Gordon Brown pledges funds for Holocaust memorial during tour of Auschwitz.

Leading his country into the deepest recession for a thousand years is taking its toll on Mr Brown and finding cheery things in his everyday life must be increasingly hard to do. So it was then that his aides, tired of him moping around all day, decided to send him for a little ‘depression therapy’. When you’re as low as you think you can get the best thing is to go somewhere that reminds you just how good your life is compared to what it might have been, or was/is for others. It seems that Brown’s depression is well progressed because the recommended therapy was to send him to Auschwitz!

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It doesn’t do any harm for the citizens to also be reminded (via the reporting of Brown’s trip) of how hard things can be on this earth so they stop whining about a little recession and tax increases. Not that Brown would be spinning on this occasion of course, God forbid.

I suppose I just find it all a bit convenient that he should choose this time to make a visit that, frankly speaking, every politician on earth should be forced to make shortly after taking office so they can see the potential consequences of their actions. I’m also finding it very hard to believe that he feels it necessary to commit to any more taxpayer expense such as contributions to Tusk’s proposed Holocaust Memorial.

Donald Tusk, the Polish Prime Minister, recently wrote to European Union leaders asking for contributions to a £100million fund to establish a monument in honour of the dead. Mr Brown said he hoped that the memorial would serve as a “permanent monument of the evils that men can do and the determination never to let it happen again. The Prime Minister did not specify how much Britain’s share would be, but confirmed it would contribute and added: “We are determined that events such as we have witnessed in the last century should never happen again”.

Did I read that correctly? 100 million quid for a memorial? Are they serious? Aside from the considerable problem one might have with the cost of the memorial, shouldn’t one really be asking why it is thought that the rather massive remains of Auschwitz and Birkenau themselves are not memorial enough? Not to mention the probably thousands of existing memorials to the holocaust that exist all over the world.

You might also be excused for wondering out loud when, if ever, we’re all going to “get over this”? Yes it was terrible, yes we must never forget, yes we learn from these mistakes,(not that that has helped those who have suffered and continue to suffer horrible fates in conflicts since WWII), yes there should be a memorial or two but for goodness sake, where does it all end? More than 200,000 people died in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – also terrible, also not to forget, learn lessons, erect memorials but do these get even a proportional 15% of the attention that is given to ‘the holocaust’ (outside of Japan)? No. I wonder why?

I don’t wish to seem unsympathetic to the plight of all those who suffered during the war, whether in Auschwitz or elsewhere, but I find the timing of his visit, the thought of erecting another memorial and the suggestion that this should cost 100 million quid quite appalling.

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19 thoughts on “Gordon Brown pledges funds for Holocaust memorial during tour of Auschwitz.

  1. I truly recommend reading Norman Finkelstein’s book ‘The Holocaust Industry’. Not that it explains it all, but at least answers your questions posed in the penultimate paragraph. 100m quid, just a tiny droplet in the ocean.

  2. As guest says, the 100 million is for the whole complex. The whole complex, every brick, every rail, IS the memorial, not a block of stone at which to put flowers.

    Poor translation by the internaional press. Tusk acutally meants that he needed the 100 million to maintain the whole camp. That means money needs to be spent every year, so the 100 million won’t last very long.

  3. Richard, that makes more sense than was reported although being in the industry, as I am, 100 million quid invested in a fund should allow them to gold plate the pavements!

    Unless of course they give the 100 mill to some investment banker / hedge-fund types, in which case it’ll last 10 minutes.

  4. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8022227.stm

    The BBC seems to have reported it accurately:

    After meeting Polish counterpart Donald Tusk, Mr Brown pledged support to help maintain the site as a memorial.

    He also pledged support to maintain Auschwitz as a permanent memorial amid concerns the site is in a state of decay and funding for its museum is under threat.

    Poland is seeking international assistance for a 120m euro foundation to preserve Auschwitz.

  5. I seem to remember paying to go into Auschwitz, certainly to park there. I’m not sure how many millions of people visit each year and I’m sure there are collecting bowls scattered around. I wonder what happens to all that money then, if they need another 100 mill just to keep it going?

