Thanks for a great year

April 29, 2006

Thanks for all the kind words from everyone. I hope you have learned as much this year as I learned from you. When I started this in November, I really didn’t want to do it because I looked at it as just more work to squeeze into the already 14-hour days. Instead, it turned out to be quite enjoyable, thanks to you. It was a lot more fun than I expected, so thanks for that.

Another thing. Remember a couple of weeks ago when somebody made a joke about the Fun Nazi, and Tony E. got upset? I realize the jest was purely for good intentions, and nothing was meant to insult anyone. Not a problem.

What was interesting was the story Tony told me privately about why it upset him at the time. I have asked him to repeat the story here, not as a way to slam anyone involved with the joke (we’re all past that), but I thought it was fascinating to listen to. I’m a history buff (if  you haven’t guessed) and this really struck a chord with me.

So, take it away Tony.

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16 Responses to “Thanks for a great year”

  1. Tony E Says:

    Hi Blake. Thanks for the opportunity. In the next day or two I will try to get something coherant on the topic. If folks are interested or have any questions, post them here. My Grandmother was one of the lucky few to survive Auschwitz, the most deadly of all the concentration camps. My late grandfather, drafted into the Hungarian Army became a prisoner of war in russia and was marched to Siberia.
    Today my grandmother is in her early 90’s battling alzheimer’s some days has trouble remembering who we are, but she can remember like yesterday watching her parents, brothers and sisters marched to the gas chambers.
    There is alot that I can share if people are interested. I told Blake I was not sure if you folks wanted to hear about this or not. As I said, over the next couple of days I will post some more details. None of this is going to be pleasant, other than the fact that my grandparents, separated by the war before they were supposed to get married both survived and somehow found each other after the war was over. As I said, if anyone has any questions, I will try to answer. Goodnight for now….

  2. Caleb Allen Says:

    Could you post a link to the story that had the beginning of the discussion that Tony is clearing up for us?

  3. FWKRTJ Says:

    Would love to hear about it! I’m a big history buff!

  4. Tony E Says:

    Caleb I believe Blake deleted the original comment. He is right, the person who used it did not have any intent to insult me or anyone else. I think if you are not related to or know someone well who has connections to it, you don’t realize just what memories/effect that four letter has on someone who lost family during that time. I am on my way to work. I will post more on the subject tonight.

  5. Tony E Says:

    (edit above comment to say “effect that four letter WORD has” )

  6. Bob Says:

    Tony, I would enjoy hearing more on this topic. In this age of Political Correctness a lot of our history is being changed to reflect that. We need to remember our world’s true history while the people who lived it are still living. On a lighter note….Tony, do you have any info on a goaltender named Gerry Fisher? A lady who works at the local Meijer store told me she is somehow related to him and that he played in the OHL several years ago and went back to the OHL after a brief stint with the Komets about 6-7 years ago. I cannot remember anyone by that name and I have been going to games on a regular basis since 1987 (The Lost Years!) If you or anyone else have any info, please drop me a line.

  7. Blake Says:

    Bob, here’s the only Jerry Fisher who was a goaltender I found at Hockeydb

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=34741

  8. Bob Says:

    Blake, thanks for the information. I will ask her to verify the name….the player she told me about is (supposedely) of much more recent vintage.

  9. Tony E Says:

    Well…
    Here is some random thoughts in no particular order.

