First ‘death camp’ killings exposed

The most monstrous leader of modern times was, of course, Adolf Hitler. And, June 1, 1942, word leaked of the first implementation of a means to begin Germany’s Final Solution — the slaughter of European Jews.

An underground newspaper in Warsaw called the Liberty Brigade published the story of an escapee named Emanuel Ringelblum from a Nazi prison camp in Chelmno, Poland. The Germans had devised a means to channel gas fumes into vans transporting Jews in Chelmno. The unsuspecting prisoners believed they were in transit when, in fact, the vans were the first crude means of mass executions.

Ringelblum was forced to bury the victims of van gassings.

History.com reports that the Germans became so expert at using these vans that by January 1942 they were killing up to 1,000 Jews per day in Chelmno using this method.

Soon, the vans were being used in other parts of Poland, too. Again, History.com reports it is estimated that these deadly trucks were responsible for the deaths of over 360,000 people in Poland.

It is important to remember that Nazi Germany is not a relic of the distant past. The death camps existed 75 years ago.

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is a reminder that monsters still roam the Earth. He has gassed parts of his own civilian population on several occasions.

There are neo-Nazis who admire Hitler throughout Europe and even in our own country.

We must always be on our guard to resist authoritarianism in any form. Unchecked power is a slippery slope to slavery and murder.

(Source: History.com)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.


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