Thursday, January 22, 2009

Natzweiler

From Hitler's Death Camps: the sanity of madness, by Konnilyn Feig:

Today the hotel has recovered its prewar fame. Its dining room is in demand for fancy wedding parties by the elite of Strasbourg and surrounding towns. A visitor sees wedding parties drive up to the hotel and park in front of the gas chamber. The wedding guests walk into the hotel dining rooms, sparing not a glance for the gas chamber, clearly marked only a few feet away. And they dine and celebrate a new marriage - so very close, so very, very close to that spot where many human beings lost their lives. Hotel guests during the war had perhaps a more unnerving experience, because the men and women to be gassed stood nude outside that plain building across from the restaurant, in full view of the luncheon patrons and the visiting professors. The victims' screams in the gas chamber were easily heard in the hotel and provided the background noise for the diners and sleepers.

Once again we come fact to face with the great question: how were so many so easily inured to the sufferings of others? And well we might ask it of ourselves.
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