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Issue #1891      October 23, 2019

Editorial

Capitalism is slavery

When US and European government leaders denounce criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic and express their abhorrence of the Holocaust, certain basic facts are either glossed over, distorted or ignored.

The Auschwitz camp was liberated, on a wintry January 27, 1945, by the advancing Red Army, which at colossal cost in men and materiel had smashed the Nazi war machine. The Soviet Red Army found only 7,650 survivors still in the camp. The Nazis had removed the other remaining prisoners ten days earlier to Dachau, Mauthausen and other camps in Germany.

The Nazi extermination was not limited to the Jews. They began by murdering the Communists, Socialists and trade union activists. They went on to kill Gypsies and the mentally ill. Then the Jews and then the “Bolshevik subhuman” of Eastern Europe.

In fact, taking account of the activities of the Nazis’ special punitive units employing mobile gas chamber vans, flame throwers for burning alive populations of entire villages, and other such refined barbarisms, millions of Slavs – Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Byelorussians – were also systematically exterminated by Hitler’s “brown plague”.

It is not downplaying the appalling genocide against the Jews to ask why the simultaneous genocide against so many Slavs and others is passed over in the clamour of the western media?

The Nazis regarded their “non-Aryan” victims as “sub-human”, and therefore as undeserving of any pity or humanitarian concern. The “bestiality” that the German military and police were encouraged to practise could be given free rein with such “creatures”.

Ignored most assiduously, too, is the fact that the death camps were not only about killing people, about the “final solution”. They also were about profit and big business.

Auschwitz was in fact a complex of three neighbouring camps. Auschwitz I was the smallest and built first (opened in April 1940). It was used mainly for political prisoners.

Auschwitz II was the well-known death camp near the village of Birkenau, opened in October 1941. Auschwitz III, near the village of Dwory, was from May 1942 a slave labour camp.

Auschwitz III supplied slave workers for the large chemical and synthetic-rubber works of IG Farben conveniently located nearby. IG Farben also made lots of money supplying the German government with the poison gas used in the extermination chambers of Auschwitz II and other camps.

Prisoners arriving at Auschwitz were separated into those who were fit for work and those who were not. The old, the ill and children were put in the latter category. These were sent off to be starved, hanged, shot or gassed to death, their clothes, hair, gold teeth and other meagre possessions appropriated to swell the coffers of the Reich.

The others, the “lucky” ones, were sent to the forced labour camp. Here, as with all the unfortunates (especially those from the East) they were forced to do slave labour in Germany or the occupied territories. They were officially “worked to death” (in accordance with a protocol of the Nazi government).

The Nuremberg trials rightly described this exploitation as being based on “the concept of extermination”.

An order issued by Germany’s Plenipotentiary General for Manpower, said that all foreign workers assigned to forced labour “must be fed, sheltered and treated in such a way as to exploit them to the highest possible extent at the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure”.

Quintessential capitalism.

All the big German corporations clamoured for access to slave labour – whether from the camps or from shipments of slave workers provided directly from occupied countries.

Auschwitz was not the only German death camp. Had the Soviet Army not smashed the Nazi war machine, the Hitlerites had plans for even bigger death camps across the USSR. Blueprints were already drawn up for camps that would dwarf Auschwitz, both in numbers to be exterminated and – above all – in the number of slave labourers who would be put to work there.

The Soviet people and their Army put paid to these nightmarish schemes, at an unimaginable cost.

When they liberated Auschwitz, they liberated us all.

Next article – Education funding stripped

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