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SHAPIRO: No Dachau? No Auschwitz? Ignoring just as evil as denying
Rejecting part of history is rejecting all of it
Question of the Day
He looked at me blankly shaking his head, and a woman from an information booth came over.
“I’m looking for Dachau.”
“This is Dachau,” she said, pointing to the train station.
“The concentration camp.”
They both shook their heads.
“Fine, I’m looking for Bus 710.”
They smiled and pointed to an area nearby. Confused, I walked in the indicated direction, found Bus 710 and climbed aboard.
The drive was pleasant as Dachau turned out to be a very pretty town. As we passed by rows of Austrian-style houses shaded by trees, I wondered how the residents felt about living in a place memorialized by such an evil past.
I was even more surprised when I got to the camp and saw houses built right against its walls. I wondered what it would be like to have a bedroom view of a gas chamber.
I spent four hours at Dachau, and when I left, I wondered if I should a take a train to Poland to see Auschwitz on Sunday before I flew back to London. So, I returned to the Central Station and approached an information booth to ask which train stops there.
“Ausch what?” she asked.
“Auschwitz,” I said in disbelief.
“I do not know what that is,” she said in a matter of fact tone.
I repeated the word, several times while she and her co-worker looked at one another quizzically, throwing their hands up in confusion.
“Do you know what Dachau is?” I asked.
About the Author
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is a nationally recognized investigative journalist and a former Washington, D.C., prosecutor. He is currently general counsel for MDB International, a D.C.-based international investigations firm, and a legal analyst for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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