in the shadow of Auschwitz

Spent most of Feb 19, 2015 aboard the USS Hornet aircraft carrier, best known for its participation in World War II as well as the last three Apollo missions. It was decomissioned in the late 1960s and today  resides at the former Alameda, CA naval base as a historic site visited by hundrrds of tourists every day.

This particular day , Living Ship Day, was a two parter. The first part  in the morning was an open house where the public could view the expansive ship, from the Navigation chamber to the Pilots Cabin.  Former Navy personel who once served on the ship were tour guides this day and we will videoed our guide’s commentary in videos below though the sound is not included here. 

The second part of the day featured Arthur Weil, an 89-year-old survivor of Nazi Germany, who gave a talk on his experience as a young man, one of only 1,400 children who survived of 1.5 million.  What struck me most about the man was what we went on to accomplish the rest of the life he almost never had.  Perhaps he had that ‘thing’ that some get after near-death experiences that ‘wake’ them    to realize how  fragile and short life really is and that time waits for no one; they go into high gear   to accomplish more than they would have otherwise, more   than most ‘normal’ people. Weil went on to get a BA and MA and Magna cum laude, taught school for twenty years and later wrote over 15 books of poetry and ‘words of wisdom’  learned over the years. Though the sound quality inside the cavernous carrier was poor we will share portions of Weil’s talk about his fascinating experience in Nazi Germany and life after


And now, Arthur Weil speaks of surviving Nazi Germany…


Tail end of hour talk by Arthur Weil.  When a member of the audience asks about a modern parallel between Isis /Muslim brutality and Nazi Germany, Weil replies ‘Absolutely…’
Sorry, the sound quality is poor due to the acoustics of the ship.  Weil showed images from  Nazi German , as  below near end(enlarged photos from the War era Weil enlarged on screen). 


Beautiful mural of the various planes that have landed and taken off from the USS Hornet on the main deck

On the main deck of carrier. 

Main deck where Arthur Weil spoke following a band performance by the senior military group

Looking out from ahigh the USS Hornet at a  much lower cargo ship

Former Navy officer show shows the navigation sighting of an incoming plane

The Pilot’s temporary sleeping quarters

F-8 and F-9 fighter jets easily fit within the main deck cabin with plenty room to spare

USS HORNET  LIVING SHIP DAY in the shadow of Auschwitz featuring Nazi survivor Arthur Weil

And now, Arthur Weil speaks of surviving Nazi Germany…

Since sound was poor, here are projected images from Weil’s talk