Playing With Fire in an Age of Absurdity » CounterPunch

An ‘Unknown Holocaust’ and the Hijacking of History

rudolfsgnadAltogether, the expulsion operation permanently displaced at least 12 million people, and perhaps as many as 14 million. Most of these were women and children under the age of sixteen; the smallest cohort of those affected were adult males. These expulsions were accomplished with and accompanied by great violence. Tens and possibly hundreds of thousands lost their lives through ill-treatment, starvation, and disease while detained in camps before their departure—often, like Auschwitz I, the same concentration camps used by the Germans during the Second World War.

Many more perished on expulsion trains, locked in freight wagons without food, water, or heating during journeys to Germany that sometimes took weeks; or died by the roadside while being driven on foot to the borders. The death rate continued to mount in Germany itself, as homeless expellees succumbed to hypothermia, malnutrition, and other effects of their ordeal. Calculating the scale of the mortality remains a source of great controversy today, but estimates of 500,000 deaths at the lower end of the spectrum, and as many as 1.5 million at the higher, are consistent with the evidence as it exists at present.

SudetenThey took place without any attempt at concealment, under the eyes of tens of thousands of journalists, diplomats, relief workers, and other observers with access to modern communications, in the middle of the world’s most crowded continent. Yet they aroused little attention at the time.

Today, outside Germany, they are almost completely unknown. In most English-language histories of the period they are at best a footnote, and usually not even that.

==Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War (R. M. Douglas)

0,,16892847_401,00The US and our “allies” following World War Two allowed, if not directly engaged in, the murder of up to 1..5 million innocent Germans starved and denied medical attention, water and basic necessities. In many cases using the same or similar cattle cars the German’s had used during the execution of the “Final Solution.” And we think we are clean, pure and respectful of higher laws than the animals we fought-We are the same, it is just that our myths have been allowed to be sustained for far longer than most nations, the direct result of our unique geographic position on the globe and the socioeconomic power America efficiently utilized under a capitalist system and from the immense resources of this vast nation.  We are an empire and we have lost any semblance of the nation we once were or the nation we could have become. But then we are humans of the same genetic makeup of every tyranny and empire of all the ages past.

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Playing With Fire in an Age of Absurdity » CounterPunch

Will future historians call the time when the United States was the world’s hegemonic power – the “indispensable nation,” as the hapless Madeleine Albright called it — the Age of Absurdity? Now that the Obama administration has set its stamp upon it, they very well might.

Absurdity is in the details; it is manifest in small things and on many levels.   And it is manifest in the largest political issue of our time and any time: the question of war and peace.

obama-general-patton-warmonger-afghanistan-war-commander-chiefThe perpetual war regime Obama and his advisors have solidified – on the shoddiest of pretexts, but with the unbridled assistance of a compliant media and with full “bipartisan” support – is a potentially catastrophic case in point.

In this and other respects, Obama will be remembered not so much as an innovator but as a continuator of Bush-Cheney era policies. But, as thinkers of a dialectical cast used to remind us, sometimes quality emerges out of quantity.

And so it is that with more than a few – no one knows exactly how many — under-the-radar wars around the world to its (dis)credit, the absurdity level has been ratcheted up several notches under Obama’s tenure.

Along with a rise in religious zealotry, a phenomenon not unrelated to all those wars, this is why it has become harder than ever to make sense of what is going on in the world today. Things happen, apparently for no rhyme or reason. Incoherence reigns.

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