International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Despite all the crazy news today and over the weekend, I thought it was important we got a post in noting it before the clock ticked over to the 28th of January.

The Auschwitz Memorial‘s Twitter feed is an excellent resource for not only all things related to the Auschwitz complex of camps, but also the Holocaust:

The Auschwitz Memorial also has an online virtual tour, for those that can’t visit the memorial in person. It can be found at this link.

There is also a curated feed dedicated to memorializing the victims of the Voyage of the Damned; the refugees aboard the SS St. Louis who were turned away from the US and sent back to Europe.

Given the moment in history we find ourselves, it is up to each of us to make sure that never again, whether it is spoken in regard to Jews or Muslims or other religious minorities or religious adherents that are in the minority in specific countries, or for members of ethnic minorities or members of ethnic groups that are in the minority of specific countries, or for those who are at risk because they’re LGBTQ or refugees or asylum seekers and/or asylees, actually means never again.

Open thread!






98 replies
  1. 1
    John Cole says:

    Adam don’t give a fuck about nobody’s posts today.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    As I noted on Twitter:

    I still remember when I went to Dachau with my college choir in 1995. When I saw the things that were done to my people, my family directly…I literally could not talk for the rest of the day. I had never felt like that before.

    I touched hate.

    #NeverAgain

  3. 3
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @John Cole:
    Finally getting a taste of your own medicine, eh Cole? ; P

  4. 4
    hells littlest angel says:

    Trump honored the day by not making any idiotic statements about Jews. And THAT was when he truly became the president.

  5. 5
    Vhh says:

    This past summer my wife, son, and I visited Auschwitz; we drove from Germany where i was working. Highly recommended. My wife’s mother was a Mischling (half Jewish) from Dresden, where she was a slave laborer in a munitions plant. She escaped during the Dresden fire raid of 15 Feb 1945, one day before the remaining Dresden Jews were to report to Gestapo headquarters for transport to a death camp. She married an American officer during the occupation, and came to the US as a stateless war bride. We have all the paperwork, which went far quicker back then than it would today.

  6. 6
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    Some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time, Sir BlogLord sir.

  7. 7
    hilts says:

    Adam,

    You’ve performed yeoman service once again!

  8. 8
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    So Adam, you’ve already addressed the silly notion prevalent on the right and in gun nut circles that if Jews had armed themselves, then the Holocaust may have been prevented.

    My question is this: if the German Republic had had similar gun laws as well as culture as the United States does in the 21st century, could the Nazis have been stopped if the communist and socialists had armed themselves with firearms?

    I’m sure I’m going to reveal my ignorance so I apologize in advance.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Most likely not. The German communists and socialists/social democrats at the time didn’t get along and couldn’t make common cause. Their failure to do so, to form a coherent block against the NAZIs, was part of how Hitler was able to come to power to begin with.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    @hells littlest angel: Yup. Holocaust remembrance didn’t make it on the White House calendar. Holocaust is missing a round of golf at Mar-A-Largofuckyourself.

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Communists and socialists fought street battles with the Freikorps (from which many of the Nazi leaders and SA and SS rank and file emerged)

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @Yutsano: I visited Auschwitz with my family in the early nineties. Pretty much the same reaction as you. I’m glad, sort of, that I went once to see it. I wouldn’t willingly go back.

  13. 13
    Seanly says:

    The two most emotionally exhausting days I’ve had are when I was flying back to Nashville after the doctor literally told me that I had to get back to my wife’s side at the MCU and the day my brother & I went to Auschwitz. While it was an exhausting day, I’d recommend that everyone go to Auschwitz. I later went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum – might be better to do that first.

    I am a civil engineer and am involved in plan production. The biggest punch in my gut was seeing the full-sized architectural plans for the oven stacks.

  14. 14
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Why not? They had the numbers when combined, I believe. If they had been ruthless enough and well-armed, the street battles would have probably have been even bloodier than they were IOTL.

    Another interesting what-if: if Hitler had been shot and killed during the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, would the Nazi Party still have gained power? Probably not.

  15. 15
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Even with lots of Tommy guns?

