Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Plus ca change. . . .

The following was forwarded to me by email. It is originally from a powerful Maccabi weightlifter who visited Austria, the new enlightened post-Nazi Austria.

WHILE IN VIENNA, KARYN AND I WENT LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR ALAN.
WE THOUGH A ARMY SURPLUS STORE WOULD DO NICELY.
ALAN COLLECTS OLD ARMY STUFF.
THE STORE WAS CLOSED, 3 HOUR LUNCH BREAK.
WE LOOKED THROUGH THE WINDOW.
IN AUSTRIA, I EXPECTED TO SEE NAZI THINGS.
NAZI ARM BANDS, SWASTIKAS, NAZI FLAGS,
I EXPECTED THIS.
I DIDN'T EXPECT TO SEE THINGS STOLEN FROM TEMPLES.
YODS, TORAH FACE PLATES, YELLOW STARS, ARM BANDS FROM DIFFERENT CONCENTRATION CAMPS...
WHEN I TOLD KARYN WHAT THESE THINGS WERE, SHE WAS VERY UPSET...
I WAS VERY ANGRY.
WE WALKED AWAY.
WE SEPARATED AND WERE TO SUPPOSED TO MEET JAN FOR LUNCH.
I WENT FOR A WALK TO CLEAR MY HEAD BUT STARTED TO HAVE A ANXIETY ATTACK INSTEAD.
[this is hard to write]
I FOUND A PHARMACY AND SPELLED OUT XANEX.
I COULD BARELY SPEAK AT THIS POINT.
I TOOK A LOT OF LITTLE PILLS TO TRY TO CALM DOWN.
I CALLED ABE AND BETTY WEINTRAUB BACK HOME TO ASK WHAT TO DO.
I WAS READY TO MAX OUT EVERY CREDIT CARD I HAD.
THEY BOTH TOLD ME THAT WOULD ONLY MAKE THE MARKET FOR SUCH THINGS TO PROSPER.
AND NOT TO GIVE THEM A DIME.
TO TRY TO CALM DOWN...ME, CALM DOWN, RIGHT.
I STILL DON'T KNOW IF THEY WERE RIGHT.
i'm starting to lose it again just remembering this nightmare.
I MET KARYN AND JAN, KARYN KNEW ME BETTER BACK THEN.
THEY LOOKED AT ME AND SAID WE SHOULD GO FOR A DRINK.
I HAD ONE DRINK.
I TOLD THEM I WAS GOING BACK TO THE STORE.
KARYN LOOKED ME RIGHT IN THE EYE AND ASKED ME IF I WAS GOING TO GET ARRESTED?
IN A LOW VOICE I ANSWERED - I DON'T KNOW...I WAS STARTING TO TREMBLE, TO LOSE IT AGAIN.
I WALKED BACK TO THE STORE NOT REALLY KNOWING WHAT WOULD HAPPEN.
I WIPED MY FACE.
i could never tell this story face to face. i'm getting upset now because i still don't know if i did the right thing.
I WALKED IN THE SMALL STORE AND LOOKED AROUND AT EVERYTHING.
I DIDN'T WANT THE OWNER TO KNOW I WAS JEWISH.
FINALLY I ASKED HIM WHAT THE "SILVER POINTY THING" WAS AND HOW MUCH WAS IT.
HE TOLD ME IT WAS A ANTIQUE BABY RATTLE [IT WAS A YOD] AND WAS 350 EURO.
I CONTINUED TO LOOK AROUND AND SAW AN VERY OLD TORAH FACE PLATE.
HE SAW ME LOOKING AT IT AND TOLD ME IT WAS 800 EURO.
HE THEN TOLD ME THE "RATTLE" WAS REALLY USED TO READ JEWISH SCROLLS.
I TOLD HIM I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT IS WAS.
NOW HE KNEW I WAS WAS JEWISH.
WITH MY BACK TO HIM, I ASKED WHY THESE THINGS WERE SO EXPENSIVE.
JEWISH PEOPLE BUY THEM TO RESCUE THEM, OTHERS BUY THEM FOR THEIR HISTORY.
i remember this as if it was this morning.
HE ASKED ME WHAT I WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY.
MY JAW TIGHTENED, I CLOSED MY FISTS AND TURNED TO HIM.
I BACKED HIM TO THE WALL, INCHES FROM HIS FACE.
I ANGRILY RAISED MY VOICE AND ASKED HIM HOW MUCH HE WOULD PAY FOR A RELIGIOUS ITEMS STOLEN FROM A RANSACKED CHURCH?
I DON'T WANT ANY TROUBLE!!! HE SAID RAISEING HIS OPEN HANDS.
YOU ALREADY GOT TROUBLE!
I WAS LOSING MY MIND!
I WAS SWEATING, MY HEART WAS POUNDING!
A 265 LB. BOMB ABOUT TO BLOW!
READY TO POUND HIM AS HARD AND AS LONG AS I COULD...
EVERY MUSCLE WAS TIGHT, HE HAD NO PLACE TO GET AWAY.
I KNEW IF I THREW ONE PUNCH, I WOULD HAVE THROWN ONE HUNDRED.
I WOULD HAVE BROKEN HIS FACE, HANDS, KNEES AND FEET.
IF HE SURVIVED I WOULD MAKE SURE HE WAS IN PAIN FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

