by Les Weaver
Clash Daily Contributor
Too many of those under 75 years old are totally void of real history. Those in power that are aware neither pass on that history nor do they heed it.
For example, Oregon’s senior Senator’s father, in 1937, as a 13 year old Jewish boy with his parents, was among the fortunate that escaped Berlin to migrate to the United States. That boy grew up to become a noted scholar about the Holocaust and other tyrannical events. Peter wrote about that history because he was aware that history does repeat and he wanted to contribute to recording that history in the hope that it would not be repeated. (Google “Peter Wyden”).
I for one find it stunning that Peter’s son has not heeded that the history that his father experienced, wrote, lectured and published. Yes, his son seems committed to voting for Obama’s “treaty” with Iran wherein they will allow inspection on their terms similar to the way Nazi Germany allowed inspection of selected Concentration camps during WWII – that is, with adequate lead time and to selected and pre-prepared sites.
Following are excerpts from an article about a particular incident that should be heeded. The link to the article from which I took excerpts follows. Much more is available by Google, “Red Cross Inspections of WWII Concentration Camps”.
Among the Nazi concentration camps, Buchenwald is famous for its human lamp shades; Auschwitz is noted for its gas chambers and Bergen-Belsen will be remembered as the forever place where British bulldozers shoved the emaciated corpses of the deliberately starved inmates into mass graves. Theresienstadt’s claim to fame is the Verschönerung, the beautification program in which the Nazis cleaned up the ghetto in preparation for a visit on June 23, 1944 by two Swiss delegates of the International Red Cross and two representatives of the government of Denmark.
The famous Red Cross visit to Theresienstadt came about because the government of Denmark was anxious to know about the conditions of the ghetto since 466 Danish Jews had been sent there, beginning on October 5, 1943. Because of pressure brought to bear on the Germans by the Danish government, the Danish Jews received preferential treatment in the ghetto. They were sent back to Denmark on April 15, 1945, under the supervision of the Red Cross, three weeks before the ghetto was liberated by Soviet troops on May 8, 1945. Thus they escaped the typhus epidemic which devastated Theresienstadt in the last weeks of the war.
The Nazis began their beautification program in late 1943 in preparation for the inspection, demanded by the Danish King Christian X, which was more than six months away. Especially because the Theresienstadt ghetto was the home of many prominent and well known Jews, the Nazis wanted to fool the world into thinking that the Jews were being well treated.
With Theresienstadt now beautified, the next step was to relieve the overcrowding in the ghetto so that the IRC would not realize the actual inhuman living conditions there. In September 1943, December 1943 and May 1944, just before the scheduled visit, there was a total of seven transports on which 17,517 Jews were sent to the death camp at Auschwitz.
The Red Cross inspection of the camp lasted for six hours but the cultural events went on for a week. During the week of the inspection, there were numerous performances of the children’s opera called Brundibar in the new cultural hall in the Sokol building.
Unfortunately, most of the Theresienstadt Jews did not live to enjoy their new improved ghetto. In the fall of 1944, after the June Red Cross visit, the transports to Auschwitz began again. In Sept. 1944, there were approximately 30,000 prisoners living in Theresienstadt. Eleven transports, totaling 18,402 inmates of the ghetto, were sent to Auschwitz between September 28, 1944 and October 28, 1944, the date of the last transport to be sent to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Of the Jews sent to Auschwitz on these eleven transports, there were only 1,574 survivors. The rest died in the gas chamber, were worked to death or perished in the typhus epidemics which were rampant there. After these transports left, the number of Jews remaining in Theresienstadt was around 11,000, including 819 children under the age of 15.
Yes, the Red Cross accepted a six hour inspection as proof that the Nazis were treating prisoners humanely. Now Senator Wyden and most of the Progressive Democrats in the Senate are “carefully evaluating” the Nuclear Agreement with Iran, where-in Iran will set the rules for inspections. Perhaps Mr Wyden will ignore his father’s experience and with his fellow progressives, fall on the excuse; “If the Red Cross was stupid enough to believe the Nazis in 1943, why can’t we be as stupid in 2015 by believing the Iranian religious leaders?”
HISTORY DOES REPEAT, PARTICULARLY IF YOU LET IT!