Why antisemitism? Thick books have been written on this topic. As Christians, my friend and I agreed that the reason behind it is a demonic power, angry at the fact that Jesus Christ has come out of the Jewish nation, or that the Jews were chosen by God to communicate his laws to mankind.
However, in the case of the holocaust, this answer is not satisfactory (holocaust = preplanned killing of the whole nation) for WW2 because the holocaust then consisted in killing not only Jews, but also Poles, Russians and Gypsies. Property was taken from the Jews, but the Gypsies owned nothing and despite this they were killed in large numbers (see , p.9). Whatever the causes of the killing of the whole nations in history, Fedor Gál in the documentary  summarises the reasons on another level: the people a) stopped seeing people in others; b) and at the same time, they themselves stopped being people.
As a member of the Vrba-Wetzler Memorial 2015 march and as a visitor to the Auschwitz museum and the Zilina conference on the 26th August, 2015, called Discovering the Shoah (the Shoah being a hebrew word for the holocaust, meaning "destruction, killing") in Slovakia during WW2, I would like to sum up for myself and others a few lies which especially Jews had to go through (and not only Jews, as it was stressed above) on their sad journey to death:
a) The first lie was the proclamation of the fact that some races (or national groups) are superior to others. This is the opposite of the basic article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights".
The next part of this lie was nationalism -- it proclaimed that on the territory of the state
a certain nation is superior. For example, in Slovakia it meant that Czechs, Jews, Gypsies and other minorities could not enjoy the same rights as Slovaks. People there couldn't study and were losing their jobs because they were "a bit inferior than Slovaks".
The innocent idea of each nation having its own state is nice but what about those nations who have no state? People started "looking for an answer to the Jewish question", and as a matter of fact, they said: You do not belong here, so go somewhere else -- we know that you have nowhere else to go but it is not our problem. By this circular logic the Jews were told
that they were in the world by accident and did not belong to it.
b) Another sad lie was that of the "church" -- the priest Tiso, who became the president of the Slovak State, twisted the words of the Bible in order to support the tracherous form of nationalism (see , Tiso's quotes): Tiso took the biblical "love your neighbour as yourself" and changed it into: "To love yourself is God's command, and this love commands me to get rid of all that damages and threatens my life. I don't think it is necessary
to persuade anybody about the fact that the Jewish element is a threat to the lives of Slovaks".
And another quote of Tiso: "A question is being asked
whether what is going on is Christian -- whether it is human and not just a plunder. But let me ask you:
Is it Christian if the Slovak nation wants
to rid itself of its eternal enemy, the Jews?".
c) Of course, the motives are many: besides irrational hatred there is the desire for the valuables of others. Tiso also said (again, see documentary ): "God forbid that the Germans should lose this war. All the Jews would come back. All this war is a social war agains the Jewish capital".
The property of the Jews was taken and sold for an unproportionally small amount of money -- in this way the Slovak apparatus brought other people to have a share in their crimes. The big lie was that this property had been taken legally.
d) In this atmosphere where the Jews lived (losing thier jobs, study opportunities,
"friends" of other nationalities), a rumour began to be heard of the labour camps "in the east" where the Jews would work, live and "find a new life" (building their own homes). Germany offered to take the Jews there. Of course, objections were raised that
the Jews would be discriminated in the camps too,
but no one knew the truth.
e) Another lie was a promise by Germany that if they got 500 marks for each Jew, they would
deport them and take care of thier diet, clothes and accommodation. They didn't do that because they killed most of Slovak Jews deported in 1942.
f) The biggest lie was that after the arrival to the concentration camp -- the people were weak after a few days' journey in the transport,
often dehydrated and dulled, unable to think clearly and be alert to the fact that within two hours
they would die:
The first part of this confusion was good behaviour of the SS soldiers at the railway ramp, where the train arrived and the people got off.
Then there was a selection of the healthiest ones, who were able to work, and all the others (women, children, ill people, older people ... they were in majority)
were told to go to the disinfection section.
They were asked to leave their suitcases
on the ramp -- never to see them again. The "disinfection chamber", into which they were sent, was built so that it looked like a hall to the bathroom -- and also everyone was given a towel and a bit of soap.
The deception was complete (see , The Report of Vrba and Wetzler).
After closing up of the chamber, the capsules of the Cyclone B powder were thrown trough the openings in the ceiling.
In a while, in the hot air in the room crammed with people, the powder changed into gas and killed everybody.
g) Another great lie was the propaganda in the press. Franz Fiala, the editor of a Slovak daily in Bratislava, was even invited to Auswitz to give a report from the camp (see Discovering the Shoah, the Zilina conference 26th August 2015, the contributiion of Michal Schwartz). Of course, the whole report went through the censorship and approval of Germany.
It writes about the life of the Jews
in the east that "They had never before been so fine".
The newspaper article glorifies the camp hygiene, but it is silent about the fact that
the prisoners of Auschwitz were allowed to go to the bathroom for one minute in the morning and one minute in the evening, and they were forbidden
to go there in the course of the whole day, which was inhuman. It speaks of the health care but is silent about the hospital, where 75 % of the patients died,
either out of an ilness, without medicine, or they were killed by a lethal injection of phenol, or sent to the gas chambers as non-prospective patients, unable to work. It speaks about dietary doses but is silent about the fact that they were so small that in the conditions of their hard work they would soon be at the brink of starvation and physical torment.
