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Laughing at Auschwitz.
Spiegel Online ^ | 09/21/2007

Posted on 09/22/2007 6:46:14 AM PDT by Argentine-Firecracker

Newly released photos of SS officers sitting in canvas chairs, participating in sing-alongs and enjoying their free time at a recreation home near Auschwitz have shocked many in Germany this week.

(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Germany; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: auschwitz; banalityofevil; denial; evil; holocaust; nazi; nazis; ss; worldwarii
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1 posted on 09/22/2007 6:46:15 AM PDT by Argentine-Firecracker
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

Why is this shocking them? The article never explains the title. If they’re shocked, they’re still living in denial about what their ancestors did.


2 posted on 09/22/2007 6:49:30 AM PDT by Sir Gawain
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

Ahmadinejad wanted to take one of those canvas chairs down to Ground Zero. To help him gloat.


3 posted on 09/22/2007 6:52:00 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS: Fake but Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

It was actually a photo of the faculty of Columbia University . . .


4 posted on 09/22/2007 6:52:09 AM PDT by horse_doc (Visualize a world where a tactical nuke went off at Max Yasgur's farm in 1969.)
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

Creepy!


5 posted on 09/22/2007 6:52:31 AM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

Shocked? At what? Has the aura of denial worn thin or what?

Every sane person in the world knows what happened there, and who was responsible.

This is the only thing that I personally find shocking:

>he was convicted on charges of aiding and abetting the murders of 1,000 Jews and was sentenced to seven years in prison

Well, no wonder its fashionable to murder Jews these days.
And support those who do.

What would he have gotten for the murder of a million? 10 years? big deal.


6 posted on 09/22/2007 6:55:38 AM PDT by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: Sir Gawain
Why is this shocking them? The article never explains the title. If they’re shocked, they’re still living in denial about what their ancestors did.

Yup. These were SS officers for crying out loud, not boy scouts. They took great joy in torture and murder. Its like being shocked that Manson partied after the Sharon Tate murders.

7 posted on 09/22/2007 6:57:27 AM PDT by HerrBlucher (He's the coolest thing around, gonna shut HRC down, gonna turn it on, wind it up, blow em out, FDT!)
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To: Sir Gawain

Because the world would like to imagine those capable of such atrocities as utterly joyless, bent by horrific psychological torture to madness. The notions that the horrors could be committed by people still capable of laughing and singing is perhaps shocking not so much in the sense that it is surprising, but in the sense that it is horrifying. Where is the soul-destroying, joy-depriving, bowel-wrenching spiritual misery that we’d like to imagine could be the only thing that could lead people to such horrors?

Why, these Nazis aren’t monsters at all... they look so normal, so much like Der Speigel’s customers’ family photos! How could they have ACTED like such monsters? They hardly look mentally tortured and anguished into such actions, disfigured beyond recognition by whatever forced them into such madness... they look like ordinary people who freely and carelessly partook in such horror.


8 posted on 09/22/2007 7:02:44 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Ahmadinejad wanted to take one of those canvas chairs down to Ground Zero. To help him gloat.

That wouldn't surprise me a damn bit. It was reported that Ahmadinerunt wanted to 'lay a wreath' at Ground Zero, what nobody realizes is that the wreath was probably in honor of the freakin' 9/11 HIJACKERS, not their victims.
9 posted on 09/22/2007 7:04:04 AM PDT by mkjessup (Jan 20, 2009 - "We Don't Know. Where Rudy Went. Just Glad He's Not. The President. Burma Shave.")
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

Give them a break. Mass murder is hard work.


10 posted on 09/22/2007 7:04:34 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

Shocked ? Not. This was Nazi Gestapo. Nothing they did would be shocking. Horrible, immoral, disgusting but not shocking.


11 posted on 09/22/2007 7:04:54 AM PDT by Dov in Houston (The word Amnesty invokes a passion in me. Illegal immigrants are criminals. Supporters Aid & Abet)
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To: HerrBlucher

Exactly! You had to be a monster to get into the SS to begin with.


12 posted on 09/22/2007 7:06:33 AM PDT by puroresu (Enjoy ASIAN CINEMA? See my Freeper page for recommendations.)
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To: Sir Gawain

One of the strangest things that I discovered living in Europe (and having visited Auschwitz more than 6 times and the Terezin Ghetto more than a dozen times) is that there is a tendency to pretend that the “Nazis” were solely responsible for the atrocities, and that, somehow, “Nazi” and “German” can easily be divorced. I’ve encountered this surreal separation of semantics many, many times.


