Thu. Feb 20th, 2020

A monstrous final solution

Hitler lost the war, but he achieved one of his goals: to end the European Jews. That “world of yesterday” that Stefan Zweig described so bitterly shortly before committing suicide to the advance of National Socialist barbarism. This great work of destruction was precisely planned at all stages of the process called the Holocaust: detention, deportation and slavery or extermination. The number of victims admitted is six million, a monstrous figure that still surprises today that it was possible in the eyes of the world and citizens who said they had not seen anything, even when their neighbors had disappeared overnight. The Washington Holocaust Memorial Museum, based in Washington, undertook in 2000 the documentation of all ghettos, forced labor camps, prisoner of war camps, extermination camps, the so-called “centers of attention” – where women were forced to abort or killed their children after birth – or brothels of sex slaves. This Memorial has estimated 42,500 points from where the Holocaust was executed, covering all of occupied Europe, from France to Russia, Germany, Austria, Poland, Yugoslavia or the Netherlands. Researchers Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean – who presented the first results in 2013 – quantified between 15 and 20 million people who were killed or imprisoned in these centers. They chose the testimony of Henry Greenbaum, a survivor who is 92 years old today, to show this sinister web of slavery and death. With 12 years he lived in the ghetto of Starachowice, his hometown in Poland, then he was admitted to a labor camp in the same region, while his family was sent to Treblinka, where they died. When he finished his workday he was forced to dig graves to bury the dead. Later he was admitted to Auschwitz, from there he went to a chemical plant, Buna Monowitz, to make rubber and synthetic oil. And finally, at age 17, he ended up in the Flossenbürg camp, on the Czech border.

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