This photo reminds us of how horrible the Holocaust was and teaches us that we must never let it happen again.
However, we have not been taught the early warning signs of a holocaust to come, much less how to go about stopping it before it gets out of control.
Last week I spent my time in the rubber room reading this book, "Unmasking Administrative Evil".
According to its authors, the Holocaust could not have happened without the complacent compliance of thousands of law-abiding, church-going people who were just doing their jobs. "Without the full complicity of professional civil servants (and a myriad of other professionals), it is virtually inconceivable that the mass murder of Europe's Jews could have been accomplished." Those working in economic affairs, tax collection, social security, statistics, railroad service, foreign currency, and municipal government carried out essential roles in the killing process, while believing themselves to be uninvolved.
But there are other psychological mechanisms involved as well. One is called the "Dirty Hands Choice" in which one knowingly and deliberately inflicts pain and suffering on others for the greater good. Today we call it collateral damage. The other is called "Moral Inversion" in which something evil has been defined as something good.
I think that we should become very concerned when Dirty Hands and Moral Inversion become systemic as it has in the New York City Department of Education.
My holocaust alarm went off when I realized that corrupt Department of Education administrators were encouraging children to lie. I have now learned a term for it: Moral Inversion. The DOE justifies this moral inversion with the Dirty Hands Choice--we need to do "whatever it takes" to replace "failing" public schools with private charter schools in order to "leave no child behind". Veteran teachers are seen as one of the primary obstacles to this hostile private takeover. Because they are tenured, "extraordinary measures" must be taken to get rid of them, such as framing them for things they didn't do by encouraging children to provide false testimony.
This is not a conspiracy theory. People smarter than I am have tried to figure out where the holocaust started, how it was driven, and how and when it might have been stopped by whom.
If we learn how to recognize preholocaust conditons, and take measures to stop them, we can ensure that it won't happen again.