Sunday 26 January 2020

Nerd Church - Auschwitz: 75 Years Later

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(Warning: this post discusses the Holocaust and genocide throughout. Links may include details and/or images of the Holocaust and genocide.)

75 years ago tomorrow (27th January) Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Soviet forces.

A single candle in the darkness

Auschwitz is a symbol, to many, of the full horrors of the Holocaust.

...of the full horrors of what the worst of humanity can do.

The numbers are staggering. 

Over a million people sent to Auschwitz alone - the vast majority of them Jewish.

Slowly, the horrors of the Holocaust are passing from living memory.

The survivors are getting older all the time, and there are less and less of them each year.

But we must remember.

We must remember that before the extermination came the persecution. 

Before the deaths and the camps and the horrors, there were the laws and the discrimination and the hatred.

Hatred is something we should push against. Every time. And we need to remember that.

So, how can we remember?

For a start, we can speak against Holocaust denial. 

It's like Climate Change denial - the evidence is too overwhelming, and anyone still saying it isn't real, isn't true, is either ignorant or lying.

I also think that a lot of them would do well to transcribe and/or index some of the records. Nobody makes up that level of matter-of-fact, cold, bureaucracy - the every-day nature of those forms are chilling.

But we should also listen to those who were there - while we still can.

If you get the chance (I know it won't be accessible everywhere) you should check out a BBC documentary called The Last Survivors.

And, if you can, and if you're willing and able to view the truly horrendous imagery and details involved, -

- I also highly recommend the unflinching Channel 4 documentary Night Will Fall, about the abandoned contemporary (1940s) documentary of the same name, containing footage that was surpressed for decades.

But... it's brutal. I can't over-exaggerate how horrible it is, tbh. But vital, all the same... because it's true.

There's also a wealth of survivor's testimonies available online - especially YouTube.

And in that spirit, I leave you with the wise words of Auschwitz survivor Sonia Klein from NBC's YouTube channel:

(Warning: mild flashing images, images of human remains, discussion of details of genocide and the Holocaust)

Never let hatred into your hearts, dearest nerdlets.
I love you all.


  1. For me it's truly sobering that this horror was only 75 years ago, still within living memory although obviously with fewer survivors each year. It is so important to remember because I don't think as a species we have learned at all. In fact I keep seeing chilling reflections of the leadup in political propaganda today. The Holocaust should absolutely never be repeated but I don't know how to combat the mass closed-mindedness which led there

    1. So true. Anne Frank would have been 90 now. She was born in the same year as my grandfather. It's so close, yet so far away.

      It's so very, very, important to remember. Because we can't let it happen again. And because every single one of those people mattered.

      Genocide is a crime that humanity perpetuates against itself, over and over. The only way, imho, to combat hate is to speak from love - to shine a light in the dark corners and reveal these crimes to the world, yes, but also to work hard every day for respect, tolerance, equality, and love!

  2. I can’t believe that there are still deniers of this tragedy. I think those people pose such a threat to society, and goes to show that we need to accept the fact that this could happen again. And we need to vote and put people into power who will stop that.

  3. It blows my mind that there are people who deny the holocaust. I wish it was more regularly taught and discussed as its something we should never forget. It saddens me to see that it seems some people haven't learned from it at all.


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