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Peter H Desmond says:

    not so many years ago, i visited the Holocaust museum in DC and wrote this:

    http://washingtonart.com/beltway/desmond.html

  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    (BTW, I was aware of the street battles between them.)

    All it would take is a buch of well-armed guys and the element of surprise to make Hitler worm food, especially in the early days before he became Chancellor.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Remember how Sanders most die hard supporters, as well as folks like Susan Sarandon and Jill Stein and Greenwald say there’s no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans? This is what the German communists in the 1930s said about the German socialists/social democrats with the German conservatives playing the part of the Republicans. They believed that if the NAZIs came to power, things would get so bad people would wake up and there would be a social, political, and economic revolution that would bring the communists to power.*

    Sound familiar?

    * One of the interesting historical pieces to this is that Marx specifically wrote that in order for a communist revolution to be successful it had to take place in a state, society, and economy where capitalism had advanced to the point where scarcity had been overcome. He speculated that this would be Germany, or possibly the US, if it was going to be anywhere. Instead it happened in Russia, which had a scarcity of everything but snow and hemophiliac nobles.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Mary G says:

    I was born nearly ten years after the liberation and remember my parents saying “never again” even we were not Jewish and knew only a few Jewish people. Every time I hear some mouth breathing deplorable denigrate parents who are carrying toddlers 1,500 miles on foot through dangerous territory I think of Anne Frank and the St. Louis and the hundreds of thousands of visas denied it makes me sick. You think we would have learned our lesson, but humans have short memories, I guess.

  24. 24
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Why Germany and the US, and not France or the UK btw?

    They believed that if the NAZIs came to power, things would get so bad people would wake up and there would be a social, political, and economic revolution that would bring the communists to power

    Sound familiar?

    We don’t have a Nazi equivalent, yet. The alt-right doesn’t count. They’re disorganized and constantly fighting each other.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Had to do with Marx’s assessment of their political and economic development and where he thought capitalism would first develop to the point where scarcity could be eliminated.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I do not have the time to lay out the variety of reasons that the Nazis emerged as the winners from the debacle that was the end of the Weimar Republic (which fwiw was an honest attempt to create a functioning and decent democratic republic on the remains of a militaristic autocracy). But there might be a hint in my parenthetical.

  27. 27
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    which fwiw was an honest attempt to create a functioning and decent democratic republic on the remains of a militaristic autocracy). But there might be a hint in my parenthetical.

    I think I got the hint. German society did not have a strong democratic tradition, which is partly why the Weimar Republic failed. Right?

  28. 28
    Mike in NC says:

    Cretins who think that a handful of civilian European Jews armed with a few shotguns could have held off the Nazis ignore the forces of the Luftwaffe, the armored Panzer/SS divisions, and the Wermacht.

  29. 29
    Mike in NC says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: But they buy their tiki-torches from Home Depot, a major Republican Party donor.

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    Also, the moneyed players behind the scenes in Weimar politics thought Hitler was a useful buffoon whom they could easily manipulate to serve their ends.

    Although that analogy, while instructive, doesn’t quite hold up, because Hitler unlike trump had an agenda beyond self aggrandizement and knew how to achieve it.

  31. 31
    AThornton says:

    In the late 20s the KPD decided (or Moscow decided for them) their greatest enemy were the “red fascists” of the SPD. The SPD had their own “issues” with the KPD. A Popular Front, as later developed in France and led to the election of Blum in 1936 wasn’t politically, personally, or psychologically possible in Germany in 1933.

  32. 32
    Peter H Desmond says:

    @Aleta: you’re welcome, aleta.

  33. 33
    tobie says:

    Both my parents are European Jews who had to flee in 1939. My mother had a German passport so she was able to come to the US, although with only $24 in her pocket, since that was all the hard currency you could take out of Germany at the time. My father was stateless, so he had a tougher row to hoe and didn’t get to the US until 1948 when, thanks to Jacob Javits, children survivors were allowed to emigrate. He applied for a visa for his parents under the family reunification act and they were able to come to the US the following year. All of the Trump administrations restrictions on immigration and attendant human rights abuses have felt very personal to me. It’s hard to believe that in my lifetime we’ve become a country that detains children, separates families, and makes it impossible to apply for asylum. Kushner is apparently proud of his Jewish heritage. Has he no shame?

