Saturday, November 08, 2008

Kristallnacht 2008

On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, come revelations that blueprints were found, from 1941, in a Berlin flat that reveal the plan to expand the concentration camp at Auschwitz, and annihilate 11 million European Jews.

You'll recall that Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938 was the night when nearly 100 Jews were slaughtered by Nazis, and close to 30,000 sent to concentration camps. Kristallnacht marked the beginning of what we now know as the Holocaust.

As Reuters reports today, this latest discovery of 28 pages of architectural designs includes plans for a huge Gaskammer, or gas chamber, crematorium, and Leichenkeller, or corpse cellar, at Auschwitz, and provides proof that the meeting of Nazis at Wannsee Court was to make plans for wide scale extermination of European Jews.

Importantly, those who like to think that those who served Hitler often had no idea what was in the works are repudiated as the German newspaper, Bild, reports, "These documents reveal that everyone who had even anything remotely to do with the planning and construction of the concentration camp must have known that people were to be gassed to death in assembly-line fashion."

Moreover, as Bild asserts, "The documents refute once and for all claims by those who deny the Holocaust even took place."

The best way to honor those who perished 70 years ago, along with the 6 million who were to follow, is not only to remember, but to work tirelessly to end genocide in Darfur, and wherever it rears its ugly head throughout the world, as well as work to eradicate a perverse, pathological mindset that engenders scapegoating, and monstrous abuse of power.

There is nothing indigenous to the water in Germany that predisposes its natives with rancor and hate. We are no more immune from this climate today than the Germans were around the time of the Weimar Republic. It is only through acknowledgment of the universal human capacity for evil that we can overcome it.