Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Holocaust Continues...

It's way past midnight and yet no signs of sleep. Here's why...

I agree watching war documentaries may not be the most ideal way to spend a weekend! But the German visitors at home had left me curious. During their stay here we discussed a bit about the Nazi Rule and how they found it shocking that I'd read Mein Kampf (purely due to an interest in World History. I had to clarify).

"Have you seen documentaries based on the Holocaust or the Third Reich?", I asked Mum. "Well not really, unless you consider war based movies like the Schindler's List or The Pianist", she responded. And I thought the only reassurance with those movies was the fact that it was all enactment. 

But today there was no Adrien Brody and there was no enactment. I was witnessing history unfold itself. These were the real victims. For an hour and a half on the clock I watched humanity being butchered. The Nazi extermination camps, euthanasia in gas chambers, man slaughter, human experiments on the disabled. Oh, it was all too much to take in. Unsure of whether I would be able to hit normalcy through the week, I decided to make a switch to a lighter genre.

In the 'animal abuse documentaries' section, a documentary titled 'Supermarket Secrets' caught my eye. I'd always wondered how supermarkets had changed things in terms of public health, quality of products, consumer buying patterns etc. And interestingly this one focussed on behind-the-scenes of livestock rearing and large scale factory farming of animals before they make it to supermarkets. Well, probably this was not the 'lighter genre' I was looking for. 

The revelations were disturbing and shocking. Factory farming of animals, abnormally sped up growth of chickens (142 days reduced to 45), crippled & diseased ducks with no water to swim, unhygienic mechanized dairies where cows were milked to the very last drop and pushed to slaughterhouses once they were mere lumps of fat. I have always had a special adulation towards cows. Their calm appeal and the striking innocence in their eyes is so endearing. Should we not be grateful to them for providing us with the single most important source of nourishment (milk of course!) for us since childhood? It's almost as though we owe something back to them. If not that, least of all a brutal death. I find it devastating and unimaginable to think of an animal as harmless and 'holy' as a cow being butchered. 

By the end of it all, I began to draw a hopeless parallel between the two documentaries and somehow it started to make complete sense. 

A German Lieutenant interviewed in the war documentary said : "They (the Jews) were always very quiet. They never screamed or squealed in pain." Are they not what the chickens, cows and ducks are today & this is the holocaust that continues...

Adolf Hitler once said "The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human". Ironically that is how I feel about the human race today. 

References : Documentaries - Hitler's Holocaust (1-6) and The Secret of Supermarkets (1 & 2) can be found on

- N

P.S - The author of this post does not honk at cows blocking her way on a busy street in India. Dear suffering animals - for some of us you are more than just finger lickin' good! 


  1. Hmm quite thought provoking.. History repeats itself, but the special call of an art which has passed away is never reproduced. It is as utterly gone out of the world as the song of a destroyed wild bird. It's always and only the tragic that's recurring through the years..P.S. neither do I honk at animals/humans/fellow motorists, who block my way..

    1. Dijoy - Thanks for your comment! Our lacking sensitivity towards animals & the environment is worrying. Some of us are sensitive towards strays but the problem starts right there too. We decide to stop there. How many meat eaters question or are curious to know the rearing conditions of the lamb before they order that Roganjosh?

  2. Debraj - A friend of Dijoy you may have metJune 11, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Hello Nandita
    Nazi Germany, The SS, Adolf Hitler, Himmler and their views or the German war machinery were responsible for crimes against humanity.
    They used a symbol of peace to propagate their love for hatred.
    Hatred which fueled their denial of granting basic human rights to more than a millions Jews and countless others.
    The movies about the second world war are enactment indeed but for people like me who were born outside the times and perimeters of Holocaust they are also means of information. They are the only thing that will stop me from being racist. They are the reminders how evil humans are.

    I am not a vegetarian, but respect people who are vegetarians if its for the love of animals.

    Having said that I do not agree with your view of comparing murder of a million people (the final solution) on the same level as killing domesticated animals for human consumption.

    If you tell this comparison to a Jew who may have lost his family in one of the trains going to Auschwitz he would find that downright insensitive.

    I respect the fact the you are against cruelty towards animals, but hope you can find some thing other than the Holocaust as your comparing benchmark.

    Debraj Hyd Jun 11