Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Day in History October 16, 1946

This event I will cover tonight is very somber.  I am sure there are those who would not agree with what action was taken, but I have to admit that I feel it was justified.  When heinous crimes are committed, I am in favor of the ultimate punishment but only when those being executed have been proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.  I do realize that people are sometimes executed in error, but I cannot say that is the case here.

On this day in 1946, ten Nazi War criminals were executed.  The International War Crimes Tribunal had found all ten guilty but two weeks before. The trial had taken roughly ten months, and it was the first trial of its kind in history.  The defendants faced various charges including crimes against peace, crimes of war, and crimes against humanity.

Of the ten that were to be hanged, Herman Goering (one of the leaders) took a cyanide capsule the evening before the execution.  The other nine were executed systematically and quickly. I won't go into details here--if you are interested, you can check out the links at the end of the post.

The horrors that the Nazi party carried out during WWII under the direction of Hitler always anger me.  I don't think I will ever grow callous when I hear the stories.  I still find myself becoming quite emotional whenever I speak of it in a classroom, hear a story, or watch a movie about that time period.  I know that each period of human history has its horrific events, and this was definitely the worst during the 1930's and 1940's--at least as far as the Western World goes.

My earliest memories of the Holocaust stories were when I was in seventh grade.  I was one of the few students who skipped a year in math.  I was taking Algebra instead of Pre-Algebra.  We had a phenomenal teacher, and the school was preparing to go on a field trip to the Holocaust museum.  He prepared us by showing us video footage of the Holocaust.  I will never forget the black and white scenes that showed mass graves and bodies being shoveled into these mass graves.  I can see it crystal clear even as I type this.

I can only hope and pray that we learned something from what happened during WWII.  I sometimes worry that since our students are not learning very much about what happened in history that they may be doomed to repeat it.  But at least I can be encouraged that the majority of students I teach know who Hitler was and are somewhat familiar with what he did.  And they believe that what he did was wrong.  Maybe there is hope??  Of course, there is.  There is one Person who can solve the mess in which our world now finds herself!

If you are interested, check out these links:

1 comment:

  1. The heartache of seeing photographs and old film footage haunts. Me I met survivors of the Holocaust. I would get teary eyed when I saw their numbers tattooed on their arms.

    I want to visit the Holocaust Museum. I know that it would drain me emotionally, but I feel that it is something I really should do.

    Have a blessed day!



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