Auschwitz-Birkenau - Poland circa 1943

Contributed by Jeremy Arter

Auschwitz-Birkenau - Poland circa 1943

The ceramic high voltage insulator was used as part of an electric fence that imprisoned people in the death-camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. It represents the barbarity of mankind when religion is used as an excuse to justify demonising and killing the innocent. The object should serve as a permanent lesson that stays the hand of anyone tempted to use their beliefs to murder others, but despite this, it is clear that mankind remains capable and willing to use religion to justify the slaughter of those whose beliefs are different.
I found the object in 1993 when working with the Phare programme - an EU initiative to help countries that had remained under the totalitarian grip of Stalin's political legacy re-build and become members of the EU community.
In that context, the object that is obviously associated with despair, is also linked to hope and progress as Europe enjoys greater cohesion and a lasting peace.
It also reminds us that we must work with our co-religionists of all persuasions to promote tolerance and unity, for without that, this object seves to remind us of the saying;
"all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing."

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Possibly in Germany


2nd World War vintage


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