We Remember Them – NEVER AGAIN

This post is going to be heavy – if you are a holocaust denier, I suggest you go elsewhere. I will be focusing mostly on WWII in this post.

I was spurned to write this post as I felt many people are so far removed for the Great War that the memories have faded and seem abstract. I grew up listening to the veterans – never again. Never again. Almost all veterans of WWII have died. The children of the new generations don’t know what it’s like to listen to the old ones and hear their tales of death. We MUST remember.

It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” ― Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

There have been two world wars. There have been many civil wars, skirmishes, political wars, cold wars. Humans have an innate ability to follow the mob – a charismatic leader takes control, tells the mob it is us versus them. The mob rules and chaos erupts.

Out of the ruins of WWII over six million Jews, homosexuals, Roma, disabled, and anyone who didn’t fit the Nazi Arian mold died in various concentration camps, ghettos, war camps. THIS is truth.

Auschwitz-Birkenau is the most infamous of the concentration camps. Below is a link to the museum and Twitter feed – the twitter feed highlights those murdered in the camp every day.

Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum

Auschwitz Memorial

Auschwitz was not the only camp. Nazi Camps in the Holocaust Encyclopedia has a breakdown of the different types of camps from their inception in 1933 (yes, BEFORE the war started officially). Below are selected quotes from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum page on the camps.

“From its rise to power in 1933, the Nazi regime built a series of incarceration sites to imprison and eliminate real and perceived “enemies of the state.” Most prisoners in the early concentration camps were political prisoners—German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats—as well as Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesseshomosexuals, and persons accused of “asocial” or socially deviant behavior. “

Re-read that – the Nazis were arresting and murdering anyone who was different.

There were even different types of camps to serve the Nazi war machine.

“Many people refer to all of the Nazi incarceration sites during the Holocaust as concentration camps. The term concentration camp is used very loosely to describe places of incarceration and murder under the Nazi regime, however, not all sites established by the Nazis were concentration camps. Nazi-established sites include:

Concentration camps: For the detention of civilians seen as real or perceived “enemies of the Reich.”

Forced-labor camps: In forced-labor camps, the Nazi regime brutally exploited the labor of prisoners for economic gain and to meet labor shortages. Prisoners lacked proper equipment, clothing, nourishment, or rest.

Transit camps: Transit camps functioned as temporary holding facilities for Jews awaiting deportation. These camps were usually the last stop before deportations to a killing center.

Prisoner-of-war camps: For Allied prisoners of war, including Poles and Soviet soldiers.

Killing centers: Established primarily or exclusively for the assembly-line style murder of large numbers of people immediately upon arrival to the site. There were 5 killing centers for the murder primarily of Jews. The term is also used to describe “euthanasia” sites for the murder of disabled patients.”

There were millions of deaths, but not just Jews. The Nazis kept impeccable documents listing all the murdered.

GroupNumber of Deaths
Jews6 million
Soviet civiliansaround 7 million (including 1.3 Soviet Jewish civilians, who are included in the 6 million figure for Jews)
Soviet prisoners of wararound 3 million (including about 50,000 Jewish soldiers)
Non-Jewish Polish civiliansaround 1.8 million (including between 50,000 and 100,000 members of the Polish elites)
Serb civilians (on the territory of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina)312,000
People with disabilities living in institutionsup to 250,000
Roma (Gypsies)up to 250,000
Jehovah’s Witnessesaround 1,900
Repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocialsat least 70,000
German political opponents and resistance activists in Axis-occupied territoryundetermined
Homosexualshundreds, possibly thousands (possibly also counted in part under the 70,000 repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials noted above)
Table from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

By Martin Niemöller

Here is a list of the Nazi camps – I’ve left the hyperlinks to their adjoining Wikipedia pages. Almost every camp had subcamps.

