Being a Brief History of the Time and Place of Ark’s Origins
At the annual party rally held in Nuremberg in 1935, the Nazis announced new laws which institutionalized many of the racial theories prevalent in Nazi ideology. The laws excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or related blood.” These became known as the infamous “Nuremberg Laws.”
Many husbands and wives of Jews in Germany were forced to choose between divorce or concentration camps. Hitler would not allow “interracial” marriages and those that chose to remain married were punished by imprisonment in camps where many died. There were also many couples who committed suicide together.
Three years later, at 11: 55 p.m. on November 9, Gestapo Chief Heinrich Mueller sent a telegram from Berlin to all security Police stations and units in Germany. The following paragraph is an excerpt from that telegram:
“In shortest order, actions against Jews and especially their synagogues will take place in all of Germany. These are not to be interfered with… Preparations are to be made for the arrest of 20-30, 000 Jew in the Reich. Primarily propertied Jews are to be selected… ”
The Terror had begun in earnest.
The Nazis engineered the Kristallnacht attacks so that they would appear to be unplanned and set off by the anger of the German people over the assassination of a German official in Paris at the hands of a Jewish teenager.
In two days, over 1, 000 synagogues were burned, 7, 000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, and Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by. The pogroms became known as Kristallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass, ” for the great quantity of shattered glass from the store windows that littered the streets of Germany.
In late August of 1939, Hitler signed non-aggression pact with Stalin which, effectively, was an agreement between the two of them to divide Poland. When the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, the Polish people hardly knew what the Nazis had in store for them. According to the Nazi grand design for the solution to the need for ” lebensraum , ” (living space), the whole of Polish territory was to be gradually cleared of its native population for the colonization by German ethnic populations and eventually incorporated into the Greater German Reich.
Thus, unfortunately, the Poles themselves were the next target of the Nazis, and the plan was to play the Poles against the Jews to effect their mutual distruction. Pure Machiavelli.
The Germans considered the Poles to be an inferior race as they did other Slavic nations. So, according to the plan, the Poles were to be sorted according to strictly racist criteria. Those Poles with German ancestry were to be reclassified as ethnic Germans. The transformation of Poland into a German province was to be carried out over a short period of twenty-five or thirty years. Hence, no mercy was to be shown to this population. And, to guarantee the success of this fast despoliation, the intelligentsia was to be liquidated. “It sounds cruel, ” Hitler reportedly told Hans Frank, “but such is the law of life.”
Through restrictions on marriages, lowering of sanitary conditions, reduction of food supply, and the removal of hundreds of thousands of able bodied men for labor in Germany, a biological campaign was carried out to bring about a sharp reduction of the Polish population. Polish children with strong Aryan characteristics were forcibly taken from their families and sent to Germany for “re-Germanization.”
The Polish language was banned, and Polish towns and cities were given German names. In the Eastern Zamosc region, some 110, 000 Poles were evacuated from villages and replaced with 25, 000 German colonists.
In other words, the whole of Poland was to be treated as a concentration camp.
The premeditated and constant harassment of the Polish population led to an unremitting reign of terror which lasted the full duration of the occupation. Individual arrests were conducted on a massive scale, and street roundups for labor in Germany became a common, frightening reality.
And, it must be remembered, this was directed against POLES in general, and not merely Jews! Of the 11 million human beings killed by the actions of the Nazis, SIX million were Polish citizens. Half of these were Jews and half were NOT. Jews and non-Jews alike were made prisoners in their own country; no one was allowed out.
Thus, it is obvious why Poland was chosen as the main killing site for the slaughterhouses that were to effect the elimination of both the Jews and the Poles. The Polish countryside was blanketed with an array of death camps whose names will forever remain as significators of the unfathomable depths of human depravity. In these camps, the practice of death became a question of German efficiency and thoroughness, with gassing becoming the main killing device.
All of this took place within view of the local population, who could not help but watch the constant movement of trains and hear the desperate cries of the occupants as the cars inched their way slowly toward the death camps. And, even if they closed their eyes to the incessant smoke billowing from the crematoria furnaces, they could not avoid the stench of human flesh that blanketed Poland as nearly 4 million Jews took their last glimpse of the sky that arches over Polish soil. Some of these were entire communities brought by train from as far away as Holland, Belgium and even Greece.