13 posted on 09/22/2007 7:07:17 AM PDT by Argentine-Firecracker
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

The terrible aspect of these photos (and you have to strain to keep it in mind) is how ordinary these SS-Germans appear. In a movie about Auschwitz, none of them could have played his own part to dramatic effect (unlike Audie Murphy).

I tried to look into the eyes of those in the photos and think, “those eyes witnessed mass murder daily, and their owners took part in mass murder”. Drew a blank.

Whoever coined the expression “the banality of evil” to describe those who carried out the daily wicked work of the Holocaust, is proven right by these images alone.

If only some of those faces had long fangs dripping blood.


14 posted on 09/22/2007 7:08:22 AM PDT by elcid1970
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To: dangus

As Arendt said, it’s the banality of evil.


15 posted on 09/22/2007 7:08:58 AM PDT by puroresu (Enjoy ASIAN CINEMA? See my Freeper page for recommendations.)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: bill1952

I was totally shocked that not only was the guy sentenced tojust 7 years, but that he was released after serving five years!


17 posted on 09/22/2007 7:11:34 AM PDT by Argentine-Firecracker
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To: elcid1970

The sad truth is, even normal people can be whipped up into a hate-filled frenzy by certain types of regimes.


18 posted on 09/22/2007 7:12:06 AM PDT by puroresu (Enjoy ASIAN CINEMA? See my Freeper page for recommendations.)
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To: Argentine-Firecracker
>Laughing at Auschwitz.

OhMyLord! Nazis
and accordions. Didn't
know Nazis had those...


19 posted on 09/22/2007 7:14:02 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: antiRepublicrat

“Mass murder is hard work”

Years ago `Sixty Minutes’ did a piece on the Orchestra of Auschwitz, complete with incredible footage and sound.

They described it thus:

“It was there to sedate new arrivals against the truth of Auschwitz; to provide a rhythmic beat for those who worked. But mainly it was there to give relief to the German staff and guards; relief from the long days of killing.”


20 posted on 09/22/2007 7:15:04 AM PDT by elcid1970
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To: elcid1970
That was Hannah Arendt.

"The great evils in history were were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal."

21 posted on 09/22/2007 7:17:00 AM PDT by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: elcid1970

It is incomprehensible to me how seemingly “normal” human beings can become so inured in such excruciating and unspeakable cruelty.


22 posted on 09/22/2007 7:18:37 AM PDT by Argentine-Firecracker
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To: dangus
Stalin, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan , Mao, Lenin, Pol Pot and even Hitler took time to get in their yucks, just like anyone else.
23 posted on 09/22/2007 7:22:59 AM PDT by oyez (Justa' another high minded lowlife.)
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

Is “SS auxiliaries” a euphemism?

One of the things you never hear about Hitler’s rise to power is that he suffered under a “gender gap.”

He received significantly more votes from women than men.


24 posted on 09/22/2007 7:23:03 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

The caption of the photo should be “Thinking of you at Auchwitz”.


25 posted on 09/22/2007 7:23:26 AM PDT by LetsRok
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

If anything, today’s legions of Islamic Jihadists are a far worse, and more vexing, and intractable enemy.
1. The Nazis at least could be identified, they wore uniforms in the military tradition. When they “engaged the enemy” they came out and fought “like men” (which in their case only means, fought in a recognizably similiar way to the “real men” they were fighting).The Jihadists are perverse and dysfunctional in an entirely new way: they sacrifice their women and children willingly by hiding behind them and turning them into martyrs for their cause, the deathcult that would oppress them anyway, even in the
“best of (non-war) circumstances”.
2. At least the Germans who tacitly or nervously or “enthusiastically” supported the Nazi “Idea” came OUT of a culture, and could return TO a culture that was a great one with a great history, as damaged as it was by a dozen years of pure Hitlerism. Islamic Jihadists only want to “re”-establish a kind of culture and Law that never was, except in their feverish “imaginations”.
“Tomorrow the World” could just as easily be their motto, as they spread out like cancer cells all over the Planet Earth.They are an INFINITELY worse enemy than the Nazis-—there are FAR MORE of them, and they exist EVERYWHERE, playing the good cop/bad cop game to gain legitimacy in every place they’ve developed a foothold, which is just about everyplace there is.


