January 20, 2021
Thanks to John Pynakker and Mohave Valley Daily News for the moving story about Mike Schwartz, holocaust survivor. Stories like these demand repeated telling, reminders of the evil that stalks our world.
Another reminder erupted on Wednesday, Jan. 6, as a Donald Trump-inspired mob attacked our nation’s Capitol. More information about this gut-wrenching attack is revealed every day, but this much the nation watched on TV: as Trump addressed the boiling mob, he promised to lead them into the Capitol (he didn’t) and take back the election. The crowd surged forward, battering Capitol police, busing through barriers, climbing Capitol walls, breading windows. Members of the mob have now admitted the hunt was on for the vice president of the United States, and the speaker of the House. Flex cuffs were seen, used to constrain a captive.
Five people died, one a Capitol policeman bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher. Another officer was grabbed and pulled face-down, down the Capitol steps, while being beaten with an American flag. Another [policeman, a black Army veteran, put his body between rampaging Trump supporters as they flooded up a stairway. The heady actions of Officer Goodman in turning the mob away from the Senate potentially saved the life of the vice president and other officials. Officers were beaten, maced, pepper sprayed, had their gas masks ripped off, Tased. What a sorry, horrendous, disheartening sight. But whjere are the Blue Lives Matter crowd now?
In the midst of it all, as captured in many photos and videos, was a man in a black sweatshirt, advertising to the world “Camp Auschwitz.” The catchy slogan for the German death camps was displayed below: “Work Brings Freedom.” Others were seen wearing the phrase “6 MNE”. Translated, that means 6 million murdered Jews were not enough, we ned to take care of the rest. All around swirled Trump banners as the crowd roared. A Confederate flag, the symbol of racist seditionists, waved through our Capitol as America reeled.
I wondered as I read the article what Mike Schwartz would have ben thinking. Many in this crowd had Nazi tattoos; did he look down at his Nazi tattoo–The numbers permanently placed on his skin; did he cry in pain, remembering what he had lost, thankful that he had survived to escape to America? Did he wonder what had become of the country so many h ad once seen as a refuge from the evil that stalks our world?
Craig Stacey, Bullhead City