A few days ago, a German Daily newspaper called Bild obtained drawings of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp layout, including gas chambers. The paper placed several images on its website and in its daily publication.
The newspaper said twenty eight yellowing documents, drawn by a concentration camp prisoner and dated 1941-43, were a sensational new historic discovery found in a Berlin apartment that was being cleared out.
In addition, Hans-Dieter Kreilkam, the director of the German Federal Archive, told reporters he thought the material was new and that it provided additional proof of the chronology of the "Final Solution."
However, historian Robert Jan van Pelt, an expert on Auschwitz, said he had checked the "so-called 'new' material" on the Web site of Bild, and found that "the drawings that are on their site are all old material, perfectly known" and published by himself and others in the 1990s.
The importance of these Nazi Death Camp Plans at Auschwitz is not whether its new material or old. It really does not matter if its an original or a copy. The truth is that everyone should understand the horror of what happened in Nazi Germany more than six decades ago.
There is no need for any additional historical verification. No, the real importance of these documents is the knowledge that they exist and a reminder of the horror of fascism and tyranny that our veterans have fought against on the military battlefield throughout the years.
This year's Presidential Veterans Day Proclamation states it best: "From the fields and forests of war-torn Europe to the jungles of Southeast Asia, from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan, brave patriots have protected our Nation's ideals, rescued millions from tyranny, and helped spread freedom around the globe".
"America's veterans answered the call when asked to protect our Nation from some of the most brutal and ruthless tyrants, terrorists, and militaries the world has ever known. They stood tall in the face of grave danger and enabled our Nation to become the greatest force for freedom in human history. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard have answered a high calling to serve and have helped secure America at every turn".
Unfortunately, many members of the military have never return home. In World War 2 an estimated 406000 made the ultimate sacrifice with another 600,000 wounded in battle. An estimated 112000 Americans died in World War 1. 33000 Americans would die in Korea while 58000 never returned home from Vietnam.
Those drawings from Auschwitz are an historical testament to the horror of fascism and tyranny. They act as a vivid reminder of the sacrifice of the brave men and women of the American military. Indeed, it's the reason the country honors its veterans on the eleventh day of November each year.