26 posted on 09/22/2007 7:24:27 AM PDT by supremedoctrine
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To: puroresu

“a hate-filled frenzy”

That’s just it! There’s no hate or rage evident in those photos.

But then, ever notice Muslim terrorists being interviewed or making their final death video, how calm and collected they are? Wonder if there’s a parallel?

Not to change the subject, but a bunch of Islamic rageboys screaming and foaming at the mouth in the street really don’t get much accomplished toward the goals of Islamofascism.

It’s the enemy with cooler heads that we need fear most.


27 posted on 09/22/2007 7:25:25 AM PDT by elcid1970
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To: elcid1970
"The terrible aspect of these photos (and you have to strain to keep it in mind) is how ordinary these SS-Germans appear.

IMHO, they look very much like every socialist Democrat I've ever observed and some conservatives, who simply are doing what they consider right in their own eyes. Corruption of the thinking processes (the soul) does this to people.

For example, look at Dan Rather, Al Gore, and OJ all who sincerely have convinced themselves of falsehoods appear even more miserable than people like Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Soros, etc. who have scarred themselves into believing they are righteous in their own eyes, all independent of faith in Christ.

As an interesting sidenote, one consequence of thinking separate from what God has provided us in salvation, will ultimately result in similar results which are all simply burnt up in the end.

28 posted on 09/22/2007 7:26:30 AM PDT by Cvengr (The violence of evil is met with the violence of righteousness, justice, love and grace.)
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

Little boys were required by law to join the Hitler Jugend - technically, that made them Nazi’s.

Interessant, nicht Wahr?


29 posted on 09/22/2007 7:29:25 AM PDT by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: Sherman Logan

Quite frankly, I was shocked to see so many young women in these photos...


30 posted on 09/22/2007 7:29:27 AM PDT by Argentine-Firecracker
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To: Sherman Logan
“SS auxiliaries” refers, in this case, to female personnel in the SS who acted in a variety of capacities, including secretarial/ clerical, and guards of female prisoners. One of the more notorious [and I believe she was a Auschwitz] was Irma Griese.

SS auxiliaries was the term also applied to guards units composed of ethnic populations who worked at labor, concentration, and death camps. The Germans had a training facility for them at Trewinki [spelling?].

31 posted on 09/22/2007 7:30:05 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

In photo 7 [the “sing along”], it’s not all SS. There’s at least one Army officer on the left side of the photo, toward the front. His eagle appears over his right breast pocket, not on his left sleeve, as it would on an SS uniform. His collar patches are also Army.


32 posted on 09/22/2007 7:32:36 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: puroresu

Group-think hatred and conceit are terrible weapons.

Move-on.org uses both. They’re just starting.


33 posted on 09/22/2007 7:32:48 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Life was better when cigarette companies could advertise and lawyers could not)
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To: elcid1970

I think there is a parallel between Nazis and the Islamists. The Nazis had their drunken beer hall thugs, just as the Islamists have their raging crowds. But as you noted, the real damage came from the ones who appeared normal. Recall that the 9/11 hijackers lived calm, everyday lives here in America, even as they were plotting to commit the most heinous acts of murder.


34 posted on 09/22/2007 7:35:43 AM PDT by puroresu (Enjoy ASIAN CINEMA? See my Freeper page for recommendations.)
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To: Dov in Houston
Actually, they're not Gestapo. While the Gestapo had an office at every camp, the camps were run by the Totenkopf. They're the guys in the photos with a death's head flash on the right side collar patch, instead of the SS runes [although later in the war, SS officers who didn't serve in the Totenkopf regiments [like Baer], got the assignments.

Mengele had started out as a doctor with the 5th SS panzer Division “Viking”. After being fairly severely wounded on the Eastern Front, he volunteered for Auschwitz. But Hoess, Kramer, Koch, Goeth and most of the rest came up through the Totenkopf, usually starting their “careers” at Dachau.

