Thursday, July 19, 2007

Holocaust – The Final Solution

Holocaust – comes from the Greek word: "holos" (completely) and "kaustos" (burned sacrificial offering), but I don’t intend the same meaning now. It is far more horrifying than this.
Just before the onset of World War – II history witnessed the largest gruesome mass genocide. I am talking of the destruction of the large Jew population along with gypsies, homosexuals, Soviet POWs, and prisoners of all nationalities.

Train loads of unaware innocent people were brought to concentration camps. Unaware of their destiny, these people were told that they were being taken for a disinfecting bath and in turn were streamed into large gas chambers where they were killed in a matter of a couple of minutes. This is not all, there are many more atrocious evildoings that the Nazi’s inflicted upon them.

I had been to one such evil place during my recent trip to Europe – Auschwitz concentration camp in the outskirts of Krakow - the old capital of Poland.

From the heart of Krakow, we took a local transport bus to Oshwiecim, which is the polish town where the Auschwitz camps were located. When I saw it from a distance, it looked like red brick factory houses rowed in a vast barren land. Till that time I did not know what was in store inside.

When I walked inside the iron gates of the premises, I could already sense a strange sadness in the air. Everything there appeared still and lifeless. Gravel sand pathways were there with black notice boards indicating what is what. I wish I could publish a couple of the notices here on the blog, but I don’t yet have the pictures with me.

There are somewhere around 14 blocks in the area. Each block had an evil story to tell. Children, women, the aged, the diseased – everyone was subjected to an unbelievable level of torture – so much that dying seemed to have been a better alternative. To site some of the horrendous tortures, there were doctors who used to perform medical experiments of unimaginable horror on men, women and children. One such cruel doctor was Dr. Josef Mengele. Starting from experiments like performing operations and dissections without administrating anesthesia, to injecting chemicals into the eye of children in an attempt to change their color, to stitching twins together back to back just like Siamese twins and leaving the wound unprotected. There is a record which says that the mother of two such unfortunate children could not tolerate seeing her kids cry in pain and to free her children from this suffering, she stole some morphine from the clinic and killed them by over dosing them. The thought itself runs chills down my spine – it is so difficult to imagine the pains of the people trapped in the cruel place and punished for nothing that they had done. And to add to the cruelty, all this was done by first pampering the little children with candies and clothes. Can you imagine that the ignorant children used to happily shout ‘Uncle Mengele’ when they used to see him coming towards them with candies and goodies.. Unknown of what this undeserving uncle would do with them, they used to go with him in his personal car or in cars labeled with Red Cross to his death laboratory in Block 10 of Auschwitz and get subjected to dreadful treatments. You must be thinking that these scientists must have been crazy psychopaths, but this is not true either, there are reports which say – “….. Josef Mengele and the other camp doctors - masterminds of the horrors of Holocaust - were found to be psychologically normal. They were men of fine standing, cultured, husbands who morning and night kissed their wives, fathers who tucked their children into bed ...” .

That’s not all, there used to be roll call sessions of the inmates which would last for days and the people were not allowed to move for the entire duration – many people supposedly died during this wait. People who tried to escape were subjected to torture along with his/her entire family in the courtyards – so that no one else dared to run away.

There is a room in one of the blocks which have a whole dump of the personal belongings of the inmates. Things like toothbrushes, combs, feeding bottles, shoes – they are heaped there and they yell back at us asking us of their fault. Why did they have to meet a destiny as terrifying as that.

After WW1 in 1920, Adolf Hitler joined the National Socialist German Workers Party known as the Nazis. He called for all the Germans from all over Europe to unite and form a strong central government and fight for the cancellation of the Versailles Treaty. He reserved the brunt of his vituperation for the Jews, whom he portrayed as responsible for all of the problems and evils of the world, particularly democracy, Communism, and internationalism, as well as Germany's defeat in the War(WW1). Jews were the German nation's true enemy, he wrote. As such, they were not a race, but an anti-race. His hatred of the Jews was always known, but it took this ugly face soon after he empowered Austria. And from 1933 onwards, till about early 1940’s around a total of 6 million Jews, Gypsies, Blacks, Homosexuals, Communists and others were killed. Once a population of a couple of millions, the number of Jews have been reduced to a couple of thousands.

If you are thinking that this is something of the past and not being done now, then think again. Similar treatment is being levied onto people of Baghdad, Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle East countries by none other than American troops. Saddam was labeled as cruel, look at what better America is doing. In fact it is shameful and surprising that how America is engaging itself in terrorist activity under the veil of reform and purification. All of this is really happening and how easily we pass judgments about wrong and right and who deserves what. A couple of days back I had a discussion with a couple of my colleagues and I was surprised to see that they are moving with the masses without exercising their ability to think and love. Without even having to face a personal attack they have such strong views about a community. Studies show that out of the entire community population, only 5% of its people are involved in extremist activities, and we should understand this and not penalize the rest of the 95% of the population because of them. Its important to remember that what we give reflects and comes back to us.

