Our Children of the Holocaust / The Great Milkweed Grow Out / Spring Break This Week

Dedicated to the memory
of the precious Children
who died in the holocaust.

They
were OUR children.

    Our children are the sons and daughters of us all.

There are many stories to tell.
And our children love to hear them.
Some tell of hope, survival and salvation,
Some of Love everlasting.

My Dear Friends,
we need to share them.

As I stood at the grave
of a man I deeply admired and loved,
beyond belief,
I paused to reflect upon the meaning of his Life,
and mine.
He first appeared to me at the tender age of ten.
His name, Werner Bendorf,
and his Life is forever engraved in my memory
and vibrant and alive in my Heart.
.
He still lives
in my Life, day by day,
between every beat of my Heart,
he smiles, he laughs, he is vibrant
in my memory
and
still shares his Love.
.
My heart continues to beat
because of his deep and abiding Love,
because the depth of his compassion
was far greater than anything
I had ever known.

He became the Father I never knew.
He was a Father to many young Souls,
and a Savior to me.
And by the Grace of God,
a survivor of the Holocaust
and a Divine Gift
to everyone.

Werner
shared many private thoughts
with me during our years
together.
I am in tears
as I share
the next moment.

How well I remember
beside a glowing campfire
one evening,
he told me in a calm
and very quiet voice,
that he sought
Forgiveness
in his Heart
for those who had
caused so much pain,
so much misery.
And we Prayed
together
for Forgiveness.

What a remarkable
Man.

I still Pray
that all may be
Forgiven.

I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord,
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go Lord,
if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my Heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have born my peoples pain.
I have wept for Love of them,
They turn away.
I will break their Hearts of stone,
Give them Hearts for Love alone.
I will speak My word to them,

Whom shall I send?
Here I am Lord,
Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord,
if You lead me.
I will hold Your people
in my Heart.
Dan Schutte
click to play the beautiful “Here I Am Lord”

We sculpt the future
with our imagination,
what we perceive to be.
And by our transgressions,
forget that I am
me.

In the act of forgiving
the mind is Blessed,
as it forgets.
The Heart Divine
no longer remembers,
set free from deep regrets.

The Love of God
Is like a raging
River of Light,
carrying Salvation
into the dark
pit of Night.

So this Life,
this Dream,
from which we awake one day,
will find us forgiven,
should we ask to be,
and forever
in the Bright Morning Light
of God’s Eternal Love.

And breathless will we be,
in Love
with Love,
Eternally.

“Oh I believe there are,
Angels among us
Sent down to us,
From somewhere up Above.
They come to you and me,
In our darkest hours
To show us how to live,
To teach us how to give
To guide us with the
Light of Love.”
Steve Goodman, Becky Hobbs

To this day,
I consider the youngest son
of Werner Bendorf,

Allen,
to be my Brother.
.
I remember
dozens of memorable camping trips with him
when his precious Father,
Werner,
was our Scoutmaster of
Troop 17.

I was Honored
for our own son,
Alexander Allen Anderson,
to be named after him.
read more

         Werner Bendorf with Alex and Annie

Address
to the United Nations:

“One and a half million Jewish children
perished in the Holocaust.

Tens of thousands
of other children were also
murdered

– girls and boys who faced sheer terror and evil.

Many were orphaned by the war,
or ripped away from their families.

Many died of starvation or disease
at the hands of their abusers.

We will never know
what these children might have contributed
to our
World.

And among the survivors,
many were too shattered
to tell their stories.

            . . .  too shattered to tell their stories.

Today,
we seek to give voice to those accounts.

That is why the United Nations
continues to teach the Universal lessons of the Holocaust.

It is why we strive to promote children’s rights and aspirations
– every day and everywhere.

Raoul Wallenberg

And it is why we will continue to be inspired by the shining example of great humanitarians
such as
Raoul Wallenberg.
(read more)

 

            Today,
as we remember all those lost
during the Holocaust – young and old alike –   I call on all nations to protect the most vulnerable, regardless of race, color, gender or religious beliefs.

Children are uniquely vulnerable
to the worst of Humankind.

We must show them the best
this World has to offer.”

General Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General
United Nations

The fate of Jewish and non-Jewish children
fell into the following categories:

(i) killed immediately upon arrival at the death camps — toddlers to 12 years old;
(ii) Killed immediately after birth — Babies in camps, particularly in Ravensbrück (the women’s camp) and in the women’s camp within Auschwitz-Birkenau;
(iii) selected for forced labor or for medical experiments — adolescents aged 12 to 18;
(iv) hidden by prisoners in concentration camps or by non-Jews in Nazi-occupied territories;
(v) escapees from ghettos who joined partisan groups in the forests of eastern Poland or became members of Polish or Jewish underground organizations; and
(vi) massacred in reprisals such as at Lidice in Czechoslovakia and Oradour-sur-Glane in France.    read more

“A child is precious,
a clean slate ready to absorb
the Breath of Life and Experience,
and a bundle of potential
waiting to
be unleashed upon the World.”

Over a million possessors of youth
were erased from our world,
killed because of their race,
and helpless victims of intense hatred.

We must look at their deaths as witness
of the cruelty hidden in Humans,
which may be released if a future Holocaust was to arise.
Only by understanding the potential of evil
in all of
us may we prevent another tragedy.

