Known Unknowns

Everyone knows the debate over how much Germans really knew about the Holocaust as it was taking place. It's easy to say things like 'How could they not know?' and 'Anyone who had their eyes open knew what was going on.'

We should acknowledge, though, that we've grown up in a world where a Holocaust has already taken place. Industrialized mass murder is something we're familiar enough with to consider it a possibility.

To the Europe of 1933-1945, something like that had never happened before.

There's a huge grey zone between knowing the full story (assembly-line genocide) and deliberate ignorance ('all the Jews must have left Berlin because of the weather!')

Most people, I imagine, had an understanding that *something* was going on, but the specifics would have sounded like science fiction.

Anyway, that's what these paintings made me think of.

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Filed under Germany, Pictures

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