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The camp thrives

My comment following the review of tv documentary Belsen: Our Story, review: a devastating and dignified oral history of Holocaust horrors, by Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, January 28, 2020
——
Lech Borkowski

Great documentary.

I made the following note in 2014:

“The last century, beginning with World War I, has seen an incredible devastation of everything. Here in the east-central regions of Europe, especially in Poland, we live on the civilization cemetery. And I am afraid we have not seen it all yet.

Traditionally, the crimes and criminal codes focus on the harm done to human bodies and material objects. What about the incredible devastation of human souls or psyche, if you prefer the latter term?

Are we out of the concentration camp yet? No, we are not. The answer depends somewhat on the definition of the camp. The old, stereotypical image of the concentration camp is the place surrounded by barbed wire, with watchtowers, guards with dogs and emaciated prisoners in striped uniforms.

The idea of the camp, however, is alive and well also today, The camp has not withered away. It thrives.

October 23, 2014”

My both parents were long-time prisoners of Communist concentration camps in the Soviet Union: my father 8 + 2 in exile, my mother 7 years. They were Polish citizens and opposed to Communism. They both survived, luckily, but the trauma was enormous, especially for my mother. For her the war, which started in 1939, when she was twelve years old, has never ended.

More recently, my wife, my daughter, and I learned, that rumours about the liquidation of the camps were vastly exaggerated. Why and how it is possible, you can read at https://lsborkowski.com/pol/.

Irma Grese, the sadistic Nazi camp guard is not such a rarity. A certain Communist woman active in the Soviet Union and Poland was a sadistic torturer, with particular focus on genitalia. She had a PhD in philosophy from Paris obtained between WWI and WWII.

My wife, a pianist and piano teacher, experienced extreme forms of sadism in her place of work, in the State School of Music in Zielona Góra, Poland, between 2011 and 2015. Standing outside the school building, on the street, you would have never guessed, what is happening inside. In this case the camp guards were several of her fellow female employees. These were not accidental forms of social violence. These were methods meticulously scripted and based on the Communist know-how. We have also learned in the process, that these guards are fully protected by functionaries at the higher levels of the state apparatus, all the way to the top, the PM, the president, as well as the prosecutor office.

It is a mistake to think that the camp exists only as an isolated place, surrounded by barbed wire. The Communist state perfected the idea of the camp and developed it much further. This is where we are today.

@LechSBorkowski

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4222-0418