That is, it was done prematurely without sufficient legal and international underpinnings and support and the end result was the Arab-Israel war which has led right up to where we are right now with over 100,000 innocent Iraqi victims, 4500 US soldiers dead, and trillions of dollars spent.

      November 30, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Positron

        I neglected to include the 3,000 US civilian deaths resulting from the 9/11 attacks...who knows what the economic (and social)
        impact was on this country but they certainly were not trivial.

        November 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • Israeli

        What was finally returned to us will not be taken away. If you don't like it, tough.

        November 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Positron

          I care much less about how Israel has profited from all of this chaos as I do about how much the United States has lost and is currently struggling after having spent trillions to pump up Israel.

          Also, please tell me WHO "returned" the land to you.

          Last time I checked Jews simply proclamed the land as their own in 1948 without the rightful consent of ITS OWNERS or any
          legal authorization to do so. Nothing was "returned" to you...you took it by force...nice try.

          November 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Dave & Buster

          I almost missed this gem that you answered when asked about your repeated assertion that the 2% of the population that are Jewish and the 15% of the population that are the GERMAN MAJORITY (your phrase) are neocons:

          "we can’t arrive at any final conclusion via hard references…we can’t go to the census and see how many people self-identified as Neocons and check their ancestry…we’ve done about all you can do here as its not a rigorous analysis."

          Yet you have stated this as if it were fact repeatedly. Which is the thing I brought up in the first place: I don't think you really understand what the term neocons actually means.

          Full circle.

          Actually, Positron, I am leaving the board, so I'll bid you adieu.
          Again, have a good evening.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
        • Positron

          LOL, Nice attempt at a sucker punch on the way out the door.

          However, it appears that the you just hit your own chin with a left uppercut.

          These two statements are either self-contradictory or you do not know what the definition of an assertion is;

          "when asked about your repeated assertion" and "you have stated this as if it were fact"

          Also, my statement, which you have twisted like a pretzel to conform to your requirements, was that A LARGE FRACTION
          of the 2% of Jews were Neocons...I never stated that ALL 2% were neocons...that is precisely why I presented it in the form of an assertion...because I have no idea what the true number is, nor can I offer proof or evidence of any number.

          December 1, 2013 at 12:07 am |
      • Sincerely, a poster.

        You have such contempt for anyone bothering to answer you, ("This comment is borderline absurd and makes me seriously question your integrity.(either that or your age, please tell me you are under 21)"), I don't forsee many more exchanges...,you post in a condescending manner.

        Hope you achieve what you seek, whatever that may be.

        Have a great afternoon.

        November 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Positron

          Do you (or anybody else here) have anything to say to the poster who laughed when I mentioned the youtube videos
          containing Iraqi civilian casualties.

          Do you (or anybody else here) have any empathetic words devoid of condescension for the innocent Iraqi war victims?

          November 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Positron

          If you do I certainly have not seen it here...or virtually anywhere in all of my travels over the past 25 years on the web. The vast majority of WHITE jews (ie Neocons) in this country support the War and seem very callous about what is being done to the Iraqi people...

          November 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Positron

          maybe you should go listen to somebody like Michael S av#ge (real name Michael Weiner) and see how much empathy he exudes on a day to day basis.

          November 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Sincerely, a poster.

          What was done to the Iraqi people was wrong. We should never have gone to Iraq.

          You do, however, ooze contempt for anyone who isn't lockstep with your thoughts and opinions, evidenced by your posts to me above.

          I didn't see the poster that laughed. Probably a troll. This site is rife with them.

          Do you have anything to say that DOESN'T drip with condescension?

          Sincerely, a poster.

          November 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Dave & Buster

          Positron, do you know what a neocon even is?
          Jewish people comprise about 2% of the total US population.

          Here's the simple definition:

          ne·o·con
          ˌnēōˈkän/
          adjective
          1.
          (in politics) a person with neoconservative views.
          noun
          1.
          a neoconservative.

          Simply put, the Tea Party is neocon.

          November 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
        • Positron

          Yes I do in fact. I like your use of "ooze contempt"...has a nice ring to it!

