Free Dina’s Art


If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em!
October 9, 2010, 12:44 am
Filed under: Active Decency | Tags: , , , , , ,

Auschwitz–Birkenau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has its own web page under the UNESCO banner. Auschwitz is worthy of being called a world heritage site for several reasons (according to the United Nations). Among these reasons is criterion (vi), which says in part,

“it is a place of our collective memory of this dark chapter in the history of humanity, of transmission to younger generations and a sign of warning of the many threats and tragic consequences of extreme ideologies and denial of human dignity.”

Let me repeat that last part which claims rather blatantly that today’s Auschwitz Museum exists as:

“…a sign of warning of the many threats and tragic consequences of extreme ideologies and denial of human dignity.

When the Nazi ideology denied Dina Babbitt her human dignity, it was because Nazism was  an extreme ideology. Later, after 1973, when the current Auschwitz Museum withheld from Dina Babbitt her own work, it was not seen by the International Auschwitz Council as a denial of her Human Rights, her human dignity, or any other form of violation. It was simply the application of the IAC’s ideology to Dina Babbitt’s life.

Thus, for the next three decades and continuing up to the present day, the International Auschwitz Council did just what the Nazis did in denying Dina Babbitt her human rights. But that’s okay because the International Auschwitz Council is made up of doctors and humanitarians and former victims of Auschwitz itself.

Well, ‘Beppo’ Mengele was a doctor. And his vile practices were done only to improve the lot of the German race, so he was a humanitarian too, if we allow him to define the terms of how he treated Dina Babbitt.

The International Auschwitz Council is taking a page out of the good Doctor’s book and applying it to the extreme ideology of the Holocaust Industry and the Polish Tourist Industry, if we allow them to define the terms of how they treated Dina Babbitt while she was alive, and of how they are treating her descendants today.

Perhaps it is time for the Auschwitz Council to remove the Arbeit Macht Frei sign and replace it with one that says, more honestly, “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em.”

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You are invited to make known your own opinions on this question of extreme ideologies. You can comment here; you can write to the Auschwitz Museum;  you can express your opinion to the United Nations via the International Council of Museums’ Ethics Committee. There are links on the left that will empower you to be a participating objector rather than a tacitly approving audience to the hypocritically extreme ideology of the International Auschwitz Council. (You will also be helping them fulfill their mandate of warning today’s youth of the dangers of extreme ideologies and the denial of human dignity.)



“…A Sign of Warning…”

UNESCO Criterion under which Auschwitz enjoys “World Heritage” Status.

“Criterion (vi): be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal value.”

“Auschwitz – Birkenau, monument to the deliberate genocide of the Jews by the Nazi regime (Germany 1933-1945) and to the deaths of countless others bears irrefutable evidence to one of the greatest crimes ever perpetrated against humanity. It is also a monument to the strength of the human spirit which in appalling conditions of adversity resisted the efforts of the German Nazi regime to suppress freedom and free thought and to wipe out whole races. The site is a key place of memory for the whole of humankind for the holocaust, racist policies and barbarism; it is a place of our collective memory of this dark chapter in the history of humanity, of transmission to younger generations and a sign of warning of the many threats and tragic consequences of extreme ideologies and denial of human dignity.”
source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/31

Does anyone else see a source of cognitive dissonance in juxtaposition of the denial of human dignity experienced by Dina Babbitt as she was arbitrarily deprived of her property by the International Auschwitz Committee, with the spectacular display of Olympic-calibre rhetorical gymnastics in the above paragraph?

The shabbiest of behaviours can be dressed in the noblest of words; the naked truth is that the denial of respect for #61016’s Human Rights and Dignity constitutes the active and deliberate continuation of treatment she has received at the hands of all Auschwitz officials since Dina Gottliebova was first assigned a number in 1943.

I strongly disapprove of this.

I believe UNESCO needs to reconsider Auschwitz’s status as a World Heritage Site in light of the IAC’s ongoing violation of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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Further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Former_UNESCO_World_Heritage_Sites



Sixty-five Years
September 7, 2009, 4:22 am
Filed under: Active Decency | Tags: , , , ,

September 7th, 2009 :

It was sixty-five years ago today, that Dina Gottliebova arrived, with her mother, at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

Although the camp is under completely new management, and now under the aegis of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site, the current Directors of Auschwitz continue to deny  Dina Gottliebova’s human rights by having arbitrarily deprived her of her property until her dying day.

You’d think some people would be ashamed to look in a mirror.



Arbitrarily Yours
August 27, 2009, 12:26 am
Filed under: Active Decency | Tags: , , , , , ,

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Article 17.2 declares, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.” You’ve probably seen that someplace before, eh?

The decision by every consecutive administration of Auschwitz, that the interests of their institution should outweigh the declared Human Rights of #61016, is an arbitrary decision. This has been the case since that institution opened its gates for business in the first half of the last century. More recent administrations have addressed her by her human name, but all have , effectively, treated Dina Babbitt as a number, a thing,  unworthy of full human rights. I wish they would stop that.

What I want to find out now is this: who makes the final decision as to whether keeping Dina Babbitt’s Art from her was, and is, an arbitrary decision? I want to know, who exactly is the arbiter of arbitrariness?

