Speech by Kazimierz Piechowski at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp’s “Death Wall” during the celebration of the National Day of Remembrance of the victims of German Concentration Camps (this name of the Memorial Day was reclaimed by the Christian Association of Auschwitz Families as it originally sounded, before the guards of political correctness from the Sejm turned the word “German” into the term “Nazi”).
1940 on June 14th, the Germans deported the first transport of 728 Polish Political prisoners to KL Auschwitz, from the prison in Tarnów and this day, by the efforts of the Christian Association of the Auschwitz Family of the Polish Sejm, was recognized as the National Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the German Concentration Camps.
How to present KL Auschwitz today?
Today, while the possibility of meeting a living witness of those times, a former prisoner who survived the extermination, is disappearing, let us begin with the question: what was Auschwitz-Birkenau?
The concept of Auschwitz – will always be associated with the concept of Germany. These two concepts are a unity, and they can only as such be understood. The German concentration camp can not be seen from the perspective of the year I940, when it was created.
The idea of the extermination camp was created by the Germans far earlier. The German “Drang nach Osten” was not born in Hitler’s head. In 1884, Nietzsche, a German philosopher, wrote down. That in the future it will all be about
“… it is crucial to obtain this enormous energy of greatness, by breeding and – on the other hand – on by annihilation of millions of failed people, to shape a future man”.
Hitler and his followers had an excellent philosophical foundation for their ideas. Shaping the future man through the destruction of millions of failed people has become real.
The Auschwitz camp soon became the largest extermination camp in all of Europe.
For prisoners, this camp was the epitome of omnipresent death. The life of the prisoner was less worth than a clod of earth. By the end of 194l, killing was the main goal of the camp. More and bigger transports were coming. And we prisoners, we could not keep up with building more and more blocks and barracks. So killing was the solution to this problem. No one can understand KL Auschwitz-Birkenau. Even we, former prisoners of this monstrous camp, do not understand it completely. Every prisoner of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau had a different way of experiencing this ghastly camp. That – otherwise – meant one drop in the sea of crime.
Many books were written by former Auschwitz prisoners. Each book is one more different droplet again. It is hope, faith and doubt. These are millions of human experiences. From the sweat and blood of the prisoners, there was a camp with the possibility of placing 200,000 prisoners in it. Over 240 blocks and barracks – 38 sub-camps. At that time, the crematoria of Auschwitz-Birkenau daily burned about 5,000 corpses. Sometimes even more. Much more. The crematoria could not keep up. The combustible stacks were invented then. Smoke from the crematoria chimneys and piles of flammable stench choked our throats.
German crimes during the Second World War have an unimaginable dimension, which does not fit in the human mind, reaching the ghastly bottom.
Something unprecedented before, the phenomenon of this crime was the attitude of the German intelligentsia in participation in the slaughter. Why was Germany’s intelligensia not a sufficient factor of moral advantage in this process of gradual identification of the majority of the nation with the way of understanding Germanness expressed by the Nazis?
Why in the whole process of organizing society like the marching herd, aggressive towards strangers and uncritical towards each other, was it not a factor of spiritual sobering and critical moral reflection?
Annihilation of millions. The enormity of the tragedy. Selection of people being gased. Everyday death in a gulag in a pigsty, in constant filth, humiliation. The smell of burned bodies, gas chambers, crematoria, mountains of rotting corpses, pushed by bulldozers down into pits or on burning piles, mad work and omnipresent hunger, typhus, diarrhea, lice, Death Block, Death Wall and Death March !!!
Behind all of this, the creators of the plan to annihilate millions of people in a perfectly technical manner, according to the German organization. Scholars of well-known universities, intelligensia and people waiting for the victorious end of the war. Deutschland, Deutschland über alles. For eternal times. And such has never been seen before. The phenomenon of crime of all time. Ecce Homo.
This raises the question why the phenomenon contained in two German words: “Auschwitz” and “Birkenau” is still interesting for many outstanding intellectuals IN EUROPE and in the entire civilized world?
For decades, a question has been asked in Europe and America about how it was possible for a highly civilized German nation to be collectively blind and deaf to the wartime practice of the national socialist system, widely accepted by the Third Reich.
No one found a clear and complete answer to this question.
Meanwhile, the answer to this question lies in the mentality of the Germans, which the German scientist, physicist and Nobel prize winner Heisenberg explained so aptly and matter-of-factly to us. Let’s listen to him. I quote:
“Deutschland über alles. This nation has been nourished for centuries, a nation whose trait was and is the living myth of this philosophy: “everything or nothing”, which Germany is constantly undergoing again. This was accompanied and the time was accompanied by faith in the hero, the leader who led the nation to a “better world”. This absurd supremacy – über alles- and even absurd claims made it impossible for the Germans to reach agreement with other nations. “
Or the great German poet-philosopher Goethe. In his conversations with Rimer, spoke repeatedly about the Germans and their fate. I quote:
“I often felt bitter pain, thinking that the German people deserved respect as individuals, and it is so poor as a nation.” “Germany should be a model. Have a heart wide open. To be great thanks to reason and love, thanks to reconciliation and spirit – because reconciliation is a spirit – and not to consider themselves as an exceptional nation and to fool themselves with absurd self-admiration and even stupidity about world domination. “
Nothing more nothing less. An attempt to find out how Hitler, Himmler and other Nazi leaders created their “Final Solution” – “Endlösung der Judenfrage” and the ghostly “Generalplan Ost”, and with it Auschwitz, is an opportunity to look at the dynamic, very complicated decision-making process.
There was no top-down plan for this crime.
The individual Nazis were not forced to murder people. No!
It was a huge, collective undertaking in which thousands of people made their own decisions participated, who not only took part in the crime, but also showed the initiative to solve the problem of killing people and getting rid of their bodies on an unprecedented scale.
Auschwitz – For hundreds of thousands – a place without a name. There were trains, loaded with thousands of people, for many it was the end station. They did not even know where they were. Often these people saw nothing but smoke before they were burnt … Auschwitz – A gigantic cemetery without graves and without crosses, where hundreds of thousands of human beings are buried in one grave full of nameless ashes. Place where man humbly bows his forehead against the great majesty of death and silence …
By giving a testimony of the truth about those times, I would like the painful experiences of my generation to be a warning and a lesson for young people whose hands are now bearing the fate of the world. It is worth remembering that always, in every situation, these wise, beautiful words are true: “God and Fatherland”.
One has to serve all his values with his entire life: to love his native land, his holy faith and the tradition of his own people. Amen.
translation by: animus-liber.online