          And you are correct...I have contempt for those that perpetrated this war of aggression.
          I in turn have contempt with those who side with those who perpetrated the war.
          This would explain my reaction to those individuals here in this online forum who appear to be in favor of the war and
          appear, from my vantage point, to be defending it or siding with those who support it.

          I feel that my contempt is rational.

          This country is at War and people are dying needlessly....I feel the contempt is warranted and in fact justified in the name
          of those who are dying needlessly.

          I cannot distill things down any further than that...if you feel that there is an error in my logic please point it out.

          November 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • Positron

          @ Dave & Buster

          I assert that a large fraction of that 2% are Neocons and support the war.

          Please refute my assertion via the citation of references.

          November 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • Sincerely, a poster.

          Well, I agree that war bites. I feel that the US should never engage unless directly attacked. That has not been the case in years.

          Glad you lined the ooze contempt allegory. If the shoe fits, wear it well.

          War will never end. Ever. You can rail against it fir the rest if your days, but it is a human condition that will only be eradicated when humanity dies out.

          Good luck on finding your truth. Hope it fulfills you.

          Sincerely, a poster.

          November 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Positron

          @ Sincerely

          Thank you for accepting my endorsement of your command of the english language

          "War will never end. Ever."

          From my vantage point I interpret this statement in two ways:

          November 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
        • Positron

          1. You are a devout pessimist and have pretty much given up on the concept of world peace.

          2. You are currently benefiting from the spoils of the Iraq Wars and in fact secretly and covertly support it.

          In the case of #1 you are a defeatist, #2 you are a liar.

          I like to think #1 but only you know the real answer.

          Just a footnote: When would you expect a predator to hope that someday there will be no prey?

          Do you think cheetahs go to sleep and dream of a day when there will be no more gazelle?...highly doubtful.

          November 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Sincerely, a poster.

          1. You are a devout pessimist and have pretty much given up on the concept of world peace.

          => No. I an a realist. Please name me one era in history where there had never been a war going on somewhere.

          2. You are currently benefiting from the spoils of the Iraq Wars and in fact secretly and covertly support it.

          => No. Conspiracy theory much? You need to put some ice on that stretch you just made?

          In the case of #1 you are a defeatist, #2 you are a liar.

          => Again with the contempt and the condescension, and leaping to conclusions that were not based on anything I stated.

          I like to think #1 but only you know the real answer.

          => Try a realist.

          Just a footnote: When would you expect a predator to hope that someday there will be no prey?

          Do you think cheetahs go to sleep and dream of a day when there will be no more gazelle?…highly doubtful.

          => You compare humans to cheetahs? Is that a realistic comparison?

          November 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • Dave & Buster

          I asked if you knew what a neocon is.
          You made the assertion. Do cite the supporting link to the claim you make.
          I have news for you: neocons come in all races and religions. Some of our finest warmongers are good upstanding Christians.

          November 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • Positron

          Pessimism has to do with your view of what the future holds, not your view of what the past held.

          Yes you are correct, there have always been wars. There likewise had always been death due to bacterial infections.
          One day we discovered Penicillin and thenceforth there was no more death from bacterial infections (please dont over analyze this one it is a simple and crude analogy)

          Why should we not invest some hope that there may be likewise a Penicillin for war.

          About Cheetahs, yes there are plenty of predator/prey examples in human behavior.

          Would you not agree that the Nazi's demonstrated predatory behavior in the way they sought to annilhilate the Jews with
          their superior technology and military advantage...comeon get real.

          November 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • Sincerely, a poster.

          I also find it amusing that you have no problem making value judgements about me based upon my posts, but chastise others for doing the same to you based on yours.

          November 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • Positron

          @ Dave & Buster

          Irving_Kristol
          Daniel_Bell
          Michael_S#v age

          There's 3 for you...now, in the interest of fair play, please cite 3 to refute my claim.

          November 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • Sincerely, a poster.

          Positron, all of your posts have dealt with what was done in the past, yet when I do the same thing, you label me a "devout pessimist"?

          I am an optimist. I have been told I am Pollyanna-like. I also an realistic enough to know that the human condition is what it is. That's not being pessimistic. That's being pragmatic.

