Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony marking the victory day on Nazi Germany, 70 years ago, in Latrun on May 7, 2015.
Posts Tagged ‘nazi’
The Red Cross failed to protest Jews murdered by the Nazis, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said at the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps in Geneva said that
Peter Maurer said in the keynote address:
The ICRC failed to protect civilians and, most notably, the Jews persecuted and murdered by the Nazi regime. It failed as a humanitarian organization because it lost its moral compass….
The ICRC did not see Nazi Germany for what it was. Instead, the organization maintained the illusion that the Third Reich was a ‘regular partner’, a state that occasionally violates laws, not unlike any army during World War I, occasionally using illegal means and methods of warfare.
World Jewish Congress president Ron Lauder told the audience, “World silence and indifference to the fate of the Jewish people led to the Holocaust. The Red Cross chose silence as well.”
The Geneva-based ICRC was the principal humanitarian institution maintaining communications with both the Allied and Axis powers in World War II.
The Red Cross assisted and protected to Allied prisoners of war held by Nazi Germany but not for Jewish deportees as Berlin.
The ICRC also did not publicly denounce the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.
Maurer declared at the event, called “Remembering the Shoah: The ICRC and the International Community’s Efforts in Responding to Genocide and Protecting Civilians,” that “never again” may only be an expression because “we cannot guarantee that a humanitarian catastrophe of the extent of the Holocaust will not happen again. On the contrary, we witness a catalogue of atrocities, every day, in wars across the globe.”
Lauder noted that the ‘ICRC needs to lead in struggle between good and evil’… and has an important obligation that goes beyond relief work.
Left unsaid was that the Red Cross actually helped Nazi criminals escape Germany during the war.
Also left unsaid was the Red Cross’ paralysis during the captivity of Israel soldier Gilad Shalit after he was kidnapped by Hamas. The Red Cross failed to convince Hamas to honor the Geneva Convention and allow communication with his family but continued to make sure that Gaza Arabs could visit their terrorist relatives in Israeli prisons.
A Russian government’s plan to rid the capital Moscow of swastikas and everything else of Nazi origin, in time for Victory Day, when Russians celebrate the Soviet Union’s defeat of Hitlerism, resulted in an unhappy consequence: eager to comply with the new policy, Moscow bookstores removed cartoonist Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” from their display windows, the NY Times reported.
The Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novel, depicting the tribulations of a family of Jewish mice during the Holocaust (their persecutors are evil cats), bears a big swastika on its cover, so off the window shelves it went, together with everything else Nazi-related.
“They just got scared that someone would see the swastika on the cover,” Varvara Gornostaeva, chief editor of Spiegelman’s Russian publisher, Corpus, told the Times. “But the swastika there is just a caricature. It does not fall afoul of the law banning fascist symbols.”
The Respublika bookstore chain said it decided to remove the book for fear that government inspectors would fail to discern the subtle differences between books for and against Nazism. A swastika is a swastika, apparently.
Boris Kupriyanov, co-owner of an independent bookstore in Moscow, said his fellow bookstore owners should be forgiven, because, alas, they’re idiots.
Kupriyanov quoted from Alexander Griboyedov’s satirical work “Woe From Wit,” about Moscow’s post-Napoleonic society: “An obliging fool is more dangerous than an enemy.”
Oskar Groening, now 91 and the former “bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” is on trial in Germany today in what may be the last judicial proceedings of Nazi criminals.
He is one of the last SS members, and may be the last, to be on trial. Most of the others have escaped justice, and the years it took before bringing Groening to the courtroom have been described by German writer Christoph Heubner as a “disaster” of justice
He faces 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an SS guard at Auschwitz death camp, where hundreds of thousands of Jews died in the gas chambers.
He also tallied money and possession taken from victims. Prosecutors told the court, “He helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings.”
Groening has taken the attitude of “I was only taking orders” and once started singing a song from his youth during a Der Spiegel interview:
‘And when Jewish blood begins to drip from our knives, things will be good again.’
Back then we didn’t even think about what we were singing.
He also described how an SS killed a baby:
I saw [a] SS soldier grab the baby by the legs… He smashed the baby’s head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent.
Groening said he was “horrified” by the scene.
