Auschwitz 77 years later

Posted January 29, 2012 on 11:44 pm | In the category Europe, Genocide, Germany, Human Rights | by Mackenzie Brothers

Exactly 77 years ago the Red Army entered a large relatively  new settlement built outside the old Polish garnison city of Oswiecim and discovered the relics of  Auschwitz,the largest of more than half a dozen Nazi killing centres.  In the Auschwitz Protocol its genocidal purpose had been described in detail almost a year earlier by the Slovak Jew Rudy Vrba , who was the first and one of the very few who ever had escaped from it.  But about  a million others had been murdered in that place, mostly Jews, but also hundreds of thousands of others who for political, sexual or ethnic reasons were deemed unworthy of remaining alive.  This was decreed  by a murderous government with its centre in Berlin.  In the German parliament in the same city on the anniversary of that day, a 91 year old Polish-born Jewish man named Marcel Reich-Ranicki who became Germany’s leading literary critic reminded the elected members of that parliament about what that previous political system had done to him  personally, to his family, to his culture and ultimately to the reputation of Germany  throughout the world.

It is a sign of the  sea change in the public position of Germany that no one in that parliament made up of parties ranging from deeply conservative to near-communist expressed anything but  unanimous approval of a motion that Germany undertake a united effort  to make sure such an event could not happen again.  The reason  for this unanimity was however deeply unsettling and very clear.  Over the last decade a terrorist group based in Zwickau in the former East Germany had been murdering ethnic Turks (along with a Greek and a  policewoman)who ran small businesses in Germany at a rate of about one  a year.  This came as a shock to the average German population as it recalled an  evil past that almost all Germans dearly wished had faded into history.  It was even more of a shock when it became clear that  the trio of murderers could not have remained undetected for a decade without a substantial  support group that many suspect  included some police.  Keep tuned and see whether Germany, with a powerful prime minister who is definitely untouched by any suspicions of  having had anything to do with those Nazi events, can combat this threat with efficiency, power and justice.

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