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A 92-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Explains Why His Duty Will Never Be Done

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Ed Mosberg. Photo courtesy of 7th Art Releasing

The story of the Holocaust has been told so many times and in so many ways, that ensuring its horrific legacy is never forgotten can sometimes be a struggle unto itself.

However, one underreported but essential story is how Holocaust survivors lived their lives after World War II: starting families, careers, and legacies of their own all while carrying the weight of one of history’s darkest hours.

92-year-old Ed Mosberg says, “For me, every day is the Holocaust.”

Today, more than 70 years after his liberation, he continues to travel the world speaking to just about anyone who will listen about the crimes and tragedies he and millions of others experienced during the brutal reign of the Nazi regime. “This is my duty and obligation to go and talk about the Holocaust and what happened to my family.”

Mosberg tells his story in the powerful new documentary “Destination Unknown,” which follows the lives of 12 Holocaust survivors and what they did in the decades after the war ended. For Mosberg, the film forced him to relive his darkest moment.

While living as a prisoner in the notorious Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp, he made a desperate effort to save his sister that went tragically wrong.

The camp was run by Nazi commandant Amon Göth, who modern audiences may know best as the notorious villain in the film “Schindler’s List.” At the end of each day, Göth would order the camp prisoners to march in a line. Those in the front were executed, oftentimes by Göth’s own hand. One day, in an effort to save her, he was able to move his sister to the back of the line. However, in a seemingly random moment that horrifically encapsulated Göth’s sadism, he decided on that day to execute those in the back of the line.

I never want to talk about it.

By the time the war ended, Mosberg realized all 13 of his family members had died, leaving him as the sole survivor.

“It bothers me to this day. Because maybe if I had not interfered, maybe if I had not tried to save my sister this way, maybe if I had just not tried to keep them in the back maybe they would have survived,” Mosberg says, fighting back tears during our conversation.

Even knowing he could never in any way be responsible for his sister’s death, he still carries the burden of guilt with him all these years later. “This bothered me that I did something bad or wrong. I don’t know. It’s terrible thinking that I did something that killed them. I never want to talk about it.”

In the film, you are not hearing people analyzing trauma, you’re witnessing people experiencing it.

Director Claire Ferguson and producer Llion Roberts used these moments to illustrate what they call an “intimate portrait of survival,” showing that while the pain of their experience remains, it wasn’t enough to stop them from living their lives.

“The thing I found the most daunting was how can you make a film about the unfilmable?” Ferguson says.

The project didn’t originally begin as a standard documentary film. Roberts had been compiling interviews with Holocaust survivors for years, conducting his interviews in an open-ended fashion, where he simply let them tell their entire life stories. He also obtained access to never-before-seen footage of Russian forces liberating concentration camps and conducting raids against Nazi forces.

“In the film, you are not hearing people analyzing trauma, you’re witnessing people experiencing it,” Ferguson says.

After the war, Mosberg and the other survivors chronicled in the film were left to pick up their lives in very different ways.

One fellow survivor named Stanley Glogover describes in the film how he traveled to relocation camps looking for any surviving members of his family. At those locations, he would find rosters with the Glogover name, but most would turn out to be records of himself. Finally, after traveling to literally the last camp he hadn’t already visited in Italy, Glogover was reunited with his father, the only other surviving family member from the war.

“I rescued my father, a year and a half after the war,” he says.

For other survivors, carrying on meant finding a sense of purpose in both the psychological wreckage of their former lives and the literal devastation the war left on much of Europe. Each person processed those experiences differently, but they did so in an era that was still decades from even beginning to come to terms with the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Watching their stories on screen is both heartbreaking and inspiring, seeing people who have lost everything continue to fight for meaning, happiness, and even survival in their lives.

I asked Mosberg if there are still stories he isn’t ready to tell about his experiences. He explains that nearly every time he meets a fellow Holocaust survivor, he learns something important that has not yet made it into the history books and may never do so.

He tells me one such anecdote from his time in Kraków-Płaszów. Like in most concentration camps, new arrivals had their heads shaved, both for the practical purpose of avoiding the spread of lice but also a darkly convenient way of further separating the prisoners from their captors. Never one to miss an opportunity for horror, Göth took things one step further.

“When they would shave their heads, they would use a scalpel knife to leave a mark of hair left,” Mosberg explained. “So, that when they were outside, if they escaped, the guards could see a mark on their heads to target.”

As to his own survival, Mosberg says, “There was just luck. There’s no such thing as one survivor was smarter than the other ones.” 

