Some see, few know, many choose to wander aimlessly in a fog, devoid of sunlight. I seek the light of day and leave the others to their chosen realm of ignorance. They are the ones who have brought this great nation down. I write only for the benefit of those who possess the courage required to restore our birthright.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Arbeit Macht Frei-Guest Blogger Shannon Ward


"Work will set you free." This was above the gate at Auschwitz 1. Why do we remember what has happened so long ago? Why do we explore the evil that exists in the minds of men. Because to forget is to loose the ability to learn from history. History has a habit of repeating itself. If we, as a people, do not learn from the history we are doomed to repeat it, be it good or bad.

On January 27th, 1945, Soviet troops of the First Army of the Ukrainian Front, happened upon the gates of Auschwitz. Auschwitz is a name that is synonymous with the evil that was Nazi Germany. What horrors were found by the troops as they and other allied units came upon camp after camp established by the SS to deal with those that were deemed "racially undesirable." Those who had been left as 'survivors' were nothing but walking skeletons. Emaciated human beings, some with blank stares, with obvious signs of disease present.

The bodies of those who died horrible inhuman deaths were stacked like cord wood. Other victims, in mass graves bore witness to the inhumanity that was suffered by so many. The stench of the living, and of the dead. Seeing for themselves the inhumanity that was perpetrated on others because they were deemed inferior because of their race, religion, and other reasons that marked them as needing to be eradicated from the earth.

Information had leaked out as early as 1942 if not before that these camps were operating in the countries of Europe under German occupation. "Relocation" of whole families from throughout Europe meant that many would be used as slave labor, horrible experiments such as what was done by SS officers such as Joseph Mengele. As one of many camps that the Germans established as a place to carry out the "final solution" in the extermination of those the Nazis deemed substandard. 

Many camps, including Auschwitz, were located in the country of Poland. The deaths of  Jews, Gypsies, and those who were deemed "racially undesirable" from throughout Europe, met evil at the hands of those who hated them. Some were dissidents who objected to the evils of the Nazis. Some were mentally unfit, the physically handicapped. Some died because of ethnic origins.

Anne Frank, a German born Jew who had lived in the Netherlands for most of her life and her sister Margo existed in the horrors of Auschwitz, were evacuated to another camp in late 1944 and died just weeks prior to the liberation of the camps throughout Europe.  

Approximately 1,200 camps were running throughout Europe. Some camps had sub-camps, camps such as Auschwitz had areas that were for the slave labor and other areas for the extermination of  of those who were to young or too old to be of use. An estimated 15 to 20 million people were interned in the camps, many of them never experienced freedom again. Auschwitz was just one camp, but represents through its name what we know of that era.  

We are now living in a time when we see a repeating hatred of Jews. The anti-Semitic rhetoric we are seeing now in countries across the world including in our own country is disheartening. It exhibits that the memories of what happened not so long ago are not being remembered by our civilization. That we have forgotten the horrors of not only WWII but other times of persecution of people. After WWII many said we will never forget. Then they said we should never never forget.

Now it is evident that we have forgotten.  Many deny that it occurred, others say that they got what they deserved. Still others will say that it doesn't concern them. Well it does concern each of us, and humanity as a whole. We should never forget what has occurred to millions of men, women and children starting as early as the late 1930s until the end of WWII.    

January 27, 1945 is a date that we should remember. January 27, 2015 marks 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. It is also recognized as the International Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust. For all those who died; for those who survived; we must remember! We need to educate those who do not know what happened during those years. There are many books, and movies that are recorded history of what was endured. There still are some who are survivors of a terrible time in history.  For all of those living and long dead, we must never forget.


Shoes! Countless thousands of shoes that form a small mountain at Auschwitz. Those shoes are still there, standing as a mute reminder of the men, women, and children, that once wore them. Yes, the shoes remain long after their owners died as victims of the Final Solution. If they could only speak!

Editor's note... Want to know more?
The biggest prisoner escape of WWII occurred at the secretive extermination camp in Sobibor Poland. While no movie can accurately portray the horrors these people knew, this movie goes a long way as a voice for the dead.
Escape From Sobibor

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