An even bigger and more hideous lie was the conditon of the Czech Jews sent from Terezin to Auschwitz in 1943: they were held in high esteem in the camp for six months, the men were allowed to stay with their wives and children, and after six months they were asked to send a letter to thier relatives, report on the life in the camp and ask for a parcel with a few things to eat or wear. However, one week later the whole group was gassed, including the women and children -- the whole six-month's game had been played
just to complete another
project of the lie whose objective was to "inform"
the world, and especially other Jews, about the
"good conditions" in the camp and to lay the ground for the deception of other Jewish transports.
As Rudolf Vrba in documentary  says, the transport itself was a part of the lie -- the chance of survival existed until the Jews got on the train,
not later. Had the poeple known
what was going on in the camps, they would have
never got on that train so willingly, and they would have had to be killed on the platform.
The bystanders on the platform
would have seen all those murders
and told themselves that they were also in danger from those who were killing the Jews on such a large scale.
But all of these murders remained hidden to ordinary folk, taking place behind the carefully watched barbed wire of the camps. This led Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler to escape from the camp -- not only to save themselves, but also to give testimony to the public on
the everyday killing of thousands of people in Auschwitz.
h) Another lie that the Slovak leaders may have considered was: "We cannot do anything about this, we simply have to send the Jews to the camps." That is a lie. Slovakia sent its 60 thousands of Jews in 1942, but Hungary said it would not give its Jews -- and for two years nothing happened, until the April of 1944. A big tragedy and European exception is that Slovakia sent its Jews to the camps quickly and willingly. Of course we may talk about the servile fear of the Germans (see , p.17), but we may also say that not only Germans, but even Slovaks were deceived by the lie of nationalism.
i) The attempts of the Jewish authorities in Slovakia (or Hungary) at changing the course of events relied on the false fact that they would be able to bribe the German officers in charge of the transports from Slovakia (or later in 1944 from Hungary). But these negotiations were not successful -- the beast cannot be bribed. The officers just took the money and did nothing.
The Slovak and Hungarian Jews just lost time in their effort to bribe German leaders as the means of stopping te transports.
They trusted the Germans, who were not trustworthy. The beast which wants to kill cannot be bribed or persuaded by peaceful negotiation -- it is too drunk and crazy, decided to kill.
j) Today some say that 70 years ago nothing happened. Surprisingly enough, this is exactly what the Germans wanted to say shortly after the war -- therefore with the frontline coming near, they were sweeping bad things under the carpet.
Tens of tousands of people from the early times of the camp, when the crematoria had not been in operation in Auswitz, were unearthed from the mass graves and burned. Before the coming of the Soviet Army in January 1945, the crematoria and gas chambers were destroyed. The last lie was to sweep off the traces of everyday killing of people in the camp.
The last lie was to be worse than the preceeding ones -- the Germans tried to say: Here in Auschwitz really nothing happened.
The prison registers were burned, but even if they had not been destroyed, it would have been just a fraction of the people
because most of them had been murdered immediately after their arrival without a prisoner's number. THEREFORE
Vrba and Wetzler's report, written in April 1944,
appalled at and hidden for the following two months, made public in the western world (Switzerland, Britain) by the end of June 1944, was very important. This 32-page report on the nature of the concentration camps of Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz 2 Birkenau,
written up at the time when camp 1 and camp 2 were "in full operation", is a testimony on what Winston Churchill called the biggest deception of world history (out of all the concentration camps used in WW2, the one in Auschwitz murdered the most people, about 1.3 million). Vrba and Wetzler were in the Auschwitz camps for two years, thus they were able to give a personal first-hand account
about the extension and kind of the crimes happening there.
This testimony is a warning against the lies which deceived not only individuals but also the whole nations.
It is considered as one of the most important documents
of the 20th century.
VrbaWetzler.eu. A page devoted to the Vrba Wetzler Memorial march from Auschwitz to Zilina
following the steps of Rudolfa Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, who in April 1944 escaped from the concentration camp Aushwitz-Birkenau and gave their testimony about the extermination practices in the camp.
David Hejret: VRBA WETZLER MEMORIAL 2015. A video documenting the 2015 march and inviting to the 2016 march. For example see Youtube, 2.5 min.
Michal Katuška: Vrba Wetzler Memorial. A 2014 RTVS documentary on the memorial march in 2014, approx. 15 min, for example see Youtube, with English subtitles.
Rudolf Vrba - an Escape from Auschwitz. A CTV documentary from the cycle Unknown Heroes. See Youtube, 26 min, in Czech.
Fedor Gál: Short ... Long ... Journey. DVD documentary of about 83 min with the supplemetary book material of 40 pages. With English subtitles.
See the Czech version at ceskatelevize.cz.
Rudolf Vrba: Utekl jsem z Osvětimi (I escaped from Auschwitz). Nakl. Sefer, Praha 2007, printed in Czech in 2014. Rudolf Vrba giving his account of life in a concentration camp, and his own escape from it. 330 pages. In appendices there is a report created back in April 1944 by Vrba and Wetzler after their successful escape in Zilina and spread over the world on the factual nature of the concentration camp of Auschwitz.
Alfred Wetzler: Čo Dante nevidel (What Dante hasn't seen). MilaniuM 2009. Printed in Slovak. Wetzler's account of the Auschwitz camp and escape from it, the book contains Vrba and Wetzler's report, approx. 330 pages.