Over the course of the war, he was imprisoned in three different concentration camps. After being moved out of Kraków-Płaszów, he was transferred to a stone mine in Austria, forced to carry boulders up and down 186 steps each day. Finally, near the end of the war, he was moved to Linz, the Hermann Goering factory.

He notes that on May 5, 1945, the day his camp was liberated, their Nazi captors had attempted to blow up the mine he was working in, killing everyone still inside. By pure fortune, the dynamite did not explode, allowing Mosberg and others to escape when the Allies finally arrived.

I was still afraid of him.

Things came full circle for Mosberg after the war. Göth was arrested and put on trial in Poland. Thousands of survivors showed up to his trial hoping to catch their former captor facing justice.

However, Göth was proving elusive in the courtroom, denying his role in executions and other war crimes. Mosberg had brought a camera with him and waited in the space between the courtroom and Göth’s prison cell for his opportunity.

At the end of the day, as the guards were escorting Göth back to his cell, Mosberg stepped out to confront the war criminal.

“I was still afraid of him,” Mosberg freely admits. “As he was standing, I said to him, ‘While you were killing the Jews, you were always smiling. You were smiling when you killed my sister.’ He starts smiling, laughing. At that time, I took one of the pictures.”

That haunting photo ended up becoming an actual piece of evidence and history that was used to successfully convict Göth, who was eventually executed for his crimes against humanity.

Mosberg says he’ll never stop fighting against the memory of the Nazi’s and the Holocaust itself. With the rise of anti-Semitism and authoritarianism both abroad and at home, he says the message is as urgent as ever. 

Despite the pain he and his wife carry with them to this day, they managed to lead productive lives and build a family, something war was never able to take away from them.

“My grandchildren are my insult to Hitler’s final solution,” he says.

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angelchrys
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Actual Sexiest Man Alive Patrick Stewart Discusses Violence Against Women: “It’s a Man’s Problem”

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As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Blake “Him? Really?” Shelton has been named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. Here they are, genuinely attempting to convince us of his sexiness. If you’re in public, please, try to control yourselves.

I don’t think my reaction would be considered “swooning.”

There’s been a lot of talk over the last few days about who the actual sexiest man alive is, and while there are a lot of great options, I think we should listen to former SMA Ryan Reynolds.

To which Patrick Stewart responded:

The internet is ready to engage.

I understand if you don’t find Patrick Stewart to be the actual sexiest man alive. This is, after all, a world in which Oscar Isaac, Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan, and, like, all of the Chrises exist. But Stewart is sure as hell a whole lot sexier than Blake Shelton. Because one has a history of misogynistic, homophobic, and racist tweets, and the other, well, the other is Patrick Stewart—a man who, among things, is a longtime advocate for domestic violence survivors. (If you’ve never seen this 2013 video of him discussing domestic violence at Comicpalooza, grab yourself some tissues and give it a watch.)

In the clip above, which was released today by The AV Club, Stewart talks about growing up in an abusive household, seeing a police officer ask his bleeding mother what she did to provoke her husband. As he says, “It’s not a woman’s problem, being beaten up in your own home. It’s a man’s problem.” Women can speak up and demand change, but it’s up to men to take responsibility for their actions and to not ever choose violence.

Now those are words becoming of a man deemed the sexiest alive.

(image: Shutterstock)

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angelchrys
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A Moment of PAWS

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Just kidding about shares friends, PLEASE SHARE THIS COMIC

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deezil
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angelchrys
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jsled
19 hours ago
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YAAS! THIS!
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As Long as Companies Care More About “Customer Service” Than Their Workers, There Will Always Be Roy Moores Around

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Shutterstock image of retail/cashier employees asking to be left alone

Since the sexual misconduct, pedophilia, and assault allegations against Roy Moore came out, much has been made of the way he used malls to find his teenage victims. Most of that coverage has focused on the comedy or creepiness of a grown man prowling the traditional haunt of teenage girls, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that malls are also places which primarily employ retail and food service workers – workers whose primary job is to smile at and soothe a customer, no matter how obnoxious, angry, or sexually inappropriate they become.

Having worked a bunch of retail and food service jobs myself, there’s one thing I’m sure of: sexual harassers love the power dynamic that these jobs create.

Now, this is not to establish some sort of oppression Olympics for sexual harassment. As shown by the #MeToo tag and the “When did you meet YOUR Harvey Weinstein?” discussion, sexual harassment is horrifically pervasive in pretty much every industry, and the only differences between jobs are the specific dynamics of how we’re asked to put up with it. But I do think retail provides a particularly stark example of how obviously sexual harassment is about power, and how employers can, through ignorance or negligence, exacerbate those dynamics.

