Life Unworthy of Life: Racial Phobia and Mass Murder in Hitler's Germany

By James M. Glass | Go to book overview

SEVEN
THE UNIQUENESS OF THE HOLOCAUST

Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Babi-Yar did not just happen. The Kultur- group initiated massive blood sacrifices to biological purity. The systematic genocide of the Holocaust was more than an unusual action. It was a hallucinatory reality more horrifying than anything imaginable in normal day-to-day existence. Yankel Wiernik, a survivor of the death camp Treblinka, describes the fate of children:

All through that winter small children, stark naked and barefooted, had to stand out in the open for hours on end, awaiting their turn in the increasingly busy gas chambers. The soles of their feet froze and stuck to the icy ground. They stood and cried; some of them froze to death. In the meantime, Germans and Ukrainians walked up and down the ranks, beating and kicking the victims.

One of the Germans, a man named Sepp, was a vile and savage beast, who took special delight in torturing children. When he pushed women around and they begged him to stop because they had children with them, he would frequently match a child from the woman's arms and either tear the child in half or grab it by the legs, smash its head against a wall and throw the body away. Such incidents were by no means isolated. Tragic scenes of this kind occurred all the time.1

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