35 posted on 09/22/2007 7:42:49 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: Argentine-Firecracker
Freep.com » Columnists » Susan Ager SUSAN AGER Smiling through pain and shame September 21, 2007 BY SUSAN AGER FREE PRESS COLUMNIST Only a toddler wears his guilt on his face. Then he learns to hide his conscience, to put on a happy face even though he has dropped Mommy's favorite earrings down the drain or eaten most of the cake intended for his sister's birthday. Advertisement Why, then, are we surprised that Nazis at Auschwitz smiled and laughed and, on sunny days, enjoyed al fresco drinks and blueberries? A newly found collection of 116 photos reveals officers at the death camp in Poland, with their female companions and colleagues, in what look like genuinely happy moments: singing to an accordion; sunning from canvas sling chairs; the ladies posing on a fence, bare-legged, mugging for the camera with bowls of berries. One newspaper scolded, "Laughter and Song as 6,000 a Day Died." How can they do it? CNN's Brian Todd said one image of a smiling Josef Mengele, who performed tortuous experiments on Jews, is "sobering for how little conscience he seemingly had." Judith Cohen is photo archive director for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is displaying the photos at www.ushmm.org. She said of the collection's eight images of Mengele: "You don't see him doing anything outrageous." But, she said, "He's enjoying himself as if his moral compass had shut down." Does a broken moral compass keep anyone from having a good time? Remember O.J. Simpson. Remember the BTK strangler. Remember Osama bin Laden. Remember the American soldiers at Abu Ghraib. Remember the tobacco executives who testified before Congress. Think about married men and women who cheat on their spouses. Think about mothers who hurt their children. Think about ministers who steal from their congregations. They've all laughed at picnics, turning their faces to the sun. They've all smacked their lips at tasty food, and chuckled at good jokes. Many still do. Survival mechanism For one thing, it's automatic to smile when someone is pointing a camera at you and demanding you say "Cheese!" It's not so hard to act as if all is well. Maybe all IS well except in the dead of the night when, if you're lucky, your conscience nags you with nightmares. I wonder what kind of photos would have satisfied us. I wonder what the Nazis at Auschwitz should have done in their spare time, short of shooting themselves in the heads. Should they have moped? Stayed in bed all day except when they had work to do? Limited themselves to water and gruel in the dark, in sympathy with their victims? The human spirit aims to make the best of everything, to put on a happy face, to count its blessings, to let the good times roll. Guilt is grim and heavy. Why make it worse by letting it get to you?
36 posted on 09/22/2007 7:45:41 AM PDT by School of Rational Thought (Your home for pithy disquistion)
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To: PzLdr

There are more photos, together with a narrative from the Holocaust Museum at http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/arts/20070919_ALBUM_FEATURE/index.html and an article in the NY Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/arts/design/19photo.html?em&ex=1190433600&en=b7b662f56b753f45&ei=5087%0A.


37 posted on 09/22/2007 7:48:13 AM PDT by Argentine-Firecracker
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To: supremedoctrine

Disagree.

The Nazis had a quite realistic chance of conquering the world. Without Churchill to rally the British to fight on when it looked utterly hopeless, they probably would have pulled it off. With no western front to worry about, they would almost certainly have taken Moscow and dismembered the USSR. Once that happened, the only thing that could have prevented their eventual conquest of the rest of the world would have been US nukes.

Despite my asking for over five years now, nobody has yet presented a realistic scenario whereby Islamists conquer the world. These are utterly incompetent people in a military sense, who cannot even manufacture their own simpler weapons. That’s no way to win a war.

Now, it is conceivable the rest of the world could just surrender to them. But even that seems unlikely, given the unrelieved bleakness of the lifestyle they promote. And if it happens, it tells us much more about the unwillingness of the rest of the world to fight, even in self-defense, than it does about the danger of the enemy. IOW, we collapsed because

IMHO, a far more likely scenario is that they will keep being an increasingly more severe irritant till the rest of the world insists on major surgery to remove them.

BTW, the “good cop/bad cop game” is our game (admittedly a really stupid one), not theirs. It ends whenever we refuse to play along.


38 posted on 09/22/2007 8:03:24 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Argentine-Firecracker
"Quite frankly, I was shocked to see so many young women in these photos..."

They're kind of like today's bitches and ho's who flock to the thug rappers.

39 posted on 09/22/2007 8:06:30 AM PDT by Enterprise (Those who "betray us" also "Betray U.S." They're called DEMOCRATS!)
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To: puroresu
The sad truth is, even normal people can be whipped up into a hate-filled frenzy by certain types of regimes.

The seed of evil is in us all.

