You are Free / Du bist Frei / Você é Livre / Estas Libre

Freedom is a state of mind – not freedom from something but a sense of freedom.

A freedom to doubt and question everything and therefore so intense, active and vigorous that it throws away every form of dependence, slavery, conformity and acceptance. Such freedom implies being completely alone.

This solitude is an inward state of mind which is not dependent on any stimulus or any knowledge and is not the result of any experience or conclusion.

To be alone you must die to the past.

The one who is completely alone in this way is innocent and it is this innocency that frees the mind from sorrow.

Freedom can only come about naturally, not through wishing, wanting or longing. Nor will you find it by creating an image of what you think it is.

To come upon it, the mind has to learn to look at life without the bondage of time, for freedom lies beyond the field of of Consciousness.

Yehuda Danzig, who was from Zlate Moravce, Czechoslovakia, arrived at the concentration camp in the summer of 1944 with his stepmother, two of his brothers and one of his sisters after having survived several transit and labor camps and a death march.

(His father was separated from the family and died in the Berga concentration camp, and another sister with disabilities survived the war in an institution.)

On April 15, 1945, a British officer walked into Danzig’s barracks and announced, ‘You are free!’

We did not have the slightest idea what he was talking about. It meant nothing to us. Then someone translated what he had said into German and we started to understand, so we tried to go outside. The dead bodies had not been collected and there were just piles and piles of them so that we couldn’t get out of the barracks.

Danzig estimated that the image he spotted in The Times of Israel was captured around two weeks after liberation.

Danzig, his stepmother and two brothers and one sister stayed in the Bergen-Belsen DP camp set up near the concentration camp only about a month.

They were eager to return to their hometown in Slovakia, about 100 km from Bratislava.

When they got there, they discovered that, other than an uncle who had gone into hiding, no one else from either side of their family survived.

In April 1948, a British rabbi came to Danzig’s town looking for orphans. He took Danzig and his two brothers to the UK (his sister and his stepmother settled in Israel).

Danzig and his younger brother Michael qualified for relocation to Canada because they were full orphans – their father had been killed in the Holocaust; and their biological mother had died in childbirth.

Upon their arrival in Toronto in August 1948, the young teenage boys were taken in by separate families from the Jewish community.

Danzig went to technical school and learned electronics. He became active in the Habonim Zionist youth organization and ended up spending several years in Israel during the 1950’s.

He returned to Toronto in 1958 to marry a woman he had met through Habonim. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

Danzig eventually gave his testimony to the Shoah Foundation. His children each have a copy of that. Now they also have the image of their father and uncle that no one in their family knew of until just a few days ago.

The photo was a still image from German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, a Holocaust documentary film made 70 years ago with the help of the famous director Alfred Hitchcock.

The original footage that makes up most of the movie was shot at Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz and Dachau by Allied photographers and cameramen in the weeks after liberation.

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