Arbeitsdorf concentration camp

Auschwitz concentration camp

List of subcamps of Auschwitz

Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

List of subcamps of Bergen-Belsen

Buchenwald concentration camp

List of subcamps of Buchenwald

Dachau concentration camp

List of subcamps of Dachau

Flossenbürg concentration camp

List of subcamps of Flossenbürg

Gross-Rosen concentration camp

List of subcamps of Gross-Rosen

Herzogenbusch concentration camp

List of subcamps of Herzogenbusch

Hinzert concentration camp

List of subcamps of Hinzert

Kaiserwald concentration camp

List of subcamps of Kaiserwald

Kauen concentration camp

List of subcamps of Kauen

Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp

List of subcamps of Kraków-Płaszów

Majdanek concentration camp

List of subcamps of Majdanek

Mauthausen concentration camp

List of subcamps of Mauthausen

Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp

List of subcamps of Mittelbau

Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp

List of subcamps of Natzweiler-Struthof

Neuengamme concentration camp

List of subcamps of Neuengamme

Niederhagen concentration camp

Ravensbrück concentration camp

List of subcamps of Ravensbrück

Sachsenhausen concentration camp

List of subcamps of Sachsenhausen

Stutthof concentration camp

Vaivara concentration camp

List of subcamps of Stutthof

List of subcamps of Vaivara

Warsaw concentration camp

The number of military and civilian casualties during the war varies. This is from the Wikipedia article on World War II CasualtiesWorld War II was the deadliest military conflict in history. An estimated total of 70–85 million people perished, or about 3% of the 1940 world population (est. 2.3 billion).[1] Deaths directly caused by the war (including military and civilians fatalities) are estimated at 50–56 million, with an additional estimated 19–28 million deaths from war-related disease and famine. Civilian deaths totaled 50–55 million. Military deaths from all causes totaled 21–25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war. More than half of the total number of casualties are accounted for by the dead of the Republic of China and of the Soviet Union. The tables below give a detailed country-by-country count of human losses. Statistics on the number of military wounded are included whenever available.” Note: there is a table on the Wikipedia pages showing casualties by country as well.

There were many everyday people who took up the cause of resistance and became more than the sum of their parts. They spat in the face of fascism. They did not remain silent and placated. They screamed their resistance to the atrocities that were being done. They were true heroes. They fought for a better world, a world where ALL people are free to live as they choose.

Here is a list of some of the Heroes of the Second World War (Biography online).

by Gerald DeMerchant – Article about Gerald
s poem on CBC – ‘Zombies’ of WWII: Poem reveals how volunteer soldier felt about the conscripted

It would take me a lifetime to write everything I could about wars. It would take a lifetime for me to write how much it hurts to see the rise of so much racism and fascism in this world now. People have forgotten. People have forgotten why so many died.

I will never forget.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

Gods of War

“There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.” ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

“Ours was a generation grown up to find all gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken” –” ― F.Scott Fitzgerald

I would like to believe that someday, some time in the future, peace is possible. I like to believe it, no matter impossible it seems.

We are a strange creature – humans, that is. We are willing to kill and be killed all in the name of a god that many seen to worship, just in different fashions. We are willing to annihilate the planet we live on all in the name of Greed, Lust, Desire. Some of us are willing to die for our Love, our Hope, hearts entwined.

What strange creature are we, humans, that relish in the aftermath of slaughter of innocence, yet wail when the slaughtered are our own.

Once upon a time, wars were fought face to face, person to person. Arms to arms. Once upon a time. Poppies bloomed in fields of blood, men kept marching on.

“Never again.” Words heard over and over. Unheeded, unheard. Never again.

The Gods of War drum out their commands, whispers in the ears of the powerful, and grown into a crescendo of us versus them.

Battle on, humans, battle on. The pawns must obey the players, the players must obey their Gods.

Def Leppard – Gods of War

Thin Red Line

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” ― Voltaire

I’ve been listening to a lot of 80’s music lately. The 80’s were happening during my formative years and I have a special place in my spirit for the music of that time.

Some of that music was silly. Some of it was dreary. Some of it had messages that should have reached more people.

I feel this song is one of the latter examples.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, the song is about the battle of Balaclava, in 1854, during the Crimean War.

Here are the lyrics –
The hands of time have spoken for the chosen ones
Cold steel glistens in the dawning sun
Destiny and claidemaugh that embraces me
All here to sacrifice for victory
Hidden in the shadows where the cold wind comes
A mist queen dances for her fallen sons
Over and over
Her shadow falls over me
Remember no retreat, for here you die where you stand
It’s chance that brings the Rory’s to this foreign land
The crimson and the claidemaugh make you strangers to fear
A thin red streak tipped with a line of steel
Shadows fall over me
All for the thin red line
All for the thin red line
Now the battles over, Kedikoi can cry
For all the gallant hillmen she’s seen fought and die
Red is for the heroes green is for the brave
Soldiers would you leave me with no souls to save
Shadows fall over me
All for the thin red line
All for the thin red line
All for the thin red line
Oh oh oh oh oh
(Songwriters: Al Connelly / Alan Graham Frew / Sam Reid)
That thin red line may have changed and altered over the years, but it’s still there…
I wonder, sometimes, if that line will ever disappear…

Glass Tiger – Thin Red Line

One Tin Soldier

One tin soldier
Listen people to a story
That was written long ago,
’bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley folks below.
On the mountain was a treasure
Hidden deep beneath a stone,
And the valley people swore
They’d have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any trumpets blowing,
Come the judgment day,
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure
Tons of gold for which they’d kill.
Came the answer from the kingdom,
With our brothers we will share,
All the riches of the mountain,
All the treasure buried there.

Now the valley cried with anger,
Mount your horses, draw your swords
And they killed the mountain people,
So they won their just rewards
Now they stood before the treasure
On the mountain dark and red
Turned the stone and looked beneath it
Peace on earth, was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat and friend,
Do it in the name of heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day,
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away.

Written by Brian Potter, Dennis Earle Lambert • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

Original Cast – One Tin Soldier


“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

I have no words.

Our world seems so upside down.

Let love and peace reign over hate and war.

For us, for our children, and our children’s children – a world without war, a world without hate – that should be the goal of every single person on this little blue dot.

R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts