The Slaughter Continues
To the Editor:
This September 1st will mark 80 years since Hitler invaded Poland and started World War II. Three years later, he launched the Holocaust that murdered six million European Jews.
A key question facing historians is how could an enlightened society that produced our civilization’s greatest philosophers, poets, painters, and composers also produce its most notorious mass murderers, along with millions of ordinary upstanding citizens who just went along. Was the Holocaust a peculiarly German phenomenon, or are other enlightened societies capable? How about our own American society?
Jewish Nobel laureate, Isaac Bashevis Singer, gave a clear answer when he wrote: “To the animals, all people are Nazis.” Singer’s message is that we are all capable of oppressing the more vulnerable sentient beings in our midst, frequently without even thinking about it.