“We must be ruthless…Only thus shall we purge our people of their softness…and their degenerate delight in beer-swilling…I don’t want the concentration camps transformed into penitentiaries. Terror is the most effective political instrument…It is my duty to make use of every means of training the German people to cruelty, and to prepare them for war…There must be no weakness or tenderness.”..Adolf Hitler

It might seem a tasteless thing to do …and rest assured, it probably is, but then again , if you’ve read much of what I’ve written before, you’ll understand the way my mind operates and the mad tangents it can sweep off in .I was cooking a roast chicken dinner for my wife ,one of  my daughters and her husband . All the trimmings .. creamed mash, roast spuds , mashed turnip, buttered carrots, some sprouts  and even some garden peas …and of course , my secret gravy including  a nice glass of wine and some herbs and a dash of this and that…i almost forgot the homemade stuffing with more  chopped fresh sage and parsley… and lots of onion fried soft in more butter. It’s Sunday, you see and somehow it’s what to do on a  winter Sunday, especially when there’s a bit of company….Hungry?

Anyway, there I was putting the bird back into the oven after a quick check to see if all was well and adding a few roasties around it , when my mind flew to another kind of oven and  the documentary I ‘d watched the night before . I was thinking …chicken soup with the leftover meat and stock , for tomorrow….  and then I thought of the Jews  exterminated at Dachau …and the  specially -built  ovens. Jewish mothers are known for their chicken soup ..the cure -all for all  ills ….you see…..Unfortunately there would never be enough chicken soup to cure the Holocaust. The film aired ,uncensored for the first time ,was another harrowing look into the diseased minds of the Nazi regime within Germany during the Second World War.

They also aired , for the first time in thirty years, the first part of  the  nine -hour  “Shoah” which documents the Holocaust in detailed matter-of -fact  banality. The minutae of production- line slavery and slaughter of human beings in a quest to fulfil the Nazis “Final Solution”. Of course , this horror was actually some two thousand years in the making.It was arrived at  insidiously over  eons …a mixture of Christian hatred, jealousy, cultural fear and superstition. There was also the Jews’  own sense of “chosen otherness” ,isolation and abandonment by their god. A willingness to accept their “fate” .

It was, finally ,a behaviour cultivated in the everyday world  of human relationships. Hitler’s Nazi regime were simply the organisational  tools to bring it about. There was talk of German efficiency , but in fact , as in most things in life , the Final Solution was the culmination of of a series of little  human  mistakes that the regime made as they perfected their killing skills. The massive crematoria were a “needs must” solution to the disposal of so many thousands of suppurating, gaseous ,dead bodies . The stink was abominable .What to do? They had already tried burying them all but the scale of killing was such that the ground could not conceal it all.The ground was moving with the gas and decay. Concealment was the thing . They wanted no trace left behind. They had to dig them up again.They had tried smaller cremation units but had to finally accept that they needed a  crematorium on a massive industrial  scale. They had also  a compliant surrounding  population , already softened to accept the deaths of millions ,as almost a normal everyday experience.There was fear of course, but people will get used to anything. They can be trained to accept any iniquity. Trainloads of people arrived  noisily at the camps …. and then there was silence.Daily they arrived , thousands at a time ,in  crammed cattle cars on trains and  the locals sniffed the stinking air and thought little about it, seemingly.  People disappeared from their homes  to be lost forever..Days…weeks …months of this…The Jewish people had been reduced to the level of beasts for slaughter by a seemingly compliant population; scooped up like victims of an over- ambitious child- catcher from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.

Which brings me to the seething underlying hatreds in Norneverland that are cultivated daily in a thousand tiny  little ways. Death on a daily basis  is  something we all know that we can get used to. We got used to it and accepted it as part of a daily routine, just as we accepted body- searches while shopping ,or checkpoints on the road while driving to work. We all accepted that as normal , for some thirty years.We accept huge” peace walls” that only ghettoise communities and we accept our children being educated in separated  schools to further encourage them to think that there is an inherent  difference in them.We know where that kind of thinking leads .Schools could do worse than include “Shoah” as part of their curriculum. The uncensored truth might teach them more than any sociology lesson.

Dachau blues those poor jews

Dachau blues those poor jews

Down in Dachau blues, down in Dachau blues

Still cryin’ ’bout the burnin’ back in world war two’s

One mad man six million lose

Down in Dachau blues down in Dachau blues

Dachau blues, Dachau blues those poor jews

The world can’t forget that misery

‘N the young ones now beggin’ the old ones please

T’stop bein’ madmen

‘Fore they have t’ tell their children

‘Bout the burnin’ back in World War Three’s

War One was balls ‘n powder ‘n blood ‘n snow

War Two rained death ‘n showers ‘n skeletons

Danced ‘n screamin’ ‘n dyin’ in the ovens

Cough ‘n smoke ‘n dyin’ by the dozens

Down in Dachau blues

Down in Dachau blues

Three little children with doves on their shoulders

Their eyes rolled back in ecstasy cryin’

Please old man stop this misery

They’re countin’ out the devil

With two fingers on their hands

Beggin’ the Lord don’t let the third one land

On World War Three

On World War Three

Lyrics courtesy of the wondrous  , but sadly deceased ,Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band (AKA the artist, musician and performer ,Don Van Vliet)


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