40 posted on 09/22/2007 8:11:20 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done, needs to be done by the government.)
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

“Newly released photos of SS officers sitting in canvas chairs,
participating in sing-alongs and enjoying their free time at a
recreation home near Auschwitz have shocked many in Germany this week.”

No suprise to anybody that saw “Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State” on
PBS.
One of the main interviewees was a German who was an SS clerk
at Auschwitz. When he talked about how good life was at that duty
posting I almost could have thrown a brick through the TV.
(But, if you watch the whole series, this same fellow has MUCH more
of a story about the aftermath of Auschwitz.)

http://www.pbs.org/auschwitz/


41 posted on 09/22/2007 8:17:11 AM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA

I didn’t realize PBS had done the program on Auschwitz. I’ll buy the DVDs since I live in Warsaw. Thanks for the info.


42 posted on 09/22/2007 8:26:04 AM PDT by Argentine-Firecracker
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

“It is incomprehensible to me how seemingly “normal” human beings can
become so inured in such excruciating and unspeakable cruelty.”

While I think of lots of psychology as Bravo Sierra, I do think
the experiments of Milgram and Zimbardo do show how this can happen.
(A year or so ago I read Martha Stout’s “The Sociopath Next Door”.
She included some information I had never heard about Milgram’s
experiment...that females were just about as likely to fall right in
line and administer the shocks. This did make me more accepting
that a few of the cruelest concentration camp guards were...female.)

Stanley Milgram
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Milgram

Milgram experiment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_Experiment

Phillip Zimbardo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Zimbardo

Stanford prison experiment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment


43 posted on 09/22/2007 8:27:42 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

It is “the banality of evil” that shocks us.


44 posted on 09/22/2007 8:34:57 AM PDT by Irish Queen (Nevada Gal)
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To: Argentine-Firecracker
I didn’t realize PBS had done the program on Auschwitz.
I’ll buy the DVDs since I live in Warsaw.


I would give a couple of caveats.
1. Watch it all the way through. Learning the "rest of the story"
about the SS clerk at Auschwitz is worth watching the whole thing.
Even if he appears to self-serving during his initial appearance
in the series.

2. About the only downside to this otherwise excellent documentary
are the "discussions" of Holocaust commentators with hostess
Linda Ellerbee (a former attractive reporter that's morphed into
a liberal earth-mother).
There are some insights/revelations from the commentators, but
some discussions drag a bit and get a bit heavy on the political correctness.

It's too bad that this show isn't required viewing for all
high school students.
45 posted on 09/22/2007 8:35:38 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

I have photographs of Saint Louis police officers laughing while they handcuff and arrest people blocking the entrance of an abortion clinic in 1985. Laughing, while they open up a door so that babies can be killed.

If American cops can laugh while they participate in mass murder, I don’t see what’s so shocking about photos of SS officers’ doing the same.


46 posted on 09/22/2007 8:40:42 AM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: puroresu

“I think there is a parallel between Nazis and the Islamists.”

Nicely covered in this History Channel show...

“Saddam and the Third Reich DVD “

http://store.aetv.com/html/search/cb_search.jhtml?SI=72211409-d257-4d35-8737-84b62ece9765&Action=14&AXD=http%3a%2f%2fstore.aetv.com%2fhtml%2fproduct%2findex.jhtml%3fid%3d74647%7e74647%7eSaddam+and+the+Third+Reich+DVD%7e20.97


47 posted on 09/22/2007 8:44:35 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Sherman Logan
Despite my asking for over five years now, nobody has yet presented a realistic scenario whereby Islamists conquer the world.

It's not a conventional war. But you can see their first successes in the total PC meltdown we have going here, where to criticize Islam, or the actions of Muslims, it not generally allowed, and how we extensively cater to to Muslims. They can win simply on the coattails of our own liberals winning.

48 posted on 09/22/2007 8:55:30 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Argentine-Firecracker

49 posted on 09/22/2007 9:01:41 AM PDT by Petronski (Cleveland Indians: AL Central -2)
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To: VOA

Thanks for the tips!

By the way, I think that visiting Auschwitz or the Terezin Ghetto sometime in High School is a requirement for some EU students. I’ll have to dig up the information, which I can’t right now, but I believe that many EU schools during “spring break” make the trek. Hopefully, like many of us, they are marked for life after this experience.


50 posted on 09/22/2007 9:34:47 AM PDT by Argentine-Firecracker
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