A short story I read a few months ago postulated the trains are still running to Auschwitz. Fantasy, of course, but does anyone believe that genocidal racism died with the Third Reich?
The cold-blooded killing of innocent Muslims in New Zealand is a stark reminder that the forces of searing hatred and xenophobia thrive in 2019.
Across the world, the extreme right is on the rise with the niftiest of PR makeover to make them palatable to people who’d like to be racist but want to remain respectable too if at all possible.
We see the resurgence of the far right in politics, in France, Hungary, even Germany itself, which has done so much to atone for its nightmarish past.
We see it in the sickening revival of anti-Semitism... Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated, daubed with swastikas, as if the Jews of Europe didn’t suffer enough at the hands of state-sponsored racism.
It manifests, too, in attacks on buildings earmarked for asylum seekers, however vehement are the claims that such actions are not motivated byracism.
The trains are no longer running to Auschwitz, but the murderous racist hatred that powered those locomotives of death remains.
Auschwitz had modest beginnings... a bit of name-calling here and there... widespread pretending not to notice Jews and other minorities threatened... a few synagogues torched. And the white supremacists of that era had professionals design gas chambers knowing they’d get away with it.
Why? Because they calculated (rightly) that most people would stay silent about what they had in mind for the dehumanised “others”.
The slogan “Never Again” might as well be amended to Ever Again... as thereappears to be no shortage of human beings to carry forth the torch of hatred and mass-murder, still believing that killing innocent people of other beliefs or ethnic origins makes the world a better place, when in fact it diminishes all of us.