The three existing monuments on Chaplains Hill (Source: arlingtoncemetery.mil)

Here’s an interesting story, not exactly straight out of Brooklyn, but relevant to our area nonetheless. Earlier in the week, the House of Representatives passed legislation sponsored by Congressman Anthony Weiner and Senator Charles Schumer, which will establish a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery’s Chaplains Hill honoring the supreme sacrifices made by Jewish chaplains while serving in the US Armed Forces.

A seven-foot-tall granite monument, when complete, will list the names on a bronze plaque of the 13 chaplains who died in the line of duty during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, above the Jewish Proverb: “I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.”

Funds necessary to construct the monument have already been raised by the Jewish Chaplains Council, so no expense will be incurred to taxpayers. Chaplains Hill currently only contains memorials to honor Protestant and Catholic chaplains who died serving their country.

One cannot — or at least I cannot — help but draw opposing parallels between this wholly sound piece of legislation, and the contempt Jewish leaders and area residents felt in 2009 for the more than five million “homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the disabled, political prisoners and Roma and Sinti Gypsies” who were executed during the Holocaust, and whose existence raised the question of whether their lives should be commemorated at Holocaust Memorial Park alongside granite markers commemorating Jews.

In 2009, Sheepshead Bites provided extensive coverage on the public outcry against the groups Hitler and his henchmen deemed inferior when Dov Hikind led a crusade in favor of only Jews being memorialized in the cemetery-style park, announcing during a press conference, “These people are not in the same category as Jewish people with regards to the Holocaust… It is so vastly different. You cannot compare political prisoners with Jewish victims.”

The memorial, according to Community Board President Theresa Scavo, “means you memorialize anyone who died in the Holocaust,” a sentiment echoed by Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, who stated at the time of the uproar that “Excluding Holocaust victims who were not Jewish would be sending a message that is 180 degrees opposite of what we need to communicate.”

In stark contrast to the Holocaust Memorial Park fiasco, with not a single dissenting voice of opposition, 380 members of the House voted to pass the legislation honoring the 13 Jewish chaplains who gave their lives for their country. Schumer similarly introduced corresponding legislation to the Senate, which is expected to pass this week.

Not to be preachy about hate and acceptance, but there are definite lessons to be learned here.

Related posts

  • Barkingspider7

    Why just Jewish chaplains?  Why not chaplains in general?  There are chaplains in many religions.

    • Alrosen2

      The article states that there are memorials already for Protestant and Catholic Chaplains.

      • http://ericasphotos.tumblr.com/ ES

        Perhaps — and this would be a good thing — chaplains of other faiths serving in the US Armed Forces did not perish while serving their country. I am unsure, but it’s just a guess.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          They did, and have been already recognized. As have chaplains in general.

      • Barkingspider7

        Memorials like this should be all around.  There are other religions beside Jewish, Catholic, Protestant.  All clergy men – mormon, muslim, hindu’s and all other faiths are chaplains.  All should be celebrated. 

  • david

    being jewish,decorated viet nam veteran,also totally disabled with ptsd….i served in the 4th infantry division…for 21 out of 24 month’s in the army….when i asked my jewish chaplain why he never came out to the field…..his answer was there there were not enough jew’s to make the trip…..enough said

  • EndofDaze

    A number of landsmen I know don’t like it, when some of our leaders who happen to be landsmen too, deal in this type of particularism. For example, some of the tribe forget, that besides the over six hundred thousand American Jewish landsmen, like my five uncles, who took up arms during WWII, were millions more of their Christian brothers , who being loyal Americans too, fought the Nazis and Japs. They also realized that the Axis were just not simply bad for the Jews, but bad for all freedom loving peoples. The further we get away from the memory of that war, it is interesting how many people think that war was fought to save the Jews, which if that was the case, was hardly successful, and in effect besides the millions of Jews who were slaughtered in the concentration camps, were many Christians. Of course, the Jews were singled out for the only perceived crime of happening to be Jewish, while the others were mostly either people of conscience or lovers of liberty, fair play, and democracy. Another interesting thing is how our local politicos fall all over themselves, when either something that looks like a swatstika, or is a swatstika is sprawled on one of our buildings, when all grafitti vandalism is repugnant to most of us, and should all be removed! Which by the way, I am seeing more of lately! Our esteemed Mr. Schumer and Mr. Weiner would do better in having a plaque that honors all of the Chaplins, just like the one that honors the four Chaplins of the Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, and Pentacoastal faiths that graces one of our Washington D.C. buildings, who gave up their lives together, when their ship went down during WWII. G-d Bless America!

  • Jerry Jones

    HIDDEN FACTS REVISIONISTS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES AND THE JEWS, NAZIS, HOLOCAUST, AND WW2.
    In the late 1960s, the WatchTower Society commissioned an exact and comprehensive history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany, which was to include exact and precise statistics for the Holocaust period, which were to be extracted from not only government archives, but, more importantly, from the WatchTower Cult’s own METICULOUS RECORDS in Germany and other European countries. That report was published by the WatchTower Cult in 1973. 
    Apparently, the WatchTower Cult was greatly disappointed in the Holocaust statistics uncovered by its own legal researchers, because that report has rarely been cited by the WatchTower Cult in its’ own Holocaust-related articles published subsequent to the 1973 report. Instead of using its’ own documented exact statistics, both the WatchTower Cult and individual Jehovah’s Witnesses routinely cite inflated statistics from non-WatchTower sources whose numbers are inflated “guestimates”, or are inflated numbers from unreliable and inaccurate records.
     
