28.05.2009 - 28.05.2009
I have a stomach ache.
We just finished Auschwitz & Birkenau.
I recommend not doing this with 26 people and that if you can, go it on your own or hire a private guide.It is incredibly moving and disturbing. You see movies, read books but to see the actual camps is totally different. Most impacting to me is the evidence of "proof" which are set up in different massive displays. Hundreds and hundreds of suitcases, tens of thousands of shoes, thousands of children's shoes, baby clothes, hundreds of eyeglasses, an enormous room full of the pots and pans recovered and a gigantic display of human hair - I can't even begin to describe how many tons of it...human hair. It's with these en-mass displays of a tiny tiny fraction of the personal property and physical property taken from the prisoners I felt the true gut punch of the horror and choked back tears. Many on the tour were crying. These were peoples things, and hair and I was looking at them some 65 years after the fact. Much of the property that hadn't been sold was still in the warehouses being sorted and the Nazis torched them. They robbed and used everything from the prisoners to sell back to the German people. The hair shockingly was sold and made into nets and textiles. I think the hair disturbed me the most the enormous corridors of rooms filled with shoes may have tied those...of course there were the baby clothes. In totality and individually it was all a slap upside the head. The fact the Hungarian lot had almost survived the Nazi purge but in the last 4-6 months, even when the Germans KNEW they were going to loose, they ramped up the slaughter even faster so in fact the Hungarian nation lost the most to the purge.
It staggers ones mind and causes it to spiral that humans can do that to humans. Humans preached a campaign that these other humans were out to get them. "These" people had a different way of living and were going to harm them and harming their way of life. "These" people must be stopped or they will destroy it all - ruin for us all...ruin. When I say "these" people it was more than Jewish folk who were thrown in the camps and killed. Dissidents, Gypsy's, Jehovah's witnesses and Homosexuals were also included in their lot of folks who would do harm to the homeland. They are different - we must eliminate them. It's a lesson humans just don't seem to get - even today. Mans repeated inhumanity (in it's various degrees) to man is reprehensible. And we call ourselves civilized. I am not just talking about wars and death camps. Though certainly dropping bombs on civilians is more tidy and efficient and less accountable (especially when you don't count them) than an organized death camp. I speak of mans intolerance of other people who may not think, live or love the way they do and they feel the need to demonize and hate monger. People just don't seem satisfied to monitor him/herself and his own actions and leave it at that. He needs to have a bad guy, he has a pathological need to force conformity. So he looks to find someone to demonize to keep fervor amped up.
Persecution in degrees is apparently acceptable. Bigotry is tolerated...after all you aren't killing them you are just denigrating them and keeping them "below you." But doesn't it plant the germ and start the disease? Oh! Right! But if you do it because of a religious belief that sanitizes it doesn't it. Okay. That's a nice slippery slope. I can't wait until some new leaders start saying it's okay to demonize a specific group and keep them down because they are different and "threaten" a way of life. Oh wait...it's happening.
Sorry but that's where my mind is right now.
Don't even talk to me about the people who say the Holocaust didn't happen...