Auschwitz Again?

Discussion in 'Asia' started by onedomino, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. onedomino

    onedomino SCE to AUX

    Sep 14, 2004
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    What can we do about these North Korean maniacs?

    The following article appeared in Insight Magazine, Washington Times, Corp.

    Auschwitz Again?
    Posted September 24, 2004
    By Kristin Wright & Rosemary Schindler

    Shots pierce the air as seven political prisoners slump, dead, onto the ground. Guards dump their bodies into a mass grave, surrounded by the grim scenery of a concentration camp. Roll call begins, as thousands of weary prisoners are herded into lines before beginning yet another day of forced labor. Hunger, abuse, sickness, and despair will mark each hour. For thousands of these prisoners, execution is the only way out.

    Famine ravages the countryside. Patients remain untreated for lack of medicine. Children sit listless in the hospitals, frail with hunger, unable to speak or even to cry.

    If you think this is Nazi Germany in 1944, you're off by sixty years. This macabre world is communist North Korea in 2004. During the last several years, an estimated 4 million people have died of government-induced starvation in North Korea. An additional 400,000 men, women, and children have perished in modern-day concentration camps where brutal medical experimentation, public executions, and gas chambers are commonplace. Thousands more are still imprisoned.

    The horrors of North Korea bear a striking resemblance to the horrors of the Holocaust. The atrocities being carried out against political prisoners in North Korea serve as chilling reminders of one of the darkest places on earth: Auschwitz-Birkenau. This ghoulish place of fear, violence, and oppression was filled with victims of horror. Photos taken during the Holocaust show haunted eyes staring out through sunken sockets, and gray and white striped pajamas covering bodies wracked with illness and weak with starvation.

    The terror innocent families must have endured in Auschwitz is overwhelming. Today visitors to the camp can view mounds of human hair, piles of eyeglasses, and a bin of shoes belonging to victims who were annihilated in the gas chambers and ovens of Auschwitz. It is a horrifying sight.

    But as we consider this desperate place, it becomes clear that no dark era is entirely without light. In the midst of the Holocaust, a courageous man named Oskar Schindler saved the lives of over one thousand Jewish people, by buying them back from the Nazi regime. Snatching men, women, and children from the ovens of Auschwitz proved to be an expensive enterprise for Oskar, leaving him virtually penniless by the end of the war.

    For him, however, every penny was worth it. Over 7,000 descendents of the Jews he rescued are alive today. Near Auschwitz the Schindler Factory still stands, declaring that we must not be silent! Inscribed at its entrance are these words "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."

    Now, sixty years later, urgent action is needed to save North Korea from the great tragedy of this century. When Oskar Schindler so bravely saved the lives of over one thousand Jewish people, he wasn't thinking about convenience. He focused on the urgent situation of men, women, and children, whose lives depended on his action. Continuing in his legacy, we must work to end this modern-day holocaust.

    The North Korea Human Rights Act (H.R. 4011) is powerful bipartisan legislation designed to make human rights a priority in future negotiations with North Korea, while providing incentives to the regime to improve conditions in their country. The legislation covers a number of important aspects, including transparency in the delivery of humanitarian aid, increased funding to protect vulnerable North Korean refugees, and expansion of Radio Free Asia broadcasting.

    Winning support from citizens across the United States, the North Korea Human Rights Act passed unanimously in the House of Representatives. It is essential that this bill now receive the support it deserves in the Senate. As a purely humanitarian endeavor, H.R. 4011 will aid and alleviate the plight of North Korea's suffering millions. It is a powerful bill that will bring human rights to the forefront of upcoming discussions with North Korea. No Senator should inhibit the final passage of such a bill, and no citizen of a free country should fail to support it.

    Together we pose this question to all readers, a simple question that must scorch the collective conscience of the world: Auschwitz again?

    Kristin Wright is Executive Director of Stand Today, a human rights organization. She is also a founding member of the North Korea Freedom Coalition.

    Rev. Rosemary Schindler is a relative of Oskar Schindler. She is President of Schindler's Ark, an organization that supports the Jewish people.
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

    Jun 25, 2004
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    Powerful article. I only wish Pres. Bush would do more to highlight the evil of the N. Korean regime for the world and the American people to see so we can all realize the dangerous evil we're dealing with.

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