It is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The Nazi concentration-death camp was liberated by the Soviet Red Army as it swept across Poland toward Germany in January 1945.
Sometimes I think the 1960s terms used by JFK “Let them come to Berlin“, “Ich bin ein ‘Berliner'(?)” must have sounded naive and absurd to an average Russian in Leningrad or Stalingrad or to anyone in any Soviet village east of Poland. Barely 15 years after WWII and the horrors of Operation Barbarossa. By the 1980s, however, Reagan’s “Tear down this wall…..” sounded more reasonable and plausible.
Anyway, my focus is the Middle East. The Nazis posted a cruel slogan at the entrance to their concentration camps, which housed mostly Jews but also dissidents, leftists, and other undesirables. The absurd slogan was “Arbeit Macht Frei“, something the cotton plantation owners never thought of in Old Dixie. In the Middle East, one can imagine new slogans based on that one. The Saudi princes can erect “Public Flogging Macht Frei“, or “Absolute monarchy Macht Frei“. The Egyptian regime can erect “Bullets Macht Frei“. The Bahrain rulers can erect “Tear Gas Macht Frei“, or “Kleptocrats Macht Frei“. They and the rulers of UAE can both quite reasonably erect “Foreign Mercenaries Macht Frei“. The caliphate of ISIS might put up “Concubines Macht Frei”. Tony Blair might add to his letterhead “Oil Oligarchs Macht Frei”. No irony intended………..
BTW: did you read that the British Ministry of Justice “is hoping to profit from selling its expertise to the prison service in Saudi Arabia, a country notorious for public beheadings, floggings, amputations and courts that regularly violate human rights.…………”?
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum