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CARACAS, Friday February 01, 2013 | Update
 
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OPINION

The Holocaust

FERNANDO FERNANDEZ |  EL UNIVERSAL
Friday February 01, 2013  01:28 PM
"Never again," Theodor Adorno exclaimed. This ought to be the watchword to prevent the horror of the Holocaust from happening again. Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the largest complex of concentration, labor and extermination camps devised by Hitler to run the "final solution," that is, to wipe out about 11 million Jews in Europe. They got rid of six million by means of terror and death in the most substantial industrial use of state resources, private companies, the armed forces, militias and an indifferent, ignorant and incredulous world.

January 27 marked the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, as agreed by the United Nations. The intention is to spread the lessons of the tragedy and prevent forgetfulness, especially driven by those who deny what happened by reason of the greatest, widespread display of intolerance, contempt and hatred in history: anti-Semitism, only comparable to the class struggle fueled by communism.

Paradoxically, the Red Army did liberate Auschwitz on January 27, 1945. Churchill, in knowing the German action, contended that the Nazis were committing a crime "without a name." Rafael Lemkim invented one, for that matter: genocide (The Greek term "gen" means clan, lineage, tribe, race; the Latin term "cidere" means to kill). In 1948, the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was endorsed. Notwithstanding, the Soviet Union vetoed the inclusion of politically motivated killings.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court borrowed the text of the convention and added crimes against humanity, war and aggression. Venezuela ratified both treaties, but has not implemented them.

fernando.fernandez @ bakermckenzie.com


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