World War II

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World War II

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  1. The ruler of Russia now saw that there was strife among his enemies. He had allowed no Jews into his country when they were being persecuted, not even the small number admitted by some of the nations. When he saw the disunity among his enemies growing, he began to hope that he would be able to avoid a confrontation with Germany’s might by persuading the ruler of Germany to wage war against his erstwhile friends. He promised not to harass the German and not to lead the Russian army against him, should the German wage war against his former friends, the enemies of Russia. And the ruler of Germany made a peace treaty with the ruler of Russia.

  2. Six months after his invasion of Czechoslovakia, the ruler of Germany invaded Poland. The rulers of Britain and France saw that they had misjudged the man called Hitler. They had promised protection to the Poles and so now they were obliged to declare war on the ruler of Germany, even though they were not properly armed for war. And they did declare war on him. The rulers of Britain and of France did not blame themselves for the fact that they had not recognised the symptoms in the man called Hitler; even now, they did not recognise the symptoms.

  3. As to the Jews, dispersed among the nations, their lifestyle was in every way similar to that of the host nations. In every country, the lifestyle of the Jews always followed the lifestyle of the people there. Only in name were the Jews a distinct nation. They were citizens of the host country and when two nations went to war against one another, Jews fought in opposing armies. The Jews had inherited one faith from their fathers, but they did not care to question whether, according to the faith that they had inherited, it was right to be living just like other people and fight against each other on behalf of those people. And whereas the Jews in every country had close ties with the people of that country, the many groups of Jews throughout the world did not have close ties with each other. Once, one faith had meant one people and one people meant one faith. Later, the Jews still had one faith, but they were a people in name only. And thus the Jews were drawn into the whirl of life of every nation.

  4. And many thousands came to the land of Palestine. And they said: We want to be a nation once more’. And they asked the people of Britain and the Arabs to allow all the Jews who wanted to live in the land of Israel to come there. But the British and the Arabs denied the Jews entry to the land of Israel. Even those Jews who were fleeing from the murderers employed by the ruler of Germany were not allowed to come to the land of Israel. Three hundred Jews came in a boat. They were sent back to the ship. The ship was called the Struma. It was shipwrecked and the Jews on board the ship were drowned in the sea. And seven thousand of the Jews in Palestine went to fight in the armies of Britain and France against the ruler of Germany and his associates.

  5. And many of those who lived in the land of Israel said: We cannot be one people while we live scattered among the nations. Only a land with its inhabitants can form one people. We want to be a people once more, a people with its own faith’. That was the faith that they had when they were dispersed. It had no law forbidding them to be citizens of other countries. Some said ‘We can only hold one true faith if we are citizens of the Jewish nation in the land of Israel’ Others said: ‘Jews can hold to their faith even if they are citizens of other countries. A few said: ‘Jews can hold to their true faith in any land, but not if they are citizens of that land; not if they are equal to the non-Jews of other nations; only if they are citizens of the Jewish nations. One faith and one law can create a people that comprises all those who believe and who observe the law in all their dwelling places. But the law does not countenance citizenship of other nations and being and being equal to non-Jews. Jews should not set their roots in other nations; their ties should not be firm and their baggage should be ready. The other nations will one day also become citizens of the faith; it will be proclaimed in the assembly of nations, as Isaiah prophecied. The nations that will reject the kingdom prophecied by Isaiah will disappear from the face of the earth. The nations that will accept it will live. But the land of Israel is itself under a ban as long as Jews live there only by the grace and favour of other nations’.

  6. When war broke out between the Allies, Britain and France, and Germany, anxiety weighed heavily on the Jews in these lands and in every land. Everyone could see that Germany had swelled into a monster, mightier than it had ever been. Even before it had swallowed Austria and Czechoslovakia, Germany was stronger than France. . Britain had always maintained only had a small fighting force because its strength lay in its fleet on the seas. All the combined armies of the Allies were much weaker than the army of the ruler of Germany. His arms arsenal was huge and his weapons of destruction were far superior to those of the Allies. The Allies went to war with inadequate arms and low in spirit. In the first world war, four powerful nations had wrestled for four years with Germany before they laid it low. Now, the two most powerful of those nations, America and Russia, were not formally enemies of Germany; Russia was allied with Germany through a peace treaty. How, then, was Germany to be defeated? Its adversaries were weaker and it strongest enemies were not involved.

  7. Inside Poland the battle raged between the ruler of Germany and the Allies, Britain, France and Poland. Within a few weeks, the German armies ravaged The capital of Poland, defeated the Polish army and conquered half of the country. The other half was taken without a fight by the armies of Russia. This had been agreed in the Peace Treaty between the ruler of Germany and the ruler of Russia. The Jews in Poland watched with horror as the German armies advanced. The number of Jews living in Poland was greater than the number living in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia put together. Thousands, tens of thousands of Jews fled to the part of Poland occupied by Russia. And the Russians accepted them. The rulers of Poland were hostile to Russia. And they had for a long time threatened and oppressed the Jews in Poland. So the Russians believed that the Jews would be friendly towards them. And many Jews in Poland were indeed friendly towards Russia. In the war, Russia allowed many Jews into their country. But to the faith and the law of the Jews the Russians were hostile.

  8. Far greater than the number of Jews saved by escaping to the Russians was the number of Jews who fell into the hands of the armies and the henchmen of Germany And disaster, terror, torture and murderous persecution were inflicted on the Jews in Poland by the ruler of Germany. He also sent to Poland thousands and tens of thousands of Jews from Germany, from Austria and from Czechoslovakia. And he locked them into huge prisons. There, the Jews from these countries and from Poland were tormented and were made to live in constant expectation of death, guarded by murderous German squads. And the ruler of Germany had tens of thousands of Jews locked away in the town of Lublin. 40. The armies of the British and of the French were far too weak to be able to offer help to the Poles. For eight months the British and French stood facing the German army along the frontier between France and Germany. In the eighth month of the war the ruler of Germany invaded Denmark and Norway, to the North of Germany. By going through these countries, the massed German battalions could reach France without encountering the massive fortifications that the French had built to the East of their country against the Germans.

  9. When the ruler of Germany invaded Holland, that country surrendered after six days. The king of Belgium surrendered to the ruler of Germany eighteen days after the Germans invaded Belgium The German army was thus able to reach the rear of the French army and to inflict total defeat on the French and the British. A part of the British army was able to reach the shores of its own country. The soldiers of the French army were taken prisoner and disarmed by the Germans. Six weeks after the Germans broke into France, that country surrendered to the ruler of Germany. And when the man called Hitler received the news that Germany’s chief enemy had laid down its arms, he believed that he had come to the best day in his life and he moved in joyful steps in front of those who were near to him.

  10. Hordes of soldiers and murderers now poured into all the occupied countries, from Norway to France. At first only the North of France was occupied; later the whole of the country. And in every country, the German torturers and soldiers hunted down the Jews who were there. And many thousands of Jews who had escaped from Germany, from Austria and from Czechoslovakia to Holland, to Belgium, to Norway, to Denmark and to France, were once again caught up by their assassins. The new rulers of France who had surrendered to the Germans sent out catchers to help the Germans in their hunt for the Jews in France, at first in the Northern part and then throughout the land. They handed over any Jews they found escaping and other Jews too, to the Germans who were pursuing them. And the man called Hitler had them in his hands. He sent many tens of thousands to Poland to join those who were already incarcerated there. And many Jews killed themselves.