Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 29, 2013/ 23 Elul, 5773

When 'never again' turns into 'yet again'

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | During a visit last week to Dachau, the former concentration camp near Munich, German Chancellor Angela Merkel laid a wreath in memory of the tens of thousands the Nazis murdered there. The memory of their fate, she said, "fills me with deep sadness and shame."

Dachau — the original concentration camp, established in March 1933 — radiates a constant reminder about the bottomless human capacity to commit evil, or to look away when evil is committed. "How could Germans go so far as to deny people human dignity and the right to live?" Merkel asked. "Places such as this warn each one of us to help ensure that such things never happen again."

Never?

As Merkel spoke, Copts and other Christians in Egypt were reeling from a wave of attacks more savage than any in modern Egyptian history. Islamist mobs across the country torched scores of churches — some more than 1,000 years old — along with convents, monasteries, and Christian-owned homes and businesses. A Franciscan school near Cairo was looted and burned, said Sister Manal, the principal; then she and other nuns were paraded through the streets "like prisoners of war" to the jeers and abuse of the mob.

Shades of Kristallnacht.

Merkel's speech also coincided with the latest evidence of a chemical-weapons attack by the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Graphic video clips posted online by anti-Assad rebels east of Damascus showed rows of corpses, including those of women, children, and babies. Hospitals in the area described a sudden influx of patients gasping for breath and suffering from convulsions, nausea, and vomiting — symptoms consistent with chemical-weapons poisoning. The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders put the death toll at 355; other estimates ranged far higher. The massacre took place one year to the week after President Obama's warning that any use of chemical weapons by Assad would be a red line. In fact, as even the Obama administration has conceded, Assad crossed that line months ago. Last week's attack was not the first, only the most brazen.



Shades of Halabja.

While Merkel was recalling the lessons of history in Dachau, a United Nations commission of inquiry was holding hearings on human rights abuses in North Korea. Survivors of Pyongyang's ghastly network of slave-labor camps recounted the horrors that take place there: starvation, torture, rape, public executions. There is nothing secret about the camps' existence or location; detailed satellite images have long been available in the West. So have accounts of unspeakable atrocities the North Korean regime inflicts on its victims. Among those testifying before the UN panel was Shin Dong-hyuk, who spent the first 22 years of his life in the North Korea's notorious Camp 14 before a miraculous escape in 2005. Shin told the harrowing story of a six-year-old girl, a classmate, who was publicly beaten to death by her teacher for stealing five kernels of corn. Other witnesses testified to other savageries, from forced abortions to medical experiments performed on dwarfs.

Shades of Auschwitz. Of the Gulag. Of the Cambodian killing fields.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". In addition to INSPIRING stories, HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


"Can this really be happening? In the 21st century?" exclaimed the Israeli columnist Ari Shavit as news broke last week of the latest chemical-weapons attack in Syria. "No decent person can ignore what's happening."

That's what we always tell ourselves when "never again" turns into "yet again." But man's inhumanity to man is no more unthinkable in the 21st century than it was in the 20th. Decent people can and usually will ignore what's happening, and the indecent count on their apathy.

"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" Adolf Hitler is said to have remarked in 1939.

There are always reasons not to act in the face of a growing evil. There are always reasons to believe that atrocities are being overstated, or that tyrants can be persuaded to reform, or that common sense will prevail, or that meddling in the "internal affairs" of others will only make things worse. Then we are shocked to find we have enabled monsters.

The burning of houses of worship didn't end with Kristallnacht, nor the gassing of civilians with Halabja, nor concentration-camp butchery with Dachau. And we aren't finished building memorials to the dead, and solemnly declaring, as we lay our wreaths, that next time we won't forget the lessons of history.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2010, Boston Globe

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast