Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Holocaust - how can it get any more shocking?

It is unfathomable to begin with that humans can treat other humans as the Nazis did during the Hitler era. It goes beyond hate to maim, hurt, kill others merely because they were Jews. The Nazis were so inhumane, one wants to deny even the possibility - yet it happened and it seem too that research is demonstrating that it was even worse.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum documents "the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe." The task began in 2000 with the researchers cataloging "some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany" [The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking].

"The numbers astound: 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1,000 prisoner-of-war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, “Germanizing” prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.'

There are a couple of maps and an intimate story from a survivor, but it is not easy reading, especially on a Sunday morning. But the New York Times piece is especially important to read if for no other reason than it happened not that long ago. It happened during my lifetime.

The Middle East problems cannot be isolated from the Nazi era; at the very least even the slightest grasp of the holocaust is an absolute must to the understanding of the Israeli perspective.

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