Today is the 70th anniversary of one of the most infamous decisions humans have ever taken: the Wannsee conference that decided on the implementation of the “final solution,” i.e. the Nazi decision, deliberated over, discussed in detail, & found necessary & inevitable, of the extermination of all Jews. The proceedings were, as Adolf Eichmann, one of the participants, remembered, »Sehr ruhig, sehr freundlich, sehr höflich und sehr artig, sehr nett, und es werden nicht viele Worte gemacht. Es dauert auch nicht lange. Es wird dann ein Cognac gereicht durch die Ordonanzen, und dann ist die Sache eben vorbei« [“Very quiet, very friendly, very polite and very neat, with no words wasted. It does not last long. Then the orderlies hand out a brandy and the whole thing is over and done with.”]
It seems to me to be worthwhile to spent a few minutes, on this anniversary, thinking back on the event — because something, anything, humans have thought & implemented once, cannot ever be undone or even unthought & can be thought and implemented again. We are not dealing with some one-time aberration that happened in one place & under unique circumstances, but with a potentiality that is part of the make-up of a species wrongly known as “homo sapiens sapiens.”
Wikipedia’s page is worth consulting, here. The picture below shows a letter from Reinhard Heydrich to Martin Luther, Undersecretary at the Foreign Office, inviting him to the Wannsee Conference.