(Conclusion of 3 Parts)
Edmund Burke once wrote, Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” I would like to add, “One must learn from it as well. Otherwise, the whole cycle repeats itself.”
(Continued from the previous week…)
It is said that 1.3 million were in Auschwitz, of which over a million Jews either died of starvation, exhaustion, or shot directly for any arbitrary infraction. Most were herded like sheep and silenced by the gas chambers. There were 13 other death camps and starvation camps in other parts of Europe but Auschwitz was Nazi Germany’s massive, industrial model for the final solution, devised by Adolf Eichman, of exterminating the Jews in Europe. In all, 6 million Jews died in the holocaust, estimated to be about a third of the Jewish population at that time. To give one an understanding of that number, the city of Los Angeles has a population of 4 million people.
Sleeping arrangements were 4 to 5 decks high, about 5 or 6 people cramped on a deck. The weakest prisoners would be sleeping in the lowest bunk. Prisoners were starved to death especially in the winter. Most were so hungry, they ate grass in the spring and snow in the winter.
The weak prisoners, men, women and children, marked for disposal were fooled into thinking they were taking showers not knowing that they were headed for the gas chambers. The bodies were incinerated in 5 massive crematories. It was a mark of pride for the German crematory company, Topf and Sons, to dispose of the remains of the dead—a maximum capacity of cremating close to 5,000 human remains per day. A few remaining survivors of the camp remember being given the task of shoveling the ashes for final disposition. Ashes were often mixed with Auschwitz soil around the crematories. Some of the ashes were scattered in a nearby river. The verdant trees now lining the riverbanks seem to be silent, living witnesses.
Lt. Col. Rudolf Hess was the ruthless camp commandant. Hess lived in luxury in a bungalow with his spouse and five children right there at the camp. Just before the Russians liberated the camp, Hess tried to obliterate evidence but Auschwitz was a crime too massive to hide. Like a cornered rat, he tried to escape but he was captured and in 1946, was meted out swift justice. He was hanged right there near his bungalow at Auschwitz. A marker tells the story.
The story of Auschwitz was documented in black and white film by a young Russian photographer, Alexander Vorontsov, who came with the Russian Army which liberated the camp. It is through the filter of his eyes and his lenses that we have the images of the horror that was Auschwitz, a crime against humanity that beggars belief.
If your circumstances permit you and would like an understanding and appreciation of our own life on earth as it relates to those within your immediate orbit, carve out time to see Auschwitz. You will come out of the experience quiet and somber. It is like going through a silent, day-long spiritual retreat that will stay with you forever.
Auschwitz gives you a deeper understanding of the human story, our story, as it unfolds even now. We see increasing incidents of a turn towards socialism by leftists, which is communism lite and a marked rise of anti-Semitism fueled by raging radical Islamic terrorism. The level of hatred is on the rise.
Most importantly, for ALL freedom-loving people everywhere, the push towards globalism for a one-world order, with the elite, unelected few calling the shots over hapless, ordinary working people on how we are to live our lives on planet earth at every level, must be met by a stern, effective, concerted pushback.
How about HELL NO!”
Auschwitz is a stark reminder of why this should never happen again. As the few survivors, now in their eighties and nineties are dying and fading away, Auschwitz must serve as an eternal red flag that this horror of a story can and will have sequels in the future if we do not address this threat head on and reject it.
Finally, if your heart is in he right place, Auschwitz will tug at your heartstrings. There still won’t be any answers to the question WHY. Suffice it to say, that evil exists and can take root and fester in the human heart if you let it.
In the darkness, the slightest flicker of light makes your heart glad. In the horror of Auschwitz, you will begin to appreciate your own God-given life as your own light. If you live in the light of freedom right now and would like to preserve it for the succeeding generations, treasure it, defend it and—if you have to—fight for it.
If you believe that Jesus Christ who came in the flesh to conquer death over two thousand years ago, is the center of your being because his message is one of love and kindness for all humanity, you will be deeply convinced yet again, that even in the darkest of days, death can never extinguish the light.
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Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail [email protected]