|15A008 Seventy Years by Jim Davies, 1/29/2015
January 27th was the 70th anniversary of the day when human lives distasteful to the government of that time and place were no longer ended in Auschwitz. As this account of the commemoration reminded readers, many of those attending will not be there on the 75th. Many of them expressed gratitude and amazement that they had survived at all, and especially for as long as seven decades.
Just over a million people were exterminated there, in the three years 1942-45. It was a dual-purpose establishment; to use prisoners in slave labor at a nearby factory, and to kill immediately those surplus to the requirement for that labor. Just how many of that million died from starvation rather than by execution upon arrival, I don't know; but I have no problem with that estimated total. Just a single trainload of 1,000 people per day for 1,000 days would total a million, and only 7,000 survivors were found on 1/27/45. Conditions in the camp are vividly described by one of them, who was a boy of 15 when he entered Auschwitz. After liberation he became the best-known hunter of the killers responsible: Elie Wiesel.
Auschwitz was the biggest, but the German government ran 22 other main camps for slave labor and extermination, and the total victim count is usually estimated as 6 million, mostly Jews. What matters more than the exact figure is that these monstrous institutions existed at all. Yet they did, and within the lifetimes of some of us, and by command of a government that had been elected fair and square by a people at least as civilized as we are.
The Holocaust is therefore an indictment of both government and democracy; and one of its ongoing tragedies is that this obvious lesson has still not been learned.
In the elections of 1933 and 1934 there was no explicit promise by the NSDAP: "Elect us, and we'll kill all the Jews." Rather, the appeal of Hitler was a promise to restore the glory and greatness of the German people, humiliated in 1919 by the victors of WW-I, and as I showed in A Monster in the Making, the key to his appeal was that Germans were said to be a very special race, not merely a collection of people living within a certain area. This meant that anyone not belonging to that "Volk", with loyalties to some other entities like the Jewish race and the Marxist International, were undesirable. They didn't belong. Details of how they were to be handled were not published; but by the apparent grant of power that follows any election, the government could do whatever it pleased.
What it pleased was to export Jews - to ban them from many professions, then confiscate their property and allow them to emigrate to any country that would take them. Not many did, and when even America entered the war in 1941 the residue was trapped. So the "Final Solution" was put into action in February 1942. My Lesson from Berlin recommends a documentary about how it was set in motion at that Wannsee Conference. Its aim was to exterminate 11 million Jews then under German government control. They accomplished more than half.
Today, a new generation of Jews is at the center of world conflict; and they are not as free of blame as the victims of Hitler's Endlösung. The first error was to establish a Jewish State! - clearly indicating that survivors failed to understand that it was the institution of government that had nearly eliminated their race. The second was to do so (with ample support from WW-II victors) by displacing Palestinian residents, in a process quite comparable to their own, recent displacement in Germany. The third was to use their very considerable influence on Western governments to corral support for a highly assertive stance for that new State, ever since it was set up; had they been on their own, relations with neighbors would have been much more accommodating and the present tension would not exist. After 1945 there was a great deal of sympathy for Jews and they could settle almost anywhere; they could (and many did) for example emigrate to Palestine, despite British interference. Had they merely done that as immigrants alongside the resident Arabs, without establishing a State, the world would have been far more peaceful.
Let's try to predict what will happen to Jews when US governments implode, for want of anyone to work for them. Clearly there will cease to be a US foreign policy, to favor Israel or any other nation; so any parts of it that are written in Tel Aviv won't exist either. There will therefore be a big adjustment in how Israel relates to its neighbors. It will be, for a time, standing for the first time on its own feet.
That's true however only "for a time", because as Americans graduate from the freedom schools and quit government employ, among them will be Jews - who make up about 2.2% of the population. Many of those 7 million have friends and family in Israel, so will invite them to join and also graduate; hence, quite soon after the American E-Day, I expect a similar one to follow in Israel. What, then, for the Promised Land?
It will become one of milk and honey, like everywhere else whose government vanishes; but there will remain a residue of hostility from surrounding tribes which will, I think, be slower to learn what a menace government is. Borders will not be controlled, so Arabs will move in to what's now Israel, to trade goods and labor. I doubt that this would have the form of a stampede; people generally like to live among their own kind. There's no law to stop gentiles living in Brooklyn, for example, but for a century Jews have predominated.
But will a nearby State mount some kind of invasion? Possibly, but I doubt it. Jews now in Israel are familiar with firearms, and in the absence of anti-gun laws would be sure to equip their homes for defense, and so any invader would find (a) no government administration for him to take over, but (b) a well armed populace ready to dispatch his agents one at a time. Counting that cost, and seeing that the former Israel is no longer either a threat nor an offense to Muslim sensitivities, I reckon he'll stay home. Lions and lambs will at long last co-exist.