The Problem With Ocasio-Cortez’s Shameful Ignorance Of History By David Harsanyi for The Federalist
Most Nazi analogies are profoundly stupid, intellectually lazy, and diminish the suffering of millions.
The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border. That is what they are.” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In April 1944, two Slovakian Jews named Alfred Weczler and Rudolf Vrba escaped from Auschwitz, and provided one of the first eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the European concentration camps. Both men had been rounded up with a group of their countrymen and sent to the Birkenau section of the camp in the spring of 1941, where they were immediately put to work as slave labor.
This was before the German regime had properly streamlined and industrialized efforts to destroy European Jewry. In the early days of the camp, any man incapable of labor was immediately executed. Those who survived were sent to do the grueling work of construction.
The men began their work at sunrise, and except for a half-hour break at noon, when the prisoners were fed cabbage and turnip soup, they worked until 6 p.m. For dinner, the men were given an ounce of moldy bread made from “ersatz flour and sawdust.” Lice and fleas tortured their emaciated bodies as they slept on wooden boards. “Rats were so bold they gnawed at the toes and fingers of sleepers and stole the crumbs they had left in their pockets,” wrote Robert Conot in his book “Justice at Nuremberg.”
A third of the prisoners died every week. If a worker was hurt, he was allotted three days of recovery time. If they failed to heal, the infirmary—where Dr. Mengele had already begun his nefarious work on women and children—would inject a fatal dose of phenol directly into their hearts.
Of the 2,722 Slovakian Jews who had been rounded up with Weczler and Vrba, only 159 survived to the summer of 1942. Those who died had been dumped, with another approximately 105,000 bodies, into shallow trenches around Birkenau. “As they decomposed” Conot noted, “the earth rose like a yeasty mixture of dough and bubbled up nauseating gases, which spread for miles.”