          November 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • Dave & Buster

          Medea Benjamin
          Noam Chomsky
          Daniel Ellsburg
          Allard K. Lowenstein
          Bernard Lown

          Here's 5.
          You aren't interested in anything but being right. I think I'm done feeding your ego.

          November 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
        • Positron

          http://hugequestions.com/Eric/TFC/FromOthers/list-of-neocons-for-Iraq-war.htm

          25, this list is of 26 but I already mentioned Irving Kristol.

          Two out of the 3 of my first 3 were actual referenced as creators of the Neocon movement so they should be weighted more heavily

          As far as what I am interested in here is a reference for you;

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38GV4pS6gmI&w=640&h=360]

          November 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • Dave & Buster

          You named 26 out of millions. Are you trying to say that 26 Israel Firsters are representative of the millions of that 2%?
          Don't forget to add all if the neocon Christians, a point you glossed over. You know , the McCains. The Grahams. Those folks.
          Instead , you are focusing soley on Jews. Why?

          November 30, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
        • Dave & Buster

          And I don't watch YouTube; too many viruses.

          November 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Positron

          I am focusing on Jews because US involvement in the middle east began in 1948 with the creation of the state of Israel by
          Jews, who would you suggest I focus on, Namibians?

          November 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Dave & Buster

          Look, if you are going to talk about neocons, talk about the ones who make up 98% of them, CHRISTIANS. Otherwise you appear to have a great big problem with Jewish people, which would sure as heck earn you the label anti- Semite.
          Which, given your little tap dance around the Christian point I made, you are.

          November 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
        • Positron

          You want to talk about Christian Neocons...fine no problem, and I'll tell you why.

          There's not that much of a distinction...Jewish Neocons and Christian Neocons (ie the 15% German Ethnic majority in this country and all of the other White people who are following them hook line and sinker) are on the same team and have waged a war TOGETHER against the Arabs.

          They are on the same team in the war, they just have separate objectives.

          The Jewish Neocons seek to protect and embellish the land the seized as their own in 1948.
          The Christian Neocons seek a foothold in the region for its natural resources and have racial motivation for protecting
          Neocon Jews...what racial motivation?, simple, the White Jews that survived the Holocaust look just like us therefore we
          want to protect them.

          November 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
        • Dave & Buster

          You really think all people in America of German ancestry are neocons? You think all people in America if Jewish ancestry are neocons?

          Evidence?

          November 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
        • Positron

          We have already covered this as much as possible...we can't arrive at any final conclusion via hard references...we can't go to the census and see how many people self-identified as Neocons and check their ancestry...we've done about all you can do here as its not a rigorous analysis. You seem willing to debate....so why not lets start at the very beginning and work forward.

          I assert that the Jewish declaration of a State of Israel subsequent to the UNs passing of Resolution 181 was an
          unauthorized/illegal act of land seizure where Israelis essentially simply decided to take what was not theirs without
          the owner's consent. Jews already had immigration rights to Mandatory Palestine, a country which had plenty of room
          to accommodate them. What gave them the right to seize land without the authorization, consent, or approval of its
          rightful owners when their needs for a place to settle away from Europe had already been met via the immigration rights?

          November 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
        • Dave & Buster

          You can assert anything you want.
          Palestine was never a nation, either; what on God's green earth do you think you can change today?
          Although you may feel your outrage is justified, at this late date, it changes nothing.
          I have wasted enough time on this.
          Unless you have a theory or a viable solution, you are beating a dead horse.
          Good night.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
        • Positron

          LOL, let me guess you are late for a UN Security Council meeting, or emmm a debate on Fox News? Yes you certainly have contributed quite a bit here and I can certainly understand your frustration at seeing all your efforts go to waste...must really be tough.

          Thanks for giving me the last word though as I am sure you will be far too busy to resond. Mandatory Palestine was a geographic area with defined borders and under British Rule up until 1948 when the Jews decided to take UN Resolution 181 as law and claim that the borders defined in 181 defined a new State of Israel. It was essentially the modern day equivalent of something akin to what Puerto Rico is to the United states...ie a US Territory.

