Friday, 18 December 2009

Man hands on misery to man…

Two things have happened today which encapsulate the extremes of the human condition.

The first is the theft of the 'Arbeit Macht Frei' ironwork sign spanning the entrance to Auschwitz. Some things are sacred: a camp preserved as a memorial to man's endless capability for cruelty to man is surely on of them (not that it's had much of a restraining effect). What might the motivation be? Plain theft? Surely not, unless the thieves are totally free of all morality and sense of proportion. Memorabilia collection? There is a market for Nazi items, and this must rank high on the list of desirable pieces, but even amongst those freaks, some sense of place must prevail.

The only motivation I can think of is that it's a fascist statement - to desecrate a place where millions died, and which represent the places where more millions died (Jews, communists, trade unionists, Roma, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and others identified as somehow not fitting into the pure society) is a shocking rejection of morality, history and, ultimately, humanity. The action makes light of what went on behind those gates.

Meanwhile, from the bottom of a mine in Minnesota amongst other places, dark matter appears to have been found. It's a testimony to our (sometimes grudging) commitment to purest research - something now under attack in my education system and country. Dark matter is the substance which makes up 75% of the universe. It's never been detected before, only theorised as filling the spaces in gravitational theories of the universe: from dark matter comes matter, which includes us. Additionally, dark matter may even hold the key to time itself. At this point my brain dribbles out of my lugholes, looking for the nearest pub.


JJones said...

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JJones said...

It is an insult to memorialize the handful of anti-societal trouble-seeking JWs alongside the SIX MILLION Jewish Holocaust victims given that Jehovah's Witnesses view the Jews much as did the Nazis.

The WatchTower Cult teaches its own version of "replacement theology", which says that GOD rejected the Jews as His "chosen people", and replaced them with today's "Jehovah's Witnesses". In fact, the title "Jehovah's Witnesses" was originally applied to the Jews by the Prophet Isaiah, and is even quoted on the wall at the entrance to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. The WatchTower Society, in calling its own members "Jehovah's Witnesses" is attempting to steal that designation away from the Jews. The WatchTower Cult even teaches that all of the Bible's promises of restoration for the Jewish people now belongs to the followers of the Cult.

There were only approximately 6000 Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany during the 1930s-40s. While many of those 6000 German JWs were repeatedly arrested during the 1930s and 1940s, only a fraction were jailed or imprisoned for any significant length of time. Only about 200-300 German JWs lost their lives, and the majority of those died from any number of causes other than having been executed. Approximately 1000 JWs from other European countries lost their lives while incarcerated by the Nazis.

During that same time period, there were more Jehovah's Witnesses arrested and jailed in the United States than in Germany. In fact, from 1941 until 1945, approximately 4500 American Jehovah's Witnesses "elected" to go to prison rather than serve in the U.S. Military and go fight against those same Nazis who were committing those atrocities. Approximately 3000 of those 4500 American JWs were even offered "conscientious objector" status, in which they were offered "non-combatant" work as a substitute, but 99% of those JWs refused to even help that much.

The Plashing Vole said...

Er… matey. None of that is really to the point. And I'm an atheist, rather than a fan of Jehovah's Witnesses. I just wanted to point out that many groups were targeted by the Nazis. Many millions died - it's not a competition to remember those who weren't Jewish.

I'm not going to argue about numbers. You've entirely missed the point. Or rather, you've demonstrated. You've taken an event like the Holocaust, one of those occurrences which reminds us how appalling we can be to each other, and ranted about your disagreement with a religious group. Remind you of anything?

The Plashing Vole said...

Well well, Mr Jones works for Microsoft. Charming.

Lou said...

Crikey, talk about missing the point Mr Jones, by a million miles. I agree Vole that the theft is shocking. No comment re black matter - that just does my little wee head in.