The common belief that Britain, acting as the policeman of Europe, went to war with Hitler to stop the Holocaust is an ex post facto justification. The Nazis’ “Final Solution” – the beginning of systematic murder as a solution to the “Jewish Problem” – did not begin until the Wannsee Conference of 20 January 1942. Adolf Hitler’s opinions regarding the Jews were well known long before the war. He wrote a book outlining his antisemitism and his plans to deal with the Jews of Germany. Britain may or may not have been comfortable with this development in Berlin, but it did nothing.
This little blushing flower has nothing to do with memory, and even less to do with sacrifice. Who were these boys shooting, and what reason did they have to kill? Mindless slaughter – this is what we are celebrating in this November death cult festival of insanity.
Travelling by land and sea to what was in 1915 the trench system of the Western Front, I will be travelling in the very footsteps of the hundreds of thousands of young Irishmen who fought in the British Army during the so-called Great War.
As this is a research trip on behalf of the Irish government into the Irish soldiers’ graves from the First World War I expect to be waved off by a tearful young lady holding a white handkerchief. My parting words will be something suitable, like, “It’ll all be over by Christmas.”