Today is Holocaust Mémorial Day
At the turn of the twentieth century the Fabian Society , one of the founders of today’s Labour Party aggressively advocated a program of eugenics
Eugenics, the belief that society’s fate rested on its ability to breed more of the strong and fewer of the weak. So-called positive eugenics meant encouraging those of greater intellectual ability and “moral worth” to have more children, while negative eugenics sought to urge, or even force, those deemed inferior to reproduce less often or not at all. The aim was to increase the overall quality of the national herd, multiplying the thoroughbreds and weeding out the runts.
Such talk repels us now, but in the prewar era it was the common sense of the age. Most alarming, many of its leading advocates were found among the luminaries of the Fabian and socialist left, men and women revered to this day. Thus George Bernard Shaw could insist that “the only fundamental and possible socialism is the socialisation of the selective breeding of man”, even suggesting, in a phrase that chills the blood, that defectives be dealt with by means of a “lethal chamber”.
The German government that was elected to power in 1933 embraced this concept wholeheartedly, starting with the eradication of the mentally and physically disabled in Aktion T4 through to its horrific logical conclusion of Sachsenhausen, Belsen and Auschwitz.
I am of an age to have worked alongside survivors of the camps , with British soldiers horrified at what they found when they liberated Belsen on the 15th April 1945.
I have visited Yad Vashem in Israel
I have also visited Oradour-sur-Glane, a scene of unspeakable horror. I took my young son so that he could understand and learn. He did not need a safe space to recover.
There were also the Righteous Among The Nations like Nicholas Winterton who organised the Kindertransport and those ordinary men and women who sheltered Jews and ‘undesirables’ from all occupied countries.
The Corbyn Labour Party despite the undeniably increasing anti semitism in its ranks , tried to sweep the issue under the carpet with the Chakrabarti Inquiry in 2016, she obligingly declared that the Party was not anti Semitic but a little bit toxic. For these weasel words she was awarded a peerage.
The Holocaust sucked into the death camps Jews, Roma , Homosexuals, Lesbians, Political Prisoners ,Jehovah’s Witnesses, Criminals , Refugees from Franco’s Spain , Resistance and SOE operatives. There were prisoners in Auschwitz from almost every country in Europe, and even some non-Europeans. They included Albanians, Belgians, Danes, Dutch, Poles, Greeks, Hungarians, Italians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Luxembourgers, Norwegians, Romanians, Slovaks, Spaniards, and Swiss, with from several to several score of each nationality. There were also a lone Argentinean, a Chinese, a Bulgarian, and an Estonian. Each group had a different triangular badge to identify them.
If we choose to forget or gloss over the horrors of state socialism, we are doomed to repeat the same
Identity politics and race based politics has only one inevitable consequence, mass graves.
Wessex Regional Coordinator
General Secretary of International Alliance of Libertarian Parties