  6. I’ve never heard of any British people who think that Auschwitz is a kind of beer. It’s pretty well known – and comprehensively taught in schools.

  7. Jesus Christ Scatts, you don’t think someone is sucking money unnecesary from the government of your former country?

    The camp is falling apart, and needs renovation apart from normal maintenance. And why should Poland pay for eveything like she did for 60 years?? And I guess the Museum that runs the camp does some more things like research or something?

  8. 4:55pm UK, Monday March 09, 2009
    Some of Britain’s schoolchildren think Auschwitz is a type of beer – rather than the notorious Nazi death camp, according to research.

    Main gate at Auschwitz

    Youngsters think the notorious death camp is a type of beer.

    A survey of around 1,000 secondary school pupils aged 11 to 16 found 10% of youngsters were unsure what Auschwitz was.

    Almost 10% of those polled thought the camp was a country bordering Germany and 2% thought it was a brand of beer.

    A further 2% wrongly identified Auschwitz as a religious festival, while a worrying 1% thought it was a type of bread.

    The poll found that six out of 10 youngsters did not know what the Final Solution was, with a fifth believing it was the name given to the peace talks which ended World War II.

    Despite the Holocaust being specified on the National Curriculum, only 37% of those polled knew that more than six million Jews were killed during Hitler’s dictatorship.

    Of the six million that were killed, around 1.1 million died at Auschwitz.

    Almost 100% of those questioned were able to identify Adolf Hitler from a photograph, while those who could not confused him with famous figures like Winston Churchill, Salvador Dali and Albert Einstein.

    Stephanie Rose, from the London Jewish Cultural Centre, who helped construct the poll said: “We are not surprised by the results, although we are disappointed.

    “If we are not careful, the Holocaust will disappear into the realms of history like the battle of Trafalgar.”

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Auschwitz-Mistaken-For-Type-Of-Beer-By-Britains-School-Children/Article/200903215237544

  9. Not very surprising this info regarding 11- 16 year old kids given that major members of the western press have called it a Polish concentration camp.

    I have avoided going to Oświęcim – I think I would go into shock. A friend who lives nearby tells me that cleaning and ‘musuem works’ have sanitised the place to some extent, taking away the feeling that the Nazi’s just left – to the detriment of the purpose of upkeeping it as a ‘memorial’ )if that is the right word).

  10. My mom visited Oświęcim but I chose not to when asked what I would like to see. (too depressing and I read her souvenier booklet when she went) My aunt lives in a town close by so we would drive by on the way back from Kracow. Ithink Poles are very sensitive to the fact of it being called a Polish concentration camp because we all know/understand it was a Nazi Camp located in Poland only. My mom was a displaced person and wound up in Wildflecken wehre I was born. I just bought a DVD that was recently made about it and to my surprise my name is listed in the credits.

  11. Everybody should visiting Auschwitz and Birkenau once in the life. Especially should do it Germans. If I were Angela Merkel I will forced them. ;-)

    We were forced to do it when we were in last class of the primary school. 14-15 years old kids. Some girls simulated illness to not going there. (Mummies wrote an excuse not). Some girls fainted or vomited. I didn’t like eat in that time, so I endured it and I thought stupidly that hunger I could survive. Some watched film about camp liberation with closed eyes and hands on their ears, though they didn’t played for us the adult version.
    The guides were authentic exprisoners of the Auschwitz. They protected/spared us not saying everything and telling us some camp jokes (very black-humour).

  12. Chris

    I read your comment and was interested in where one might pruchase the DVD you spoke of regarding Wildflecken. I was also born there.

    Thanks

  13. Pawel, you said “why should Poland pay for what she did over 60 years ago?” what are you talking about? WHAT did she do that she should pay for anything? for being destroyed by enemies from both sides? Poland should pay for nothing, as it has done nothing. Our country is known for saving people, while risking their own life, sure it’s easy to save someone when no risk was involved like many other countries did, but our situation was alot different..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Righteous_among_the_Nations

    for those that ..believe it or not… “Dont know”..Poland had no control over the war.. nor was it planned by anyone from our nation. Being punished for something that we didnt do.. is simply un-just.

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