Dear Friend and Reader:
WHEN I RETURNED from Poland with my photos of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex, Fe Bongolan (who now writes in this space) urged me to publish the series sooner rather than later. This was during the congressional race of 2006, and she felt that this information needed to be in public consciousness prior to people having an opportunity to vote. I began the series, which lasted about two weeks, on Oct. 4, 2006, two years ago yesterday. I did notice that it was St. Francis Day. I felt a little safer telling these stories with someone watching over me.
We may ask why it’s necessary to document Holocaust after what seems like so long. This was a 13 year phase of world history during which an advanced industrial nation set up a philosophy of hatred and a system of death camps, and executed between 12 and 20 million people from throughout Europe. There was a religious agenda — some six million of those killed were Jews.
There were other agendas; another six million were simply anyone, though the German Reich had a particular hatred of the Sinti and Romany people — the Gypsies. Official estimates of how many people were killed seem to stop at about 12 million. I feel it was probably a lot worse, and there was a terrible aftermath that came with Stalin after Russia occupied many previously German territories. Many of the Nazis who had taken the lives of camp victims were themselves put in camps and executed after the allies handed over the territory to them.
I recognize that by posting this series, I am making an implied warning that we are heading for a similar situation at this point in American history no matter who is ahead in the polls. It’s not really that simple. I am in the first instance making a comment about what happened so recently and so nearby, and which therefore exists in potential today. I am also making a comment about what humans — the civilized kind, who get educations, pay taxes and wear clean clothes — are capable of: the abject disregard of life and allowing some horrendous inner shadow of humanity to take them.
And yes, I am saying that the American regime has spread its sadism onto every part of the world, currently and most recently Iraq, and that it’s running out of places to terrorize. I propose for this reason that we take note that we may be next. Depending on how you interpret the events of the past eight to 10 years, that next may have begun quite a while back.
I think that Americans are more ignorant than we are stupid. Ignorance means you ignore something, even something obvious, and pretend that something else is so. I think that a combination of malice, lack of participation by citizens in our public lives, and the last ingredient of economic struggle are aligning in a disturbing way. The German Holocaust was in part the product of difficult economic times in that country. It was offered to the people as a solution, menacingly referred to as “the final solution.”
Events such as staged terrorist attacks, the PATRIOT Act, wars begun under false pretenses, holding prisoners without trials, tapping the phones of civilians, the deployment of an Army unit in the United States to suppress civil unrest, the repeated theft of elections, merging corporations with the government and the uprising of a religiously driven conservative movement (that makes another religion the ultimate enemy) should all put chills into the spine of anyone who knows history.
When you read people make a reference to some or other ideology of our paranoid, religious dogma-soaked government as being something akin to the Nazis said or did, I suggest you pay attention and find out what that really means. Look it up, write to the person who wrote it, and educate yourself. Most people who say these kinds of things are historically accurate, and we owe ourselves to take advantage of a perhaps too-brief phase of early warning while we have it. What I am really saying in sharing these photos and these stories again is: pay attention. Consider what is possible, and read between the lines.
The series will be posted in one installment nightly at about 6 o’clock Eastern Time. The first appears tonight, Sunday, Oct. 5, and is below.
Yours & truly,