American Visitors to the Gestapo Museum Draw Their Own Conclusions

Fisk, Robert
Date Written:  2019-07-22
Publisher:  Counterpunch
Year Published:  2019
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23722

An exploration of the ethics of drawing comparisons from present-day injustices to Nazi atrocities.



The cells still bear their original numbers. They are complete with the massive, heavy grey-painted doors through which the Gestapo could peer at their victims, sometimes 30 to a room intended for only two or three prisoners, so many that even the local Gestapo complained to Berlin about the overcrowding.

Walking from cell to cell, I noticed a visitors' book lying on a table between them. And in it, this week, an American couple had written these words. "Never again means never again. From Palestine to the USA-Mexico border."

I instinctively recoiled from this trite, crude, simplistic remark. How can the human rights crimes and colonial land theft committed by the Israeli government in the occupied West Bank and the overcrowding and child-separation in the refugee camps on the US border – for I presume the recorded Gestapo complaint prompted this reference in the visitors’ book – be compared to the iniquities of Nazi Germany? There must surely be a sense of perspective, at least some reluctance before committing oneself to such comparisons, most of all here, in this place of horror.
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