Destination: Concentration Camps

holocaust museum

by PAT HARTMAN
News Editor

The Washington, D.C., summer started off with a bang, or several of them, due to a frightening incident at the Holocaust Museum. As reported by Michael E. Ruane, Paul Duggan (both of the Metro/City Desk), and Clarence Williams, an 88-year-old Holocaust denier and white supremacist named James W. von Brunn burst in and shot a guard in the chest, and in turn was shot down by other guards. Their article in The Washington Post reads:

…the attack inside the famed Holocaust museum turned the crowded building and Washington’s nearby tourist-thronged Mall into a scene of fear and chaos, with black-clad SWAT teams, hovering helicopters and racing emergency vehicles. Stunned witnesses described a fusillade of gunfire — five shots or more — the blood-streaked floor and the screams of frightened visitors inside the museum and on the street.

Duggan has written several follow-up articles about the incident.

Another concentration camp was in the news recently when President Obama visited Buchenwald in Germany and misspoke, to the effect that his uncle had helped liberate Auschwitz when he of course meant Buchenwald. Mark Murray cleared this up.

Meanwhile, a novel has come out, titled The Other Half of Life, written by Kim Ablon Whitney, and reviewed by Mitch Evich. It narrates the story of a ship that carried nearly a thousand refugees away from Europe so they could avoid being sent to the concentration camps. Unfortunately, both America and Cuba turned them away, so the ship sailed back to Europe, where some of the people were given sanctuary in a handful of countries, but around 200 of them ended up dying in the camps anyway.

Here’s something I didn’t know. I’d heard of Birkenau, but didn’t realize it’s also known as Auschwitz II. I learned this and more from Kevin Dolgin’s somber and affecting piece, called simply “Auschwitz,” at McSweeney’s. From Dolgin, here’s the word on that: “When man applies science to evil, the scale of it is crushing.”

SOURCE: ” At a Monument of Sorrow, A Burst of Deadly Violence ” 06/11/09
photo courtesy of Mrs. Gemstone, used under this Creative Commons license

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