Monday, 20 January 2014

Anniversaries again

Today is a public holiday, the equivalent of an English Bank Holiday, in the United States of America. It would have been Martin Luther King’s birthday five days ago on the 15th, and the US government has decreed that in memory of him there should be a holiday on the third Monday in January.

It is also the Anniversary of the Wannsee conference, where the Nazis set forth the ‘Final Solution’ to the ‘Problem’ of the Jews. That was in 1942. The year may seem surprising, because the Nazis had already been persecuting and killing Jews for years before that. However until the Wannsee conference the deportations, incarcerations, and killings had been thinly disguised as ‘Resettlement’ and ‘Euthanasia’ programmes. At Wannsee it was made clear that the intention was to rid Germany of all Jews, not just by deportation but by systematic extermination.

Not a very jolly thing to be writing about, but with the recent increase, or at least increased visibility, of racist attitudes people need to be reminded where such attitudes lead.

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