"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities"
This is a very complicated post, one I hope no one will skip or even skim over. Not just because it matters and is relevant to the times we are living in today, but because I feel a huge responsibility with part of my blogging to be a voice and to educate others when and where I can on world events and history. We have become a nation - a planet, in fact, of people who refuse to think and refuse to be engaged, and there are just some things you cannot look the other way on. This is one.
Recently, a conference was held in Tehran about whether or not the holocaust
ever happened and why it is being supposedly used as a pretext to subvert Palestinians (read this interview
posted yesterday on YNet) - in the name of peace. It has been widely condemned throughout the world as yet another ploy for attention and power on the part of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to convince the world that the holocaust is nothing but a myth in his quest to make good on his threat to remove the state of Israel from the face of the earth. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini opines the scientific nature of the conference, stressing that prosecution of attendees will be a blatant violation of the freedom of speech (read more on that here)
. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mohammadi was quoted by an Iranian newspaper this week as saying the meeting would examine issues "including whether the gas chambers were actually used by Nazis."
One of the keynote speakers was David Duke
, racist pigfucker
extraordinaire. See video of him here
sparring with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Our very own State Department,which is under pressure to talk to Iran about quelling the violence in Iraq, was unsparing it its criticism of the conference, which Mohammadi said would gather 67 researchers from Britain, Germany, France and elsewhere.
"As I understand it, this meeting is really focused on highlighting those people who deny that there was, in fact, a Holocaust. So in that regard, it's just yet another disgraceful act on this particular subject by the regime in Tehran," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.
"It is just flabbergasting that they continue, that the leadership of that regime continues, to deny that 6 million plus people were killed in the Holocaust," he added.
If by "6 million plus" you meant more in the actual range of 11-12 million, then yes.
Denial that the holocaust ever happened is nothing new in the world of people who wear their racism as a gleaming badge of honor. In fact, it is a lot more prevalent than you might think. Websites are dedicated to the idea that Auschwitz
was merely a work camp
and even the outrageous notion that it was actually a resort
. You read that right, some people actually think that Auschwitz was a resort
(link NSFW). People who claim that the Nuremberg Laws were about sexual harassment.
People who hold a reverence for Hitler and the Nazis
- lots of them
. They mean to educate others about 'racial awareness'. Check out "88FinalSolution88"'s YouTube profile page
. For those not in the know as to what '88' means, H is the 8th letter in the alphabet. '88' is code for 'HH', a battle cry of impowerment for the white pride shitstains meaning "Heil Hitler".
Once such person who denied the reality of the holocaust was Charles D. Provan
, a man I now deeply admire. Provan conducted a rudimentary experiment in his home using his own children to determine how many people would in fact fit inside a gas chamber. Upon his initial readings, the numbers seemed way off.
Men, women, children -- 700 to 800 in all, more than half of them children -- were forced naked into a 16-foot by 16-foot chamber in Belzec, eastern Poland. Camp guards fired up a diesel engine. A half-hour later, soaked in sweat and urine, columns of bodies stood dead.
Seven hundred people in 256 square feet? Three people per square foot? That's three human beings somehow crammed into the space of one square of linoleum tile. Think about it.
His wife, Carol, heard the noise.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"I'm gonna' see how many kids can fit in a gas chamber!" he shouted.
"Oh." A pause. "You shouldn't do that!"
After crowding the youngsters into the tiny space, Provan went downstairs to his parlor with a hand calculator, stretched out on the recliner, and did a little math.
The numbers worked. Those bizarre, impossible numbers worked.
"Then it dawned on me," Provan said. "He saw that. He saw that!" Gerstein saw those children, those old men, those mothers, he saw them jammed into a room, 700 or more at a time, bleeding, sweating, urinating in fear. He saw the doors open, saw bodies so tangled in death they lacked even the power to fall. If Gerstein was telling a truth so improbable, the other stuff had to be so, too. It happened.
Suddenly, Charles D. Provan, lifelong provocateur, was hearing the off-key note in the symphony of denial and the discordant note was the one that rang true.
"That's when I started to cry."
Let me get back to the original point I seem to have strayed a bit from, which is about the conference. I'm still amazed that more people are unaware of the Wannsee Conference
The Wannsee Conference (January 20, 1942, during World War II) was a high level ministerial meeting of Nazi German civilian government and SS officials convened by Reinhard Heydrich, to bring together the leaders of the German organizations whose cooperation was necessary to carry out the Nazi plan for the extermination of the entire Jewish population of Europe and to make it clear to these other German ministers that this "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" was a strategic imperative of the Third Reich.
The conference was held in the Wannsee Villa overlooking the Wannsee lake in southwestern Berlin.
The Wannsee villa is an opulent mansion
that was owned by the Nazis and used as the meeting place for the conference. The attendees
arrived in limousines, dined on a sumptuous feast replete with cognacs and cigars as well as a selection of beautiful women. They spoke matter of factly about murdering over 10 million people for the benefit of Germany and the world at large. The villa is currently a holocaust museum.
Here you can read the actual minutes of the meeting in English
, discussing the 'Final Solution'
in some of the coldest, most calculated and inhuman language ever used. The protocol
as well as the Avalon Project
detail it all further. Here are .pdf files of the actual original documents
as part of the Wannsee Museum.
A precise, real-time (exactly 85 minutes - the length of the actual event) reenactment of the infamous Wannsee Conference was released as a German film in 1984 under the title Wannseekonferenz (The Wannsee Conference)
. In 2001, HBO Films released Conspiracy
, an English version of the same film. Both scripts were written based on the minutes of the meeting. Conspiracy stars Kenneth Branagh as Reinhard Heydrich, Stanley Tucci as Adolf Eichmann, and Colin Firth as Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart. It is a fantastically ghoulish account of history, and it will chill you to the center of your soul. It is as cold and inhuman as anything I've ever seen. Part of what I love about HBO Films is their tendency to illuminate such things, as with the phenomenal episode of the series Band Of Brothers: Why We Fight
. That link is to a post of that episode in its entirety broken into 5 parts - if you haven't seen it, you should. As for Conspiracy, it is filed into the WWII Lecture Institute's film series
. Here's the film's Wiki entry
. Order it on Netflix
. Here are three clips of it:
As always, feel free to link to this post.