Auschwitz Anniversary

There is no way to understand the thinking behind the Holocaust.  Trying to pry open such madness is a waste of time, in my opinion, because it isn’t amenable to normal, rational human inquiry.  This is pure evil, and therefore it doesn’t match the boundaries we have set for ourselves as decent human beings.

If savages had murdered eleven million people, we’d find a way to rationalise it, since that’s what savages do.  They murder people.  But it wasn’t savages who committed this crime, or at least, not by our definition of a savage.  It was people from the heart of European civilisation.

It was Germans.

We tiptoe around it now, but the truth is that the appalling crime of the Holocaust was conceived and executed by Germans, and in fairness to them, they have embraced their own crime, unlike the Austrians, the Hungarians, the Romanians and the Ukrainians, who ran the death camps.  And of course the Croats who ran the most savage of Fascist regimes.  But at the same time, the worst abomination Europe has ever experienced was inflicted on humanity by Germany and we’d do well to remember that.

Why a reasonable, rational people would do this thing remains a mystery.  If Germans could be induced to create the Holocaust then it must be possible to create these obscenities anywhere.

The only way such behaviour becomes possible is when the oppressors cease to think of the oppressed as people.  We’re seeing the same dehumanisation today with Islamic State maniacs depicting their enemies as vermin.  With Islamist madmen murdering people solely for drawing pictures.   With marches in Germany against Muslims, and with the Israeli authorities characterising Palestinian people as cockroaches.

Have we learned nothing?





4 replies on “Auschwitz Anniversary”

It isn’t difficult for different groups to ignore the humanity in each other and focus on the differences. Germany has an unfortunate history of always overplaying a strong hand. The Germans view Southern Europeans as corrupt inferior lazy profligate shysters. They ignore the terrible suffering of Greece at their peril.

I’ve started reading a very good biography of Hitler and also watch anything on TV about him.

One of the key reasons why he gained power was because he was a gifted orator who said “what many people wanted to hear” at that time. People rallied around him. he gained power and we know the rest…

As you say, its important to remember that a “normal” and intelligent race like Germans were able to commit the crimes they did. It is also interesting to note how easily led they were by Hitler who was not a particularly cultured or intelligent man.

It is interesting to reflect how each of us (considering ourselves as “normal”, civilized people, would have reacted if we had been one of those Germans. Would we have rallied behind Hitler? Would we have helped to round up the Jews and would we have obeyed orders and opened the gas valves in the concentration camps? Most people would like to think that they would not have “fallen in line” but it was probably very difficult not to – and in many cases would have resulted in execution.

As we now witness the rise of the extreme right (for example in the UK and France) its again very easy for many people to fall in line “silently” behind them. One survey in France this week showed that Marine Le Pen would win the first round of the next presidential election. Just like Hitler – she is saying lots of things that many people “like to hear” – likewise for Nigel Farage in the UK. Worth thinking about …

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