WARNING – This is going to be a rough one. These are actual photos and history that were recorded. They are extremely graphic. I will NOT show everything. I am presenting the ones that are the “tamest”.
After leaving Arlington National Cemetery, A Somber Day – Part 1 – Arlington Cemetery we headed back into D.C. We were touring the Holocaust Museum, for yet another somber and sobering historic tour. Some might think it was too heavy to do both in one day, and they would not be wrong. However, Larry and I thought it was better to do them both together, and we had made our reservations weeks before our trip.
The presentation was very well done. We started the tour on the fourth floor, with the rise of Hitler to power, and then worked our way down, through each era of the Holocaust itself. I didn’t realize it at first, but the design of the museum was designed to resemble one of the many Jewish Ghettos scattered all throughout Europe.
There is no precise figure for the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. The figure commonly used is the six million quoted by Adolf Eichmann, a senior SS official. All the serious research confirms that the number of victims was between five and six million. The main sources for these statistics are comparisons of prewar censuses with postwar censuses and population estimates. Nazi documentation containing partial data on various deportations and murders is also used.
Sadly, Hitler and his beasts did not stop with killing only the Jews. There were many other millions of people, from all walks of life, from many countries and backgrounds, who were also persecuted and killed because they did not align with Hitler’s view of the perfect Aryan Society. Numerous people fell victim to the Nazi regime for political, social, or racial reasons. Germans were among the first victims persecuted because of their political activities. Many died in concentration camps, but most were released after their spirit was broken. Germans who suffered from mental or physical handicaps were killed under a “euthanasia” program. Other Germans were incarcerated for being homosexuals, criminals, or nonconformists; these people, although treated brutally, were never slated for utter annihilation as were the Jews. This era was truly one of the worst the world has ever known.
My dad, a WWII veteran himself, raised me as a WWII buff, and I have since read many 100’s, if not 1000’s books on the WWII era and have seen many documentaries. Many years ago, when visiting Germany, I toured Dachau, one of the many concentration camps, so I knew what to expect. But no matter how much you prepare yourself, it is always a shock. The pictures and the stories are just heart wrenching.
The Professor who wrote this survived Auschwitz, and emigrated to the United States. He was a professor at Boston University at the time Larry was a student there.
Once again, an eternal flame for remberance.
Sadly, there are still far too many deniers, who say this horrible atrocity never happened. Unfortunately, it did. It is a very real and an abominable part of our history. I believe things like this NEED to be seen and remembered, to prevent them from EVER HAPPENING AGAIN! History, both good and bad, is part of what makes us human, and tells the stories of both our triumphs and our disasters. We cannot change or erase our history. We can only learn from it.