27 jan. 2015

arbeit macht frei

Idag är det 70 år sedan koncentrationslägret Auschwitz befriades av Röda Armén. Minneshögtider anordnas i hela Europa. Sammanhanget gör det otroligt motbjudande att se hur vissa politiker försöker att utnyttja tillfället för sina egna syften grundade i de nutidspolitiska spänningarna.

2005 skrev jag en text som jag - lätt redigerad- återger här. Ni får förlåta att den är litet mera personlig än vanligt.

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2005 02 16

Arbeit macht frei

mrs brandt's job was to provide me and others with statistics on the remarkable economic development in post-war germany das wirtschaftswunder and my job  was to analyze the development and try to make forecasts of what was going to happen in the near future she was always kind and helpful but silent and remarkably subdued she must have been at least twenty years older than me on my first assignment abroad mrs brandt was polish i heard but why was she called brandt maybe she was married to some german type i didn't know and i didn't think twice about it she always wore dresses with short sleeves and i saw that she had a tattoo just above the elbow on her left arm it was some kind of a number i was new on the job and eager not to ask too many questions and tried to appear fully integrated  in the international team later an english lady friend of mrs brandt told me that the tattoo was her number from the concentration camp which concentration camp i asked auschwitz said the english lady i knew very well what that was although we had not yet seen all the films and had not yet heard the survivors who could write books and make films it was awful what should i say i would so much have wanted to hear her tell the story but you don't ask a thing like that and she never spoke about her past yet the short sleeves must have been her testimony as she patiently and efficiently provided the figures we were asking for i wanted to cry and shout at her mrs brandt we are not like that those were evil people devils and we are humans we are kind please try to forget such were childish thoughts no one who wasn't there can fathom the horrors and what monsters are brought forth by the sleep of reason i think that if you were not there among the victims you cannot say that you were not a perpetrator and it is sixty years ago and it goes on and on and on the truth is we never stopped. later i got to know several of the criminals they talked alright and had pretty good explanations  and also got their monuments and hero's welcome and the honor that belongs to 'the older generation' i didn't know what to say to them either.
60 years have passed since Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Soviet army. The Austrian blog Sauseschritt (in German) has a number of very readable articles under the heading jubeloesterreich 2005. This link goes to a short description of  the "Mühlviertler Hasenjagd" (DE) - a dark chapter in Austrian history, practically never referred to here although, or perhaps just because, many of the hunters are still alive. The above are my own reflections.

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