One of the matters that surprises me about some politicians in Europe and Finland continue to flirt with ideologies that led Europe down a path of near-total destruction in the 1940s. The younger they are, and the further their time perspective of those times, the more they appear to flirt and idolize with fascism. To them I would like to give them a quote by Rudolf Hoess, the notorious commandant of the Aushcwitz concentration camp during 1940-43.
When we speak of fascism we should put it in a 2010s context. It has different enemies but is the same political beast.
In order to understand the horrors of World War 2 and especially those of the Nazi régime, a very good starting point to understand those harrowing times is reading up on the Nuremberg Trials.
Hoess was not tried at Nuremberg but in Poland, where he was tried by a Polish military tribunal and hanged at Auschwitz on April 7, 1947.
One of the matters that strikes you when you read about Hoess, and all those that were tried for genocide and war crimes after the war, is how they played down their roles.
There is one quote by Hoess that, in my opinion, gives us the smoking gun to the madness, racism, hatred and mass murder that roamed Europe freely at the time.
This is how Hoess justified what he did that caused the death of about 2.5 million Jews at Auschwitz.*
Question: “Did you ever protest?”
Hoess: “I couldn’t do that. The reasons Himmler gave me I had to accept.”
Question: “In other words, you think it was justified to kill 2.5 million men, women, and children?”
Hoess: “Not justified – but Himmler told me that if the Jews were not exterminated at that time, then the German people would be exterminated for all time by the Jews.”
The last quote by Hoess is chilling and reveals the smoking gun that justified mass murder by the Nazi régime. What is even scarier today is that it is still used by people to justify their racism and declarations of wars against other groups. Some of these are groups, politicians and individuals who claim that Muslims will take over Europe. They make up their stories with the help of high birth rates and a pocket calculator.
If predicting the future were so easy, then we have invented a time machine to the future (sic!).
* Leo Goldensohn: Nuremberg Interviews. Vintage Books. New York 2004. p. 296.