Looking up information for future posts, I happened upon a Wikipedia entry, that I thought would fit in with some of the topics which I have been discussing recently:
Einsatzgruppen (German for "task forces" or "intervention groups") were paramilitary groups operated by the SS before and during World War II. Their principal task, in the words of SS General Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski at the Nuremberg Trial, "was the annihilation of the Jews, Gypsies, and political commissars." Formed from police forces of the Gestapo, Kripo, SD, and Waffen-SS officers, these death squads followed the Wehrmacht as it advanced eastwards into Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
On occupied territories, the Einsatzgruppen also utilized local populations to provide additional security and manpower when needed. The activities of the Einsatzgruppen were spread throughout a large pool of personnel from different branches of the SS and German State. According to their own records, the Einsatzgruppen operatives were responsible for killing over one million people, almost exclusively civilians, without judicial review and later without semblance of legality (no reading of sentences of martial or administrative law), starting with the Polish intelligentsia and quickly progressing by 1941 to target primarily the Jews of Eastern Europe. The historian Raul Hilberg, however, estimates that between 1941 and 1945 the Einsatzgruppen murdered over 1.4 million Jews in open air shootings.
The sexual violence of the Dusseldorf Vampire pales into insignificance next to the atrocities that humans can commit in the name of war. Milgram's work was specifically designed to show that the German people were somehow more obedient than the rest of the world and that it couldn't happen elsewhere. History has shown that the only requirement for genocide is that humans are involved. And remember, dictators like Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot specifically eliminated free-thinkers and intellectuals, and you are naive if you believe that wishful thinking and a head-in-the-sand attitude will prevent it in the future. Everything is pointless. Someone shooting you and taking your life is even more pointless still.Go Top