The Cottonwoods of Dachau:

The Memory of America's Diabolical Abortion Years to Live on In Infamy

The Cottonwoods of Dachau:

The Memory of America's Diabolical Abortion Years to Live on In Infamy

Photo by John Mallon

DACHAU, Germany — Bits of cottonwood fluffs—just like in Oklahoma—float eerily like ashes suspended in the air of the Dachau concentration camp, as if nature itself were doing its part in the chorus of 'never forget' that permeates the stillness of Dachau.

Yet my gorge rises when I see the words 'never forget,' because it's too late. We've already forgotten. The same diabolical blindness and denial has fallen over the United States and much of the West. Those committing and endorsing the modern crimes seem to wring their hands and say 'never forget' the loudest.

Those who don't believe me haven't looked into the hardened eyes and faces of the feminist Clinton-Gore delegation at United Nations conferences, fighting to have abortion declared a universal human right, and for 'sexual and reproductive rights' for 10-year-olds, free from parental involvement.

Analogies between the Nazi holocaust and the American abortion problem are imperfect and usually ineffective. The circumstances were different. But what they both have in common is the dehumanization of a certain class of people rendering them disposable, resulting in genocide. A fertilized human egg is a human being. What was done in the tyranny of nationalism then is now done in the name of 'compassion' and ideological rhetoric. The devil has simply refined his methods.

American slavery also denied the humanity of a group of people and was regarded as acceptable in American society. I predict in the year 2050 people will look back at abortion in our time with horror and ask, 'How could they do it? What were they thinking?' just as we do about the Nazi holocaust and American slavery.

It is one more step in the march of infamy through history. The problem is not with the individual woman in trouble, but with the propaganda machine churning out the rhetoric of 'choice' while countenancing few other choices than abortion and viewing them as a threat.

Twelve years ago the 'hard cases' of abortion ­ rape, incest, life of the mother ­ accounted for 3 percent of all abortions. Now, medical science has rendered life-of-the-mother cases practically nonexistent, and then falling under the ethical principle of double effect where saving both mother and child is the goal.

I met a young man named Oskar, 18, who opened up to me at the end of a town beer fest. He said, 'I'm proud to be a Bavarian but ashamed of being German.' I asked why. He said, 'Because of things my country did, the things people in my family did.' I sensed he was near tears. I told him he wasn't responsible for that, and that we in the United States couldn't criticize now with 40 million unborn dead in the last 30 years, but if he felt so strongly he could dedicate his young life to making 'never again' a reality, with God's help, by joining the worldwide pro-life movement.

But the question for us is, do we want our descendants—those who survive —to feel about us like Oskar does about his forebears?

John Mallon is contributing editor for Inside the Vatican magazine and a member of The Daily Oklahoman's Opinion Board of Contributors. He was in Europe at the invitation of the International Institute for Culture



The Cottonwoods of Dachau: