As a child of Holocaust survivors, I spent a lifetime trying to fathom the reality of the Holocaust, and for that matter, all genocides, where citizens of the same country would, with no hesitation, butcher their neighbors, colleagues, classmates, customers, etc., or be indifferent when others would do so.
One day, life was normal, and people went about the business of living – and then seemingly overnight, they were abusing and murdering the people they had peacefully associated with for years, even generations. They had been told that eradicating certain members of society was necessary. It was for the greater good. It was in the country’s best interest and their patriotic duty.
In 1994, in the country of Rwanda, hundreds of thousands of Tutsis, an ethnic minority, were brutally killed by their fellow citizens during a 100 day period. A majority of the victims were slaughtered in their own villages and towns, many by their neighbors and fellow villagers. The majority Hutus had turned on the minority Tutsis, and without any second thought, massacred men, women and children, with the same mindset as if they were pulling weeds.
I remember years ago, reading the account of an American teacher; perhaps he was a missionary, who taught the youth in a rural village, with the goal of educating these teenagers and instilling in them western values, perhaps the “golden rule” of loving your neighbor like yourself. He had noticed that one of his students hadn’t shown up to class for several days. and asked the missing boy’s friend, if he knew where his seatmate was. The young man, a Hutu said, in a nonchalant voice, that he had hacked him to death with a machete. He was a Tutsi, he explained.
The teacher was so distraught and horrified, both by the murder and his undeniable failure to get through to his students, that he packed up and left.
So where does Covid-19 come into the picture?
A friend of mine who has Facebook (I never signed up, preferring to be “under the radar”) told me about the posts of two distraught mothers, sharing their anguish over the cries of their young children, one of whom was locked in the basement, begging to be let out. The other one was locked in her bedroom, and could only communicate with her family through a baby monitor.
You see there had been a flyer sent to parents with guidelines issued by health officials in Ontario’s Peel region to isolate children, even very young ones, for 14 days if they had been sent home from class or day care because they MAY have been exposed to Covid-19. This despite the fact that it has been shown that there is hardly any transmission of the virus in school.
Fortunately, the great majority of the mothers on this Facebook group expressed their horror that these caring mothers had suppressed their maternal instincts and were ready to inflict untold and perhaps irrevocable emotional and mental harm on their young children because they were told by the “government” to put their children in what basically is solitary confinement for 14 days.
The one good thing about social media is that word gets out fast, and the mainstream media and the public expressed outrage at these draconian measures. An apology was issued, admitting that, “for younger children, we know that a caregiver may need to isolate with them to help with daily living.” No mention of the logistics of an adult doing so in a single parent household.
Peel’s medical officer of health responded to the “gevalt” saying that their guidelines were “an error made in a communication product.”
These loving mothers, against their better judgement and common sense, decided to “follow orders.” After all,who were they to question the “experts.” (It is ironic how many experts exist in the medical field, many of whom strongly disagree with each other’s conclusions.)
Finally, I understood how the Holocaust, the most successful systematic annihilation of peaceful and productive civilians, could have happened. Substitute Jews for Covid-19. Germans were told that there was a toxic human virus in their midst that threatened their way of life, and had to be fully eradicated. If allowed to continue to exist, Jews would destroy the world. There is a mindset called Covid Zero, whose goal, realistic or not, is to completely erase Covid-19. In Germany, the goal was for the entire planet to be “Judenrein.” Cleansed of Jews. In modern lingo, there would be a new reset.
As in the case of loving and compassionate mothers and fathers in Peel Region, who suppressed their feelings and were ready to undermine their children’s emotional and physical well being because the “government” said it was for the greater good, it wasn’t a leap for ordinary Germans, members of a civilized and educated country, to turn on their neighbors, colleagues, classmates, clients, etc., with whom they had long term cordial relationships – in the name of erasing what they were convinced was an existential threat.
Surely many had deep misgivings and doubts, and pangs of guilt over their actions, or compliance, but repressed them, and like those Facebook mothers, they buried their concerns, and dutifully obeyed their government’s directives.
In 1933, there were nine and a half million Jews in Europe. Six million were murdered. Two out of three. The cold blooded experts almost won.