Opinion – Lessons on the Holocaust, From Warsaw’s No 35 Tram – Op Ed – NYT – John Gelmini

Dr Alf is right.

The Poles cannot whitewash their history vis-a-vis the Holocaust but neither can the British and American governments which deliberately failed to order the bombing of the railway lines leading to the extermination camps. Churchill, the wartime leader so lionised in British history, and Roosevelt were both responsible for this but very little is taught in either British or American schools about this policy.

My own father saw the policy in action, as a young conscript in the Italian Army, at the age of 20, in German occupied France. He rescued three cattle cars packed with Jewish people and led them to safety in French stone church. He knew enough German to get these people to run with him, whilst a Lancaster bomber circled overhead and then dropped its payload of 500 pound bombs on the station where SS guards and fierce dogs were waiting to escort the death train and the unfortunates in the cattle cars.

Dr Alf and others can look at the records of World War II and see that in six years not one set of railway lines to a concentration camp or extermination camp was ever bombed or mined or attacked, thus allowing six million Jews and one million gypsies to be gassed and killed preceding cremation.

John Gelmini

Opinion – How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to America – Mike McIntire – NYT

The NYT leads with an alarming story about the UK’s Patriot News Agency, run by James Dowson, a far-right political activist. The article reports that ‘With the explicit aim of getting Donald J. Trump elected, a website run by a far-right activist pumped out anti-Hillary Clinton hoaxes and drew tens of thousands of views’.

With more and more young people turning to social media as their primary source of news and false news on Facebook now at critical levels, the NYT’s story is deeply worrying.

Whilst propaganda and disinformation is not new, the weakness and biased positions of the mainstream media plus the growth of social media is a strategic threat to mature democracies. Just like the far-left, the far-right suppress the truth and underlying evidence, claiming that ‘the end justifies the means‘. But history reminds us that populism is ultimately a tool of corrupt dictators, who prefer totalitarian regimes depriving widely accepted democratic freedoms.