Thursday, January 27, 2005

Remembering Auschwitz

Sixty years ago today, one of the greatest tragedies in the history of humanity came to a close. On Jan. 27, 1945 Soviet Troops liberated the Auschwitz and the neighbouring Brezinka camp. A million and a half people had perished at the two camps.

Auschwitz survivors from around the world returned to Poland to commemorate the occasion. Political dignitaries from around the world were in attendance, most notably Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland and Moshe Katsav of Israel. German President Horst Koehler was also in attendance, but was silent throughout the ceremony in recognition of his nation's role in the disaster.

Canada was represented by Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson.

Ealier in the day, US VP Dick Cheney commented that the tragedy hadn't happened in some far off place, but rather "in the heart of the civilized world."

Are the Americans the ones who really want to be reminding the world of the fact that so-called 'civilized' nations are capable of evil too? The country which is about to name an Attorney-General who believes in torture and thinks the Geneva Conventions are 'quaint'? A country which went to war and killed 100,000 innocent Iraqis without thought? A country which has repeatedly tried to overthrow the government of Venezuela? A country which sexually abused prisoners at Gitmo?

Thanks Dick, I hadn't realized that civilized countries could go bad.

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