I NEVER WAS, NOR HAVE I BEEN SINCE, THAT CLOSE TO WANTING TO CRIPPLE SOMEONE WITH MY BARE HANDS.
I NEVER EVEN THOUGHT OF A WEAPON, ONLY MY JEWISH HANDS WOULD DO.

THE LOOK FEAR IN HIS EYES, HIS FACE TURNING PALE, HIS BODY SHAKING LIKE A LEAF, WAS JUST ENOUGH TO SLOW ME DOWN.
I THOUGHT OF WHAT KARYN SAID, ARE YOU GOING TO GET ARRESTED?

AN AMERICAN AND A JEW IN AUSTRIA...THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.
I WALKED OUT OF THE STORE.

THIS SHORT STORY TOOK ME WELL OVER AN HOUR TO WRITE. I HAD TO STOP SEVERAL TIMES.

PEOPLE TELL ME IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO. I SHOULD LET IT GO.

WE WENT TO A STREET FAIR THE DAY WE WERE LEAVING.
THERE WERE OLD BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO'S FOR SALE.
GIANT SWASTIKA'S PAINTED PROUDLY ON BUILDINGS.
I ASKED WHAT THEY WERE.
THE OLD MAN SAID:

BETTER TIMES...

SOME PEOPLE SAY I HAVE CHIP ON MY SHOULDER.

WHEN ISRAEL PAINT STORE DID THEIR SIDEWALKS OVER, SOMEONE CARVED A SWASTIKA IN THE CEMENT.
J. ISRAEL WAS THE ORIGINAL OWNER THREE OWNERS AGO.

IN 1972 MY UNCLE SLIM TOOK ME TO A FLATBUSH TEMPLE ON YOM KIPPOR.
THE ARABS JUST ATTACKED ON THE HOLIEST DAY OF THE JEWISH YEAR.
THE RABBI, NO MIKE, HAD A BOOMING VOICE.
HE SAID, AND I QUOTE:

SHAME ON YOU,
SHAME ON YOU ALL YOU JEWS WITH YOUR PORSCHE'S AND MERCEDES BUILT ON THE BLOOD OF YOUR PEOPLE!
YOU CAN NEVER FORGET!
NOR CAN YOU LET OTHERS FORGET!
I'LL KEEP MY CHIP, THANKYOU VERY MUCH.

I'M SORRY, BUT YOU ASKED...

MARK
REMEMBER THIS NEXT TIME YOU OR YOURS GOES CAR SHOPPING.
YOU WHAT HAPPENED IN AUSTRIA... [Ad kan leshono - end quote]


Note how the Austrian trafficker in stolen Jewish property went pale and shook as soon as he was confronted with a Jew who didn't fit his stereotype of the weak and frightened ghetto Jew. Perhaps this weightlifter should have proceeded to give the shopkeeper a taste of the Jewish fist.


This brings back memories of what my father a"h told me of growing up in Vienna in the 1920s and '30s, before Hitler came to power. The streets were teeming with brownshirted Nazi thugs who regularly harassed and beat Jews on the street. Mind you, these Jews were not the despised ostjuden with their beards, strange dress, foreign language and outlandish mannerisms. These were acculturated Jews who considered themselves Austrians, dressed like Austrians and spoke German like Austrians. Many even fought for Austria in World War I. My father a"h was an amateur boxer and gave the brownshirts a taste of Jewish strength. Who knows how things might have turned out differently if there had been more like him.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PAINTING OWNED BY A JEWISH PERSON STOLEN FIRST BY NAZIS, THEN BY AUSTRIA:

http://www.krazykaren.com/newsdesk_info.php?newsPath=15&newsdesk_id=40

Fri Oct 16, 05:34:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Neighborhood Bully" by Bob Dylan:

"Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man,His enemies say he's on their land. They got him outnumbered about a million to one, He got no place to escape to, no place to run. He's the neighborhood bully."
*********************************
...watch out, Austria. We're not going to take it anymore. F**K Y*U.

Sun Oct 18, 07:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Klimt painting was finally returned to Maria Altmann, I saw it displayed at the Neue Gallery in New York about a year ago. She has since sold it.

Mon Oct 19, 10:56:00 PM EDT  

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