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The Holocaust Didn’t Start With Gas Chambers and It Was Never a Secret

by Deedra Abboud in Political, Social Views
July 3, 2018 0 comments

Several years ago, I visited the Holocaust museum in Berlin. My husband and I spent hours reading the giant boards detailing the timeline of the Holocaust.

About every three boards included a statement like, “the German people cannot pretend they didn’t know.”

The boards made it a point to say that all the activity was completely public, other than inside the ‘camps’ and the gassing itself.

– Rounding up of families, including children (Jewish and Romanian), and individuals (twins, the disabled, the chronically sick, and those not learning from “shaming” rituals)… families (and individuals) were marched down the street, in broad daylight, in full view of their neighbors, to a truck parked at the end of the street to take them away forever.

– Public shaming of LGBTQ+ (beatings; men forced to dress as women and walk down the street in front of their neighbors), women “not conforming” to their roles as “women” (beatings; shaved heads and forced to walk down the street in front of their neighbors), and those who listened to “black” music (public beatings in front of their neighbors). Neighbors were ‘encouraged’ to attend these public social corrections and to show outrage at the targeted individuals.

– Pamphlets were distributed with “Jewish” facial “identifiers” to look for and report.

People living near ‘camps’ (always in remote areas) knew when the gas chambers were active due to the unimaginable and distinct smell of burning flesh.

Everyone knew.

Some participated due to “Patriotism” and “National Security” – turning in their family, friends, and neighbors as well as unquestionably just “following orders” and “the Law.”

Others agreed wholeheartedly with the extermination of Jews and other ‘undesirables’ (social non-conformists, ‘trouble-makers’).

Strict laws were passed to discourage any disagreement with the ‘policies’ well before the ‘policies’ were fully implemented.

Some courageous people fought back in hidden ways (ranging from simply not reporting people, to hiding people), at great risk to their own lives and the lives of their families. The legal punishment was very strict for failing to report people, nevermind helping people escape.

But most people ignored the shaming… dehumanizing… disappearing… of their friends and neighbors to protect themselves and their own families…

…to remain “comfortable” and “privileged” because they were not a member of any targeted group.

The Holocaust didn’t start with gas chambers and it was never a secret.

It was just “uncomfortable” for people to think about.

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