Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Never Forgotten

"...So the end of the ghetto fight against Germany was also inevitable. Disease, starvation, and mounting casualty figures from the murderous artillery fire took their toll. There was no one left to fight, and the defence collapsed. It is estimated that the Germans expended more artillery shells in subduing the Warsaw ghetto, defended by a handful of bedraggled Jewish partisans, than they did in the initial capture of Warsaw in 1939, when it was defended by the Polish Army. General Jurgen Stroop wrote a seventy-five-page battle report to the Fuhrer in Berlin, and a proud Hitler awarded the general an Iron Cross to ease his Halsschmerzen. When General Alfred Jodl, Chief of Operations of the German Armed Forces High Command heard this report read at the Nuremberg Trials, he could not contain himself: 'That dirty, arrogant S.S. swine', he shouted. 'Imagine writing a seventy-five-page boastful report on a little murder expedition, when a major campaign fought by soldiers against a well-armed enemy takes only a few pages.
"The world, however, took little note of the Warsaw uprising. It was too busy following the daily communiques of the two-front World War. But Adolf Eichmann noted it, and in his diary set down that a chill of fear swept through Germany upon the news. Even Goebbels was apprehensive. 'It shows what is to be expected of the Jews when they are in possession of arms', he jotted in his diary. And Jews too noted it, Jews in concentration camps, Jews in America, Jews in Russia, Jews in Palestine.
"In Germany orders were issued that henceforth there were to be no large concentrations of Jews anywhere. The extermination was to continue to the bitter end, at an accelerated pace. Even as German armies retreated in Russia and France, the death trains with their human cargoes kept rolling to Germany's gas chambers, and the chimneys continued to belch fine layers of warm, human ashes over the countryside and to fill the air with the sickening-sweet odour of the 'bakeries', as the Germans jestingly called the crematoriums. Only when Allied soldiers crossed Germany's borders did a frantic scramble begin to eradicate all traces of concentration camp activities. But the Allied advance was too swift, and what the world had refused to believe remained intact for all the world to see."
Max I. Dimont, Jews, God and History

Nazi Germany embarked on its Thousand Year Reich under a persuasively charismatic chancellor who promised Germans their rightful place in the world order as Aryan specimens of humanity perfected. All other nations of the world would be in thrall to Germany as befits a master race. Nothing would deter Adolf Hitler and his minions, but to subjugate the world to the command and control of German hegemonic power through which Germany would become a light unto the world.

Illuminating totalitarian fascism at its height of entitlement, advancing into the future to destroy an entire people through the creation of a twofold campaign of epic proportions; the Axis powers controlled by Nazi Germany determined to conquer the responding Allied powers themselves determined to combat fascism and rescue the world from the domination of a creed whose purpose was to create a vast pool of victims comprised of the people of all the conquered countries.

A second stream of purposeful action demanded resources to be taken from combat zones; finances, manpower, transport by truck and by rail, administration, planning and execution; the gathering up of Europe's Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, political dissenters for confinement and execution. That venture sufficiently successful that by war's end in 1945 six million Jews were annihilated. Seventy years later, the persecutor-slaughterers and the remnants and successors of the persecuted have a common cause.
Photographs (from the LIFE archives) by Hugo Jaeger
(Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer)

German reparations paved the way for Germany to pledge that all successive generations would be exposed to the shameful history of the dread barbarism of a German government that acted on behalf of the German people. And an eventual pact between the State of Israel -- which had been brought into existence as an antidote to the potential of any future state seeking a replay of Nazi Germany's Final Solution -- and the country that had given birth to the Holocaust.

A network encompassing all sectors of business, production, research, trade, government, military, society, art, exists between Israel and Germany. The economies of the two countries are intertwined; Germany presents as Israel's principal trading partner in the European Union, and is the third-largest trade partnership in the world with Israel after China and the United States. The bizarre bestiality of Nazi Germany has morphed into present-day Germany as a human-rights leader in Europe.

A number of exchanges and foundations in the sciences link joint cooperation elevating ing both countries' international reputations as captains of innovation. Cultural and educational exchanges represent further connections. One in two young Israelis has visited Germany, with tens of thousands of Israelis coming to Berlin annually, many taking up residence. German visitors are attracted to Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.

Sister-city relationships number close to a hundred; business collaborations and cultural exchanges have seen Jewish life and culture flourishing once again in Berlin and other German cities. The first rabbinical seminary since the end of the war was inaugurated in 2009 in Berlin. "Never again" has ensured that each new generation is exposed to the horrors of the Holocaust.

Is it even remotely possible for a country to make amends for an unspeakable mass extermination on such an unimaginable scale, that such trust and forgiveness is extended?

Of course there are complications. Israel, established in the geography from which Jews emanated historically in Judea in the ancient past is also home to other tribal peoples who are enraged at the re- creation of a Jewish state in the midst of Islamic countries and the threat from that source is never-ending. And just as Jews have returned to Germany where they lived before WWII for a thousand years, Muslims too have migrated to Germany, their presence now threatening Jews once again in Germany.

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