KZ Moringen

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The Mustang Ranch

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Samar Hassan

Luke O’Neil:

I don’t know if any of the smooth-brained dullards in the media eulogizing John McCain—whose own theater of bravery lest we forget led to at least a million and a half deaths including an estimated 600,000 civilians—remember much from the Bush era or just how ravenously horny for invading Iraq or any other country he thought had it coming McCain was at the time. Distance does have a way of sanding off the edges. But here’s something that came from Bush and McCain’s war I’d like more people to hear. It’s one of the last things Samar says in the documentary about the men—Bush and McCain’s men, our men—who killed her family for nothing.

What would she say to them if they were to tell her they were sorry?

“I will never forgive them. I will just leave it to God. God will punish them,” she says, her voice rising in anger.

“If they were in front of me, I would want to drink their blood,” she says.

“Even then I wouldn’t be satisfied.”

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Nuremberg Trials Memorial

Next to this display there was a movie running with Benjamin B. Ferencz addressing Swiss law students on the history of the ICC. Ferencz is a very personable, compelling speaker. I found it quite upsetting to be at this place and be the citizen of a country which refuses visas to ICC judges.

Ferencz mentioned in his lecture that he thought the mass rapes in the Balkans were instrumental in prompting the establishment of the ICC. I was reading Rebecca West’s book on Yugoslavia when I visited last year. I found it strange to see Kästner here. I stood and looked at him for a while.

It’s difficult to see Cronkite and not think of Vietnam. One wonders what memories surfaced for him when night after night he announced body counts and protective reaction strikes.

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Den Opfern der Kriege
1914 bis 1918 + 1939 bis 1945
und der Gewaltherrschaft
1933 bis 1945

These inscriptions strike me sometimes as perverse. What I’ve been noticing in addition, and more interestingly, is that the dates 1933 and 1945 which were so blindingly obvious and made so much sense the majority of my life have in the last couple years diminished in significance.

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Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände

Buses unload and tourists of various nationalities head in. Americans are loud as always and everywhere. The museum is carefully constructed with angles askew, giving the impression perhaps of visiting a ruin. It is an artful ruin, however. The advertising appears of a style which might as easily be used for any popular attraction, and listening to tourists one has the uneasy feeling that in a way that’s what this is: another popular attraction.

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Zeppelin Field

1994 was when the last Russian troops left Germany.

There is a dog show this morning. From the tribune where Nazi officials viewed Leni Riefenstal-filmed troop formations I can clearly hear down on the field an announcer calling the line-up of contestants. There is a constant barking of dogs, whistles of officials.

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Justizvollzugsanstalt Nürnberg

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Stephanstraße 40, Nürnberg

This is where Elisabeth von Dyck was killed.

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