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Death Camp jollies

#1
In the Shadow of Horror, SS Guardians Frolic

So now we know where Eva from Mannheim and Angela from Dortmund and Irmgard from Dresden ended up during the war years — jiving in pleated skirts to the strains of an accordion, or lounging on deck chairs in the shadow of the Auschwitz-Birkenau crematoriums.

How fresh-faced and playful the SS women look in the 116 photographs that, have found their way by a circuitous route to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is not easy to imagine these young ladies moving on from a picnic to administer death wholesale...
the pictures - check out 10,11,12

http://www.ushmm.org/research/collections/highlights/auschwitz/auschwitz_album/

The NYT article in full

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/24/opinion/24cohen.html?ref=opinion
 
#2
So, humans who commit unspeakably evil acts are still capable of love and other good things?

Not really a surprise is it?

Imagining evil as an abstract concept (the religious way) or trying to believe that people who do these sort of things are not really human at all, doesn't really help us in understanding why it happens, or trying to stop it happening again.
 
#3
I suppose, at the time, these people believed they were acting in the norm. To them it was a job of work which they would have needed R&R just like everyone else.

And no, I am not condoning it at all.
 
#5
Dilfor said:
So, humans who commit unspeakably evil acts are still capable of love and other good things?

Not really a surprise is it?

Imagining evil as an abstract concept (the religious way) or trying to believe that people who do these sort of things are not really human at all, doesn't really help us in understanding why it happens, or trying to stop it happening again.
Quite. And some might care to wonder where and at what type of exhibition the likes of the Abu Ghraib pics./vids. might feature large in 60 years time. No doubt right alongside pics./vids. taken by USMC guys doing dumb and fairly innocent things.

All this sort of things proves yet again is that "ordinary" humans are capable of just about anything
 
#6
Dilfor said:
So, humans who commit unspeakably evil acts are still capable of love and other good things?

Not really a surprise is it?

Imagining evil as an abstract concept (the religious way) or trying to believe that people who do these sort of things are not really human at all, doesn't really help us in understanding why it happens, or trying to stop it happening again.
Imagining evil as an abstract concept is quite a primitive way of approaching the subject of evil, even from a religious perspective. That said, you are right. Part of the problem is that many of us imagine Hitler, Pol Pot et al to be monsters and cannot see them as they truly were - as ordinary human beings.
 
#8
Exactly, read Browning's Ordinary Men:Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland and you'll find that these were mostly just blokes who saw themselves as doing a job.
 
#9
Very true, which is probably the most frightening thing, the majority who did the final solution or the massacres even back to Belguim and say the Norfolks near Dunkirk, were ordinary men, who after they had committed their 'day job' in the most cases went out had a laugh, talked about sport women etc.

The fact that they could accept what they did or were doing so easily, is worrying,were they brainwashed or simple minded or true believers, also why some at the war crime trials seemed suprised at why they were being tried. They couldnt see what the problem was, they were doing a job.
 
#10
Surely it is in the interests of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, to portray them in this way, you know 'oh look at those beasts enjoying themselves while those poor Jews are dying' can't blame them for that I suppose. All businesse's like politicians have their own spin doctors.
It is in their own interests to keep this whole thing going, even though the war ended over sixty years ago, after all it puts the bread and butter on the table. :(
 
#11
Dilfor said:
So, humans who commit unspeakably evil acts are still capable of love and other good things?

Not really a surprise is it?

Imagining evil as an abstract concept (the religious way) or trying to believe that people who do these sort of things are not really human at all, doesn't really help us in understanding why it happens, or trying to stop it happening again.
My bold

I try to commit unspeakably evil acts whilst making love ;)
 
#12
scarletto said:
Very true, which is probably the most frightening thing, the majority who did the final solution or the massacres even back to Belguim and say the Norfolks near Dunkirk, were ordinary men, who after they had committed their 'day job' in the most cases went out had a laugh, talked about sport women etc.

The fact that they could accept what they did or were doing so easily, is worrying,were they brainwashed or simple minded or true believers, also why some at the war crime trials seemed suprised at why they were being tried. They couldnt see what the problem was, they were doing a job.
Don't take this the wrong way but exactly the same could be said of the Bomber crews on both sides. They must have known what the results of dropping the bombs would be but the reaction was as you have noted above.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things - are they evil or does it depend on where you are sitting when looking at the results?

Try to keep the flaming and insults and indignation down to a mild roar when responding.
 
#13
Steven said:
Don't take this the wrong way but exactly the same could be said of the Bomber crews on both sides.
It's a small point but I don't think many of the footsoldiers of the Holocaust had people shooting back at them. Which, I think, is a key difference between them and aircrew.

This isn't to turn around from what I've been saying above but just that I think it's a flawed comparison for us to make from the comfort of our computer screens for that one reason.
 
#15
As scarletto says, evil is very banal really and not such a 180 degree turn away from "goodness" or the "norm" as we might at first glance believe.

One thing I did note from looking through the pictures. I have only ever come across one other group so keen to emphasize their Ph.Ds and non-medical doctorates - New Labour!
 
#16
I bet the smiles left their faces when Albert Perrepoint turned up with his noose,according to his book he hanged quite a few really evil guards three at a time,including a female one.

Which in my opinion was much too fast,should have let them choke slowly :x
 

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