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Thread: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

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    Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    From The Times

    December 19, 2009


    The sign that hung over the gates of Auschwitz extermination camp, where more
    than a million people died during the Second World War, was stolen in minutes.
    Polish police suspect that the culprits were either neo-Nazis or acting on behalf of
    collectors or a group of individuals.


    The slogan wrought in iron, Arbeit Macht Frei (“Work sets you free”), was the
    cynical welcome to those entering the camp in the 1940s. One million of the 1.1
    million people who died at Auschwitz were Jewish.


    The theft in the early hours of yesterday was seen as an attempt by right-wing
    extremists to muddy the narrative of the Holocaust.



    ARTICLE
    Last edited by Oftencold; 12-19-09 at 03:28 AM.
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    Re: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’ - Times Online

    Poland is treating the recovery of the sign from the site, near Cracow, as a matter of national honour. President Kaczynski said: “I appeal to all countrymen to help the police to track down the sign. A worldwide symbol of the cynicism of Hitler’s executioners and the martyrdom of their victims has been stolen. This act deserves the strongest possible condemnation.”

    In all there are 155 buildings, including crematoriums, and some 300 ruins on the sprawling site. A visit to Auschwitz forms part of the curriculum of many German and Polish schools. The theft could be linked to the decision this week by Germany to pay half the cost of patching up the buildings.

    There has always been a danger — as Holocaust survivors and their Nazi murderers die out — that the authenticity of the sites will be questioned. Auschwitz is made up primarily of red-brick buildings that formed part of Habsburgian barracks, used initially to imprison Polish political prisoners, and the wooden prisoner huts of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Birkenau was the location of the gas chambers, but both parts of the old Nazi camp are showing signs of wear and tear as hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the site every year.

    The critical question has been how far to restore the buildings and the crumbling personal possessions — including 80,000 shoes and 3,800 suitcases taken from victims — and risk opening up the museum to charges of falsification.
    I have visited Auschwitz/Birkenau. There are indeed 80,000 pairs of shoes in a warehouse that the prisoners called “Kanada”. Due to the rapid advance of the Red Army, this veritable mountain of shoes (remnants from the last Hungarian transports to Auschwitz) could not be sorted and shipped by rail to Germany.

    Everything from orthopedic shoes of the elderly to baby shoes. It is a shocking and extremely disturbing visage that physically strikes the heart like a hammer blow. The mind rebels at the realization that the enormity in front of your very eyes... is but a minute testament to the total horror of what actually transpired in this dark place.

    Everyone audibly gasps. Many openly weep. I excused myself and wretched.

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    Re: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    I'm surprised they didn't have a guard or watchman there.

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    Re: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    My wife takes students on an school exchange to Germany every two years. She always takes them to a concentration camp memorial as an educational experience, as many people really can't appreciate how something this cruel could happen, and as we all know some people don't even believe it.

    The last time she was at one though she was appalled that some young kids were playing in the bunks while the parents did nothing. If I had been there I would have had a few choice words for the parents.

    I had a German relative sent to the gas chamber by Hitler for being retarded. Imagine that.
    Last edited by EnigmaO01; 12-19-09 at 12:28 PM.

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    Re: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    It's sad that people do this sort of thing. I haven't been to Auschwitz, but I did visit Dachau in 1990 and saw the showers and the ovens and the rebuilt barracks.
    Last edited by American; 12-19-09 at 12:39 PM.
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    Re: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    My trip through the Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC has made me want to visit one of these places and really take them in. Learn the lesson up close and personal.

    Edit: I wonder...besides hanging it in their game room, what would Neo-Nazi's seek to gain by stealing the sign? Seems kind of childish, even for skinheads.
    Last edited by EpicDude86; 12-19-09 at 12:41 PM.

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    Re: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    It's said that people do this sort of thing. I haven't been to Auschwitz, but I did visit Dachau in 1990 and saw the showers and the ovens and the rebuilt barracks.
    I assume you meant sad when you said, " It's said that people do this sort of thing."

    If so I believe "sad" is a gross understatement. Horrific and disgusting are two things that come to mind for me.

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    Re: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    There are critics everywhere.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
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    Re: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    Just a sign of the times that we live in. People either stole it as a collectors item or stole it because they deny history. Either way we are living in degenerate times.

    As for visiting the place, I would generally be opposed to bringing young people there as an "educational" experience. It is deeply intense and I would not allow my kid to go there. I haven't been to WWII concentration camp locations, but I've visited Tuol Sleng S21 in Phnom Penh in Cambodia. I have to say that it's not something you should feel either excited or privileged to visit. It's horrifying. In hindsight reading a textbook would have been enough for me. Seeing a pile of skulls in the former torture chamber was a bit over the top.

    What's worse is that people treat this kind of thing like something in the past. Genocide is happening right now in our world. All the platitudes about not repeating history just go out the window, and that makes me more angry than the historical events themselves.

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    Re: Neo-Nazis suspected of raid on Auschwitz ‘to rewrite history’

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    As for visiting the place, I would generally be opposed to bringing young people there as an "educational" experience. It is deeply intense and I would not allow my kid to go there..
    So you think high school kids that will be old enough to go out in the world shortly, and are almost old enough to serve in the military, can kill others and be killed in a war, shouldn't be allowed to see this? I beg to differ. It's the perfect time to give them a wake up call and show that the world can be a bad place if we get too complacent. You can see this in a school textbook all you want but it doesn't sink home until you see it first hand.

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