Content note: the Holocaust; anti-immigrant sentiment
So, apparently some German authorities have had a brilliant idea! What to do with all these asylum seekers? Where can we house them? What to do, what to do…
Oh, hey, look, we have these empty barracks over here? They haven’t been used since 1945! (Do you have a sinking feeling yet?) Why don’t we just put these people in a former satellite camp for Buchenwald, which used to house–by which I mean imprison–around 700 people the Nazis used for slave labor? What could possibly go horribly wrong?
I personally cannot leave aside the utter disrespect for genocidal suffering that was not even a full lifetime ago. And in light of Germany’s increasing racist anti-immigration sentiment, this is a horrible idea.
I have little more to say except this: some history can’t be rehabilitated. Some structures cannot be repurposed. Slave quarters. Concentration camps. Some things either have to serve as memorials or be obliterated and replaced. But storing people–actual human beings with hearts and souls and imaginations–in a place of immense suffering while other people decide if they have rights is unacceptable. How could they possible feel with those echoes all around them?