Ever since I was 13 or 14, I have played the guitar. Over the years, I have bought hundreds of songbooks. In one of those books, they put words to Beethoven’s 9th symphony or more precisely, the bit commonly known as Ode to Joy. In the book, they renamed it, Hate is Mankind’s Worst Disease.
The first few lines are as follows:
What’s the use of killing and fighting?
What’s the use of any war?
Oh, did history still did not show us,
nothing is worth dying for.
As the title suggests, the song deals with war and the hate it creates, or rather war created by hate. I could give examples of so many wars, but I am focusing on the war, which had an unprecedented level of hate, and the period before it, World War II.
Below are some examples of the hate that triggered the Holocaust, and pictures of the Holocaust itself.
Nazi Propaganda Used in Education
A Jewish woman concealing her face sits on a park bench marked “Only for Jews.” 1938, Austria
In the early 1930s, Jewish hatred had spread to countries outside of Germany
Newspaper clipping with a pre-war caricature from the Dutch Press, but taken from the French satirical newspaper “Le Canard Enchaîné” The caption translates to, “The Berlin Chief Rabbi speaks in full independence and freedom on the radio” The article issued in 1933 or 1934 indicates that the world knew the fate of the German Jews several years before the war.
12 April 1945—Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, and George Patton were given a tour of the Ohrdruf concentration camp. Here they visit a burial pit containing the charred remains of prisoners burned to death at Ohrdruf.
April 12, 1945 – Dwight D. Eisenhower views the charred bodies of prisoners at Ohrdruf.
23 April 1945—Tattoo that was part of a man’s body. It was removed by Nazi SS men and then used as a decoration on the wall of their quarters at Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
The bodies of former prisoners piled outside the crematorium at the newly liberated Dachau concentration camp. Dachau, Germany, April-May 1945. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Marcy Haupsman
A survivor stokes smouldering human remains in a still lit crematorium oven. Dachau, Germany, 29 April—1 May 1945.
—US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Merle Spiegel
Corpses lie in one of the open railcars of the Dachau death train. The Dachau death train consisted of nearly forty cars containing the bodies of between two and three thousand prisoners transported to Dachau in the last days of the war.
What is of great concern and worry to me is that this hate has not gone away. It was dormant for a short time, but that monster called hate is waking up again. We can still stop it, as it’s not too late yet.
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