Re: Late Night Notes


Gawd, #3 is just amazing. Especially the first picture and the deck chairs picture. I feel as if I must have known that was how it went, but seeing it, Jeebus.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04- 2-08 10:38 PM
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Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 2-08 10:40 PM
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There was a long article by Alec Wilkinson about the Auschwitz album in the March 17 issue of the New Yorker. The article does not seem to be online, but the website has a slide show of some of the same images.

Posted by: ixnaythemetier | Link to this comment | 04- 2-08 10:43 PM
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It's a well worn cliche to talk of the elegant and cultured camp commandant listening to Beethoven while Jews and other undesireables are being gassed, but those pictures just drive home the reality of it.

Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04- 2-08 11:56 PM
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If you knew my family, you'd know why they're yucking it up.

Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 12:18 AM
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Too soon?

Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 12:18 AM
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"They're," of course, refers to the guards.

Now too soon?

Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 12:19 AM
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I get the connection between 1 and 3.

I'm still pondering the connection between my separate discomforts at viewing 2 and 3.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 4:44 AM
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You've all read Primo Levi, right? The story "Vanadium" in The Periodic Table is on point...

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 6:30 AM
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Here's a NYT article about the discovery of the photos, which is unfortunately not as thorough as the New Yorker story ixnaythemetier mentioned. That article goes into greater detail about the fate of Karl Hoecker, the Nazi who created the photo album: His defense depended on the notion that he had never personally participated in the ramp selection of victims at Birkenau and that he never personally executed anyone. After spending seven years in prison for war crimes, Hoecker was released and returned to his former job and life. Among the photos revealed by the 2006 gift of the album was one that almost certainly shows Hoecker standing on the selection camp as Jews arrive to the camp.

Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 7:11 AM
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I wish I had my copy of The Wages of Destruction in front of me -- great book on the Nazi economy.

Auschwitz apparently got its start b/c IG Farben thought it was a great place for a synthetic-rubber plant -- rail access & all that.

Given the shortage of German workers, it became natural to create camps for Russian POW's and other undesirables, who were to be more or less worked to death ("more or less" depending on the tension b/t keeping a trained workforce and eradicating the subhumans). Then of course the need arose for death camps for Jews, and they added on a section, Birkenau II if I recall, for that purpose -- really a small section of the complex.

THE KICKER: The Russians carried off a good bit of industrial plant from Auschwitz, and the Poles took over what's left. The rubber plant is still there today and still produces a goodly amount of synthetic rubber. Creeeeeepy.

-- What's all this got to do w/ the post. Nothin'. Sue me.

Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 8:13 AM
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The Auschwitz pictures are amazing. They really show the genocidal society, how no one thought they were doing anything evil. It's like the vicious, hateful KKK guy, who goes home and dotes on his kids, hugs his wife, is treats his pets good, etc. The most normal, seemingly ordinatry people can be awful.

Posted by: stroll | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 8:42 AM
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Hmmm, there's got to be a catchphrase in there somewhere.

The quotidianness of maleveolence?

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 9:45 AM
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The banality of the banalities of the banal evil?

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 9:47 AM
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The evilness of the evils of the evil banal.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 10:01 AM
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A novelist would tie the images linked in #3 to the rumors of Nazi pornographic home movies, add an unsuspecting young American of Jewish heritage on his or her post-grad European tour, a melancholy but surprisingly defensive German contemporary, and get going, The Night Porter-style. Five hundred pages later and you've got yourself a flattering jacket photograph and the front page of the Times Book Review.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 3-08 2:10 PM
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