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @tobie: I would like to believe his paternal grandparents would be as appalled as almost all of Stephen Miller’s family seems to be.

  35. 35
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: You might want to read Adam Tooze’s _The Deluge_. Also, there’s a phrase that you might look up: “Nach Hitler, Uns”. [“After Hitler, Our Turn”]

  36. 36
    Aleta says:

    Thank you for the links Adam. My landlady was a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau and one other camp.

  37. 37
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Stephen Miller’s family seems to be

    I thought his parents were wingnuts?

    @Chetan Murthy:

    You might want to read Adam Tooze’s _The Deluge_.

    I’ll look into that. Adam alluded to the KPD’s belief that the contradictions would be heightened and then revolution.

  38. 38
    Fair Economist says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Some people like to claim that the lack of a democratic tradition was an important part of Hitler’s rise but the history doesn’t bear it out. Hitler came to power with a minority government as a result of political maneuvering you see in many places (splittism on the left and acquiescence by “good conservatives” on the right). Once in power he used it ruthlessly.

    The lack of checks and balances did help him some.

  39. 39
    Mandalay says:

    I used to live two blocks from the Holocaust Memorial on South Beach in Miami. The sculpture there is one of the most powerful things I have ever seen. I can’t imagine anyone seeing it and remaining unaffected by it.

  40. 40
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    Keep in mind that a Germany as a united country only came into being in 1871, so there wasn’t much of any tradition of federal governance, barely two generations’ worth by the time Hitler became Chancellor. Also that any U.S. style gun laws (as you call them) would have been wiped off the books lickety split.

    Trivia: One of the very first things the Nazis pushed through as soon as they came into power? The most wide ranging anti-cruelty to animals laws on the planet.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Also Gerwarth’s The Vanquished.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: You missed the almost all part. His parents and one uncle haven’t publicly called him, a large chunk of the rest have including one of his maternal uncles.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    Our local Holocaust museum, the Museum of Tolerance, is quite good. It has two halves. The first half is more general stuff about racism and xenophobia, particularly in America, and has exhibits about the Civil Rights Movement, Stonewall, Cesar Chavez, etc.

    When you cross over to the second half, they hand you a card with a name and a person’s picture on it. You then go through the Holocaust exhibits from the rise of the Nazis to the liberation of the camps. At the end, you find out the fate of the person whose card you have.

    I haven’t been there in about 15 years, but that was the setup the last time I was there. I think they’re associated with the Simon Weisenthal Center.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    @Mnemosyne

    Ah, L.A. Home to both the Museum of Tolerance and the Museum of Death.

  45. 45
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    There’s also a book, Freikorps and the Rise of Hitler, ( I think) that lays out some of the complexities.

    Germany lost WWI on the Western Front, and won the war on the Eastern Front. The first Friekorps were formed to hold in the East, against Eastern Nationalism and Bolshivism, and lost, eventually.

    The German “communist” actions, were akin to Spain, various factions from Soldiers Commitee’s to Anarchists to Internationals, rather than a solid front, or a real top down military unit, where the various Freikorps were top down, private “Stormtrooper” organizations based on the elite, lightly armed units that swarmed Allied forces in the 1918 offensives.

    The Social Democrat Party wasn’t really socialist, or democratic, and they were happy to use the Freikorps against the various “communist” uprisings and incidents, with the German Army and Police backstopping the Freikorps.

    Martin Niemoller, of the “first they came for” fame, was a WWI veteran, an enthusiatic Freikorp member both in the East and against the “Reds”, a big “stabbed in the back” promoter, got into the Clergy because it was the only paying gig available, was a big Hitler promoter, until Hitler and the Nazi’s moved to take control of the Churches.

    Oopsie.

  46. 46
    NotMax says:

    @Jay

    Oopsie.

    Need Amir to provide us with the proper German for leopard eating faces party.

    Whatever it is, must be a mouthful.

