Sunday Photoblogging: Never forget

by Ingrid Robeyns on August 12, 2017

This is a picture of a memorial in Berlin Mitte, where from 1942 onwards the Nazis brought together 55.000 Jewish men, women, and children. They were then put on transport to Auschwitz and Theresienstadt, where they would be brutally murdered. The details on the memorial are pretty effective in reminding us of the scope of the inhumanity that the Nazis brought over Europe, but in the end the message is so simple that even Donald Trump must be able to understand this:

Never forget—resist war—protect peace.

{ 27 comments }

1

Donald A. Coffin 08.12.17 at 10:05 pm

yes. I have something similar, from a small town in France (from 2000).

http://wordsmusic-doc.blogspot.com/2017/08/copycat-photoblogging-memoies-of-ww2.html

2

Ted Lemon 08.12.17 at 10:33 pm

I’ll see you and raise you one White Rose… :/

3

Alan White 08.12.17 at 11:18 pm

Poignant post, given what transpired in the US today. Trump’s refusal to condemn the Neo-Nazis shows that forgetting is the least of our problems–he’s deliberately passively enabling racist hate because he and Bannon know it’s a lot of what got him elected.

What a truly horrible person.

4

Pavel A 08.13.17 at 1:02 am

The last great “free-market of ideas” referendum on Nazi ideology happened 60 years ago. It concluded with millions of corpses and the execution of the Nazis at Nuremberg.

The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi.

https://twitter.com/_rshapiro/status/896528762749112321

5

Pavel A 08.13.17 at 2:14 am

Also, Donald Trump is a Nazi sympathizer who has surrounded himself with other racists and Nazi sympathizers. Hoping that he will “understand the message” and somehow gain empathy is the last refuge of the damned.

6

TheSophist 08.13.17 at 4:20 am

The memorial that almost broke my soul last year was in Tromso. Just a small plaque on a rock, with maybe a dozen names on it, but the idea that even there, hundreds of kilometers north of the arctic circle…

I went back to my hotel and wept.

7

Peter T 08.13.17 at 5:35 am

The Soviet war memorial in Treptower Park has a Red Army soldier carrying a German child…The consequences of not learning the lesson are shared all round, even if not equally….

8

Ingrid Robeyns 08.13.17 at 7:28 am

The American president did the Nazi’s in Charlottesville a huge favour by not condemning them. And Trump also betrayed all the heroic Americans who give their lives in the 1940s to liberate Europe from the Nazis. Sure, there can be reasonable political disagreement on a whole range of issues, but there are some lines that we do not cross, such as tolerating the public display of Nazi sympathy. That Trump was not willing to clearly speak out yesterday, is hugely worrying. If the President of the US is not even any longer prepared to clearly and univocally condemn Nazis, we’re truly screwed.

9

nastywoman 08.13.17 at 9:38 am

”Hütet den Frieden”!

As mentioned before – Europe didn’t forget – and that’s why: ”Wehret dem Krieg” -(and ”wehret” the Fascists and Nazis) – is for the majority of Germans now ”die erste Bürgerpflicht” – and it is more than ironic that US – which taught Germans after WW2 to ”never forget” and to make sure -(by laws) – that Fascists and Neo-Nazi never ever again will have a chance to destroy the peace – has elected an obvious Nazi-Sympathizer as it’s President.

10

Stephen 08.13.17 at 12:06 pm

“Resist war, protect peace.” Admirable advice in many circumstances, but …

How should the advice have been applied to, say, British and French government policies in the 1930s? Rearmament, peacetime conscription? Or to the Indian invasion of what was then East Pakistan?

Sometimes to protect peace you have to fight and win a war first, I fear.

11

Greg Koos 08.13.17 at 5:24 pm

Confederate Heritage is the way white people hide their white supremacist views. We recognize the moral courage of the German people in admitting their grievous error in embracing Nazism. We also recognize how that open admission and acknowledgement of guilt solidified their democracy. This is a huge contrast to the notion that here in the U.S. we should accept the “heritage” of slave masters, murderers, rapists and traitors.

