Scrapbookpages Blog

May 16, 2018

“evil stands at the door and knocks”

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 1:55 pm

The words in the title of my blog post today are the last words in this news article:

The article includes a photo of the Arbeit macht Frei gate — this is my photo of that gate

It is hard to get a photo of the gate into  the Auschwitz camp because when the gate opens, there is an endless march of tourists through the gate. I took the photo above just before the gate opened, but note that there are tourists who have entered before the gate officially opened. After I took the photo above, I also entered the camp before it was officially open. I wanted to take a few photos before thousands of people entered.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp

Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated by Nazi Germany. However, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in particular, went on to become an extermination camp and a major site of the Nazis’ final solution to the Jewish question. Between early 1942 and late 1944, an estimated 1.3 million Jews were sent by transport trains and entered the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Written over the gate were the words “Arbeit macht frei,” or “work sets you free.” But those who entered would not be working long—1.1 million would leave through the chimney tops, gassed with hydrogen cyanide.

To put these numbers into perspective, Biola’s total Fall 2017 student enrollment was 6,172 students. Auschwitz-Birkenau gassed men, women and children at the rate of the entire Biola student population every four days for two years. Or, considering Anaheim, Calif.’s population of 336,265, it would be equivalent to erasing the population of Anaheim every eight months for two years.

When we reflect on the Holocaust, it is not enough to reflect on it as an episode in the remote past in remote lands. The Holocaust tore the heart of Western Civilization: it inspired a generation of soldiers to “pursue the ranks of the guilty to the uttermost ends of the earth,” and it eviscerated a Jewish generation. The Holocaust reminds us that no matter how far we have progressed or how much we have been blessed, evil stands at the door and knocks.

End quote