It “horrified” him, but so what? He declared, “I would describe my role as a small cog in the gears. If you can describe this as guilt, then I am guilty. Legally speaking I am innocent.”
Innocent of what? Perhaps innocent of having been Hitler, or Eichmann. But is he innocent of being Oskar Groening?
Understanding that he thinks he is not guilty explains volumes about the Nazi mentality, which in the end can only be understood by anyone who is the personification of evil.
German writer Christoph Heubner told the London Telegraph, “This could be the last Nazi war crimes trial in Germany
“The legal treatment (of the Holocaust) has been an absolute disaster, a dirty stain on the name of our country. In Germany a total of 43 SS men have faced court, nine received life sentences, 25 were sent to prison, and the rest were acquitted. This is out of about 6,500 people from the SS concentration camps who were alive at the end of the war.
Seventy years after Auschwitz we still have to have trials because the German judiciary has failed miserably on the issue….
“Many survivors have talked to German youths, with political parties in Germany, in school classes. But a court is a place where justice is handed down, where human rights are defended, where eyewitness accounts gain legal weight.
“The trial is also important because it sends a signal to people who are involved in genocides today. Time may pass, but the day of judgment will come.”
Even if they say they are “innocent.”
Berlin police have questioned a teachers who marched her 11th-grade students to the tune of a Nazi song whose lyrics they sang, the German Local newspaper reported.
The students marched to the tune of Nazi party anthem “Horst-Wessel-Lied” and sang lyrics that include, “Millions full of hope look up at the swastika…. Soon Hitler flags will fly over every street.”
Police in Berlin questioned a high school music teacher after she made her pupils march up and down a classroom singing a Nazi song, it was reported on Tuesday.
A student who was not in the classroom but apparently heard of it and reported it to the police.
German law prohibits publicly displaying Nazi symbols, which includes publicly singing Nazi songs. The maximum penalty is three years in jail.
However, the police spokesman noted, “A Museum can display a swastika if it does so in a critical setting.”
Prosecutors now have to decide if the teacher taught the song in a “critical context” or was encouraging Nazism.
A 56-page handwritten notebook belonging to World War II Nazi code-breaker Alan Turing sold for more than $1 million at auction Monday by Bonhams in New York.
Turing, a British pioneer in computers and a mathematical genius, led a team of cryptographers in cracking the “unbreakable” Enigma code of Nazi Germany’s military. He is believed to have had a significant impact on helping to end the war.
The notebook, which dates from 1942, is believed to be the only extensive Turing manuscript in existence; its sale price was considered by the auction house to be a tribute to the code-breaker.
Part of the proceeds from the $1,025,000 sale will be donated to charity, according to NBC News. The identity of the person who purchased the manuscript were withheld by Bonhams at the request of the buyer.
Cassandra Hatton of Bonhams said in a statement to media, “It has been a great privilege to have been involved in this sale and we are immensely pleased that all the people who bid for this unique item and indeed the wider public have recognized Turing’s importance and place in history.”
The 2014 Oscar-winning movie, “The Imitation Game” was based on the real life story of Alan Turing and his race against time to break the “Enigma” code.
The Nazi regime under Hitler apparently set aside the structure in the jungle of Argentine for shelter if leaders of the Third Reich had to flee, according to archaeologists who discovered the suspected Nazi hideout.
The building was found on the border with Paraguay and could be reached only after using machetes to cut away vines, according to the team of archaeologists, as reported by the London Telegraph.
The archaeologists found German coins from the 1930s and porcelain fragments on which were written “Made in Germany.”
The conclusions that the location was a Nazi hideout was reached by the team, whose leader Daniel Schavelzon told the Telegraph, “We can find no other explanation as to why anyone would build these structures, at such great effort and expense, in a site which at that time was totally inaccessible, away from the local community, with material which is not typical of the regional architecture.”
Residents in the area believe that the house may have belong belonged to Martin Bormann, Hitler’s right-hand-man who committed suicide in 1945, but Schavelzon told the Argentine newspaper Clarin that the Nazis had a secret project to build shelters in remote locations in the event of defeat.
The Nazis did not need the building because Argentine opened its arms to approximately 5,000 Nazis, including Adolf Eichmann who was captured in Buenos Aires in 1960 by the Mossad.