OT: Remembering April 11 in History
- Hi everyone,
I'd like to take a moment to recall this day in history. On this day, 65
years ago, soldiers of the American 3rd army, under the command of General
George Patton, arrived at a place called Buchenwald, located in east-central
Germany near the famous town of Weimar. Although Russian soldiers had
already encountered various concentration and death camps operated by the
Germans of that period, this was, to my knowledge, the first time American
troops had experienced such a "liberation".
To their credit, a great number of officers assigned to the American command
made a point of visiting this and other such sites, and to his particular
credit, General Eisenhower ordered every available army photographer into
the camps. He was determined that what the troops found there be documented,
because he knew that it would not be long before people would come forward
to claim that these things had never occurred.
Today, various parties do indeed so claim. In particular, this claim is
pervasive throughout the Muslim world, and it is the official policy of the
government of Iran, at the very least.
I share this brief note, in the interest of promoting our self-awareness as
a species, that we might always remain cognizant of the worst of which our
species is capable. For although the Holocaust was unique in certain
respects, the willful mass murder of millions of people is by no means an
isolated or uncommon occurrence. In fact, anyone with a passing knowledge of
our species' recent history can easily identify at least a dozen holocausts
that have occurred during the past century or so.
So here's to the memory of all those who have died and otherwise suffered in
the midst of such atrocities.
And here's to the hope that we humans shall never again commit such an act.
May we humans soon learn one of the fundamental lessons of our species'
history, namely, that we humans cannot kill just once, regardless of whom or
what we are killing. May we learn this lesson soon and well. For until we
do, we shall never experience peace.
Best to all,
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