In a scene (see below) in the 1993 Academy Award Winning Best Picture Schindler’s List, director Steven Spielberg has the Nazi Concentration Camp Commandant Amon Goth (portrayed by Ralph Fiennes) tell his SS troops that the goal of liquidating the Jewish Ghetto in Krakow was to wipe out the memory of the Jewish historical and cultural influence in the Polish city.
During and after World War Two, Nazi and later Soviet authorities, in a quest to wipe out the trace of Jewish Presence in Eastern Europe, used Jewish tombstones to pave roads in cities and towards concentration camps.
The Chinese are conducting similar acts towards the Moslem Uyghur populace in the Northwestern province of Xinjiang in China.
The Uyghurs have been subjected to a marked increase in widespread discrimination and persecution in the Peoples Republic of China since 2014. There had been several periods of repression before then.
During the last six years, Uyghurs have been forced:
- To leave their homes to make way for Chinese economic development projects like the new modern Silk Road China wants to connect to the Middle East and Europe.
- Into Reeducation camps where they are forced, apparently sometimes tortured, into renouncing Islam and swearing loyalty to the Communist Regime.
- Into separating children from parents and placed in schools (complete with 10,000-volt electric fences) where they are apparently being indoctrinated to the Communist Party dogma.
According to the journal Foreign Policy, as many as one million people have been placed in these reeducation camps.
The Chinese have also, for planning and development reasons, destroyed over 100 Uyghur graveyards.
The Chinese, using economic development and loyalty to the state as justifications, are attempting to wipe out the Uyghur identity and erase their presence from history.
It is time for the nations of the world to condemn and use its means to stop these repressive acts in China and other areas where minorities are being persecuted like Christians and Muslims in the Central Africa Republic, the Muslim minority in Burma, the people of Cote d’Ivoire, and the recent attacks on the LGBTQ communities, Jews and Muslims around the globe.
The slogan Never Forget should become Never Allow.
Do not let the Chinese erase the Uyghurs from history.
Do not let the powerless suffer.
Featured Image from the Times of an Uyghur cemetery before and after its destruction.