“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Red Army. International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an international memorial day on 27 January commemorating the victims of the Holocaust

Fascism: I sometimes fear…

“I sometimes fear that
people think that fascism arrives in fancy dress
worn by grotesques and monsters
as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis.

Fascism arrives as your friend.
It will restore your honour,
make you feel proud,
protect your house,
give you a job,
clean up the neighbourhood,
remind you of how great you once were,
clear out the venal and the corrupt,
remove anything you feel is unlike you…

It doesn’t walk in saying,
“Our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution.”(Source)

Those railway lines – which can be still seen at Auschwitz today – extended to almost every corner of Europe. The Holocaust was not a solely German enterprise. It required the active collaboration of Norwegian civil servants, French police, Polish train drivers and Ukrainian paramilitaries.

“The Germans were well-advanced, educated, progressive. Maybe civilization is just veneer-thin. We all need to be very careful about any hate-propaganda. This is very important. It starts as a small stream, but then it has the potential to erupt – and when it does, it’s too late to stop it.”(Source)

We too are so dazzled by power and prestige as to forget our essential fragility. Willingly or not we come to terms with power, forgetting that we are all inside the ghetto, that the ghetto is walled in, that outside the ghetto reign the lords of death, and close by the train is waiting. (Source)

In 1940, a movie was released starring Charlie Chaplin (who also wrote the piece) about a poor Jewish barber who is mistaken for a dictator of a similar appearance and takes his place. In his rejection of the position he ends up giving one of the most inspirational speeches ever recorded.

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