Friday, December 15

Auschwitz – Death Camp

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     There, a man or woman could expect at any moment to be sent to the gas chambers, used for medical experiments or given a phenol injection to the heart which would cause death in 15 seconds. If lucky, they would instead be used for exhaustive labor under the most grueling conditions.

A selection committee decided who was fit for labor and who would be used for medical experiments or exterminated. One ‘doctor’ drew an arbitrary height line of 5 feet 2 inches and any child who was not tall enough was sent to the gas chambers immediately.

Many were sent to the chambers directly upon arriving at Auschwitz. For that reason records do not exist for all of the people who were killed.

Their horrible suffering and the conditions they endured were beyond belief. People would tell each other lies just to give hope. “The allies have landed in Greece”. The implication was that they would be rescued soon. There were many other stories concocted to keep one another from utter despair.

After Auschwitz was closed and the inmates released there was a reckoning. The Nazis were hunted down over the years and brought to account for their crimes one by one.

The time of Nazi Germany has ended. Yet, there exists forced labor camps in China today while Holocaust survivors still live. Have we learned nothing from history?

The labor camps in China, much like the Nazi death camps, are used to harm those whom the Chinese Communist Party does not like. They are also used to attempt to break the will and spirit of those who practice the peaceful meditation practice of Falun Gong.

From these camps the Chinese Communist Party derives a source of free labor. The goods are exported for profit and consumption around the world. Similar to the Nazi camps, these nightmarish dens of horror are a source of suffering, torture and death. Why are they tolerated? Isn’t it time that they are dismantled and eliminated?

The famous poet Elie Wiesel, himself an Auschwitz survivor, had this to say, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Simon Wiesenthal, another labor camp survivor who helped bring many Nazi criminals to justice said this. “For your benefit, learn from our tragedy. It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews. It can also be other people. We saw it begin in Germany with Jews, but people from more than twenty other nations were also murdered. When I started this work, I said to myself, I will look for the murderers of all the victims, not only the Jewish victims. I will fight for justice.”

The Chinese Communist Party is responsible for the use of forced labor camps that house many Chinese citizens today. To do nothing is to ignore the lessons of the past as well as the suffering of the present. Isn’t it time to speak up?

Call a Chinese embassy or official and let them know what you think of their forced labor camps. Tell them to stop the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Do not remain silent.

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