    :)

  47. 47
    Jay says:

    @NotMax:

    Leoparden essen Gesichter Party

  48. 48
    Jay says:

    @NotMax:

    Oh, BTdubs, various Western groups supported various Freikorps units with arms, advisors and other support based on the local conditions on the ground.

    For example the French gave and trained the Iron Division on 75mm guns and Renault FT tanks when they were fightings alongside the Lithuanians and White forces against the Bolshivicks, then could only politely as for them back, and ask Germany to pressure the Iron Division, when they turned on the Lithuanians and tried to seize Lithuania for Germany.

  49. 49
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NotMax:
    Your wish is my command:
    die Gesichteressende Leoparden Partei

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Weak, there’s gotta be better German for that size of “oopsie”.

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NotMax:
    Bitte sehr.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    On second thought, maybe that should be Die Gesichtterfressende Leoparden Partei.

  54. 54
    tobie says:

    @NotMax: “Au weia,” “ach je,” and “hoppla” would all work in this context.

  55. 55
    Suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: I went to Dachau in 2009. It was one of the greatest and most terrible experiences of my life. I want to take my kids.

  56. 56
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Ich habe mein ganzes Leben lang daran gearbeitet, ein gewalttätiges faschistisches System zu schaffen, das die richtigen Leute verletzen würde, aber jetzt tut es mir weh

  57. 57
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Ich habe an ihn geglaubt, aber er verletzt nicht die richtigen Leute.

  58. 58
    Jay says:

    By the way Adam,

    Thank you for this post.

  59. 59
    oatler. says:

    @Jay: Hogan…!

  60. 60
    Jay says:

    @oatler.:

    Shultz!!!!!!!!!!

  61. 61

    Thank you, Adam.

    My first visit to the concentration camps was at Mauthausen which was mostly used for extermination through labour. In some ways the smaller scale hit harder — the sheer scale of Auschwitz is so overwhelming it was hard not to simply shutdown emotionally in the face of so much horror. Still glad I went to both, and it’s something I think everyone should be required to do.

    #NeverAgain

  62. 62
    Jay says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    How are you doing ( physically) these days Sister?

    How are you doing psych wise and other mental health?

    I miss your updates.

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jay:
    Du hast Google Translate gefunden. Sehr gut.

  64. 64
    JCJ says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Thank you for the change to “fressen”. Probably should be all one word in true German fashion.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    NotMax says:

    @JayAmir Khalid

    Jeeze, get a room.

    :)

  67. 67
    Jay says:

    @Jay:

    But it’s not the same. There’s gotta be a Germanism for “I worked all my life to fuck up other peoples lives but it turned on me. Me!!!!!!!!”

    Other than Staatssicherheitsdienst SSD.

  68. 68
    Jay says:

    @NotMax:

    Nope, there’s a room here.

    : )

    BJ After Dark.

  69. 69
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JCJ:
    Yes, die Gesichterfressendeleopardenpartei. That would make a good epithet for the GOP.

  70. 70
    NotMax says:

    Now there’s a closed caption you don’t see every day.

    Movie on in the background which am only half paying attention to, captioning reads (strange organic squelching).

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Yowza, Enough to cover a couple of double word scores and a triple word score in Scrabble.

    ;)

  72. 72
    Jay says:

    @NotMax:

    Rotating tag?

  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    My favorite oddball closed caption encountered thus far still remains (penitent Western music), though.

  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    Could well drop down into the forties tonight. Not yet 11 p.m. and it is already down to 55 degrees.

    Opting to eat mostly peanut butter sandwiches for three weeks this past fall and spend the money saved on a space heater was the right choice. And not even February yet, usually the chilliest month here.

  75. 75
    Jay says:

    @NotMax:

    Flagellant Country and Western is a thing?

  76. 76
    Jay says:

    @NotMax:

    Lucky you. +8 c today. 8 inches of snow on the ground.

    Fire drought hell coming this year, again.

  77. 77
    NotMax says:

    @Jay

    Just a rhinestone hair shirt cowboy

  78. 78
    NotMax says:

    Grr. Code fail. Fix.

    Just a rhinestone hair shirt cowboy

  79. 79
    NotMax says:

    @Jay

    Houses here do not have heating or insulation.