12

In the Provinces 08.13.17 at 5:43 pm

When a genocidal fascist regime with aspirations to conquer Europe–to say nothing of the entire world–comes to power, “wehret den Krieg” and “hutet den Frieden” is maybe not, entirely, the best advice.

13

Stephen 08.13.17 at 8:25 pm

As for dealing with the current American crop of neo-Nazis: well, I don’t know enough about them and would welcome enlightenment. I have often enough seen and heard “Nazi” and “Fascist” misused as generalised meaningless abuse – for such an erudite readership as CT, I don’t need to repeat Orwell’s words, though I think even he would have been surprised by the “Anti-Fascist Protection Wall” – so I do not know how far those caused of being Neo-Nazis are intelligibly such. Particularly since “neo” sometimes seems to be nowadays a prefix of generalised abuse.

But supposing the N-Ns are genuinely such: what follows? Denounce Trump (a vulgar and ignorant lout, agreed) as a N-N? Satisfying to some perhaps, but to what end? Follow the advice of “punch a Nazi in the face”?

I have my doubts. I have come across one serious political party that meets most of the usual criteria for Nazism/Fascism: blood and soil nationalism, Führerprinzip/Il Duce ha sempre ragione, detestation of those of the wrong ethnic group, desire for conquest of neighbouring regions, exaltation of physical force, a private army disregarding normal legality, an extensive record of kidnapping, torturing and murdering those who disagreed with it or were of the wrong ethnicity. I refer, of course, to Sinn Fein.

And yet I do not think that, even at the bloodiest period of the armed struggle for the peace process, it would have been right to hit Sinn Fein supporters (or loyalist supporters) simply for being such.

Enlightenment, as I said, welcome.

14

nastywoman 08.13.17 at 8:41 pm

@12
When a genocidal fascist regime with aspirations to conquer Europe–to say nothing of the entire world–came to power – there weren’t enough Germans in the 3oth – who stood for “wehret den Krieg” and “hütet den Frieden”.
And it would have been a very good advice if the majority of the Germans – like in this century – would have stood for it.

15

nastywoman 08.14.17 at 7:34 am

@13
”but to what end? Follow the advice of “punch a Nazi in the face”?

No!
Protect the Peace! -(non violently)
AND: Never forget—resist war!

16

In the provinces 08.14.17 at 1:45 pm

When Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Dallier rejected war and preserved peace in 1938, the results were less than optimal. Sixty years later, anti-war activists in Germany, once again advocating “wehret den Krieg” and “hütet den Frieden” vehemently denounced their country joining its NATO allies in (violently) defending the Moslems of Bosnia and Kosovo from the murderous violence being perpetrated on them by Serbian soldiers and paramilitaries. Joschka Fischer, the Green politician and Minister of Foreign Affairs had to point out that there is more than one lesson to be drawn from the Nazi regime: “nie wieder Krieg,” never again war, but also “nie wieder Auschwitz,” never again genocide and mass murder.

A memorial to people murdered by a totalitarian regime that emphasizes pacifism rather than the rejection of racism, fascism and genocide, strikes me as somewhat problematic.

17

taj 08.14.17 at 3:29 pm

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s still some doubt whether these people are actually Nazis or just people who walk and talk and dress and act like them. But I”ll confess I’m a bit disappointed. I suppose we must let the Entmoot run its course.

18

novakant 08.14.17 at 8:17 pm

When a genocidal fascist regime with aspirations to conquer Europe–to say nothing of the entire world–comes to power, “wehret den Krieg” and “hutet den Frieden” is maybe not, entirely, the best advice.

Ok, next time that happens give me a shout and we’ll take it from there.

19

Pavel A 08.15.17 at 3:04 am

Stephen@13:
This is a very silly comparison. Sinn Fein was looking for political representation and self-determination, not the genocide of entire categories of people. Their claims ended once they were given representation and they did not then go on to murder or advocate for the murder of groups of people they believed to be inferior.

taj@17:
Nah, ignore Stephen. He’s just JAQing off really hard right now because we really need to stop opposing Nazis until “we can figure things out”. If it marches like a Nazi, wears Nazi memorabilia, sieg heils like a Nazi, calls for the deaths of millions like a Nazi, then it’s probably a Nazi and you should be punching it right now.

novakant@18:
Are you just going to sit around on your ass and wait until the smokestacks are roaring again?

