April 7, 2006

"The strength of the Final Solution was its secrecy, its impossibility."

"I escaped to break that belief that it was not possible. And to stop more killings."

R.I.P., Rudolf Vrba.

8 comments:

Goesh said...

WW2 was a good war, after the war to end all wars (WW1), which of course was a good war too. In WW2 we had clear goals,objectives, anticipated timetables and we had no quiqmires. Contrary to the opinions of the misguided few, a situation like the Battle of the Bulge was a mere fact of war which gave us acceptable numbers of 4000+ KIA and 20,000+ WIA. No quigmire there! We also had faulty intelligence on Hitler's WMD being on Jews,Gypsies, Gays , the mentally handicapped and other assorted political threats.
I might add too that after a few years of occupation, things went well enough in Germany that we didn't need to remember the insurgent nazi holdouts and their assassinations, sabotage and attempts at disruption. We even made some of the Huns become our scientists! Nice, nice....

brylin said...

I have made it a point to take each of my children (at age 15) to the Anne Frank house when visiting Amsterdam. It made quite an impression on them. As time passes and as more and more holocaust deniers appear, it is more important than ever not to forget.

SippicanCottage said...

What a fascinating person.

Balfegor said...

after the war to end all wars (WW1), which of course was a good war too.

Was it? I don't think so. The Great War seems like nothing but an apocalyptic agglomeration of tragedy on tragedy to me, and with a bitter resolution that has only led to more and more bloodshed, oppression, and suffering, from the Soviet democide to the Second World War, right down to the slaughter in the Balkans a few years ago, and the abyssmal situation which continues throughout much of the Near East. As Warshow said:

'I would have given up all ironies and the sense of tragedy and the sense of history along with them, just to have stupid, handsome Nicholas grinding his heel once more into the face of unhappy Russia.'

World War 1 is, for me, the worst of all wars, and our (American) part in it, though not evil, was not good either. Time's Arrow, and "never such innocence again" and all that, but if we could only unwork the horror of that one war . . .

#$% I am crying.

MadisonMan said...

So how do you pronounce his last name?

His biography looks very interesting (goes to library web site and reserves it). There's only one copy in the Madison Library system! As Mr. Cottage said: what a fascinating individual

Goesh said...

-we never talk much about our soliders who shot on sight SS guards trying to disguise themselves as death camp inmates. Their plump cheeks gave them away you know. We don't want to accord them hero status, nor the Officers that made German civilians view and bury some of the victims. Wouldn't the ACLU and other assorted Human Rights groups have a time with that today? It's a brutal, barbarous business and we must necessarily view it safely from afar - we like our killing at a distance, like in Kosovo with aircraft, so we can view it clinically, intellectually and with proper consensus, it becomes morally correct and celebrated. No human shields for the Serbs, no sir!

And it seems we forget the Jewish resitance that cropped up all over back in those dark times. We hear about a mass escape from Sobidor and the Warsaw ghetto uprising, but there was much more than that. Jews by the droves for instance went into the forests and countryside of Poland and became fierce partisans. Let us not forget their contribution either.

Balfegor, I apologize for the bloodlust in my DNA. It started way back in King Philip's War in 1675 when Native insurgents took out an ancestor and we have been in every war since, but alas we have failed - they keep happening.

jeff said...

Did WW1 actually have a goal? It seemed so pointless to have Germany fighting Britain and France, in France, over succession problems in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Balfegor said...

Balfegor, I apologize for the bloodlust in my DNA. It started way back in King Philip's War in 1675 when Native insurgents took out an ancestor and we have been in every war since, but alas we have failed - they keep happening.

Oh, no need. War is a necessary thing, and will be for some time to come. It's just that WWI moves me in a way that other wars don't, precisely because, as Jeff says, it seems so pointless -- so tragic. And the details, the little grace-notes, as it were, are heartbreaking. There's Christmas 1914, for example. And the poetry produced both by the soldiers and by those who survived them is absolutely devastating in a way that no war poetry (that no poetry) since has been. It's the Last Hurrah of European civilisation.