    My moms side of the family has been traced back to the early 1700’s in Europe and most likely dates back to the 1500’s.
    Because of what happened, when my mother passes away, that family tree will end. Why? Well my grandfather lost hisparents,grandparents, all but one sister (who never had children), his brothers,uncles, cousins, etc etc. Over 60 members of his family that we can confirm and probably more were put to death. What should today be a thriving family is going to become extinct when my mother passes away.
    My grandmother lost all but two sisters. It kills me when today, because of her mind slipping away, she sometimes thinks I am her brother that she watched be carted off to the gas chambers.
    She has told me how each day at the concentration camp, they would line up anywhere from 20-100 people, and randomly shoot all or some of them in the back of the head. Why? Just to show how “superior” they were.
    The only reason my grandmother survived was because she was an expert seamstress and they needed her to make their uniforms
    After a train of new people came (hundreds stuffed into cattle cars, many did not survive the train ride, getting crushed) the ones who were too weak/old/young to work were sent right away to the gas chambers, then their bodies were burned. The ash fell like snow all over the camp. She was too afraid to stop for 10 seconds to wipe the ash from her eyes because it was made clear to them if you stopped working, you were no longer useful and were shot or taken off to be gassed.
    They were fed roughly 8 ounces of dirty water and a piece of bread per day. Once in a great while they were given something that resembled soup. Once that camp was liberated the allied forces did not have ways to transport the people so everyone was forced to walk and many, so weak from starvation and disease, died along the roadside including one of my grandmothers brothers.
    My grandfather…well, to escape being put into the concentration camps, he enlisted into the Hungarian army which at the time was actually working with Germany.
    Nobody in his unit knew he was Jewish or they would have turned him in His unit was ambushed and he was captured. Somehow he was able to get the message across to his captures that he was Jewish and he was separated by a sympathetic Russian general from the rest of the men for his own protection. They felt he would be “safer” in the north so he was made to march to Siberia where other non German prisoners of war were. Of course this was in winter and he was given no head protection. As a result he lost most of his hearing.
    After the war, both returned to
    Budapest which was pretty much bombed to nothing. Their houses were gone and they spent several months pretty much wandering around trying to survive, not having any idea the other was alive. Strictly by chance a mutual friend ran into one and a week or so later the other and reunited them. They got married, had my mother and escaped Hungary before the Russians came in and took it over because at that time, Jewish people were persecuted under communism.
    From a historical point, it is important to note that it is very possible that had Hitler not made a single important mistake, we might all be speaking German today instead of English. Any military historian will tell you that the German army at that time was much more powerful, organized and better armed than we were. They had tanks that could just roll over ours. Their air force outnumbered and outfired us.
    The mistake? Hitler did not learn from so many that came before him and tried to invade Russia during the winter.
    Nobody has ever done that and won. His men were not ready for the elements, the terrain or the will of the Russian people. He had to keep sending more and more troups there and this weakened his ability to attack other countries and hold onto the ones he had. Had he taken control of Russia, he most likely would have come down through Canada and attacked us. And as I said above, and it is of course up for debate and speculation but there is a very good chance, we would not have been able to defend ourselves or at the very least, not without major loss of life and damage to our country. Keep in mind, our Atomic Bombs were not ready yet. I also find it ironic that most of the scientists we had building the bombs were German.
    I hope this gives you an idea of why I don’t use that 4 letter word or like to see it used in anything but histocial context. I would bet it would be the same as calling it a “fun KKK” to an African American person.
    I again do not hold it against anybody here. Even those of you who I think are “nuts” when it comes to your hockey opinions or think I am the chief of the morality police I have respect for as people and fans. I also for the record do not hold people of German heritage responsible for the events of the past.
    Thank you all for “listening” Any questions I will be happy to try and answer.

  10. Tony E Says:

    Wow sorry folks. That was more than you probably wanted to read. Bob I can find no record of anyone by that name. I even did a search of last name only and could not find anyone from that time period.

  11. Margie Says:

    Why do you think your mother’s family tree will end at her death? It will continue with you.

  12. Tony E Says:

    Well, the name will not continue. There were no male children that survived. I of course have my fathers last name.

  13. Tony E Says:

    grrrr. I mixed the start up. It is my grandfathers family last name (staub) that dates back. Sorry folks. When I write about this stuff I get alot of things spinning in my head.

  14. Tony E Says:

    My moms name changed from Staub to Engelberg of course when she married my dad. So it is my moms side of the family but more specific my grandfather.

  15. Caleb Allen Says:

    Thanks, Tony.
    As was said already in this comment chain, I agree that it is important to remember the truth about what happened instead of trying to cover it up in the name of Political Crap-ness.
    God Bless, man.

  16. Mark Says:

    Blake,

    Thanks for taking the time out to do this blog, and I really appreciate you getting the stuff out about my son in March, that I really appreciated..

    Have a great summer and I hope you keep the blog up all summer to keep us informed on the happenings of the Komets…


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