That person (or committee) decides whether the good folks at Auschwitz are in violation of the Declaration of Human Rights, and what can be done to rectify that violation. That’s somebody with an interesting job. Probably an interesting person, too.

I wonder if it’s someone who works at UNESCO?



Another Day Another Step Closer

With Dina Babbitt’s death on July 29th, the institutions involved in the arbitrary denial of her property and her human rights, have missed an opportunity to do what is right and to be seen doing so. Instead they chose to stay on a path of denial, in hopes perhaps, that Dina’s passing will prove in some way advantageous to their aims.

Celine

The need to recognize and respect Dina Babbitt’s human rights has not lessened with her passing. If anything, it becomes more important now than ever that Dina Babbitt not slip quietly into history as just another example of man’s inhumanity to man, as witness to the trans-generational nature of crude human brutality both physical and spiritual.

Gypsy Boy

By respecting Dina Babbitt’s right to actually possess her own property and to pass it to the hands of her children, we do not endanger the memory of the Holocaust; we will not cause it to be forgotten. We will only bring it one step closer to being truly ended.

Gypsy Woman

The portraits at the center of this issue were made by the hands of Dina Babbitt. This is unquestioned fact. The work was extorted from her. This too is indisputable. The subjects of the portraits have no living descendants. No entity other than the Estate of Dina Gottliebova Babbitt can claim ownership of them except spuriously and dishonestly. The ethical and moral framework in which they are to be considered has been established and very clearly defined by the United Nations itself in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That declaration now needs to be applied.

Gypsy Man

The International Council of Museums has been aware of Dina Babbitt’s claims, and we are told,  has been looking into them, for a longer time than Dina spent in Auschwitz actually making the portraits.  A public statement from ICOM on this matter would seem appropriate at this time.

Gypsy Youth

If the greater good of society is to be realized, it is not by demurring over the human rights of even one person that we will do it.

Dina Gottliebova Babbitt

Now would be a very good time to contact the members of the ICOM Ethics Committee and ask what they are doing to enforce the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 17.2) as it pertains to Dina Gottliebova, Auschwitz prisoner #61016.

The ICOM Ethics Committee can be reached at

ethics@icom.museum

Now would be a very good time to Free Dina’s Art.



Not The End
July 29, 2009, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Active Decency | Tags: , , , , , , ,

.

Today, July 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM, Dina Gottliebova Babbitt was liberated from Auschwitz.

~Karin Babbitt



Another Anniversary

The fifth of May 2009 marked another anniversary for Dina Babbitt. It has now been 64 years since her physical freedom from the grip of the Third Reich was achieved. It remains an ongoing tragedy that her emotional imprisonment has not yet ended despite the relative ease with which this could be accomplished.

That of course, would be recognition of, and respect for her Human Rights  demonstrated by the immediate return of her property from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Her property, as a growing number of people already knows, consists of 7 watercolour portraits of Gypsy prisoners in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp in Poland. It is worth noting here, that although Polish President Lech Kaczynski protests loudly when an American broadcaster refers to Auschwitz as a ‘Polish’ camp, insisting vociferously that it was a ‘German’ camp, he has no problem at all with the Polish Government’s continuation of the Nazi Party’s weakness for failing to recognize Human Rights when it benefits him. We must never confuse the Polish political system with Nazism even when they shamelessly use Nazi logic to forward their own goals. This state-sanctioned hypocrisy says a great deal more about 21st Century Poland than does a minor slip of the pen elsewhere in the world.

* * * * * * * * *

Dina’s daughter Karin Babbitt, has posted an update on her Mom to members of  the Facebook group Return Dina Babbitt’s Paintings.  (This is an open group, which means that anyone on Facebook can join.)  Part of that message is quoted here:

“Yesterday was the 64th anniversary of her liberation from Auschwitz. She asked for Chinese food. She ate a few mouthfuls of soup and a few bites of other things. It was the only food she has been able to eat all day.

In my classrooms, we tell her story and eat black bread and margarine to represent her first meal after the camps were abandoned.

On 5/5/45, they cautiously emerged from a bunker to find the camp deserted. While others ate, Dina climbed through a hole in the fence, found a blue bicycle and went for her first ride in years. She was 21.

Shortly after, an Italian immigrant rode up on a white farm horse and gave her a ride. She was so weak that she slipped to the underside of the belly. In true form, though, she didn’t let go.

Dina made her way back through the hole in the fence and found her mom, who was eating bread and margarine, getting sick from the shock of food, and trying to eat all over again. My grandmother screamed because she thought my mother had been shot. Dina had scratched her head on the cut wires of the fence and hadn’t realized it!

Today — take a bike ride, hop on a horse, savor some delicious bread. Paint a painting of someone you love and hang it wherever you chose. Enjoy your freedom.

We love you and are so grateful for your continued efforts on behalf of one little lady and artists everywhere!
— Karin Babbitt ”

I’m sure Dina Babbitt has the very best wishes of the hundreds who stand beside her, as we continue to agitate for the return of her Rights, her Dignity, and her property.

If you would care to speak out on this important issue, there is an online petition in the link at the upper left.