1. Kim,
    Thank you for helping others remember the horrors. And lest we all forget, in addition to the 6,000,000 Jews slaughtered during the regime (1933-1945), 5 1/2 million others also perished in the camps.
    – Brad

  2. Amazing that the same people who gave us the beauty of Beethoven could turn so ugly so quickly. Proof that (I believe this was from Geek with a .45) entire societies can go stark, raving, batshit insane.

    And there are people who would like to open such places here in the US, they won’t call them concentration camps, they’ll call the gulags or re-education camps. A distinction without a difference.

    I predict a bunch of dead Socialists should that ever be attempted. Even in the unlikely event that they DO manage to disarm the American people, Americans are creative people with a can-do attitude. We also realize that even our military doesn’t use bullets when it wants to kill people in job-lots, they use fire, explosives or chemicals (nukes being a mix of the three).

  3. Having been to Dachau and Mauthausen as a child, the locations left a lasting impression about the base evil that Man is capable of inflicting upon his fellow Man in the name of an ideal.
    My father was also sure to teach me that the ideal in this case was socialism, not as my school teachers kept insisting was a “far right” ideology that no longer existed.

    It was shock treatment that for the rest of my life cured me of any tendencies to ever believe in the general goodness of people, or the benevolence of the state.

  4. I have been to Dachau as well. I wrote the following comment some years back on another blog.

    “I was stationed in (formerly) West Germany during the mid-70’s. During a week long R&R, my buddy and I decided to take a tour of Dachau. For me, it proved to be an epiphany, although not for the reasons anyone might think at first.

    My father was a B17 pilot during WWII and flew 35 combat missions over Europe. Among other things, this sparked my keen interest in WWII history, so I had read about the concentration camps long before I went on the tour.

    It’s times like this that I wish I had a better command of the English language. The best I can come up with to describe the tour is that it brings on a cascade of emotions, some seemingly contradictory.
    The first thing we saw was this–


    –which translates to “Work will make (you) free.” It is both grotesque propaganda and macabre prophecy.

    It was a bright, sunny day that seemed somehow inappropriate for the occasion and at the same time a reminder that life moves on.

    Everyone on the tour speaks in quiet voices, walks softly, as if at a funeral, which is as it should be.
    One side of your brain digests all the numbers and photos and other input, while the other side just cannot wrap itself around the totality of horror that went on there for years. At the same time, I felt a sense of pride that I wore the uniform of one of the armies that put an end to it.

    When I was there, the ovens were still in place, doors open, with ash still inside. There was a simple rope barrier about five feet in front. A metallic glint caught my eye in one of the ovens. As I leaned over the rope for a closer look, I saw that it was an expended camera flash cube. Someone had tossed their trash into an oven at Dachau. Thus came my epiphany.

    The battle against evil is not over, will never be over. Evil will always be aided by apathy and willful ignorance, and fueled mostly by envy and greed. I agree with the old saw that there is nothing new under the sun. However, there are new generations who need to be taught their history.

  5. I installed some computer equipment in Kraków Poland in the 80’s, they were in the process of asking the Soviet army to leave. I knew Auschwitz was outside of town somewhere and I felt it was a human obligation to witness it. I asked several people I was working with about how I could go about visiting it. Half of the (highly educated) people I asked feigned ignorance as to what I was even talking about. The rest would change the subject and refused to talk about it at all. I never got to see it, and it still pisses me off.

    1. I was talking with my wife about The Final Solution and how this could come to pass.

      One of my contentions is that there was a *deep* well of anti-semitism in Europe going back centuries. She noted that every time her mother (born in pre-war Poland and relocated to Russia during the Main Event) used the word “jew” it was with disgust or disdain.

      I’m not surprised the Poles there didn’t want to talk about it.

  6. Ich habe Dachau auch gesehen. Ich erinnere mich besonders an das letzte Schild im Museum: Wer nicht aus der Geschichte lernt, ist dazu verdammt, sie zu wiederholen.

    I have also seen Dachau. I remember especially the last sign in the museum: He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it.

    Never forget.

    1. Somehow reading that sentence in German has more emotional impact than it does in English. I guess knowing where it was posted contributes to that.

      I guess it’s okay to occasionally shed a few tears over the evil of which we humans are capable.

  7. I was ambivalent about the 2nd amendment until while I was stationed in Germany I visited the Dachau concentration camp in Bavaria. I then realized that these people had to go to these camps because the state had all the weapons and the jews and other undesirables had no way to resist the might of the state. They had been disarmed by the 1935 Nuremburg laws that basically stripped them of all their rights. They were treated as undermenschen or less than man by the German state. I saw a picture of a German soldier who was pushing people into a cattle car and his Kar 98K’s bolt was open and slid back and the magazine was empty. He and the state had so cowed the populace that he was able to get them into a cattle car. It was an Epiphany for me. I swore that such a thing would never happen here and I would never submit to the state, that they would never get my ass into a cattle car to go to a camp. Better to go to Vahalla on my feet then on my knees. I became a fervent supporter of the bill of rights and especially of the second amendment, our God given rights as free people against the excesses of the government. I got used to the ridicule of other people against ” the cowboy mentality” of the United States. Well a lone person defending himself is part of the American psyche. It is part of Americana. The other people that are used to being sheep will just bleat away as the wolves come.

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