Monday, October 03, 2005

Wiesenthal's struggle remembered

Simon Wiesenthal has died and his passing is a watershed in the history of the Holocaust and its aftermath. He survived the Nazi death camps and devoted the rest of his life to bringing the perpetrators to justice, achieving considerable success:

Historical Perpective

For some reason I have always been interested in the history of WW II. Perhaps it's because so many of my relatives fought in it, some becoming medal-earning heroes, some suffering in prison camps for 4 long years, and all being indelibly marked by the experience.

Maybe it's why I started to read everything I could about 20th C European history, especially that of Germany and England. It wasn't long until I became fascinated by how citizens of one of the most cultured nations of the world could first elect Hitler to power and then actively or passively accept his "final solution to the Jewish problem":

Of course, Germans during the Third Reich weren't the only ones to target Jews, as violent attacks against the Jews (pogroms) flourished in Russia and Eastern Europe, notably Poland, in the 19th C and early 20th C.

Role of German Physicians in the Third Reich
To me, one of the most striking realities of Hitler's reign was the role played by physicians. For example:

Today, anti-semitism occurs pretty much everywhere and seems to be on the rise in Europe.

Could a holocaust happen again? Absolutely, unless we all recognize antisemitism and work to combat it:

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