For long I thought why is there so much of hatred in the hearts of people. How do people gather enough courage to kill the innocent? Today, 3 out of 100 accused in the 1993 Mumbai Blasts have been announced a death sentence. The 7 serial blasts in Mumbai which took almost a thousand innocent lives and unaccounted loss of property and livelihood, was it all worth it? Why is it that terror spreaders justify their evil doing as a cause of something else? Was the Babri Masjid demolition worth the aftermaths it had caused? People can’t understand the value of life and keep looking for a reason to hate one another. It is so difficult to break free from the bonds of hatred? Is it so difficult to love? Someone needs to stop. And it is not a shame to be the first one to take the little step of brotherhood.


Anonymous said...

I remember one note that you wrote on a bookmark, still have with me "learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.". May be this is the reason. How can we love others when we don't even love ourselves. Most of the time we are frustrated, irritated, depressed. Suppressing our feelings, thoughts. Love always starts from within and then moves to without.
Anyway very good article.

Deepshikha said...

Dear Anonymous.
Your reason 'How can we love others when we don't even love ourselves' is not convincing in this context. I would not want to believe that Hitler did not love himself.. And I for sure would not want to believe that the American decision makers don’t love themselves. I think it’s the pride and addiction of power and also the sense of being able to control and affect others life is what drives them. They start enjoying the 'god' status and sometimes they also think that it is a revenge of all the sufferings that they (directly or indirectly) have undergone. Anyway, that is how I look at it.

Anonymous said...

just one thing.
Love brings contentment thats what I feel. I think you know this better then all.
And yes it is a revenge of all the sufferings that they have undergone
When you are in love with yourselves . Do you really think that things like pride, power actually matters. They all look foolish.

Deepshikha said...

Dear Anonymous

When you are in love with yourself ( obsessive love ) -- which is per me a self contained feeling, you want to protect yourself from all the bad things and to do that you don’t mind hurting others. There is a difference when I quoted "Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all" -- there the context was different.. It was for people who seek outside, as they say "Who look outside, dream and the one who looks inside, awakens!" -- It is important to love yourself in order to respect yourself when you feel all pits. But not to a level that you become obsessed with yourself. In fact, these days everyone loves himself/herself. Think of it -- think about yourself.. you do things to make yourself happy and I don’t say it is not wrong, but it becomes wrong when you become heartless towards others and you gain your happiness in the cost of someone else’s tears—This applies to your attitude / behavior towards people / animals / objects you think are potential risks to you. So I don’t think that pride / power loses importance, in fact a self contained individual is the one who reflects the most of these characters..

Romuald said...

I hope some people will learn the holocaust story which is commonly taught in Europe. For French people, such as Europe' inhabitant, it was the worst time they never knew.

I can speak a little bit about this subject because my grandparents, who are still alive, stayed in the west of France. The war was there, they have seen Nazis, but it was not a place of fight. In this place, life was continuing.

For anecdote, my mother's parents helped one couple of Jews in hiding them in the family farm. They stayed there for one or two months. And it was very common to hide people in the farm in this time. Everybody was conscious something very bad could happen to them but they didn't really know what it could be. They knew about concentration camps some time after the end of the war.

When I questioned them, they couldn't really say how it was hard to live with this difficult regime. They come from the time persons didn't show their emotions. Fortunately, this is not a taboo's subject in my family; we can speak about this period but it's not easy to approach this because, we know they suffered and we don't want to see them to remind a very hard time.

I would like to react on:"Similar treatment is being levied onto people of Baghdad, Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle East countries by none other than American troops"
I don't really agree with you because:
- There real objectives is to take oil of these countries and not kill an anti-race
- They don't treat people like Nazis did (I hope so) by gas' room, torture, experiments.
- There is more media, not like in this time when the radio was the only way to receive news.

And I agree with you for these points:
- USA is the more powerful country in the world, so, it doesn't seem the same
- They are leaded by a crazy man

I will conclude by explaining my point of view of this war. For me, this is the best example of persuasion model. I mean, one man have imposed his ideas of life, better people, races, expand country and people followed him. I can't say this is like a god because a god shows what is good; god is looking for the peace and non-violence. But in this time, people thought Hitler was a kind of god (for me, he was a devil) and German's people followed him blindness. For this war, I can't understand something: how people can believe there are better than others? And how you can define the best people?

Anyway, your article is very clear and it really reveals the hardness of this stupid war.

PS: I'm sorry for my English's grammar; I'm trying to do my best :-)

Deepshikha said...

