A critical lesson of the Holocaust is that all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing, to paraphrase Simon Wiesenthal.
Yes, for many “good” people, all it takes is silence, looking the other way, ignoring the atrocities committed before their eyes.
But for most people, a larger number than many of us are prepared to admit, it takes active participation – even in the smallest of ways – each step of the way in the drawn-out process.
It could be stopped early on when the specter of death is far off – but it takes every single person to drive it forward. Most good people do nothing, and the masses are accomplices.
The death camps in the Holocaust were not built overnight. The mass shootings did not happen on the first day Hitler took emergency powers. Through the 1930s, there was a build-up, a gradual and systematic progression of propaganda, alienation, discrimination, and dehumanization.
And what was the participants’ number one excuse?
“I was just following orders.”
So they were just following orders when they alienated and dehumanized Jews.
They were just following orders when they banned Jews from public life – movies, cafes, theaters, work, school.
They were just following orders when they pushed Jews into ghettos to keep their “diseases” away from society.
They were just following orders when they prepared food for the SS.
They were just following orders when they betrayed their longtime neighbors and friends.
They were just following orders when they dug holes for Jews to be dumped in.
They were just following orders when they shot and killed babies, women, men, the elderly.
They were just following orders when they hunted Jews for money – or nothing at all.
They were just following orders when they took over their Jewish neighbors’ houses.
They were just following orders when they allowed trucks and trains to take Jews away.
They were just following orders when they ignored the plumes of smoke and the stench of bodies wafting into their neighborhoods.
They were just following orders when they provided supplies for the death camps.
They were just following orders when they loaded gas canisters into the gas chambers.
They were just following orders when they pulled the trigger.
Were they just following orders when the Nazis were defeated and they killed Jews trying to reclaim their properties?
The truth is, most people were okay with participating in it. They were not just following orders; they were enabling the killing machine to do its killing. They were part of the killing machine. They were killers.
Many people remember the camps – but those who ran the camps can easily be dismissed as an elite group of killers. Those weren’t the average folk. Average folk wouldn’t do such a thing.
No. Not right.
Around 2 million Jews – 1/3 of the 6 million Jews who were murdered – were lined up and shot in the years preceding the death camps. There were many, many people – non-Jewish neighbors, acquaintances, friends – who enabled and participated in it.
We talk about the camps. We talk about the gas chambers. But why do we not talk about the mass shootings? Why do we not recount the mass graves all over Europe?
To focus on such a thing, to think about the bodies upon bodies strewn across Europe, on the edge of towns, easily accessible by the masses, forces us to face an uncomfortable reality: that the majority of people willingly go along with and participate in evil and carnage. People are bloodthirsty and, when presented with the right circumstances, will pursue their bloodlust.
Humans, when in a state of denial and avoidance, search for a scapegoat. In the Holocaust, the scapegoat was the Jew – and the masses willingly directing their bloodlust to all Jews.
Today, it is the “unvaccinated” – and the word itself is bogus. The masses are willingly directing their bloodlust onto those who haven’t taken a therapeutic (sorry, even if Merriam-Webster changed the definition, it’s still not a vaccine).
It didn’t start with death camps. It ended with death camps.
First, people had to be fed a long and steady diet of propaganda.
“In the COVID fight, it’s us against the unvaxxed.” USA Today
“Unvaccinated people don’t only risk their own health: Their bodies become ‘variant factories’.” Yahoo! News
“Unvaxxed Criticized For Creating Domino Effect Of Illness, Death.” KHN
False propaganda has been spread far and wide to make everyone believe that the “unvaccinated” are spreading illness. It took time to build up the propaganda and the brainwashing before pushing for mandates.
The “unvaccinated” are bashed and ridiculed relentlessly in the media. They have been gradually alienated from society and pushed out of public life. They are discriminated against; fired from their jobs, prohibited from entering gyms, movie theaters, restaurants, concerts, synagogues, and churches.
Sure, the participants have their convenient excuse, the excuse that rings in the ears of many Jews from the days of the Holocaust. It’s what you hear today from employers, flight attendants, and waiters. It’s what the millions of individuals tell you over and over again as they push you out of restaurants, gyms, your job.
“I’m just following orders.”
No, there are no death camps yet. But the trajectory is clear for anyone who’s paying attention. Propaganda. Alienation. Discrimination. Dehumanization.
They’re already building up the camps. They’re already conditioning people to be comfortable with “quarantine” camps and the idea of “disease-spreaders” being segregated from society, locked away in barracks and cages without due process or trial. They’re already implementing “lockdowns” of the “unvaccinated.” And people are cheering for it.
It may seem tame now – but it’s getting worse. In some countries, such as Austria, Australia, and Germany, they’ve already begun to roll out the mandatory vaccination programs. Noncompliance will be met with fines and ultimately, prison.
Just read the CDC’s thoughts on the shielding approach. Or New York state’s Assembly Bill A416.
Imagine if each one of us had enough integrity and moral courage to say no to the burgeoning evil in our midst.
The Holocaust would not have happened had the masses said no, but the masses said yes.
How many people does it take to create a Holocaust?
It takes every single one of us.
Feature image: Howard Springs COVID quarantine camp in Australia.