karmicdragonfly: (Default)
But the third rope was still moving: the child too light was still breathing...
"For God's sake, where is God?"
And from within me, I heard a voice answer.
Where He is? This is where -- hanging here from this gallows..."
That night, the soup tasted of corpses.

I just read a book written by a child who spent time with his father in Birkenau and Auschwith concentration camps.

His descriptions are pretty shocking in places. The author, Elie Wiesel, died last year.

It's hard for me to believe that there are Holocaust deniers -- most of whose "talking points" seem to quibble with the number of people killed -- by the way, the "6 million" was a number that came from a member of the German SS.

Documentation exists for 3 - 4 million people killed, and when you read eye witness accounts like this book, listen to videos of eye witnesses, read excerpts from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goebbels_Diaries>Joseph Goebbel's diaries, it becomes patently obvious that a rounding up of people for forced labor, and then death by starvation, illness, shooting, hanging and gas chambers occurred. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/how-to-refute-holocaust-denial

Eisenhower ordered documentation to be created -- https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/General-Eisenhower-Holocaust-Verification

Video of French survivor:

There are very few survivors anymore, which is why Ellie Wiesel's book and other sources are so important.

Will this sort of thing happen again? Almost surely. Hell, purposeful attempts at genocide have happened repeatedly already during wars.

Why do Holocaust deniers exist? Certainly, anti-Jewish bias is a cause. But there's more to it than that. I haven't been able to completely put my finger on it...but if the deniers admitted the Holocaust, they would have to change their opinion of 'the other' -- meaning the deniers would have to change their belief system and recognize other people and other cultures as valuable. It's almost as if the deniers are resentful of the attention that Jews got because of the Holocaust.

I didn't time this post to happen during Passover -- it's just the timing of finishing a book. But it is probably an appropriate post.

karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I had always wondered how Hitler came to power...and now I see Trump, and I totally get it!

I mean, fuck. When people vote their fears instead of their heads...it totally makes sense how Hitler came to power!

The thing is...Weimar Germany was in way, way, way worse shape than the US today. Generally, the US is doing okay compared to the rest of the world. And yes, the middle class has been having a hard time over the last 30 years, but Trump is not the answer. I mean, fuck, really?

When people feel powerless, voiceless, they resort to violence -- and voting for a Hitler, or a Trump is really no different in my mind that rioting on the streets -- both violent actions, both stemming from voicelessness.

Along the WWII line, another thing I had always wondered was why France fell so quickly to the Germans. So, I have been reading a book called Strange Defeat.

The author was a historian who served in the French army during the defeat (surrender?) that led to the Vichy government. He wrote the manuscript (a "statement of evidence") when he came home. But later, he was arrested, tortured and killed by the Nazis.

The explanation he mostly gave for the defeat was that the French military leadership was not prepared for modern wars. They seemed to be planning and behaving like it was still the time of Napoléon or even WWI, but those rules did not apply to WWII.

One example he gave was that when they had to retreat and re-group, they retreated a distance that would have been plenty in the time of Napoléon and would probably have been enough for WWI, but that in WWII the Germans would reach the retreated troops before they were ready to fight again.

He also noted that the various branches of the military were siloed and competing against each other instead of fighting together, that they did not share information at all.

And basically, peacetime "paperwork" replaced military strategy.

Lots of WWII themes lately!


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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."