  80. 80
    Jay says:

    @NotMax:

    Close enough first time.

  81. 81
    Jay says:

    @NotMax:

    They should. Insulation also keep heat out, and you can get an R50 attic for less than half the cost of granite topped countertops.

    I should be looking at 6+ feet of snow and -20+, but instead, 8 inches and +8c.

    2019 is gonna burn.

  82. 82
    NotMax says:

    @Jay

    Would need to get an attic first.

  83. 83
    Jay says:

    @NotMax:

    There’s ways. Binder dundat.

    2017 was the record here for forest fires. 4 feet of snow and an average of -15c.

    2018 blew that away with 3 feet of snow and an average of -12c.

    Havn’t seen more than a minus 5 so far and 8 inches of snow.

    BTdubs, ranch/farm/wooworking/reno’s here. 12 feet between trees and the house.

    This year in BC is going to make 2017, 2018 combined, look like childs play.

  84. 84
    NotMax says:

    @Jay

    BTdubs

    Second time you’ve used that tonight. Not clue one as to what it might mean.

  85. 85
    Darkrose says:

    @eemom: The stinger to the “Tommorow Belongs To Me” scene in Cabaret comes to mind. Michael York’s character and his rich friend are fleeing the biergarten Nazi rally and as they’re being driven away York’s character says drily to his friend, “Still think you can control them?”

    There’s an obvious lesson for the GOP.

  86. 86
    Darkrose says:

    @NotMax: By The Way.

  87. 87

    @Jay: Thanks for asking. While technically I’ve got another six months to go until I’m officially fully recovered (scar tissue takes a full year to heal), I’m pretty much back to normal physically.

    Still going through what my therapist aptly refers to as “re-entry” — there’s still a fair amount of residue burnout from the past three years, plus adjusting to a life that’s no longer dominated by transition. As well as asking myself, what kind of life do I want to have now.

  88. 88
    NotMax says:

    @Darkrose

    Thank you. All I could come with is it had something to do with either insecticides or the building trades.

  89. 89
    debbie says:

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been following The Faces of Auschwitz on Twitter for a while. The founder is colorizing photos of victims (and doing a far better job of it than Ted Turner ever could). Apparently, the color photos are making the Holocaust more real to some people. I didn’t need that myself, but if it gets people to the reality more quickly, I’m all for it.

  90. 90
    The Moar You Know says:

    I have studied a lot of Nazi history, and a lot of the Holocaust, and talked to survivors. Nothing has hit me quite like:

    My name is Werner Stein. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered in Auschwitz

    Just a little kid, dammit.

  91. 91
    John fremont says:

    @Mike in NC: Yes. Think of the casualties on the Eastern Front. What it took for the Soviet Union to stop the advance of the German Army.

  92. 92
    leeleeFL says:

    I was at work last night, so did not see this till this morning.
    For me, every day is Holocaust Remembrance Day, because of my childhood. I was raised Irish, Catholic and white, but never in such a way that I did not respect other races, nationalities and faiths. Too bad that that particular kind of parenting is less common these days.
    When I was very young, WNEW, a NY station now, ironically, FOX, showed a program called “Remember Us” every year at Passover. I have remembered them every day of my life since.

  93. 93
    TomatoQueen says:

    Thank you for this thread.

  94. 94
    laura says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: our friend Fitz’ dad literally opened the gates at Mauthhausen and the shock and horror of the camp, and the living survivors deeply, deeply influenced this gentle man and the life he lived. Bernie spoke of his experience in the last episode of Ken Burns’ documentary for those who’ve not seen it.

  95. 95
    laura says:

    @laura:
    https://youtu.be/XyIoUi5XQGs
    Bernett Miller’s description of Mathausen- the concentration camp and the town.

  96. 96
    Aleta says:

    @laura: Thanks.

  97. 97
    laura says:

    @Aleta: my pleasure! Glad to be a part of a full service blog.
    Humbled to have been an acquaintance of R. Burnett Miller.

  98. 98
    debbie says:

    @laura:

    A high school friend’s mother was freed from Dachau by her father’s unit. It was always a very sorrowful household.

Comments are closed.