    Accordingly to the WatchTower Cult’s own 1973 report, only 6019 Jehovah’s Witnesses were arrested in Germany during the 12 year Nazi period of 1933 through 1945. Only 2000 German JWs were ever sent to concentration camps. Only 203 were executed. Another 432 German JWs died while in custody in all German jails, prisons, and camps. Exact numbers for other Nazi-occupied countries are unknown. Even Holocaust experts who inflate German JW statistics guestimate that only600-800 non-German JWs from Nazi-occupied countries were ever sent to concentration camps. Mortality figures are not known.Thus, only 2600-2800 Jehovah’s Witnesses were ever sent to Nazi concentration camps. Death statistics are not known, but can be reasonably estimated to be in the 500-700 range. The JW TOTAL for 1933-1945 is about HALF the DAILY AVERAGE of Jewish deaths — 1370 every single day for the 12 year Nazi period.During this same 1933-1945 time period, there were more Jehovah’s Witnesses arrested and jailed in the United States than in Germany. In fact, just during 1941-1945, approximately 4500 American Jehovah’s Witnesses men “elected” to go to prison rather than serve in the U.S. Military and help stop Nazis atrocities against their fellow JWs.Approximately 3000 of those 4500 American JWs were even offered “conscientious objector” status, in which they were offered “non-combatant” work as a substitute for military service, but 99% of those 3000 American JWs refused to help out even that much.It is an insult to memorialize the small handful of anti-societal, trouble-seeking Jehovah’s Witnesses alongside the 6,000,000+ Jewish Holocaust victims given that Jehovah’s Witnesses view the Jewish people much as did the Nazis.The WatchTower Cult preaches its own version of “replacement theology”, which teaches that YHWH rejected the Jews as His “chosen people”, andreplaced the Jewish people with today’s “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. The WatchTower Cult teaches that modern-day Jews are YHWH’s enemies, and that all of the YHWH’s promises of restoration for the Jewish people now belong to the followers of the WatchTower Cult.In fact, the title “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was originally applied to the Jewish people by the Prophet Isaiah, and that scripture is even memorialized on the wall inside the front entrance of the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.The WatchTower Cult, in calling its own members — “Jehovah’s Witnesses” — is attempting to steal that designation away from the Jewish people. This is the very reason that for the past three decades that the WatchTower Cult has had a corporate department dedicated to making certain that every single Holocaust rememberance of any size or type — newspaper article, book, speech, museum, etc — anywhere in the world, publicize the fact that the WatchTower Cult’s own “Jehovah’s Witnesses” were equally persecuted alongside “natural” Jews. This is the WatchTower Cult’s way of claiming that “Satan” and his human supporters hate “Jehovah’s Witnesses” as much or more than they hate natural Jews — thus attempting to prevent the Jewish people from laying claim to any spiritual significance that might be interpreted from the Holocaust experience. In 1933, after the Nazis first started arresting some German JWs, the WatchTower Cult issued a public proclamation of appeasement which condemned an imagined partnership between “Jewish Big Business” and the governments of the United States and Great Britain, which supposedly oppressed and exploited other countries, including Germany. The WatchTower Cult’s proclamation condemned the Americans and the British as “the most oppressive empire on earth”.A conciliatory letter also was sent to Hitler, which highlighted those areas in which the WatchTower Cult supported the new Nazi government. The letter even claimed that the U.S. Government had imprisoned the leaders of the WatchTower Cult during WW1 because they refused to print anti-German propaganda.During the early years of World War 2, when Germany and Japan were having much success on the battlefields, the WatchTower Cult started teaching that the Bible prophesied that the Axis Powers would defeat and rule over the United States, Britain, and other Allies. In the United States, JWs went to the homes of families of American service men and women and told those parents, siblings, and spouses that Germany was prophesied to win the war, and that in fighting against Hitler, American and British soldiers were fighting against God’s will.  A Jehovah’s Witness named Taylor was arrested after going to two homes of dead servicemen and telling their families that their sons had died while opposing God’s will. Don’t believe this? Read 1943 U.S. Supreme Court case TAYLOR v. MISSISSIPPI. Remember the actual historical context the next time you read some liberal newspaper or book’s account about how some poor innocent Jehovah’s Witness was beaten during WW2 for doing nothing except preaching the Bible door-to-door.While it is true that a small number of German and other European JWs suffered greatly during the early stages of the Holocaust, it is also true that during the latter stages of the Holocaust that imprisoned JWs became exemplary Nazi collaborators highly valued by the Nazis.Over the decades, the WatchTower Cult itself has published numerous biographical stories in which imprisoned JWs are praised for having been given positions of authority and responsibility within the various Nazi concentration camps. Various Nazi officials are quoted praising those JWs for not only their work, but their work ethic and supportive attitudes.In fact, one of Heinrich Himmler’s deputies even sent Himmler a report suggesting that after Germany won the war that conquered non-Germanic christian countries be forced to convert to the Jehovah’s Witness religion, so as to maintain a controlling religious element in those people’s lives which would pose no threat to Nazi political control.

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

       Wall of text… paragraphs are your friend.