20

nastywoman 08.15.17 at 3:31 am

@16
”A memorial to people murdered by a totalitarian regime that emphasizes pacifism rather than the rejection of racism, fascism and genocide, strikes me as somewhat problematic.”

It’s only ”problematic” for somebody who doesn’t understand that the rejection of racism, fascism and genocide can’t be separated from ”pacifism”.

21

nastywoman 08.15.17 at 4:11 am

and @16
”(violently)”

when sixty years later, anti-war activists in Germany, once again advocating “wehret den Krieg” and “hütet den Frieden” vehemently denounced their country joining its NATO allies – the only Germans who did something ”violently” – were NOT ”Pacifists” – as we all know that ”Pacifists” don’t do anything ”violently”.

And I understand that somebody in America who might believe some Trumpist ”on all sides” might also believe that ”Pacifists” can be ”violent” too – but in reality – if somebody pretends to be ”a Pacifist” and then he uses ”violence” – he isn’t a Pacifist at all.

22

Pavel A 08.15.17 at 6:30 am

nastywoman@20:

“It’s only ”problematic” for somebody who doesn’t understand that the rejection of racism, fascism and genocide can’t be separated from ”pacifism”.”

Yes, they absolutely can. Nazism must be crushed immediately and violently whenever and wherever it arises. We have a really solid historical example of what happens when we don’t. There are a lot of attempts to whitewash violence out of the struggles for progress and against racism, but the reality is that civil rights and labor movements are often violent and have to be. MLK and Ghandi, the two sacred cows of the liberal, both supported violent resistance (but found non-violent resistance worked better against people with a conscience). Nazis have no conscience and only deserve fist sandwiches.

23

Ted Lemon 08.15.17 at 9:29 pm

24

Stephen 08.16.17 at 7:01 pm

Pavel A: Lord love your innocence. If you really believe that Sinn Fein, during the period before the Good Friday agreement, were murdering people in the cause of “political representation and self-determination” then you are so detached from reality there is no point my trying to instruct you. That they have latterly been of great service to the cause of peace and to Her Majesty’s Government, I would entirely agree.

And if you think I have ever said that we really need to stop opposing Nazis until “we can figure things out”, you are listening to the voices in your own head, echoing in the empty space between your ears.

25

rea 08.16.17 at 11:32 pm

I do not know how far those caused of being Neo-Nazis are intelligibly such.

Generally, people who publicly identify as Nazis can legitimately be called Nazis. When they carry swastika banners, they’re Nazis:

https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIF.N3s8dTkGsUPyMMgKvGPQCA&w=261&h=160&c=7&qlt=90&o=4&pid=1.7

26

nastywoman 08.17.17 at 12:25 pm

@22
”Nazism must be crushed immediately and violently whenever and wherever it arises.”

You don’t need to do it ‘violently” – if you have hate-speech laws which crush Nazism immediately!

27

Pavel A 08.17.17 at 6:11 pm

Ted Lemmon@23:
From the article: “And yet there are some things that nazis seem to be unable to cope with. The little town of Bad Nenndorf being all colorful and nicely decorated for them is one of those things. People applauding the march of the nazis, people playing loud music, people toasting with beer and laughing at them is another thing.”

There are many ways to show your disdain for the Nazis. Punching is one way, laughing is another way. However, punching and overwhelming public hatred sometimes seems to work better: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cable_Street

Given that many in the US would unironically be toasting Nazi processions, I don’t think that the tactic of ridicule would work so well here. A swift and visible response is needed.

Stephen@24:
There is nothing inherent in Sinn Fein ideology that made them a threat to any but the British, frankly. And for that, the British deserve most of the responsibility. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they committed enough horrific violent crimes in their day (and hey, my favourite Cranberries song is about that), but given the eventual trajectories of Sinn Fein and the Nazis, they’re pretty incomparable organizations. I’m pretty sure that anyone who claims that entire categories of human beings – black, latino, jew, slav, roma, gay, trans, disabled – are destined for extermination, isn’t ever going to transform themselves into a center-left political party willingly expelling some of its worst members.

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