Sunday, April 27, 2008

From Concentration Camps to Darfur...

I suppose this is about celebrating today, though it is wrapped up in horror. I've just watched the Frontline documentary "Memory of the Camps." Filmed in 1945 in the camps of Germany, the footage was very hard to swallow. Ok, that's a really bad use of a word... as the 10's of thousands of starved bodies are hurled in to pits by both German soldiers and concentration camp survivors in order to earn food. I doubt they were fed anything but their pride and souls.

Those fortunate enough to go to a work camp - told there would be housing and food - were in lice infested quarters. Where there was lice, there was Typhoid. So the answer - put the 'campers' through a laundry process. What a nice way to say soaked down in DDT, scrubbed raw and taken back to camps.

The footage - was filmed in April, 1945. Fifty-four years ago - only a few generations. What did we learn?

I understand, watching this documentary, why my grandfather refused to acknowledge a link to German heritage. This was an horrific part of human history. There couldn't possibly have been a German who did not know what the Nazis were doing. I can't imagine what it must have been like to live under that kind of oppression with genocide happening around every corner.

One of the saddest parts of this to me is that the communists knew that what they were doing was gruesomely wrong. They made desperate attempts to cover up their doings ahead of the Allied forces. The Allied forces then knew for what they were fighting.

Do the Allied forces - the Coalition of the willing.... Do they know? And are they in Rwanda? Darfur?

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