Thursday, January 27, 2005

Auschwitz and the Holocaust

SS Sturmbannführer Rudolf Höss, former Commandant of Auschwitz, testifying at his Nuremberg trial:

The way we selected our victims was as follows: We had two SS doctors on duty at Auschwitz to examine the incoming transports of prisoners. The prisoners would be marched by one of the doctors who would make spot decisions as they walked by. Those who were fit for work were sent into the camp. Others were sent immediately to the extermination plants. Children of tender years were invariably exterminated since by reason of their youth they were unable to work. Still another improvement we made over Treblinka was that at Treblinka the victims almost always knew that they were to be exterminated and at Auschwitz we endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently they realized our true intentions and we sometimes had riots and difficulties due to that fact. Very frequently women would hide their children under the clothes, but of course when we found them we would send the children in to be exterminated. We were required to carry out these exterminations in secrecy but of course the foul and nauseating stench from the continuous burning of bodies permeated the entire area and all of the people living in the surrounding communities knew that exterminations were going on at Auschwitz.

Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly during the UN commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz:

...the tragedy of the Jewish people was unique. An entire civilization, which had contributed far beyond its numbers to the cultural and intellectual riches of Europe and the world, was uprooted, destroyed, laid waste.

Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly during the UN commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz:

Had the Western nations intervened when Hitler occupied Czechoslovakia and Austria; had America accepted more refugees from Europe; had Britain accepted more refugees from Europe; had Britain allowed more Jews to return to their ancestral land; had the Allies bombed the railways leading to Birkenau, our tragedy might have been avoided, its scope surely diminished. This shameful indifference we must remember.

Mr. Wiesel delivered the first major speech the United Nations had ever agreed to hear in commemoration of the deaths of six million Jews. However, the room was only half full. Among Muslim countries, Jordan and Afghanistan were prominently visible, but most were absent.


Blogger MaxedOutMama said...


I have been having problems getting to your site, but I'd like to express my complete admiration for your series of articles on the Holocaust. Those who do not know history are, indeed, doomed to repeat it.

This is important information that must be kept in the public awareness, but not in a superficial way.

9:42 AM, January 27, 2005  
Blogger sygamel said...

I am close to tearing up here at work.

1:34 PM, January 27, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Scott, thanks for your comment. I share your feelings.

2:01 PM, January 27, 2005  

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