Do not ever think that we, too, couldn’t have our Auschwitz. All it takes is one unaccountable, autocratic, loyalty-demanding leader. Never Again, Auschwitz
I stood in the place that had once been a Jewish theater in Amsterdam. Bad enough as all Jews were by then excluded from regular stage activities and work. But when the Nazis showed up, they turned the Jewish haven at the time into a registration spot for deportation.
I started weeping. I could not stop the tears, so separated myself from the group to give myself some privacy.
Here, parents saw their children separated from them. The Nazis separated all little ones and placed them in a nursery staffed by Nazis. This action spared those registering from hearing the cries of children.
A few of the smallest of the children were spirited out by some brave Christians and hidden away. A few of them.
The rest . . . ?
The Nazis systematically deported the entire Jewish community living in Amsterdam. Sent them to the camps. Most perished.
They used the already established Jewish council and their records to enable this unusually thorough deportation. The Nazis turned the Jew’s good system of caring for their own against them.
This famous photo above is displayed at the site. A young woman waves to her Jewish friend waiting to be registered, not having any idea that this was the last time she would see her.
Note what she said later:
Yes, she was gone. Along with the rest. Gone.
The Dutch didn’t know what to do with the theater space after the war. They decided to turn it back into a theater, trying to erase the memory.
Finally, the few remaining Jews in Amsterdam demanded a that the Dutch build a memorial there. Now, many leave stones, stones that won’t die so that the memories won’t die.
Just a few blocks from the former theater, this piece stands at a park across the street from the Jewish Museum.
In front of the sign is an expanse of cracked mirror.
Part of the evil genius behind the Nazi genocide: hide as much as possible of their evil actions.
First, they segregate the Jews and take them from their homes and away from curious and caring neighbors. Then they quietly deport them and systematically murder them.
The non-Jews and others spared the horrors either didn’t know or turned their backs what they did know. After all, the Nazis weren’t coming for them. Yet.
But the sky saw, and the cracked mirror reminds us that it did.
And yes, God also saw. And did . . . . nothing?
Or perhaps too many said something along the line of “let Hitler be Hitler–he’ll turn around the troubled German economy for us.”
Yes, the same thing people are saying about our current POTUS, “Let Trump be Trump–just leave him alone. See what he can do for the US economy.”
It’s all about a chicken in every pot–even if it means we get our chickens at the expense of someone else’s life and freedom.
I am indeed turning political here. Our national leaders matter and they matter a great deal. Leaders without formed character other than the insatiable pits of their needs and their bottomless insecurities will always be extremely dangerous.
Part of what swept Trump in office (in addition to the fact that Secretary Clinton was not a good candidate and ran a poor campaign) was his contention that he, and he alone, could fix what was “wrong” with the US.
These are dangerous words. We have elected a dangerous man with a childish temperament and ability to lead only by bullying and taking others down.
I have no question but that Trump would admire Hitler, were he alive today, in the same way he admires other “strongmen” dictator/leaders of countries, particularly the Russian near-Tzar Putin.
Trump also demands obeisance and adoration from his underlings. So does Kim Jong-un, the current, emotionally immature, semi-god of North Korea who is now threatening the entire world. Here’s a snapshot of what Jong-un is doing to those who don’t toe the line.
What’s the difference between Jong-un and Hitler’s “final solution”? Note, the loyalty oath that Hitler asked his civil servants to make:
Service oath for public servants
“I swear: I will be faithful and obedient to the leader of the German Empire and people, Adolf Hitler, to observe the law, and to conscientiously fulfill my official duties, so help me God.”
Any leader that insists upon loyalty before integrity is a leader preparing for an unaccountable reign of tyranny. Such ones do all in their power to systematically eliminate anyone who might not swear total loyalty to them, i.e., the James Comey’s of the world.
Right now with a free press fixated on every move he makes, we can keep Trump in check. That’s our advantage: the President can do little in the hidden manner in which many of the Nazi atrocities took place.
With no free press in either Russia or North Korea, their atrocities also can remain more hidden. But they are there. And they are growing. Strong men leaders must reign by terror.
For us to say, “Never Again, Auschwitz,” we must remove Trump and those of the GOP who feel Trump’s leadership should continue from office at our first opportunity.
Don’t think it could not happen here. History has a scary way of repeating itself. It only takes a few key people in a few key positions to bring about total political upheaval. We’re terribly close.