          The point is, there was order there and there were laws that people were following, which is clearly demonstrated
          by the fact that there were land transactions that were being recorded and honored with Jewish settlers purchasing
          land from its rightful owners. The termination of British Rule over Mandatory Palestine was apparently viewed by the
          Jews as an open invitation to declare all land rights invalid and seize land from its rightful owners. Essentially
          the thinking appears to have been, now that British Rule has ended, there is no law, and we will not respect any
          of the order that was created.

          As far as finding a solution, maybe a good place to start is helping people understand what really happened over there (and
          what is still going on). It is my opinion that the average American sees the Jews as victims in the Middle East who are the subject of Arab oppression. I really wonder how many people hold the viewpoint that the oppression began (and essentially this whole quagmire) with the Jews and their expansionist seizure of land illegally.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I suggest you review the definitions of "majority" and "plurality."

      November 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Positron

        Just did, thank you for pointing that out...It does appear that the more precise and correct word, when applied to the voting example I gave above is plurality which is synonymous with "relative majority".

        November 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          But unfortunately, you did use "relative majority," at least not above.

          November 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • Positron

          I think you meant to say "did not" as opposed to "did"

          And again, you are correct, I did not use it and erroneously used the less precise and more general word "majority"
          It was an error which unfortunately I cannot correct because CNN does not allow edits...which is a good thing...I don't believe in revising history.

          November 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  6. Granny

    I am not surprised to see the spiritual warfare 'flying' back and forth in this thread! Anytime that the Jews are brought up, the devil hates it and tries to suppress truth. What is the truth you ask? There is proof of the truth!
    google Ron Wyatt and read how God used him to 'uncover truth' that backs up what is written in the Bible. God used that man to find Noah's Ark,, the Ark of the Covenant – complete with the two tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments (which I call the Ten Protections), the Red Sea crossing, Mount Siani and Sodom & Gomorrah. Physical proof. For the sake of no more blood shed, people of all faiths and religious beliefs, including Muslims, would be most wise to acknowledge that what Jehovah God has ordained in His 'times and seasons' (get down to the truth), has and will, contnue to happen. God Almighty ordained the borders and bounderies of the Jewish peoples' land Israel, and no one will ever take their land that God gave then, from them again – EVER! It's foolish to even think you can 'win' a debate about something that is 'writen in stone' and will remain as solid as a rock – FOREVER! Even the human body is a picture of God's relationship with mankind. All of creation testifies to Him and His glory – not any man's glory.

    November 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Positron

      "For the sake of no more blood shed, people of all faiths and religious beliefs, including Muslims, would be most wise to acknowledge that what Jehovah God has ordained in His...etc"

      I love this...particularly "would be most wise"

      In others: "Hey you Muslims, you know what, unless you conform to our understanding and interpretation of what God is,
      we are going to take your land, kill you, and pave the way for stealing your resources (ie Oil)"

      Furthermore, you are not ALLOWED to create and embrace your own understanding of God....you have to through us,
      the White people of this planet, who have a patent on the concept of God and a monopoly on the collective understanding of
      it. In a nutshell, you have no right to understand God on your own, because we OWN God.

      It seems, that just as people had to struggle against physical enslavement, people now have to struggle against mental
      enslavement which is of course enforced with the threat of murder just as physical enslavement was.

      "Granny", you should be asking yourself what Jesus would have done in regards to going to Iraq and murdering innocent
      women in Children....would Jesus have supported that?

      The US and Israel are the aggressors in these wars, just as the US was the aggressor in Vietnam.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • Philip Douglas

        So you are anti-war? Okay. That's better than being anti Semitic.

        You're ashamed of being white, is that it?

        November 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Positron

          Philip, focus on my arguments and statements, for all you know I am a computer program written by a mad scientist.
          The source is irrelevant, what IS RELEVANT, is the truth.

          November 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Philip Douglas

          Look, I am just wondering at your motive at these posts. If your anti war, that's the motive. If you are anti-Anerican, that's your motive. If you are anti-white, that's your motive. I don't know what your motive is, that's why I am guessing. Because you're all over the place.
          If you don't like people questioning you in an attempt to find out your motivation, you may want to state your purpose and get that out of the way.

          Otherwise, a litany of complaints is just a litany of complaints.

