Sobibor nazi camp and xenophobia today

This is a video from the film Escape from Sobibor.

Today, a book is published in the Netherlands about Adolf Hitler‘s extermination camp Sobibor and other death camps.

The nazis murdered six million Jews and many others there during World War II. In Sobibor alone, they killed, along with so many other people, at least 34,313 just Jews just from the Netherlands.

The name of the book is Post uit de vergetelheid (Mail from the memory hole). It contains the text of letters and postcards from and to inmates in the concentration camps.

Its author is Bennie Vlaskamp, member of the executive of the Dutch Sobibor Foundation.

This morning, Mr Vlaskamp was a guest in the TV show Goedemorgen Nederland (Good morning, the Netherlands).

He said the aim of the book was to help to prevent the horrors of Hitler’s camps from ever happening again. To prevent that, one must oppose campaigns against people for belonging to some community.

There is “a certain parallel”, according to Bennie Vlaskamp, between the anti-Semitism which made the crimes of the Shoah possible, and xenophobia today. Like the Islamophobia of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Wilders says there should be a “kopvoddentaks” (“towelhead tax”; literally “animals’ heads’ rags tax”) to make it expensive for Muslim women to wear headscarves. Such attacks on people, according to Mr Vlaskamp, must be opposed in order to prevent horrors like in the times his book is about from happening again.

USA: Virginia DMV Pulls License Plate Coded With Neo-Nazi Message From Truck With Anti-Islam Imagery: here.

Sarah Palin defends evangelist who called Islam an ‘evil and wicked religion’: here.

A Gainesville, Fla, pastor claims the Bible’s lesson of brotherly love and truth commands it to burn the Quran on an Islamic holy day: here. And here. And here.

Prime Islam-Basher Pam Geller Outdone by Colleague: here.

26 thoughts on “Sobibor nazi camp and xenophobia today

  1. Simon Wiesenthal Center criticizes Shimon Perez for saying Romania rescued Jews during WWII

    Published August 13, 2010

    Associated Press

    BUCHAREST, Romania – BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized Israeli President Shimon Peres on Friday for thanking Romania for saving Jews, saying he should have condemned the Romanian state for the tens of thousands of Jews who were killed there during World War II.

    On Thursday, Peres publicly thanked Romania for helping 400,000 Romanian Jews emigrate to Israel during the communist regime that ended in 1989. Peres did that while making the first visit to Romania by an Israeli head of state since 1948 when Israel was formed.

    Peres was speaking at a news conference with Romanian President Traian Basescu, who said that Romania would be a loyal partner of Israel and NATO, if there was a conflict with Iran. During that event, Peres did not mention Romania’s role in the Holocaust.

    In 2004, a historical commission set up to study the Holocaust in Romania found the country was responsible for the deaths of 280,000 Jews and 11,000 Roma during the Second World War under the regime of pro-Nazi Marshal Ion Antonescu.

    On Friday, Efraim Zuroff, the Israel director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, issued a statement essentially saying Peres should have mentioned this.

    “His failure to condemn the horrific crimes of the Antonescu regime against the Jewish people are likely to have very dire consequences, especially in Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, where there is a growing tendency in post-Communist societies to deny or minimize the highly significant role played by local Nazi collaborators in the annihilation of the Jews,” said Zuroff, who also is a Holocaust historian.

    During that time, Romanian administrators allowed the nation to become “a gigantic killing field for Jews,” said Zuroff, whose center is the world’s major Nazi-hunting organization.

    On Friday, Peres made a comment while visiting the Holocaust memorial in Bucharest that appeared to address the center’s concerns.

    Speaking in Hebrew, the Israeli president acknowledged that there was a “cruel and unfair” time in Romania during World War II “when men, women and innocent children were killed for the fault of being Jewish” at the hands of “Romanian assassins.”

    But he also said Romania is a totally different today, a free and democratic nation that respects human rights.


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