Sunday, August 12, 2012


Super smart MWW participants team up to define forgiveness, take a look....

Forgiveness is moving on and accepting what happened while letting go of the hope that the past can ever be changed.  - Group 1

Forgiveness- A personal choice one makes.  A personal gift you give, if, and when, you are ready.  -Group 2

Forgiveness is the ability to let the harm go and mutually accept the circumstances and MOVE ON!  -Group 3

Forgiveness:  To accept someone’s regrets, or a personal release of the negative energy caused by anothers actions.  - Group 4

The "Nazi Hunter"

To those who have frequented the depths of discussion on the Holocaust, the name, Simon Wiesenthal tends to come up.  Prior to meeting with a group upholding and continuing his accomplishments in Vienna, I was among these people. I knew his name, I had read his book “ The Sunflower”, but other than that, I had little knowledge he was so significant. 

He was a Jewish Holocaust survivor.  In Simon’s case, he was met with the question of forgiveness, upon a chance meeting with a dying Nazi soldier.  He contemplated the question of whether he should have forgiven the Nazi of his deeds. This encounter formed the basis of his book “the Sunflower”  and I would contend to say that it gave him inspiration for his future life’s work. 

He was called the Nazi Hunter; It was not a term he coined himself.  In practicality, Simon Wiesenthal chased those who had committed heinous crimes against humanity by following paper trails and records.  He sought to bring those who had promoted the Holocaust to court.  His efforts have brought many Nazis to light.  As I stood in  his cramped office in Vienna listening to the workers who continued his work, I was astonished how much this one man had done.  Lining the wall were row on top of row of boxes covered in untouched dust, each filled to the top with details on criminal’s lives.  The entire history of a select few perpetrators were before me.  It was eerie to say the least, but awe inspiring as well.  Wiesenthal had managed to gather enough evidence to incriminate the horror makers of the Holocaust.

I am inspired by Wiesenthal.  Others may be grateful, some indifferent, but I felt his work will have lasting impact.  By bringing perpetrators to light, he has struck a cord of awareness.  The more people realize, accept, and understand the realities of the Holocaust and the capabilities of driven human beings, the closer we come to not repeating history.  Wiesenthal’s work was in simple terms, done to open eyes. 

-Danny Blaugher, MWW Student Participant

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Celebrate Good Times

Austria, first victims??

What has surprised me about Austria’s role in WWII was how excited many Austrians were to have the Nazi party, and more specifically Hitler take control of their nation.  I have always thought that Austria was taken by force, and they were unhappy during Hitler’s regime.  The way I understand it, is that many Austrian people were looking for a leader that would improve their post WWI situation, and wanted the Nazi party to take control.  These people were not Hitler’s first victims, they were willing participants. Mob mentality drove some to unspeakable acts against the Jewish people.  Most were so ashamed that when the war was over, they eagerly accepted the title of “Hitler’s First Victim”. 

Aleesha Paddleford, MWW Participant