          November 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • Positron

          I already did state my motive several posts ago.

          To seek the truth.

          Am I allowed to do that here and post comments in an effort to both seek the truth for myself and if possible spread the truth?

          What in the world difference does my personal motivation for doing so matter one IOTA to you? Maybe I am working on
          a thesis, maybe I am starting a website...WHO CARES...it is all secondary to the fact that my primary objective is to seek the truth...I have posted quite alot of historical information and my interpretation of what happened...please focus on that and stop wasting time on analyzing my motives. If you need one to sleep better at night let it be that I SEEK TO SHED LIGHT ON THIS ISSUE.

          November 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Philip Douglas

          Seek the truth about what? Shed light on what issue? Iraq? Israel? WHAT?

          You are all over the map, my little conspiracy theorist. I have read your posts. I don't see you shedding light in anything at all except you seem to hate Jews AND German people.

          The world began waaaay before 1948, son.

          November 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • Positron

          You are obviously just here to stubbornly play devil's advocate...you insist on putting all the focus on me and offering virtually nothing new to the conversation here. I have nothing more to say to you because you are apparently just here to waste time.

          The world was around before 1948 yes, US involvement in the now intractible situation in the Middle was not around before 1948, but has been ever since...that is the last thing I have to say to you.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      NoadsArkSearch.com doesn't think too highly of Ron Wyatt:

      http://www.noahsarksearch.com/ronwyatt.htm

      November 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  7. Positron

    Well since nobody seems to want to debate what really happened in the Middle East and why we are in the intractible situation that we are in right now....I will leave and try to say something human and with empathy aside from the analysis.

    If it were the case that the Jews acted wrongly by taking land from the Palistinians by force....it would be of course, one of the most understandable acts of aggression in History...after what was bestowed upon them in WWII what people wouldn't suffer a temporary loss of sanity? They were offered a deal by the same people, the Germans, that brought destruction to their predominantly brown compatriots in WWII. As I have mentioned ad infinitum, the United States has a 15% German majority and THAT MAJORITY has been extremely aggressive in this country since the end of liberalism sometime in the late 80s. The surviving WHITE jews decided to take the offer that was given to them to give them ammunition for their thirst for resources (ie Oil) and control of the Middle East while ALL of the focus was placed on defending the Holy land. The Jews got right back into bed with the same Evil that they had survived not only 50 years earlier. Understandable? yes to a degree...but still wrong? yes...sooner or later you have to start taking responsibility for your actions..

    November 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Philip Douglas

      You sound like an anti-Semitic bigot.
      Not an ad hominem, just an observation.

      November 29, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
      • Positron

        It IS ad hominem if you dont give justification for why I am an antisemetic bigot....I can assure you that I am not.
        You are really playing the antisemitism card here....How can Jewish people be so very sensitive about what happened to them during the Holocaust...and then turn around and team up with American Neo Fascists to do the same thing to the Arabs in Palestine? Incredibly hypocritical.

        November 30, 2013 at 2:01 am |
        • Judas Priest

          Then I will simply say that you are wrong.
          You are saying that the US has a 15% German majority. If by that you mean Germans are the largest white ancestry group in the country you'd be correct, but that's far from a majority of the total population, or even the white population. You also seem to think that ths 15% gives Germans some special control of US foreign policy; no it does not.
          You're equating the German population of the US with Neo-Nazis. Neo-Nazis are a tiny splinter of the US population, they are marginalized politically, and guess what? Most of them are not of German ancestry.
          You seem to think liberalism ended in the late 80s; untrue, else why would conservatives keep screaming about liberal bias in the media?
          There is no oil in Israel. The Jews simply wanted their own territory. The problem with that is that who should control that territory is in dispute (to put it mildly). They are smack in the middle of the territory of people that hate them. What, did you think Arabs only started hating Jews after WW2? Do you think they were allies before then? That hatred started long, long before WW2.
          The likely reason why you were called a bigot is probably because you are accusing these "white Jews" of valuing the nonexistent oil of Israel so much that they'd ally with American Germans, who you represent as being Neo-Nazis, who with their teeny 15% of the white population control the entire country.
          Myself, I don't call that bigoted; I just call it stupid.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Judas Priest

