Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

April 11, 2005

The Nazi who Saved Jews

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:30 pm

I’m simultaneously impressed by this story, and depressed there weren’t more like him.

A member of the Nazi Party who worked to bring the party to power in the years preceding World War II, Karl Plagge was drafted into the German army, where he witnessed the genocide of the Jews.

But then his life took a sudden turn, which set him forever apart from his co-officers, who were either complicit in or, at best, turned a blind eye to the mass extermination of European Jewry.

Stationed in Vilna from June 1941 to June 1944, Major Plagge, an engineer by training, was put in charge of a repair facility for military vehicles, a forced labor camp that was known among the Lithuanian Jewish community as a relative safe haven from the Nazi extermination.

One week before the 1943 evacuation of the Vilna Ghetto, Plagge took 1,000 Jews to work at the camp he commanded.

Though the plant was nominally meant for qualified engineers and mechanics, Plagge, like Oskar Schindler, found jobs for many non-qualified workers there, to save them from deportation.

Read the whole thing.

Passover and Eternity

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:28 pm

Joshua Sharf has some insights on Pesach (“Pesach” is Passover in Hebrew).

Removing Species for Earth Day!

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:17 pm

OK, this is funny. (At least to me.) I just got an e-mail from a certain university from which I have a master’s degree, inviting me to the following alumni event:

Celebrate Earth Day
at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
1550 Anacostia Avenue NE, Washington, DC

200 Volunteers Needed!
Join fellow [alumni] and other volunteers in this city-wide effort as we assist the National Park Service (NPS) and the National Parks Conservation Association with projects for dike reconstruction, clearing and mulching of 80-year-old azaleas by removal of invasive species and weeds, and clean up along the boardwalk. All volunteers are required to wear appropriate clothing (work boots, long pants, and long sleeve shirts please). Rubber boots, gloves, and tools will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

I guess even for environmentalists, some species are more equal than others. Remember, don’t step on any bugs with those work boots!

Remember when the Democrats were against the “Politics of personal destruction”?

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:03 pm

DeLay commit suicide T-shirt
Remember a few years ago when the Democrats were ranting about accusing their opponents of practicing the “politics of personal destruction”? Bill Clinton used the phrase after his impeachment, Hillary Clinton used it in her book, Richard Gephardt used it, and I think Gore did too but I can’t find a reference offhand.

Yet, now you can buy a T-shirt that seems to imply the Democrats have changed positions on this, and now favor the politics of personal destruction. Preferably, personal self-destruction. For now, anyway.

(Disclaimer: I provide the link to the T-shirt site not because I think you should buy the T-shirt, but so you believe me that it’s for sale.)

UPDATE (2:45pm): The product seems to have been removed from the web site.

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