I see that some lunatics advocate a war with Iran, for no reasons clearly defined.
Long-term readers might recall a post I wrote about about Wernher von Braun about four years ago. Braun was a nasty piece of work, a scientist who defiled his profession by utilising Jewish slave labour in the Mittelbau-Dora camp to build his rockets. 20.000 slaves were worked to death at the Mittelwerk, dying at the rate of 250 a day. More people died producing the weapon than were killed when the Wehrmacht used it, but of course, the victims didn”t even count as people. They were just Jews.
This was the inspiration for the appalling scene in Band of Brothers where the Americans forced the local people of Nordhausen to bury the 6,000 corpses remaining after the SS had forced the survivors on a death-march to Bergen-Belsen and Sachsenhausen. I don’t know if they were right to do this, but in the heat of rage, perhaps it’s understandable. Those people must have known what was being done, even if they didn’t direct it, just as the people of Jasenovac in Yugoslavia must have known, And Banja Luka and Prijedor, barely twenty years ago.
I went to Auschwitz a few years back and it’s inconceivable that the Polish people didn’t know what was being done. Indeed, when survivors of Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka and Maidanek tried to reclaim their homes in Warsaw, they were murdered by their Polish friends and neighbours.
We Irish turned away Jewish refugees while at the same time welcoming murderers like the Croatian genocidal killer, Artukovic. Our hands are far from clean, but let’s return to Wernher von Braun, SS Sturmbannführer and Nazi war hero. This is the man who directed the US rocket programme. Somehow the Americans managed to overcome their revulsion at the fact that von Braun personally selected slaves from the Buchenwald concentration camp. Just an average scientist doing his job. Most scientists, as you know, spend their time selecting slaves.
In the times that lie ahead, perhaps we should pay careful heed to what has gone before. A dark cloud begins to form over Europe once again.