Saturday, March 9, 2013


An article appeared in the New York Times on March 1, 2013, dealing with the Holocaust and the German people's knowledge thereof. Its bottom-line result is to belie, once and for all, the defensive response to relative inquiries of "we didn't know."

Researchers have cataloged some 42,500 ghettos and camps throughout Europe, including Germany itself, during Hitler's reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945. These numbers are staggering and much higher than originally thought. One co-researcher said the findings left no doubt in his mind that many German citizens, despite the frequent claims of ignorance after the war, must have known about the widespread existence of the Nazi camps at the time.

"You literally could not go anywhere in Germany without running into forced labor camps, P.O.W. camps, concentration camps," said Martin Dean, one of the two lead editors on the research project. "They were everywhere."

Being a revisionist or a discriminate rememberer is not peculiar to the German World War II population. Indeed, and unfortunately, many individuals wrap themselves in this protective cocoon when confronted with missteps of the past.

Professionals will tell you that this is a subconscious reaction to confrontation of prior bad acts and that, therefore, such a response is mitigated accordingly.

Hogwash. It is, pure and simple, a cop-out, designed to dodge rather than face the music.

The passage of time does not necessarily erase the hurt of having been the target or victim of misconduct. Circumstances of life have a way of conjuring up opportunities to confront the individual with his inappropriate or unacceptable behavior. More often than not, the perpetrator denies or refuses to remember the past, thus aggravating the damage occasioned thereby.

The result is an emotional stalemate.

It can be argued that to lie is preferable to not remembering, for the latter obviates closure.

Love is about feel and therefore as elusive as it is beautiful.


  1. Judge, I strongly recommend a very good book that supports this theory, "Hitler's Willing Executioners," published in 1996. Powerful and disturbing.

    1. Thanks, Bill, for your keeping an eye on me.