Youth is priceless,
and we must remember the children
who were sacrificed for an evil ideal,
and insure that this ideal stays
buried with time.
read more
– by Steven Ostrowski

To purchase this powerful
commemorative poster,
or the recently published book in association with
the Simon Wiesenthal Center
Museum of Tolerance Library and Archives,
Searching for Anne Frank: Letters from Amsterdam to Iowa,
or other items relating to Anne Frank,
for either yourself, your children, or a library,
click here.

 May God Bless you and your family
as we Pray for the precious
children lost in a haze of hatred.

My Dear Friends,
our children
are the sons and daughters
of us
all.

Goodnight.

“God will look to every Soul
like its first Love
because He is its first Love.”

C.S. Lewis

                         What is Great Milkweed Grow Out?

Great Milkweed Grow Out is an initiative at Desert Botanical Garden to grow milkweeds for monarch butterfly conservation. Monarch butterflies have declined as much as 90% over the last two decades. The good news is that you can help! In the United States, loss of milkweed habitat is a major factor in the decline of the monarchs. You can help by planting milkweed and nectar plants in your backyard.

Milkweed (genus Asclepias) is the only plant that monarch butterflies can lay their eggs on and that caterpillars can eat. Without milkweed, monarchs will not survive. Arizona has 30 species of milkweed native to the state, which means you can find the right milkweed for your backyard.

Great Milkweed Grow Out is increasing both the numbers and species of milkweed available. We are collecting seeds across the state and propagating them. We donate a percentage of our milkweeds to other non-profits and sell milkweeds to the general public through the Desert Botanical Garden’s bi-annual Plant Sale and the Garden Shop. We also plant pollinator gardens at 6-10 schools every year and present about monarchs and milkweed at local community centers.

What can you do for monarchs?Monarch Butterfly

You can plant a butterfly garden! Top 5 tips for planting a butterfly garden:

  1. Include host plants: Butterflies will only lay their eggs on particular plants, and it is the only food source for caterpillars. We call these hostplants. Just don’t be surprised when the plants are eaten by the caterpillars. Milkweeds are the hostplants for monarch butterflies.
  2. Nectar (flowering) plants: Nectar plants provide food for the adult butterflies.
  3. Don’t use insecticides: Insecticides will harm the adult butterflies and their caterpillars. They are harming YOU!
  4. Don’t use herbicides: Herbicides will kill the necessary host and nectar plants.
  5. Shelter: Medium to large-sized trees provide shelter for the butterflies in inclement weather and protected places for the caterpillars to form their chrysalises.

For desert-adapted butterfly plants, check out the butterfly plant guide. Find Desert Botanical Garden grown milkweeds and other plants at the bi-annual Plant Sale and Garden Shop.

Caring for Arizona native milkweeds

Did you buy a native milkweed from Desert Botanical Garden, and want to know how to care for it? Here are some general planting instructions:

  1. Seedlings (in a black cone) can be planted in the ground or in a larger pot. Milkweeds in a 1-gallon pot can be planted in the ground.
  2. Dig the hole only as deep as the roots but twice as wide. Set the soil aside.
  3. Carefully remove the plant from the pot, trying not to disturb the roots too much.
  4. Place the plant in the hole and carefully replace the soil you set aside around the roots. Maintain the soil line (make sure the soil is up to the same point on the plant that it was when the plant was in the pot).
  5. Gently tamp down the soil around the roots. Add more soil if needed to maintain the soil line.
  6. Lightly water the plant until the soil is saturated. Use drip irrigation or turn the hose on so the water just trickles.
  7. Water deeply every day for about 1 week so the roots can get established. Then water every 4-5 days after that. For Asclepias angustifolia, water every 2-3 days. In the summer you can water at the same frequency but for a longer period of time during each watering.

Information on native milkweeds:

White stem milkweed (Asclepias albicans)White Stem Milkweed

  • Grows to be 8-10 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide.
  • Makes a great screen plant once full size.
  • Can handle harsh summer heat.
  • Requires very little supplemental water once established.

Arizona milkweed (Asclepias angustifolia)Arizona Milkweed

  • Grows to be 2-3 feet tall by 2-3 feet wide.
  • Prefers some protection from the harsh summer sun.
  • This species does best on the east or north side of the house or in light shade/filtered sun.
  • This species does better with additional water.

Antelope horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula)Antelope Horns Milkweed

  • Grows to be 1-2 feet tall.
  • Can handle full sun.
  • Plant on south, east or west side.
  • This species does better with additional water.

Giant Sand milkweed (Asclepias erosa)Giant Sand Milkweed

  • Grows to be 4-6 feet tall.
  • Can handle full sun.
  • Plant on south, east or west side.
  • This species requires little water.

Desert milkweed (Asclepias subulata)Desert Milkweed

  • Grows to be 3-4 feet tall.
  • Can handle harsh summer heat.
  • Likes to be planted in full sun.
  • Requires very little supplemental water once established.
  • Great host plant for queen butterflies.

Pineneedle milkweed (Asclepias linaria)Pineneedle Milkweed

  • Grows to be 3-4 feet tall.
  • Plant in full sun or partial shade.
  • This species does better with additional water.

Visit our Garden Shop for more information on purchasing a milkweed plant.

Photo Credits:
Adam Rodriguez – Monarch butterfly
Barry Breckling – Asclepias albicans
Brent Miller – Asclepias erosa
Max Licher – Asclepias-asperula

Great Milkweed Grow Out activities are supported by the Bureau of Land Management.

 

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