          I'm also going to add this; in earlier comments you raised some legitimate points for discussion about how the British Mandate was apportioned, which is a huge part of the whole quagmire and the legality of it all is a huge, tangled, convoluted mess.
          You did this in a civil manner.
          But people aren't responding to those, they're only responding to ones where you're off the deep end.
          It's almost as though people would rather get upset about something than have to use their brains and formulate an actual argument.
          Man, I am on the wrong effin' planet.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  8. Nice Story But

    Nice story, but the Jewish people are slowly but surely realizing that the United States is getting tired of all the hypocritical guilt trips and finger wagging. I think Obama's recent decision with Iran has only proven that Israel is on its own now. On the whole, Israel has proven to be a failed experiment, a country of oppressed people who turned into the oppressors, actually becoming worse than the Nazis with their treatment of the Palestinians.

    November 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Maddy

      That's what you got out of this story?

      November 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Russells Teapot

      Says the dolt who obviously has no idea what they are talking about. You can go back under your rock

      November 29, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Observer

      I am too much. Told u they were all Jew haters. I am a genius' genius. I am above and beyond all humans.

      November 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
      • .

        R u we Todd did? U r we Todd did.

        November 30, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  9. Positron

    OK, lets get the ball rolling.
    "Britain agreed to split the land we know as Jordan and Israel today into two parts – an Arab state and an Israeli state"
    Incorrect.
    The British Mandate did not create an Israeli state...a state has geographic borders, no such borders were created by the
    British mandate which gave Jews land rights...please cite the reference from the British Mandate or elsewhere that supports your assertion if you want to debate this further.

    November 29, 2013 at 5:13 am |
    • Positron

      I have formulated a thorough response but nothing I try will allow me to get it through CNNs prescreening filter...will try later.

      November 29, 2013 at 5:55 am |
      • Positron

        "Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconst1tuting their national home in that country"

        And thats it...that's the most relevant excerpt from the British Mandate....and pay close attention to the phrase "in that country" What does that mean?...it means that Mandatory Palestine is a sovereign nation which is granting Jews immigration rights per the Mandate.

        November 29, 2013 at 6:00 am |
        • Positron

          The main thing that the British Mandate did was to give Jews the right to freely immigrate to the land area defined as
          Mandatory Palestine. Which is what is today the area comprised of modern day Palestine and Modern Day Israel (as defined by the UN 1948 resolution which the Arabs rejected) In other words, it gave Jews immigration rights to Mandatory Palestine. However it DID NOT create a state of Israel which would have given Jews land rights to Mandatory Palestine. Again, the British Mandate allocated immigration rights...not land rights.

          November 29, 2013 at 6:01 am |
        • Positron

          And they did immigrate, by 1946 there was a population of about half a million Jews over a land area comprising 6% the total land area (6000 km^2) of Mandatory Palestine. This equates to a population density of about 1400/km^2 (compare to Modern day South Korea at 1288/km^2).

          When viewed in terms of actual land owned the population density is 1288/km^2, however when viewed in terms of the fact
          that Jews had the right to immigrate to the the entire state of Mandatory Palestine the population density is the figure
          I referenced in my original post of 57/km^2. The point is, Jews were given citizenship rights to Mandatory Palestine...a place which based on the existing population densities provided plenty of room for repatriation after the Holocaust.

          November 29, 2013 at 6:02 am |
    • Judas Priest

      See, this is where you are raising a legitimate point for discussion in a rational, civil manner. I notice that I'm not seeing responses to these posts, I'm only seeing responses to the ones where you are making wacky accusations. Interesting.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • urnotathinkerareu

        “The existence of the physical world reveals the power of God and insights into His character.”
        How? Why? The existence of the physical world reveals no such thing. It merely confirms that reality has form and structure. Does your god have form and structure? If so please be the first to elaborate.
        “The perfect law reveals man’s incapacity and duty to obey”
        What perfect law? What does that even mean? Why do you believe it’s perfect when it was penned by(using your logic) imperfect men? You are so far down the rabbit hole that the light of reason is completely hidden.