Dear Rom
I was very happy to read your comment. This is the kind of dialogue I was looking forward to have. It’s very kind of your grand parents to do their bit in helping people. You should be proud of them :).
Addressing your disagreement towards my talking of US levying similar treatment on people of Baghdad, Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle East countries, then I suggest that you check out the link I had provided in the post and another one here.
You are right when you say that because of the media it is not as easy as it was during the holocaust or even earlier when the slave culture was present. But you should also understand that for a super power like US it is not difficult to commit these heinous crimes and get away with it. In times of manufacturing evidence, fake encounters, intentional bungling and politically motivated police work, telling people at large only the half truth is not difficult.
You are right again in saying that the extent of torture is not of the gas chamber or biological experiment type, but you may like to know that homosexuality is forced on the prisoners there as well. They are tortured third degree for no apparent crime. Children as young as 10 yrs old are confined in extremely hot and dark rooms with inadequate food and water. Their regular life has been disrupted -- they have almost destroyed a nation. Yes, the interest is also oil, in fact this is even worse, they show the world that they are trying to do good and under that cover they are realizing their vested interest and stripping those countries of their natural wealth as well.
But I am very happy to read what you wrote. And US sure is being led by a mad man :).. Great writing Rom. :) Thanks

Sanjay Rajoura said...

I could not stop myself from writing after reading the comments. Anonymous, I am sorry I could not understand how actually your observation of "learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all" is related to one of the worst Genocides in human history. In hindsight, may be the unfortunate jews should have tried to tell Hitler to love himself! I dont think I can comment any further on what you said.

Romuald you have made a very valid and interesting comment about the role of media, the lack of it during the World War 2 and and an overdose of CNN which has made the invasion of Iraq into a spectacle of Hollywoodian proportion. But,here is where I differ.Contarary to what you believe, America and pet dog UK have used the mass media to spread lies and fool people across the globe. What they call a "war on terror" is actually a sham, a saga of deception. The sinister motives of the most powerful nation of the world have been camouflaged by their partners in crime and conduits like CNN. I am sick of seeing pictures of American soldiers holding Iraqi children in their arms and posing for the camera while their president,that monkey (actually monkies might feel I am insulting them), claiming "Iraq has been liberated". You are right, it is about oil. They have shamelessly stripped one of the oldest civiliztion of its culture,heritage,pride and diginity.Technically its not a Genocide.But Iraq today is an American occupation.It's common knowledge now that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.The irony is that it was America who gave Saddam the technology to manufacture those weapons.America has used media as another weapon in its arsenal.So essentially the presence of mass media has only helped America in spreading lies.The good thing is we know the truth!

Romuald said...

Hi Sanjay, it's nice to meet you but unfortunately, this is with internet.
I will react on your comment, please, don't be offense; it's just my point of view.

The sentence: "America and pet dog UK have used the mass media to spread lies and fool people across the globe" made me smile, of course, I agree with you. But, I prefer to stay neutral because at this time, we have the television/the radio/Internet and if you change from a media to another, you will have the same subject but sometimes, the information will be different. It's not only a problem of lying or to making people fool; this is because of the culture/belief of the country/journalist and how we understand information. You can say, this is the government who is trying to "protect" the civilization in handling media but I don't believe of that. It can happen sometimes but not every times. When you said, "The good thing is we know the truth!", how can you be sure? For me, we don't know anything, how can you prove an article was modified by the government or it was just a man who made it??? I will give you a good example, it was in 2001, Jacques Chirac, the last president of France, decided to avoid the war with Iraq. Few days after this announce, newspapers (English and American) ask for a boycott of the French wine. And people of these respective country had started to believe of that and they were thinking it was the best way to press French people to change there mind. But it didn't. In this case, the American and English government was present because they wanted support from the French army. But as you can see, it was a very stupid to boycott wine!

To conclude, I will say, I didn't try to explain who and which media we have to truth, I prefer to say we need to be careful about the information we can hear/read/see and keep in mind, we can be handle.

By the way, I hope, I will meet you when you will come back to India.

Sanjay Rajoura said...

Hi Romuald,

You prefer to stay neutral? To what? Neutral to the war? Neutral to the occupation in Iraq or the murder of a civilization,children,women,flora and fauna?When the US invaded Iraq the New York Times news survey suggested that 42% Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. ABC news poll put the number to 55%.None of this is based on evidence because as we all know that there is'nt any evidence connecting Saddam Hussein to 9/11.All this is bullshit and based on outright lies propogated by US corporate media.Its your choice whom to believe.

I am not impressed with the example of Jacques Chirac. As soon as the war began,France offered its air space to American and British bombers to carry out operations on a helpless country already brutally supressed by a dictator.

In the end its not a question of whom to believe. We need to just keep our eyes, ears and minds open and the thruth will unfold.

Romuald said...

