Either Barack Obama’s uncle had served in the Soviet Army or the Democratic presidential contender simply lied to the people. When he said that his relative had liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp, Obama forgot to add that the Americans had never gotten even close to it.
It is easy to let emotions take over you when speaking at a political rally. But as an experienced politician as Barack Obama should be more careful. He must have realized that even the slightest slip would have created an understandable stir in the news-hungry national media, which makes his Monday speech even more surprising.
To show that patriotism runs in his family at least as long as in John McCain’s, the Illinois senator told his supporters in New Mexico about his great uncle. “I had an uncle who was one of the, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps,” said Obama, adding that when his uncle had come back to America, he locked himself in the attic for six months.
It would be a beautiful and touching story were it true. Unfortunately, the sheer facts are that Auschwitz, located in southern Poland, was captured by the 322nd Rifle Division of the Red Army on January 27, 1945. According to the agreements signed by President Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, the American soldiers did not even get close to Poland that, just like all of Central and Eastern Europe, fell into the Soviet sphere of influence.
Soon after the lie was uncovered, Obama’s campaigners issued a statement saying that the senator had confused Auschwitz with another concentration camp, Buchenwald. “Senator Obama’s family is proud of the service of his grandfather and uncles in World War II – especially the fact that his great uncle was a part of liberating one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald,” it read.
Some may say that Obama got what he wanted. When it turned out that, contrary to what she had claimed, the former first lady had never found herself under fire from Serbian snipers; Obama aides could hardly conceal their satisfaction. Now, they try to play down their candidate’s blunder, saying that a concentration camp is a concentration camp, whatever its name or location.
So far Barack Obama has proved that foreign policy is not his strong side. Arguing that if elected president, he would begin talks with Hamas and other terrorist organizations and states, the Illinois senator had severely undermined the Bush Administration’s efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. Now, Obama shows that also history was not his favorite subject at school. If he lacks the basic knowledge on such matters as who liberated the Auschwitz liberation camp, how can he be a reasonable leader of the world superpower?
To quote George Santayana: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”