Stephen Smith | Lessons from the Holocaust and Ukraine

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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana. 

The screams of the terrified victims at Babi Yar chill the soul when heard in the wail of air raid sirens, and their voices in the tolling of bells crying out, “Never Again!”  

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum tells the story of one survivor of the Einsatzgruppen in Piryatin, Ukraine, where Nazis killed 1,600 Jews on April 6, 1942, the second day of Passover. “I saw them do the killing. At 5:00 p.m. they gave the command, ‘Fill in the pits.’ Screams and groans were coming from the pits. Suddenly I saw my neighbor Ruderman rise from under the soil … His eyes were bloody, and he was screaming: ‘Finish me off!’ … A murdered woman lay at my feet. A boy of five years crawled out from under her body and began to scream desperately. ‘Mommy!’ That was all I saw since I fell unconscious.” (Source: Wikipedia). 

In Ukraine at the Babi Yar ravine outside Kiev, 33,771 Jews were killed on Sept. 29-30, 1941. They were led to the edge of the ravine, stripped naked, and then shot. Their violated bodies fell into the ravine and were covered with dirt. The Nazis justified the atrocity by their policy of “Endlösung der Judenfrage,” known throughout history as simply “The Final Solution.”

In 1941-1943 the Nazis killed 4 million civilians in Ukraine, and 1 million of them were Jewish.  

On the nightly news we see the bodies of murdered Ukrainian civilians being thrown into unmarked mass graves, all dead at the hands of an unseen soldier, striking from miles away by simply pressing a button at the orders of the tyrant Vladimir Putin. 

I just cannot help being reminded of the atrocities that occurred at Babi Yar on the orders of Adolf Hitler. It is far more than coincidence that one of the Putin’s first targets was the Holocaust memorial and Jewish Cemetery in Kyiv. The same demon is driving both tyrants. The irony is that Putin tells the Russians that he has their military there to save them from the Nazis. In the Kremlin, all mirrors have been banned. 

Do not honor Putin by calling his attacks on Ukraine a “war.” The tactics do not speak of defense or territorial expansion. Unarmed women and children seeking safety are being targeted and slaughtered. Basic infrastructures necessary for survival are systematically being destroyed. After a Russian victory there are no provisions for civilian survival.  

On March 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “But any nation, and even more so the Russian people, will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like an insect in their mouth, spit them onto the pavement … I am convinced that a natural and necessary self-detoxification of society like this would strengthen our country, our solidarity and cohesion and our readiness to respond to any challenge.” 

Self-detoxification methodology has become Putin’s “Final Solution.” 

Those who oppose the will of Putin have become lower than mammals. They are insects and in need of extermination.  The new Russian flag will feature a blind man wearing a top hat, holding a sledgehammer looking down at vermin. Western Exterminators dare not sue for copyright infringement. Mainland China, arguably the most racist country on Earth, is now enabling the Russian butchers.  

For Putin, this war is not about gain of assets or security. It is about the extermination of the Ukrainian people and those who would dare support them. Their crime is that they want to live secure and free. An unforgivable sin in the eyes of this tyrant.  

Putin must be stopped. Negotiations in the end will fail. Even if there is an agreement, it will never quench Putin’s bloodlust to achieve Russia’s “self-detoxification.” 

The time has come for Putin’s command to be terminated with extreme prejudice. The Russian people must be taught the truth about their false god, Vladimir Putin 

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”  — “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” by John Donne, 1642. 

The victims at Babi Yar are watching.  

Stephen Smith is a Santa Clarita resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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