November 4, 2010

Thucydides and the II World War

One of the most surprising (to use the weakest adjective) things of living in Germany is the fact that you still cannot understand how did the Nazism succeed among these people. There are many reasons, theories, explanations, but the Shoah and Hitler will remain for me always beyond any comprehension.

One very positive (to use the weakest adjective, again) thing of living in Germany is the relationship Germans have with their own Past and History. Sometimes it is too much, specially in daily life, but in this case rather too much than nothing. I take it that Thucydides would be proud of how Germans deal with their own History.

But that is definitely not the case with USA. "Move on!" is the practical way of solving problems (just got an email with such an easy proposal -- "Right!").

So I was not even surprised but completely skeptical when Y told me about the existence of Concentration Camps in USA during the II World War. I thought that was something for Nazis and Communists, nothing appropriate for Hollywoodean territories.

But in fact, it is true.

Not only that, but making some research I found out that there were also Concentration Camps in Mexico.

It might well be that every Historian student knows this, but most of the population is completely unaware of it, it remains still a taboo, children are not taught on these topics at school. 

Concentration Camps in USA (called "Internment Camps") go back to the I World War, where they imprisoned civilians aka "enemy aliens" of German origin, and later also of Japanese and Italian origin.

The one in Mexico (called "Presidio de la isla María Magdalena") was for Chinese people during the so called Campaña Antichina between 1918 and 1934. Around 4,000 Chinese were killed due to racism.

Where is Thucydides, for God's sake?

Foto: Manzanar Internment Camp near L.A.


Emilio said...

Probablemente ya lo leíste, pero el epílogo de "Postwar", de Tony Judt, contiene una reflexión indispensable acerca de Europa y su mucha memoria. (creo que apareció de manera autónoma en el NY Review of Books, From the House of the Dead: An Essay on Modern European Memory.) Saludos,

Enrique G de la G said...

No, no lo conozco, voy a buscarlo. Gracias por la recomendación.