The Holocaust was a stain on “Western” civilization that must never be forgotten, for its systematic, cold, calculated and horribly effective genocidal inhumanity. It stands as the preeminent atrocity of the 20th Century genocides, but by far and away not the deadliest. As it occurred in the heart of Europe by what was a formerly “civilized” culture, it deserves its place burned in our history for many reasons. But, the lessons of the Holocaust must be equally applied to other genocides, which they are not. In addition, the misuse of the term by the American Empire and it’s vassal states in NATO demeans the reality of Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
The desecration of the word “genocide” by using the term to justify “humanitarian” interventions by the Imperial powers as the rationale for military actions, the destruction of nations and murder of thousands, inures us all to mankind’s continued inhumanity to our fellow human beings. Through propaganda exaggerated “genocidal” atrocities or government prophesied soon to be deadly wholesale slaughters, whose true purpose is to justify purely political and economic considerations of empire, makes a mockery of the solemn services held today in memory of the obscenity that was and is Auschwitz
Before gassing the Kurds, which man uttered these words? What kind of monster would refer to people in this way, and advocate the murder and repression of Arabs
“I do not understand this sqeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.” — Winston Churchill 1920
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it”
History is written by the victors….
The important book “Churchill’s Secret War. The British Empire and the ravaging of India during World War II” by Madhusree Mukerjee (Basic Books, New York, 2010) is an account of the forgotten World War 2 Bengali Holocaust, the man-made, 1942-1945 Bengal Famine in which 6-7 million Indians were deliberately starved to death by the British under Churchill for strategic reasons in what was one of the greatest atrocities in human history but which has been largely white washed from British history.
What did we know and when did we know it?
In the early part of World War II American diplomats and other diplomats from countries not at war with Germany had very limited ability to observe what took place in territories conquered by Germany. One neutral observer, however, had a unique vantage point for judging Nazi efforts against Jews. The dispatches of the Chilean consul in Prague demonstrate what someone with good connections and in the right place could learn about the onset of the Holocaust by late November 1941.
These reports are also relevant to the longstanding debate about how much the West learned of the Holocaust at the time, because the British secretly managed to obtain these Chilean dispatches and shared them with American intelligence officials.
On November 25, 1941, Nazi Germany completed the legal process of denaturalizing Jews who had left Germany. According to the Eleventh Decree under the Reich Citizenship Law announced and published that day, Jews living abroad could no longer be German subjects (they had lost citizenship in 1935), and all remaining assets of German Jews residing abroad automatically and immediately became forfeit to the Reich. Expropriation, more than denaturalization, was the goal of this measure.2
A day before the Eleventh Decree was published, on November 24, 1941, the Chilean consul in Prague translated a portion of it for the benefit of his government. “The Jew [residing abroad] loses German nationality immediately… The fortune which the Reich obtains in this manner will serve to solve the questions in connection with Jews…” The consul then quoted a portion of another recent order in the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, barring unauthorized transfer or sale of property by Jews after October 10.3
These two specific regulations moved the Chilean diplomat to reflect in the same despatch and to report Nazi policy generally:
The Jewish problem is being partially solved in the Protectorate, as it has been decided to eradicate all the Jews and send some to Poland and others to the town of Terezin, whilst looking for a more remote place.
Document #9: Letter, Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy to John W. Pehle, July 4, 1944: One of the most controversial aspects of the Roosevelt Administration’s reaction to the Holocaust is the decision not to bomb rail lines used to transport prisoners to Auschwitz. As early as March 1943, requests for bombing of Hitler’s instruments of death had reached various government officials from Jewish sources both at home and abroad. The Administration was reluctant to take such action, though, because of the danger of the raids also killing the prisoners they were meant to save as well as of the practicality of diverting military resources that were needed elsewhere to defeat Germany. In 1944, War Refugee Board Director John W. Pehle made several direct appeals to the War Department for the bombing of various camps and rail lines This July 4, 1944 letter from Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy to Pehle—written one month after the D-Day invasion of Northwest Europe—states the military’s position with regard to such suggestions, and reflects Roosevelt’s belief that the surest way to end the killing was to defeat Nazi Germany as quickly as possible. (War Refugee Board Records; Projects and Documents File; Measures Directed Toward Halting Persecutions; Hungary No. 5, Box 42)
Holocaust Memorial Day: remembering horror of Auschwitz 70 years on – Telegraph
The site was also the death place for many people who did not fit into the Nazis’ view of their world. Poles, lesbians, homosexuals and the disabled were amongst those also killed here.
Many of the concentration camps set up by the Nazis in World War Two were razed to the ground, but Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated before it was completely destroyed. Now it’s a museum.
Survivors will lay wreaths and light candles at the so-called Death Wall at Block 11 on January 27th to mark 70 years since the camp’s liberation, and remember those who never left.