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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 27, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    A Day That Will Live In Infamy

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    On this day 65 years ago, Russian soldiers arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp. Sadly it was too late for many who had perished in that particular hellhole. The date has been chosen to remember the Holocaust and its many lessons. If you mention the Holocaust nowadays you are in danger of being condemned as “an Israeli apologist”. But that should not deter anyone from recalling that horrific crime, probably the worst in the entire annals of humankind.

    I will not mention yet again the name of the Irish comedian who saw fit to make a joke about the Holocaust and has still not apologised over it, to the best of my knowledge. The fact that this is apparently tolerated by the Irish public by and large does not reflect well on this society.

    • Liam says:

      from wiki, just to be fair to everyone who died.

      Jews 5.9 million [186]
      Soviet POWs 2–3 million [187]
      Ethnic Poles 1.8–2 million [188][189]
      Romani 220,000–1,500,000 [190][191]
      Disabled 200,000–250,000 [192]
      Freemasons 80,000–200,000 [193]
      Homosexuals 5,000–15,000 [194]
      Jehovah’s Witnesses 2,500–5,000

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      Was it just serendipity that the anniversary of O’Bama’s inauguration coincided with MLK’s birthday/anniversary…? Not that YOU remembered either of course!

    • robespierre says:

      The final solution does deserve to be reflected on for the sheer scale of its horrendous slaughter but there is a danger that it can sometimes be allowed to overshadow the horrendous experiences and war crimes that happened elsewhere during that war.

      I was in Oradour sur Glane last year and in some ways found the experience more affecting than I found visiting the camps as this was a village, a functioning living breathing village wiped out in its entirety.

      The Granada TV series, The World at War simply broadcast one final program called Remember. I think that we do our greatest justice to that generation including my English family that served at sea, in Burma and at Bletchley Park if we remember the lives lost and the reasons why they were lost, including the millions lost in the Shoah.

    • JD says:

      The fact that this is apparently tolerated by the Irish public by and large does not reflect well on this society.

      I cannot help but feel that there is a degree of faux naivety and manufactured outrage on your part here, Deaglán.

      Look at the ultimate national reaction to the Ferns Report, Ryan Report, Murphy Report, Leas Cross Report, etc! Plenty of initial public anger, yes! However, then the issue melts away to all intents and purposes. Apathy has once more replaced outrage and the momentum to bring about the necessary deep reforms gets lost.

      Think of the people being held in Mountjoy prison. Who really cares that the conditions there constitute inhuman and degrading punishment on several counts?

      Consider what it is like to be a member of the travelling community in this country. So what if they are treated like second-class citizens, eh?

      Nothing more can be done for those poor souls who died in Auschwitz, save that we honour and respect their memory. However, when we said “never again”, what exactly did we mean?

      Sure some comedian might be say something vile. However, getting hot and bothered about him is like taking medicine for a head cold whilst doing nothing about your leukemia.

    • David Landy says:

      Hi Deaglán, I think the nameless comedian issued the customary ‘my words were misinterpreted’ type of explanation. You’re right about the need to remember the Holocaust, and about ensuring that it isn’t conflated with support of Israel by anyone. In fairness to the Holocaust Education Trust in Ireland, they are very careful to ensure that there isn’t any such conflation and also that all the victims of the Holocaust are commemorated. They should be supported in their work.

      It’s apposite, because we in the IPSC are having a public meeting this Saturday at 6 in the Central Hotel with Hajo Meyer, a survivor from Auschwitz, to talk about the use and abuse of the Holocaust. Hope you’ll be able to make it.

    • Deaglán says:

      David, For those who are not part of the political cognoscenti, allow me to point out that IPSC stands for Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

    • Bllimey O'Riley says:

      JD @ 4 Now who’s being naive…? The outrages to which you refer only concern IRISH people! Surely you don’t expect any bleeding heart liberals to care about that…No political kudos in that, a chara…

    • Pomme... says:

      Call me shallow but I can’t hear/read the word ‘infamy’ without being reminded of that desperate Kenneth Williams/’Carry On’ pun…you know the one…’Infamy! Infamy! they’ve all got it in f’ me…!

    • Gary says:

      On the subject of Tommy Tiernan, having unapologetically expressed the view that too many Jews survived the Holocaust, he’s since been rewarded by RTE with a string of commissions, ranging from his own radio show, to a Christmas TV special, and, just for good measure in the week that’s in it, a thirty-minute slot on RTE1 last Sunday in which shared with us insights into his deep sense of spirituality.

      Is it any wonder so many of us have lost faith in the national broadcaster?

    • Deaglán says:

      Contrast that with the fate of singer Ronan Tynan in New York when he made what seems like an innocuous comment and incurred a severe punishment when the Yankees football team put him out in the cold.

    • sparky says:

      The holocaust was indeed an evil act but what about the “Terror” in the former Soviet Union during the Stalin era. Over 30 million people at the last estimate were arrested, sent to the Gulags and perished all because of one very paranoid man who saw “enemies of the state” everywhere. To call the holocaust the worst crime in the annals of humankind is to forget the other crimes that were committed in that period of world history

    • Deaglán says:

      I wasn’t just thinking about the numbers who died in the Holocaust, but also the fact that people were killed on purely ethnic grounds. You are right; the Stalin purges were a terrible, terrible crime too. As were all the other massacres of course.

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      @10… I seem to remember reading something recently about a comment made by some well known occupant of an Upper East Side apartment block which was taken to mean that he hoped the new occupants wouldn’t be Jewish women…probably sufficient to mark him a ‘schmuck’ (did you know it meant the discarded foreskin following circumcision…? Eeeugh!) or ‘schtick’ (from ‘schtick drek’ meaning shit) but ‘enough already’ to land him in some serious doo-doo …BLIMEY!..and I LUV ‘Noo Yawk’ Jewish humour…Are some really More Equal than others to be absolutely politically correct?…if he’d said ‘Irish women’ would it have been considered so offensive..? I doubt it but YOU decide…

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      ‘serious doo-doo’?

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      The infamous Infamy line from ‘Carry On Cleo’ referred to @8 has been voted one of the all time best lines in British film….Blimey!

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