Hi Sanjay,

I will come back to the word neutral I have used in my previous comment. I think, I didn't explain really well what I wanted to say. For me, stay neutral is the act to don't take position, to don't give his point of view. I have, of course, my own ideas but I prefer to keep this to myself and don't try to change the belief of the other.

I will react on one thing, about the French air space. As you know, to go from UK to Iraq, it's easier to go by France. So the French government decided to offer its air space to don't have too much conflict with US and UK. This is government' agreements and it may be the best solution to keep good relations with these countries.

Then, I'm sorry but I'm still doesn't agree when you use the truth. You should think what this stupid French is going to say??? Well, for me, this war is exactly like a fight between two people. They have their own argue to fight with the other, one will do something wrong, so the other will do the same and etc… If you see that from outside, you can have a point of view of this but one other person which is watching the scene in the same time as you could have another point of view. And this is possible with media, especially with American's media and every media in the world.

To conclude, when you have so different media with different content, I speak about articles for and against the war, from US, UK, Iraq, India… How can you say, this is exactly the way I think? You treat the information and after you keep little information you believe in because they look possible to your eyes or because this is what you believe. So sometimes it could be correct and sometimes else, it could be wrong and this is why just few parts of the truth can be known.

Deepshikha said...

Looking at what Rom is writing, I think Rom is what I used to be a couple of years back. :). When you see people fight, the very first thought that comes to your mind is that both must be wrong at some level and both would have harmed each other and so this fight. And I think Rom is applying the same formula in this certain ‘War Against Terror’ by the self proclaimed god status nations like US and as Sanjay righteously put the pet dog, UK as well. The discussion is about the people at large being aware of what is really happening – and not just brainlessly believing what some ABC media is saying. There are scary facts which should actually be public knowledge but unfortunately not as many people know about it. Sadly, I was also in that league of ignorant people who tried to justify everything happening by the traditional saying ‘An eye for an eye’ till some years back. In this recent book that I am reading, I got to know of so many factual evidence which if thought rationally makes complete sense of what actually is going on – that US is clearly abusing its powers under the veil of trying to reform the world, take them towards modernization, free women from their head scarves – when it actually is interested in reinforcing its power and dominance over the world. For instance, it is also ‘public’ knowledge now that US and UK were close allies to Saddam Hussain when he was out there carrying out his worst atrocities. So, what went wrong you may think. Why did US suddenly start hating Saddam? Well, it is because in Aug 1990 Saddam invaded Kuwait and this was done without consultation and permission from their masters (US) which angered the ‘gods’ and so US suddenly started feeling compassionate towards the Kuwaitis and the first allied attack on Iraq took place in Jan 1991 where tens of thousands of people were killed over a month of ruthless bombings. And the story continued till they started blaming Saddam with September 11 and eventually brutally murdered the mighty man in his own homeland while the entire world watched on various news channel commonly thinking that one devil has been destroyed from the face of this earth by a ‘nation for mankind’, a ‘nation of freedom’, the supposedly kind US.

There are lots of evidences which are there, but we need to read them and know of them – not just because then we can debate, but because then we can understand things better, tell others about it and in a way perform our social responsibility. Its important to come out the loop that ‘He is suffering because he had done something bad to someone’. This is not true in political contexts – where the civilians are affected by every political move. Coming back to the example again, the people in Iraq had already suffered a lot under the brutal dictatorship of Saddam, did they need the godly United States to come and destroy them even further? Ofcourse Not.
And another point which Rom has said about justifying why France allowed air space to US and UK, it is again a display of the fact that everyone wants to be where the power lies. Who cares of humanity - of what is morally correct? Its something like you have a sheep in your backyard and you allow a lion to use your house doors to get to him lest you develop enmity with the king of the jungle. That is not fair in any way and you being intelligent and humane should not advocate the wrong doing of anyone. The civilians are not cruel – in fact more than 90% of the American population doesn’t even know of what her leaders are doing under the umbrella of ‘world reform’.

So Rom, I would like to conclude by saying that is not as simple as a fight between two people – it is a vulgar enforcement of supremacy and power by the US (and her partners in crime) and the comparatively little that the receiving nations do to protect whatever little they are left with and retaliate out of anger and frustration of what they have lost and how much they have been oppressed.
And I would also like to say that when you know something which is a startling truth – which is authentic and real – which is factual – you must share it and reason it out appropriately for that is the only way knowledge spreads and people would not be just mere puppets in the hand of sold media. And more over is it not what 'Right to Informartion' and 'Freedom of speech and expression' is all about :)
Anyway, its nice to see some healthy discussion going on here :)

Romuald said...

I'm capitulating; your arguments are very good, even if I was talking about the media and how the people understand it...

Anyway, I have learned a lot in reading your comment. I didn’t know about US and Saddam, the Kuwait,… It’s also because I’m not a book’s eater like you :-) but its good to have this kind of conversation, I really like that, and it helps me a lot in improving my English.