Emotional labor is the crux of your job when you work in retail and food service. You’re supposed to be pleasant. You’re supposed to smile at the customer, answer their questions, and laugh at their jokes. Whether as a checkout girl in a supermarket, a cashier at a department store, or the ticket girl at the movie theater, you’re there to ensure the customer has a good time. Especially in an automated world, where the work of tallying the customers’ purchases could be done by a computer, human retail workers are often there for atmosphere.

So what happens when what makes the customer happy is creeping on teenage girls?

As detailed in the recent Washington Post piece on Roy Moore, most employees have no recourse but to endure. They can  help each other hide in the back room, but someone still has to stay at the counter and play nice when the harasser comes into the store. The best they can do to escape is find another task and look busy. I mean, just look at these quotes from Roy Moore’s victims:

“Make yourself scarce when Roy’s in here, he’s just here to bother you, don’t pay attention to him and he’ll go away.”

“He was persistent in a way that made her uncomfortable. She says he lingered in her section, or else by the bathroom area, and that she became so disturbed that she complained to the Pizitz manager.”

“I can remember him walking in and the whole mood would change with us girls … It would be like we were on guard. I would find something else to do. I remember being creeped out.”

And many of these workers can’t even hide. You’re stuck behind a counter, or in charge of a register. Especially if you’re good at your job, you’re often entrusted to be the only member of staff on the floor, or the only one manning a register. Harassers therefore have you physically trapped, and they know it. If you’ve ever been sexually harassed at one of these jobs, you know what it feels like when you realize: they take a particular pleasure in knowing that you have to be nice to them, and in seeing how far they can push that requirement. How much do you have to put up with? How creepy can they be and still make you smile awkwardly?

I was very lucky to have a lot of allies. A no-nonsense female manager who would say, “Okay, sir” and usher dudes into the theater at one job. A security guard at another job who would come up and pointedly ask harassers if they needed any help. As with creative industry “whisper networks,” a lot of workers look out for each other, and as shown in the Post piece, many managers are responsive to worker complaints and will ban customers. But not everyone gets this sort of support from their colleagues, and it comes down to sheer luck. It shouldn’t.

The dangerous dynamic of “the customer is always right” becomes especially clear when retail workers unionize, and we get to hear their concerns. When workers at Babeland sex shop in New York City voted to unionize, one of their chief complaints was inadequate help with problematic customers. They told The New York Times how customers would subject them to “invasive questions and even harassment,” and they advocated for “better training and support from management to deal with problematic customers.”

As we go through this moment of reckoning with sexual harassment, we can’t forget the millions of retail and food service workers who have to smile at the Roy Moores of the world. The deserve better training to deal with sexually harassing customers, and they deserve consistent, solid support systems across the industry.

(Via The Washington Post; image via Shutterstock)

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angelchrys
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'Justice League' Proves That 'Wonder Woman' Needs Patty Jenkins

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It’s no secret that Wonder Woman was such a hit that Warner Bros. (very wisely) pushed Gal Gadot’s DC superhero front and center in the marketing for Justice League. Unfortunately, fans hoping for a worthy follow-up to the Amazon warrior’s solo film may be fairly disappointed — not by her presence, which is understandably somewhat limited though always welcome, but by the way Diana Prince is presented in comparison to her masculine super-peers. Continue reading…
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Donald Trump is a terrifying zombie in Green Day’s new song/video “Back in the USA”: Watch

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Today marks the release of Green Day’s new compilation package, Greatest Hits: God’s Favorite Band. Appearing alongside pop punk classics like “Longview”, “Basket Case”, and “She” are two new songs: “Back In The USA” and a reworked version of “Ordinary World” featuring Miranda Lambert.

“Back In The USA” is what you’d expect from a Green Day song in 2017, a politically-charged rock anthem that calls out blind patriotism and toxic partisanship. If the song’s lyrics weren’t clear enough, the accompanying video finds Green Day directly taking on Trump-era politics. Directed by Brendan Walter and Greg Yagolnitzer, the video casts the members of Green Day as fathers in a care-free 1950’s suburbia. However, after being given special glasses, the true realities of the world are revealed, including the zombie horror show of our presidency. Watch above.

You can stream Greatest Hits: God’s Favorite Band in full below.

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angelchrys
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