The overwhelming documentary evidence and the accounts of eyewitnesses points to the fact that the Poles, in general, did NOT realize that they were next in line, as a population, for the death camps. They did not realize fully that they were living on the edge of a Black Hole that, once it had finished devouring the Jews, would begin to suck in all that was around it. Yet, any Poles who wanted to render aid to Jews WERE hampered by the fact that doing so was a capital offense. They could even be shot for giving a Jew a lift in a vehicle of any sort! Thus, Poles, in order to do anything at ALL, had to overcome greater pressures and fears than their counterparts in other Nazi occupied countries. So, those Poles who DID rescue Jews, or any others targeted by the Nazis for death, deserve a special place of respect, for they displayed a courage and honor unequaled in other countries. Of such is the stuff of legends.
Approximately 700 miles East of Berlin lies the city of Lutsk. (Luck) Lutsk is the administrative center of the Volynia Province which has an area of over 20, 000 square km which is covered with thick forests, numerous lakes, swamps, and rivers.
The first mention of Lutsk dates back to 1085 when it was known as Luchesk. It has had an interesting and varied history. During the 7 th to the 10 th centuries, it was inhabited by Slavic tribes. Then, it came under Kiev-Rus domination, and later Galician control. In the mid 12 th century, it was one of the biggest cities of the Galicia-Volyn principality. During the 14 th – 15 th centuries, under the Lithuanian reign, Lutsk was considered the unofficial capital of the Great Principality of Lithuania. Next, Lutsk came under Polish control from the 16 th through the 18 th century. For a little over 100 years, from 1797 to 1921, it was a part of Russia, and from 1921 until 1939 it was again a part of Poland. Excluding the brief period of the Nazi occupation, from 1939 until 1991, Lutsk has belong to the USSR. After the collapse of the USSR, Lutsk was incorporated into what is known as Ukraine.
The Ukraine is a fascinating and mysterious place. Most of it is a vast, flat plain extending East from the base of the legendary Carpathian mountains. The soil is rich and black in the central and southern areas, and the temperature ranges from temperate Continental to sub-tropical on the Black Sea coast. It is easy to understand why this area may have been the cradle of the great Celtic tribes that settled Europe and created one of the most mysterious civilizations on Earth. (This will be discussed at another time.)
The oldest house in the world has been found in Ukraine. It is a 15, 000 year old assemblage of mammoth bones which was probably covered with mammoth hides. This house was found by a Ukrainian farmer who was digging a new cellar six feet below his home. It formed part of a village and was so strongly built, it was obviously intended to last for several generations, indicating that the inhabitants were settled agriculturalists. In Kostienki, Ukraine, there was a huge house from the same period which measured 115 feet by 50 feet with eleven hearths for cooking, warmth and light! And, speaking of cooking, the oldest known primitive, but identifiable, ovens were also found in Ukraine and date from 20, 000 BC! There were probably a lot of mammoths in the neighborhood because, not only the oldest house, but the oldest map in the world was also inscribed on a mammoth tusk and discovered in Ukraine in 1966, dated to about 10, 000 BC.
According to accepted historical research, the first horseman rode in Ukraine about 6, 000 years ago. Trousers may also have been invented about the same time and were the typical clothing of the Scythian warriors documented to 2, 600 years ago. It is interesting that Herodotus, 2, 500 years ago also described the Celts of Europe as wearing trousers and being extraordinary horsemen.
The gold work of the Scythians is legendary and bespeaks a culture far finer than is generally supposed by current scholars. The jewelry of the region of Ukraine is so similar to the work of the European Celts that it is hard not to see the connection. But, even older than many of the specimens of metal and stonework jewelry is a 20, 000 year old bracelet carved from a single piece of mammoth ivory, found at Mezin, Ukraine. This piece has a magnificent design which can be found to this day in the embroidery of Ukrainian costumes. This pattern is also similar to, but predates the famous Greek “meander” pattern, or “maze.”
Herodotus also tells us that the Scythians of Ukraine region employed soap to wash their hair. Bathing in ancient times was not uncommon, unlike the filthiness that became the rule with the superstition and ignorance brought in with the imposition of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine (called the Dark Ages, by the way. Connection?) But, the use of soap was NOT common.
The Scythians enjoyed saunas, were expert wine makers, and invented a rather unique type of bow that was deadly when employed from the back of a horse. This has come down to us today as the “Cupid’s” type bow!
