Looking for your roots?

We live in a time when everything has to be fast: instant coffee, microwaves that cook something in minutes that might have taken hours, drive through restaurants, drive through banks, drive through coffee shops, instant potatoes, etc. It seems that as fast as things go, we are never happy with how long certain things take!

For instance, have you ever tried to track down your family history, your roots? It can be excruciatingly painful, slow and tedious. There are companies that will do it for you (of course, it’s all computerized and they can probably get that information for you almost instantly, but they’ll still charge you for it because it means you get the information fast and you don’t have to do it yourself. Instant!

There are many interesting lessons to be learned from family trees. I feel sorry for those who really don’t know who their ancestors were. But – take heart my friends! On our way home today we stopped at a flea market that is held monthly not far from where we live. As we were walking through one of the halls, I saw this item and took the picture with my cell phone. I hadn’t realized that you can now have “instant ancestors”, too! But, here’s the photographic proof! And you don’t even to add water!

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So, feel free to help yourself! Just look through the collections of photos, find some “ancestors” that appeal to your sense of who you are, and you can have instant ancestors for just $4 each. Such a deal!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1942, 4,300 Jews were deported from the Polish town of Chelm to the Nazi extermination camp at Sobibor, where all were gassed to death. On the same day, the German firm IG Farben set up a factory just outside Auschwitz, in order to take advantage of Jewish slave laborers from the Auschwitz concentration camps.

Sobibor had five gas chambers, where about 250,000 Jews were killed between 1942 and 1943. A camp revolt occurred in October 1943; 300 Jewish slave laborers rose up and killed several members of the SS as well as Ukrainian guards. The rebels were killed as they battled their captors or tried to escape. The remaining prisoners were executed the very next day.

IG Farben, as well as exploiting Jewish slave labor for its oil and rubber production, also performed drug experiments on inmates. Tens of thousands of prisoners would ultimately die because of brutal work conditions and the savagery of the guards. Several of the firm’s officials would be convicted of “plunder,” “spoliation of property,” “imposing slave labor,” and “inhumane treatment” of civilians and POWs after the war. The company itself came under Allied control. The original goal was to dismantle its industries, which also included the manufacture of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, so as to prevent it from ever posing a threat “to Germany’s neighbors or to world peace.” But as time passed, the resolve weakened, and the Western powers broke the company up into three separate divisions: Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In the mid-1980s, milk cartons with photos of missing children on them made their debut. The first child to appear on one of those milk cartons was Etan Patz, a 6-year-old from New York who disappeared walking to the bus stop in May 1975. He has never been found. However, in 2012, a man named Pedro Hernandez confessed to killing him.

 

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