Saturday, September 29, 2007

Remember What You Saw

These are the words on the outside of the national Holocaust Museum. I took the Bound4LIFE team there yesterday. I’m in DC this week in preparation for the opening of the Supreme Court on Monday. We didn’t make it all the way through the memorial; that would be one long emotionally exhausting day. We did get through the first chronological part covering Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and anti-semitism.

One of the first phases of the coming genocide struck me as eerily familiar. It was called “Operation T4.” It was Hitler’s early attempt to move the morals of the masses. It involved the systematic execution and termination of disabled people and the physically and mentally handicapped for the purpose of racial cleansing. Ovens burned bright and filled quiet streets with the smell of smoke as physicans cooperated with the regime in what was termed “mercy killings.” Communities remained silent but unsettled as the collective conscience was sang a lullaby with the lyrics “They're better off this way and so are we.”

Ultimately, clergy and ordinary folk raised enough of a moral outcry that the official “Operation T4” was stopped. However, it was merely the name that ceased. The executions continued under different orders, and the moral outcry was dulled.

Yes, it all sounds rather familiar and current.

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