I’ve always enjoyed history. I liked it when I was in school and I’ve always enjoyed reading about the past and talking to people who were there. This has allowed me some perspective into events that you don’t get from a text book. I especially like it when I discover some little fact that is different than what you’d expect from the “official” text book version. Call them “ah ha” moments.
Those moments can change your view of things. For example: The first man claiming the right to own slaves in the United States, was a black man. The reason for the War of 1812 was the attempted annexation of Canada. The Civil War wasn’t about slaves, it was about Federal tax policy and protecting Northern industrial interests. The British lied about WWI and connived to get us into it. The world would have been better off if the US had stayed out of WWI and WWII. Etc. etc.
I stumbled across a “ah-ha” moment today. In Nazi Germany, there was a man, who had inner circle access to the Nazi Leadership that saved Jews from the holocaust. His name was Albert Goering. His brother was Reichsmarschall Herman Goering. Albert used his family connections to escape jail, flaunt the law, and expatriate Jews and their money from Germany during the war.
It seems that the Gestapo had quite a file on Albert, they even arrested him a couple of times. However, his big brother Herman reminded them that family loyalty was important to the Goerings and he was released. Then Albert went right back to helping his Jewish friends.
Today, all of this poses a problem for an Israeli woman, named Irena Steinfeldt. Mrs. Steinfeldt is a researcher for the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. She has compiled a thick portfolio of documentation in support of naming Albert Goering to "Righteous among the Nations". This is Israel’s highest honor bestowed to a gentile. Sometime later this year 10 survivors of the Holocaust will deliberate and vote on adding a member of the infamous Goering family to Israel’s most honored order.
It will be interesting to see what they decide to do.