The Auschwitz exhibit at KC Union Station shows the enormity of the evil committed by the Nazis.
One of the first things you see when you walk into the soon-to-be-opened exhibit at Union Station, “Auschwitz: Not So Long Ago.” Not far from there ”, is a copy of January 28, 1945 New York Times reporting that the death camp was liberated by Russian soldiers.
The title of the first page of the displayed edition is “The Red Army Rolls on the Road to Berlin”. OK, underrated by modern standards, but let’s see, what does it say about Auschwitz? That is not here. Not mentioned at all in the part of the story that takes up much of the first page.
Instead, there are exactly two sentences, at the bottom of the portion of the report that continues on page 3, noting that the soldiers had “captured Oświęcim, ”The name of the city in Polish, where half of the population was Jewish before WWII. And Oświęcim, according to the Times article, was “the site of the most notorious German death camp in all of Europe. It is estimated that 1,500,000 people were murdered in the Oświęcim torture chambers.
This is devastating for several reasons: First, how did the initial reports of skeletal survivors, piles of corpses and evidence of the million Jews and others who were murdered there by the German state not not considered to be in the headlines?
The liberation of Auschwitz was not even a full story and only deserved a brief mention. Yet what he says shows how much of a lie that the world didn’t know exactly what was going on there.
If this is “the most notorious death camp in all of Europe” then everyone knew it, or could have known it. The story even got the number of people who had been gassed to death there – it was 1.1 million, in fact – closer to the truth than if the general outlines of the Holocaust had been at all mysterious. just a day after the Russian soldiers arrived in Oświęcim.
The magnitude of what these soldiers found – tons of human hair and mountains of clothing – comes through powerfully in the exhibit, but so does the personal and individual tragedy of the woman who left behind. the only, elegant red leather shoe with a low heel. it is exposed.
Anyone who can should see this amazing collection of artifacts, so delicately put together by its director, Luis Ferrreiro, in partnership with Union Station CEO George Guastello, that no yellow lights are used, so as not to invoke the yellow badges that Jews were required to wear.
But we would especially like to invite those who, more than 75 years after the liberation of Europe’s most famous extermination camp, still haven’t bothered to learn what happened there.
A recent 50 state survey of adults under 40 found that 63% of those polled did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, and 11% said they believed Jews caused the Holocaust.
But above all we know that ignorance on this subject remains pervasive in all age groups because those who do not care to know continue to make it obvious.
Ignorant, offensive anti-Laura Kelly cartoon
Last summer, you may recall, a Kansas GOP County President published a cartoon in his own weekly, The Anderson County Review, which showed Kansas Governor Laura Kelly sending Jews in Nazi death camps because she was trying to keep Kansans out. get COVID-19. “Lockdown Laura says, put on your mask… and get in the cattle car,” the cartoon said.
At first that Republican President Dane Hicks said anyone who criticized him was just one of those “Liberal Marxist parasites” and “my enemy”. But later he said he learned something from leaders of the Jewish community who explained to him why the drawing was so disgusting. “Obviously I previously lacked a proper understanding of the gravity of their experience and the pain of his images,” he said.
That putting a piece of paper over your mouth and nose in an effort to save lives should never be compared to slaughtering six million people in an attempt to make Jews disappear is not something anyone should have need to have explained.
Yet this keeps happening. Barack Obama has often been compared to Hitler, as has Donald Trump.
Just last month, far-right U.S. representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said Democrats are “like” the Nazis. She also said that asking vaccinated employees to wear a logo stating that “just as the Nazis forced the Jewish people to wear a gold star.”
After the owner of a Nashville hat store posted a photo of her in a yellow Star of David that said “not vaccinated,” Stetson pulled her franchise and the owner said, “I sincerely apologize for the all insensitivity. ”
Throughout the decade that former State Representative Stacey Newman served at Missouri House, she said, her colleagues regularly dragged Hitler and the Nazis into unrelated, unrelated debates. never knowing how hurtful it was, despite his efforts to tell them.
“It was an undercurrent throughout my time there,” said Newman, who was the only Jewish member of Missouri House when he left in 2018.
Even a lifetime of learning about the Holocaust will not unravel the mystery of evil. That can’t explain how those SS officers pictured on what feels like a carefree day off guarding Auschwitz crematoria could have enjoyed a merry song. Nor can he tell us how the camp commander, Rudolf Höss, could have claimed that “My family was fine in Auschwitz, all my wife’s or children’s wishes were granted.” The children could live freely and easily. My wife had her flower paradise. … There was always something new and interesting in the garden.
But look at this exhibition, which opens on June 14, and you will see, as Luis Ferreiro says, that “the most horrible part of the story is to realize that these authors were not from Mars”.
You will be taken to see what Primo Levi, Auschwitz survivor meant when he said, “It happened, so it can happen again: this is the heart of what we have to say.” It can happen, and it can happen anywhere. Which does not mean is it happens again because we feel oppressed about having to wear a mask or get vaccinated or pay taxes.
See this exhibit and you will know why, as Stacey Newman puts it, “there is no excuse for equating Hitler with anything.