Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/29[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
I know I shouldn't get into this, but I can't help myself... To paraphrase Gertrude Stein: A slave laborer is a slave laborer, is a slave laborer. To suggest that the slave labor system and the holocaust are somehow different, seems to suggest that perhaps one was "okay" in war time, and the other wasn't. Well, it wasn't "okay," it was equally reprehensible, and the two grew out of the same mind set. I'm not getting into the debate over who did or did not make use of this inhuman practice, or whether particular executives from particular companies did or did not attempt to protect Jews or other potential victims of the Nazis. I am not an historian of the German optical industry. But I do take offense at what appear to be attempts to differentiate between one unjustifiable practice and another. Can't we all just agree that what went on in Germany from '33-45 was inexcusable. And similarly, agree that the perpetrators of those acts are long dead, and the folks who are today running companies that were active during those years bear no "guilt" for what happened then, and bear no relationship to their predecessors other than an ability to manufacture fabulous optical equipment? To continue to do otherwise brings up the obvious issue that some among us - and I am NOT pointing fingers at ANY individuals - pay fantastic premiums to own examples of those optical instruments bearing the symbols of the regime that exterminated literally 10s of millions of "inferior peoples," including Jews, Slavs, Catholics, homosexuals, the retarded, the halt and the lame, and those who disagreed with the very idea that there are "superior" and "inferior" people. (By the way: Yes, I am Jewish. And one of my major clients happens to be a corporation that was a cornerstone of A.G. Farben.) - --------- In any event, slave labour and the holocaust are different things on a broad level. The German slave-labour system, the process which eventually sent Sauckel to the gallows, involved non-Jewish personnel. There was a similar system using Jewish labour, but that was done at SS-owned factories which were closed down in '45. Marc firstname.lastname@example.org FAX: +540/343-7315 Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!