So, Lutsk, Poland, with its rich past was part of this prime real estate that was coveted by both Stalin and Hitler. Hitler had no real intention of letting Stalin KEEP it, but he did want to assure himself that the USSR would not join forces with Britain against him when he took Poland.
So, seventeen days after Hitler invaded Poland from the West, the USSR invaded from the East. Stalin’s “Scorched Earth” policy called for the evacuation of industries, factories, machinery, skilled workers and livestock – all to be moved East to Russia. Almost 200 major industrial plants were moved to Russia from Ukraine in two months. And, more than that, Stalin ALSO saw it as necessary to annihilate the intelligentsia of Ukraine.
In a speech give by Lech Walesa, President of the Republic of Poland, at the Cemetery of Polish officers in Katyn, June 4th, 1995, the following was noted (translated by Chester A. Kisiel):
“In September 1939 their world collapsed. Everything went to pieces: independence, law, joy in building their country, domestic tranquillity. An onslaught from the West fell upon isolated Poland, soon followed by one from the East. [...] Many of them [became Soviet prisoners of war] such as the defenders of Lvov, [and were] assured nothing bad would happen to them, that they had been interned only temporarily, that they would be allowed to return to their homes. [...] How could they know that on the 5th of March, 1940, a few signatures on a short document sentenced to death more than twenty thousand innocent people? This document instructed: ‘decide the cases without summoning the prisoners and without presenting charges; the sentence: to be shot.’
“The NKVD carried out their orders precisely and methodically. A separate bullet for each condemned man… hour after hour, day after day after day; the procession of death continued. In the end, there was one common, nameless pit. There were no crosses, no names, no prayers.”
Over twenty thousand of the brightest and best of the genetic pool of Ukraine were dead with one action. But, this was only the tip of the ice-berg. For example, the population of Kiev, in 1940 was 900, 000. In 1945 it was only 186, 000.
“Then followed decades of concealing the truth. Lies, subterfuge and persecutions. In totalitarian Poland, the word ‘KATYN’ was an anti-State word. The threat of severe penalties hung over anyone who dared to place a candle under a cross with such an inscription. The families of the Katyn victims had to conceal keepsakes of their loved ones.”
The murder of the educated classes was blamed on the Germans by the Russians, and on the Russians by the Germans. The truth is, BOTH were guilty. It is through the elimination or suppression of free thinkers that any oppressive regime takes hold.
Stalin wasn’t stupid. He wasn’t going to leave anything for Hitler.
But, the rapid advance of the German Wehrmacht did not allow Stalin enough time to completely empty Ukraine, so the retreating Russians decided to burn whatever they could not take.
Two years later, when the German’s retreated from the Russians, they looted and removed to Germany all art works, folk art collections, rare books, whole libraries, sculptures and museum collections. Anything that could not be moved was to be destroyed and many libraries were dumped outside and burned. The German occupation destroyed a total of 19, 200 libraries in Ukraine. The Soviets stripped Ukraine of industry, the Germans stripped the cultural wealth.
In July of 1942, Adolf Hitler moved his headquarters from Prussia to Ukraine at the Wehrwolf Lair near Vinnitsya and remained there until September 27 th . He wanted to be closer to the controls of his ambitious invasion of Russia. But, on January 31, 1943, the German troops surrendered in Stalingrad. At about the same time, in the middle of this Hell on Earth, a child was conceived in Lutsk to Maria and Joseph.
On July 5th , (an important date to remember in this particular story), the greatest tank battle in history took place at Kursk on the Northeastern border of Ukraine. The German army was defeated by the Soviets. The net began to close around the wounded German Juggernaut. One by one, the Ukraine cities occupied by the Germans fell to the Russians: August 12 th , Kharkiv; October 14 th , Zaporizhia; October 25 th , Dnipropetrovsk.
Two days later, On October 27 th , the child was born.
According to Maria, labor began during the night, but they could not go out to fetch the midwife. Everyone in Lutsk was required to remain in their homes from sundown until sunrise, or risk being shot. But, there was time. The child was not born until shortly after 1 o’clock in the afternoon.
Maria wanted to call him Zbigniew, but, his father wanted to give him a name also. He took the liturgical calendar and closed his eyes, stabbing at the page with his finger. When he opened his eyes, the name beneath his finger was “Arkadiusz.”