elb's hovel of thoughts

Friday, January 28, 2005

60 years of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Jan 27 1945. One of the more significant dates in the closing stages of World War II, where the biggest death camp of the Third Reich's 'Final Solution' fell to the Soviet Red Army (who were on a massive counter attack after coming perilously close to defeat during almost 4 years of war). The death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau (or Auschwitz for short) was freed from the jaws of death as the Soviet juggernaut was steamrolling its way to Berlin. In that small place, more than one million individuals (out of 6 million, the estimated total Holocaust toll**) were subjected to extermination (primarily via Zyklon B) and medical experiments of a grosteque and barbaric nature

I managed to catch snippets of the commemoration that was carried out at Auschwitz on television while I was at the electronics store checking out some equipment (my television has been put away at a friend's place). Plenty of army veterans and former survivors (the older generation) and heads of state (the younger generation) were present, the older people looking especially frail in the falling snow.

Boring fact of the day: The German president is not to speak at the commemoration (I'm not sure if its limited to delivering a speech or not to speak at all [which seems a bit too much]) in recognition of (Nazi) Germany as the perpetuator of the Holocaust.

It is most relieving to see that the massive genocide has not been forgotten (well, how could they, when plenty of people who went through it are still alive?), despite the attempts of certain quarters that are denying the Holocaust ever took place. I'm just wondering whether by the time of the 100th, or 150th anniversary, whether these atrocities would still be a part of history, or whether it would be removed from the annals of history as effectively as the RCC has removed the barbaric Spanish Inquisition from the minds of people; or the very recent massive 'ethnic cleansing' in the Balkans of which I can bet that more than half of you don't even know what the hell I'm talking about.

As part of my commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation, I might be putting up a small set of pictures which I had taken during my visit to the Dachau concentration camp. But only after my exams are done.

Yes I know this post is a few hours late, in case anyone was going to pick on me for that.

** Please note toll does not include deaths as a result of combat, just helpless individuals, out of which the majority were Jews (sympathy out of this is a pivotal reason why the modern state of Israel was allowed to form)


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