The Most Monstrous Crime in Recent Memory, a Reflection on Holocaust Remebrance Day

In August of 1942, the head of the German administration of the Lodz ghetto (a forced labor camp) ordered the deportation to the Chelmno death camp of all children of Lodz under the age of 10 (the ones too young to work in the factories). The Nazi monsters ripped these children from their parents arms. (Does this remind you of anything recently in the United States?) Then they marched the kids onto a train that carried them to Chelmno, where they were loaded into vans and gassed to death.

Is this most vile action ever undertaken by humans? I can think of none worse.

Here’s a picture of some of the monsters who worked in the camp, loading the kids, little kids, clutching their toys, onto the train that will carry them to their deaths.

On this Holocaust Remembrance Day and in this time when an ignorant mob of armed insurgents, many of them brandishing Nazi and neo-Nazi slogans and symbols, attacked our Capitol after having been incited to do so by our first overtly fascist President, it is extremely important for us not to look away, to root out the Nazis in our midst, and, via our legal system, to punish the criminals, like Trump, who drummed up or carried out the political violence. NEVER FORGET.

Will our Republican Senators continue to be complicit in Trump’s obvious fascism? Will they vote to convict him for inciting the fascist mob that beat policemen with flagpoles attached to American flags, killed one of those policemen, and clearly stated their intent to kill the VP of the United States and various Senators and Representatives? Are our Republican Senators that venal, that corrupt, that stupid? Are their memories that short? Or are they just fine with such things?

History will remember what they did or didn’t do.

About Bob Shepherd

interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation
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5 Responses to The Most Monstrous Crime in Recent Memory, a Reflection on Holocaust Remebrance Day

  1. Roy Turrentine says:

    Monstrous , indeed. As a historian (years ago it was an historian) your calling this to mind stimulates the neurological pathways to call up images of Rawanda, of Stalin and Siberia, of Turkey and the Armenians, it just goes on and on.

    What a thing man is. All full of atrocity and kindness. Painted with despair and hope. Idealism becomes cynicism, Hatred melts into empathy (perhaps more seldom). Human beings wrap themselves in their xenophobic circles for a generation, and watch their children reject their insular attitudes while they despair. Human beings commit to the rejection of Nazism during a generation, and still they see its persistence into another. They accept the absurd, but reject the rational. Their intuition tells them disease comes from the night air one day, and yet some of them grow to discover reality the next.

    The thing about the Nazis is the thing about all human beings: we can come to accept the inevitability of war crimes. We slide into the abyss of making the monstrous mundane. There is a wonderful picture in an old textbook of mine (remember those?). It shows a line of German citizens made to walk past a row of Jewish bodies who perished on a forced march. The American in charge stands, serious and impassive in his army helmet, while the German citizens walk by. The expression on the faces of the citizens masks their emotions.

    An entire generation of people dealt with the collective guilt of fascism. Future generations will have to find their own motivation for the suppression of man’s more evil intentions. We can but hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bob Shepherd says:

      It shows a line of German citizens made to walk past a row of Jewish bodies who perished on a forced march.

      My stepfather’s brother was among the folks who arranged this at the liberation of Buchenwald.


      • Roy Turrentine says:

        Wow! I wonder how common this practice was. Did the army actually have a policy that amounted to rubbing the dog’s nose in the urine? Or was your relative unique in his approach?
        Well, we live in an age of instant gratification. I googled the question, and found too many pictures to count of the various arrangement of ways German citizens were forced to view the fruits of their recent bout with fascism.


      • Bob Shepherd says:

        People often don’t want to see what is done in their name. I can’t think of examples where this is a good thing.


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