The latest stupid, petty controversy in the presidential primaries/election is people being “outraged”–and the Republicans demanding an explanation–for Senator Obama confusing Auschwitz with Buchenwald in a recent speech. According to the Associated Press’ Obama mistaken on name of Nazi death camp (5/28/08):

“The Barack Obama campaign said Tuesday the candidate mistakenly referred to the wrong Nazi death camp when relating the story of a great uncle who helped liberate the camps in World War II.

“The Democratic presidential candidate said the story is accurate except that the camp was Buchenwald, not Auschwitz…

“Obama’s mistaken mention of the camp on Monday quickly generated Internet chatter, ranging from puzzlement to outrage. The Republican Party demanded an explanation.

“‘It was Soviet troops that liberated Auschwitz, so unless his uncle was serving in the Red Army, there’s no way Obama’s statement yesterday can be true,’ said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.”

So Obama–who must be so tired from the endless, endless, endless campaigning that he can probably barely see straight–confused the names of two concentration camps. Big deal–most Americans couldn’t even name two concentration camps.

But the real significance of the gaffe is this–“‘It was Soviet troops that liberated Auschwitz, so unless his uncle was serving in the Red Army, there’s no way Obama’s statement yesterday can be true,’ said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.”

An ironic comment, to say the least. American conservatives have spent the last 60 years pretending it was the US and Britain who defeated Nazi Germany, when the vast majority of Nazi Germany’s casualties occurred on the eastern front, against the USSR. When celebrating the 40th anniversary of D-Day in 1984, then-president Ronald Reagan read General Eisenhower’s announcement for the day and deliberately omitted Eisenhower’s reference to America’s Soviet allies.

The first president to properly acknowledge the Soviet role–the leading Soviet role–was Clinton, not because he was more honest but because the Cold War was over so we could stop the stupid charade. It was that generation of Russians–28 million of whom died in World War II, and millions of whom also died at the hands of their own dictatorship–who saved humanity.

The picture above is of the Soviet Army liberating Auschwitz. The video here has footage of the Soviet Army capturing and liberating Auschwitz–it’s in German (I think) but it is still worth watching.

Thanks to Valerie, a reader, for sending the story.

Glenn Sacks, www.GlennSacks.com

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