Whatever you think you know about the #Holocaust you do not know it all. And neither do I. It is too enormous to be known, it is too enormous to be understood. Thread. /1
Before the camps, there were bullets. Up to a million and a half Jews were killed by human beings looking at them and pulling the trigger. /2
They were made to dig pits: their own graves, sometimes the Jews of an entire village were killed by a single person. Often the blood kept bubbling up from the ground, and the non-Jewish villagers were made to bring chlorine and sand to resolve it. /3
Sometimes they threw grenades into the pits to kill the people that the bullets missed, and the villagers were made to come and remove bodies from the trees. /4
So all over old Soviet territory, are dead Jews who have never had the dignity of burial, and their bones are still being discovered because in some places there are so many they stick out of the ground. /5
Did you know that in the Potylicz district, Ukraine, there is a well maintained German war cemetery, where the bodies of Germans killed in the Ukraine are buried? /6
They are collected from all over, their names matched up to their medallion numbers, and individually buried in cardboard coffins. A wall of names was planned (I do not know if it was built), to be arranged by company: #Wehrmacht, #Waffen-SS, #SS. /7
The road to the cemetery was made with sand from the Jewish cemetery of Rawa-Ruska, and the locals consider it unlucky. Thousands of Jews whose last place is unknown; a dignified burial for their persecutors. /8
And what of justice? Only a small percentage of those complicit in the Nazi machine of genocide were brought to court, let alone convicted and sentenced appropriately. /9
Just Auschwitz employed up to 8000 people, only of which 50 came to court. In particular, West Germany post-war used ordinary criminal definitions to try perpetrators, so someone putting 300,000 Jews in gas chambers would not be convicted of murder. /10
And also in post-war Germany, whole professional groups were almost completely excluded from even being considered for trial - the judiciary, the lawyers, people in civil service. They were "simply carrying out the law of the land". /11
Many continued to work in these professions. How could a judge who passed death sentences in the Third Reich, be trusted to judge a case of a #Nazi war criminal? /12
I sometimes get the sense that people think the #Holocaust is ancient history. This happened to our grandparents. For some of us, our parents. There is still trauma. /13
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