'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'
In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.
I have read with interest the variation of viewpoint and opinon on this very emmotive subject. At this point I think it maybe imprudent to comment over much on a case that is presently sub judice and therefore a matter for the court to decide upon the validity of prosecution, guilt or otherwise and subsequent disposal of the case.
However, to me the difference between the case stated above (Armenia) which was 100 years ago and the subject of this thread which began nearly 80 years ago (depending on were you place the start point) is that the TR Holocaust is within living memory and there are still living participants.
To me murder is one of the the worst crimes one can commit but the holocaust is much more which is why the offence of "Crime against humanity" was specifically created to deal with it.
Most of us have been reared to condemn the holocaust as a unique abomination and such a foul crime that it could never occur were it not for the manifest evil prevalent at the time and of course not something that could ever occur in anybody elses influence.
So, are we conditioned to focus on this particular series of events?
As for the numbers involved I don't believe that human comprehension can appreciate anything beyond "a large number" whatever that might be but the real horror comes when the situation is one of policy and official process or even "industrialised". It would be as horrific to the general conciousness if enemy combattants had been treated this way.
Make no mistake, I am as filled with revulsion as anybody when I consider what happened during that awful period but I am also very concerned that these events are significant because they are the first "modern" manifestation of this kind of atrocious behaviour. What causes me most concern is that it has happened again (not to the same degree but again it is that "large number" situation) and I can only hope that we will pursue those responsible for such barbaric behaviour in the former Yugoslavia (remember Srebrenica? I was still in the army then and I have a Dutch friend, a Dutch Batt medic who can't speak the name without weeping) and the Middle East to name just two theatres. Sadly, I am not going to hold my breath!
As I said at the top, this matter is sub judice and perhaps we shouldn't be too opinionated yet but let's not forget what our forebears paid for us to remember and learn from such awfulness.
I hope I haven't stayed too far from the topic here or brassed anyone off but I just felt the need for a little perspective on a subject I feel very strongly about.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
Gents, let us please all remember to stay on track. This thread is not here to open a debate regarding atrocities that have no connection to the subject matter in hand, i.e. the case concerning an ex-member of the staff at the Auschwitz camp complex.
Currently working on several KZ related projects, including items for the USHMM, Groß-Rosen Museum and various private concerns and studies. Available as a guide to KZ sites, contact for details.
"maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"