- NATIONAL INTEREST - Jared Sorhaindo - Introdução César Tonheiro - JAN 17, 2022 -
Wannsee deveria nos ensinar que monstros podem assumir muitas formas, e ideias monstruosas podem ser mantidas até mesmo pelos mais privilegiados e mais educados. O Holocausto acabaria por reivindicar mais de 6 milhões de judeus – a maioria deles após a conferência. Os participantes da conferência, homens altamente educados e cultos, foram fundamentais no genocídio. Como Roberts observou: “O Holocausto não poderia ter sido realizado sem a cooperação voluntária de cientistas, estatísticos, demógrafos e cientistas sociais” que estavam “operando em um vácuo moral”. Wannsee deveria nos ensinar que monstros podem assumir muitas formas, e ideias monstruosas podem ser mantidas até mesmo pelos mais privilegiados e mais educados. Em meio ao crescente antissemitismo, o mundo deve se lembrar dessa lição – não pode se dar ao luxo de fazer o contrário.
Eighty years ago, on January 20, 1942, fifteen men assembled in an idyllic lakeside estate near Berlin. The men were highly educated—seven held advanced degrees, including in philosophy, law, and medicine. They were also all Nazis. They had assembled at the villa to come up with a solution to the “Jewish Question.” The lessons from that day should—must—still haunt us.
The Wannsee Conference, as it would later be known, is infamous. Books, essays, plays, and a 2001 HBO film starring Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh have depicted a meeting in which educated men plotted industrialized mass murder.
The Nazis had been targeting Jews since even before they came to power in 1933. Indeed, anti-Semitism was at the very core of the Nazi movement’s ideology. As the historian Thomas Childers has observed, “Nazi racism, especially rabid antisemitism, was always on the surface.” But before they could engage in the wholesale slaughter of a people, the Nazis had to dehumanize them.
First, the Nazis boycotted Jewish-owned shops. The Sturmabteilung, or SA, a paramilitary organization associated with the Nazi Party, helped enforce the boycott—often violently. Jews were prohibited from serving in the military and from entering professional fields, such as law or medicine. In 1935, at Adolf Hitler’s prodding, the Nuremberg Laws denied Jews basic civil rights and prohibited intermarriage and sexual relations between Jews and “Aryans.” As Martin Luther King, Jr. later observed, “We should never forget that everything Adolph Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal.’”
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