What hatred can do
The survivors, now mostly octogenarians and nonagenarians, shared stories of their captivity and hardship, the loss of their loved ones and the dehumanizing experience they had at the hands of the Nazis. Three-quarters of a century on, the image of thin prisoners in blue-and-white striped uniforms remains a powerful symbol of the evil that took place during World War II. Auschwitz, while it was just one of the many camps where atrocities took place, has come to stand for what humans at their worst are capable of doing to others they perceive to be not one of them. The Jews, after all, came to suffer the way they did because they were seen as an inferior, undesirable race. In the decades since the end of World War II, humanity has strived to correct its sins of commission and omission. Trials have been held to put the architects and the implementors of the atrocities to justice. Manhunts were launched to track down those who have tried to escape their grim past and start a new life. History has condemned the leaders to shame and ignominy. This is not to say that humans are not capable of committing the same evils in another form.