Nazi metaphors should be avoided except in the most extreme cases of human cruelty. But that metaphor is especially obscene when today’s pampered rich, like billionaire Tom Perkins, compare themselves to persecuted Jews, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship observe.
Holocaust expert Elie Wiesel has urged audiences around the world to reject apathy and to resist injustice. But Wiesel and many other Zionists fall silent when the victims of oppression are the Palestinians, as Lawrence Davidson writes.
Before his execution by hanging in 1947, Auschwitz commander Rudolf Hoess confessed to his role in the industrialized slaughter of millions of Jews and other “enemies” of Hitler’s Third Reich. But Hoess’s guilt – while extraordinary in its numbers – extends to all leaders who carelessly choose war, Gary G. Kohls observes.
The Boston Marathon bombings have brought forth a frenzy of right-wing hate speech against Muslims who are depicted as mindlessly violent. But many of history’s worst atrocities – including the Holocaust, the Vietnam War and even today’s “war on terror” — have been carried out primarily by Christians, as Gary G. Kohls recalls.
From the Archive: Jorge Bergoglio’s election to be Pope Francis has revived troubling questions about the Catholic Church’s role in the Argentine “dirty war” and other right-wing repression in Latin America of the 1970s and ’80s. But the history goes back to ties to the Nazis, as the late Georg Hodel wrote in 1999.
Since World War II, the common reaction to the horrendous crimes of the Nazis has been to wonder how such extreme behavior was possible. But the more important point is how the process of killing could be made so mundane, a question that remains relevant today, as Gary G. Kohls explains.
As the Occupy Wall Street and other populist protests grow, the role of police – in either allowing dissent or crushing it – will be at center stage. In that regard, Gary G. Kohls sees valuable lessons from the Holocaust drama, “Sarah’s Key.”