Goebbels’ Wet Dream or The Exterminator

A visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland prompted this wunderkammer (cabinet of curiosities).

I never imagined a muskrat would be as plush, soft and elegant as this accidentally trapped “survivor.”  The Third Reich diabolically cast Jews as rats, the ubiquitous vermin infiltrating their “clean, pure” Aryan society with filth, disease, plague and lies.  The Jew as the parasite of humanity. A thorough and successful propaganda campaign including the 1940 film Der Ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew), easily sold the Reichstag on utter extermination as the only and final solution, now known as the Holocaust.  The brains behind the outfit was, of course, Joseph Goebbels. This curiosity shelf even includes its own model can of Zyklon B, the rat poison ironically used in the shower/gas chamber for the actual extermination process.  It’s difficult to see the barbed wire around the bottom of the shelf, but I saw plenty at the camp.

An infamous scene in Der Ewige Jude  showed swarms of rats scurrying through cellars and sewers; the shots are intercut with images of Jews emigrating to all corners of the world.  The overlaid text conveyed this message:

Where rats turn up, they spread diseases and carry extermination into the land.  They are cunning, cowardly and cruel, they travel in large packs, exactly the way the Jews infect the races of the world.

 

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