On Monday, January 29, an act in memory of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust took place in the Senate of Madrid. The Act was chaired by D.Pío García Escudero, President of the Senate, and some of the speakers were, in addition to Mr.Escudero himself, the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, the Chief Rabbi of Spain -Rab Moshe Bendahan-, The Minister of Justice of the Spanish Government, Mr. Rafael Catalá, the Director of the Institute of Gypsy Culture and the President of the Amical Association Mathausen.
Six candles were lit on the spot by representatives of the different collectives.
The act was emotional and very solemn.
A year later, he returned to unearth them, and the tragic story they show is heartbreaking.
The depressive Madrid of the first 40 was also a Madrid of secrets and intrigues, spies with monocle and clandestine activities. Under its privileged geographical situation, holding the interests of Nazis and allies, stories of alternative diplomacy are hidden; Double side of the exclusive Embassy. This confectionery of the Paseo de la Castellana, which brought together aristocrats, ambassadors and intelligence agents around tea, pastries and surveillance, closed its doors 86 years later.
The distinguished and exclusive British appearance of the place, founded in 1931, colored the city’s leaden landscape. It was the obsession of Margarita Kearney Taylor, owner of the same, who from the beginning tried to turn the area into an approximation of the elegant neighborhoods of London, such as Mayfair or Belgravia. Then, with the outbreak of World War II, he strove to give refuge and departure to those fleeing from the German Gestapo and SS.
The confectionery, also converted into a restaurant, was named “Embassy” because of its proximity to several embassies, especially the British and German embassies, the latter located a few steps away, next to the “Friedenskirche” IBM building. Their interests converged on the exclusive premises, witnessing a tense and superficial calm.
The Nazi deployment, led by Paul Winzer, head of the Gestapo, and Hans Lazar, head of propaganda in Spain, increased control and pressure in the area with the connivance of Francisco Franco. Germany, in this sense, even came up with an invasion to satisfy its strategic pretensions in the conflict. Kearney Taylor, along with the British ambassador Sir Samuel Hoare, turned his place into a refuge to alleviate the persecution suffered by anyone who was against the interests of the Nazis.
Embassy’s basement, which housed an oven for confectionery cakes, housed thousands of undocumented immigrants who received food, attention, and some money. It is estimated that the British embassy spent more than 1,000 pounds a day to undertake such an undertaking, which was eventually interrupted by several closures of the premises. Marguerite’s mood, Irish of elegant but firm appearance, did not waver.
Regarding the Jews, Embassy was constituted as their salvation and opportunity of flight. Franco never undertook a policy of persecution against them, but anyone who entered illegally into Spain was subject to arrest and deportation. About 30,000 people were evacuated, despite the harassment of the German embassy.
The Jewish Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem, embarks again on a battle against the Holocaust deniers. On this occasion Robert Rozett, the director of his library – the one who owns the most complete collection of the world on everything published about the genocide committed by the Nazis – has written to the Director General of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, to ask him personally to take measures That prevent the sale on their platform of books that “deny, distort and trivialize the Holocaust”, says verbatim. “I have sent an email to his personal account, a letter addressed to him to the company’s mailing address in Seattle and also an email through Amazon customer service, to be sure that our request reaches His destiny, “Rozett admits in conversation with EL PAÍS.
They have not made a list of titles to withdraw – they will do later, they confess – but they have offered their help to the North American online sales giant to identify the publications to be withdrawn and have included in the missive three concrete examples that they would like Amazon to leave To sell immediately on their different websites: Richard Harwood’s well-known book Did six million really died ?, which calls into question that six million people actually died in the concentration camps of Hitler’s Germany during World War II ; The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The case against the presumed extermination of European jewry, written by Arthur R. Butz, who maintains that the mass extermination in Auschwitz did not occur and for that reason the allies could not have knowledge of him and by The Leuchter Reports: Critical Edition by Fred A. Leuchter and others, commonly known as the Leuchter Report and conceived to call into question the existence of gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps.
Years ago, when the American company began to take off, Yad Vashem already contacted the company’s management to ask them not to be complicit in the distribution of books that “foment hatred and feed anti-Semitism,” says Rozett, but The firm shielded itself in freedom of expression so as not to withdraw them.
In some countries, such as Germany – where Holocaust denial is a crime – Amazon does not distribute those books. Nor does it in its subsidiaries in Spain, Italy or France but in the United States and the United Kingdom where, for Rozett, there is also a border between legal and correct that should not be passed, although denying genocide Jewish, is not classified as illegal. “It may be legal, but it is not right or is it right to profit from material that encourages hatred? Should you make money at any price? “Asks the director of the Library of Yad Vashem who, like Amazon, defend the sale of such publications for the sake of freedom ..
Therefore, the director of the Library of the Holocaust Museum assures that, even if they do not receive a response from Amazon, they will not cease their efforts to withdraw from the market all those publications that question the organized and large-scale extermination committed by the Nazis. “Especially now that we’re seeing how in the last two weeks there’s a surge in violence against Jews in the United States,” Rozett says.
It refers to the false bomb threats received in February by at least 11 American Jewish centers and the desecration of a Jewish cemetery last week in the suburbs of St. Louis and in the reconstruction of which Muslim activists are also collaborating Defend multi-religious coexistence.
Candles, white roses, poems and songs have reminded one of the most frightening times in European history in Segovia today and have served as a tribute to the more than 15 million victims of Nazism in an event celebrated on the occasion of the European Day of The Holocaust Memorial.
The event was attended by the deputy secretary of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, Elias Cohen; The press chief of the Israeli Embassy in Spain, Uriel Macías; The General Director of Centro Sefarad-Israel, Miguel de Lucas, and survivor of the Holocaust Rhoda Henelde, in addition, the Mayor of Segovia, Clara Luquero, and several councilors.
Macias explained in a statement to the media minutes before the homage that these kinds of acts have a double importance, since they serve as “lesson and warning” to the new generations, but also to honor the memory of those who were persecuted until death.
In this sense, he has insisted that not only “evil” is remembered in this act, but also the survivors and the people who helped save lives, who in their view, “are an example of good is possible.”
Although there are more and more Spanish cities joining this initiative, Segovia is one of the veterans, partly because of its close ties to its Jewish past.
Survivor Rhoda Henelde, who was born in Warsaw during the invasion of Poland by the Nazi army, has recognized that it is very hard for her to relive her childhood over and over but, in her opinion, acts like this “are an obligation for the People do not forget it “.
Henelde has assured that it has taken “all these years” to overcome these events that marked his life and although he has said that she was not in concentration camps or extermination, his family did not suffer the same fate.
“The important thing is to assume it to transmit it and move forward now that the situation has changed,” he has condemned.
The deputy secretary of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, Elías Cohen, has transmitted during his speech the need to “remember to avoid mistakes in the future and to educate from childhood.”
He also emphasized that these events that occurred in the heart of Europe only 70 years ago represent “a crime unique in history by its methods, its figures, the machinery of death they used and above all for the purpose of eliminating A collective for the mere fact of being “.