        November 30, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  10. hearties

    Thank you Jesus for the wonderful meal today.

    November 29, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  11. stankie

    Sup?

    November 29, 2013 at 12:29 am |
  12. Live4Him

    @Positron : What was the justification for allocating more land [after 1950] for the Jews by taking it from Palestine when the population density of Israel was more than sufficient to accommodate the returning Jews?

    You're spreading misinformation with your question. Let's do a level set before we address your question. Around WWI (i.e. 1920ish), Britain agreed to split the land we know as Jordan and Israel today into two parts – an Arab state and an Israeli state – to reward them for their efforts in defeating the Ottoman Empire (re: Balfour Declaration of 1917 / Churchill White Paper of 1922). These agreements were also similar to several other agreements that were in the works from other European countries, so there was international support for a Jewish national homeland. So, they split the land into Jordan and an Israel state, divided by the Jordan River. Riots broke out in the area and Britain reneged on the agreement until 1948. When the Jewish concentration camps were discovered, the international community was horrified. They realized the British inaction played a part in the Hitler's Jewish Solution. Jordan's statehood was promptly granted, but issues continued to rise over the establishment of the Jewish national homeland. In the end, the territory promised to Israel in 1917 was subsequently divided between the Arabs and the Jews.

    So, the correct question that should be addressed here is What was the justification for allocating LESS land in 1948 for the Jews and giving it to the Arabs when they had already received their territory?

    November 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Happy Thanksgiving Live4Him.

      The verse of the day on biblegateway,

      Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 1 Chronicles 16:8 AKJV

      November 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Not much activity these last few days on the forums. However, this thread was one I thought I should jump in on. What's going on for you this holiday? Visiting relatives?

        November 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          We've been having Thanksgivings at the relatives since the first of the month. Feasting at home Today, very nice. How about y'all ?

          November 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • Live4Him

          Yep, visiting the in-laws side of the family this week.

          November 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • PositronProxy

      Live4Him, thank you for responding to my question with something other than ad hominem attacks.

      I will be posting a reply shortly...in fact... I challenge you to a duel...I agree that if I lose I will cease to post on this thread.

      This is an incredibly important issue that needs to be hammered out down to the molecular level....our involvement in these
      wars has cost the lives of many innocent Iraqi people, many US soldiers, and a tremendous expenditure of resources. I
      will not stop posting until we arrive at loggerheads I can assure you of that

      November 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
  13. Positron

    One last major question:

    The following chart shows that the population density of Israel was only 57/km^2 in 1950 at the time of the UN
    resolution to carve up Palestine and give some of it to the Jews:

    http://www.factfish.com/statistic-country/israel/population%20density

    What reason, can ANYBODY offer, for the need to allocate more land for the Jews returning from Europe after WWII
    when the population density of Israel at that time was about 1/4th that of present day Luxembourg (200/km^2)?
    There was clearly enough room to accommodate all of the returning Jews so why add fuel to a fire when there was
    ABSOLUTELY no reason to do so.

    What was the justification for allocating more land for the Jews by taking it from Palestine when the population
    density of Israel was more than sufficient to accommodate the returning Jews?

    November 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Catapult

      What is your major goal here?

      November 28, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • Positron

        I seek the truth...and you?

        November 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
        • Catapult

          The truth of what, exactly ?

          November 28, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • Positron

          The truth of this:

          What was the justification for allocating more land for the Jews by taking it from Palestine when the population
          density of Israel was more than sufficient to accommodate the returning Jews?

          November 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
        • Catapult

          Why do you think the borders were unfair? Remember, Palestine wasn't even a country; but all that aside, why do you think the population of Israel would never grow?
          Do you think that they should have been confined to a smaller area, perhaps in ghettos?

          November 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  14. Shelley

    Such a beautiful story of endurance and love!! Why are some of you on here bickering??

    November 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      It's a belief blog and what you see here is what you get on every story.

      November 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  15. bartek

    That's great story.

    Town's was/is called FrysZtak, BTW, not Frystak. 😉

    November 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  16. karl

    if this story does'nt bring a tear to you're eye then nothing can. god bless both families. happy hollidays to both families from boston mass

    November 28, 2013 at 11:25 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.