A Critical Reminder of How Far Humans Can Go

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen provides a great summary of the means by which Jews and minorities were executed by Nazi squads in his tour de force book Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Although concentration camps receive the lion’s share of shrift and attention in popular accounts of the Holocaust, Goldhagen reminds the reader repeatedly that the method of choice during the holocaust was the bullet. Execution at gunpoint was the fastest, cheapest and, consequently, the most prevalent means by which victims were executed by Nazi murder squads. The practice was so prevalent and enormous that archeological discoveries serve as reminders and documentation of the practice. Mass graves were, of course, a deliberate strategy employed to prevent discovery and the erection of any memorial. The responsibility has thus fallen on the shoulders of physical anthropologists (i.e., archeologists) to uncover the details of history’s greatest crime. At a time when hate groups are organized, armed and dedicated to this outcome, it is important to remember the price of silence.

The Polish team who discovered the Nazi era mass grave in Poland.

Bullets, wedding rings pinpoint World War II execution grounds

Source: Archaeologists unearth Nazi-era massacre in Poland’s ‘Death Valley’

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