Yes, Obama Said “Auschwitz”

It’s interesting that Obama would pick a Nazi death camp upon which to error in either the retelling or fabricating of a story to try to make a point that is oddly detached from the actual story line. And then unleashes a bad case of irony as well.

What Obama said:

I had a uncle who was one of the, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps and the story in our family is that when he came home, he just went up into the attic and he didn’t leave the house for six months, right. Now obviously something had really affected him deeply but at that time there just weren’t the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain.

I can easily let any American off on not knowing Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviets. And regardless of whether Obama’s uncle showed up at any death camp, or even existed, is not terribly important to me today because ultimately Obama’s point would be that anyone who has had to experience PNDCD (Post Nazi Death Camp Disorder) should be given some consideration for relief and assistance.

Oh, wait. Are there more Nazi’s out there running death camps?

No, but evidently Obama is tying this into a current discussion around improving support for detecting and treating PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), which has more to do with the stresses of combat and the lingering effects that can have on some soldiers.

But that’s a different concern than soldiers (or anyone else for that matter) who are affected by the inhumanity of someone like Adolf Hitler. Anyone, even today, who sees what was done is going to be affected, in different ways, by the overwhelming pain of these atrocities. They’re both bad, and both can have a profound impact on people, but they’re not the same thing. It’s like telling a story about a family member who died when not using a seatbelt use to explain why we need helmet laws. Not quite the same thing.

Obama was incredibly clumsy on this one. Gets the facts wrong, then ties together the need to better address combat-related psych disorders with the pain of seeing the results of mass murders. I sympathize with where he’s going with this, but he’s bungling this.

Which leads me to an interesting piece of irony. To me.

The good senator has been battered a bit about comments related to entering into diplomatic talks with leaders of states that support terrorism, such as Iran, “without conditions”. It sounds like he would have nice conversations with people like Ahmadinejad in hopes they might back down from clearly aggressive activities intended to provoke, test, or simply proceed unabashedly on an agenda of violence and conquest. The argument that Obama represents a policy of appeasement is not only apt, it is generally consistent with the liberal mind-set of avoiding military confrontation at all costs. Unbelievable as it may seem, this is a bit of history that may well repeat itself some day. I pray it does not.

Here’s the irony: that so closely on the heals of vocal concerns about the potential of a faulty diplomatic policy toward terrorists(appeasement) , Obama invokes the name of a place that, more than any, rings the memory and demonstrates the length and depth of the pit of human depravity that can be unleashed as a result of such a careless, no, such a lazy and useless policy.

Auschwitz was the site of the murder of at least 1,500,000 people from all over Europe, mostly Jews. Millions more were murdered at other sites, but Auschwitz was the largest and was a key destination for prisoners from points throughout Europe.

I visited there a few years ago. I have not been the same since.

I didn’t spend six months in the attic. But the sight of thousands of children’s toys, people’s luggage, clothing, shoes and pots and pans, haunts me to this day. Mostly the toys. Confiscated from new arrivals and often sent to German families, these that remained were on display in the museum, along with thousands of other artifacts, including documents recording orders, lists, etc., retained as evidence of the horrific crimes committed during that awful time.

Instead of casually calling down the name of that place in Poland for political reasons, Obama should do what I think most people with means ought to do. Go there. Spend a day there. Read the evidence. See the artifacts. Listen to the voices of the past. Not to blame people like Arthur Neville Chamberlain, but to warn any that think they can negotiate with one like Hitler… to warn all of us for generations to come… that we would never forget what humans are capable of.

Auschwitz is actually 3 facilities, and Birkenau (aka Auschwitz II) was the largest and was the site where the large group exterminations were performed. At the back of the Birkenau camp, by the rubble of the crematoriums and gas chambers destroyed by the Germans as the Soviets marched on the camp, is an oddly shaped statue (picture below) and memorial plate and, as I recall, 17 other plates translated in the languages of all the people who were prisoners there. Innocent voices silenced shout loudly the message we must hear over and over again:

For ever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity, where the Nazis murdered about one and a half million men, women, and children, mainly Jews from various countries of Europe.

Auschwitz – Birkenau

1940 – 1945

Never again.

Iraqi Kurds.

Never again.

Darfur.

Never again.

Rwanda.

Never again.

Srebrenica (Bosnia).

Never again.

Where next?

Never again.

auschwitz-memorial.jpg

About the Author

Mr. Smith is the Publisher of The Conservative Reader. He is Partner/Owner of Ambrosia Web Technology as well as a Systems Architect for Wells Fargo. Art hold a degree in Computer Science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a political blogger at the Des Moines Register. Art's views are purely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wells Fargo.

 

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