Jan. 27 marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The day commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most infamous of the Nazi death camp complexes. Unlike other camps, Auschwitz came to stand for modern mass murder at an unprecedented scale.
Auschwitz-Birkenau did not spring up overnight. In the beginning, mass murder at this scale would have eluded even the most die-hard Nazi ideologue.
Accomplishing a genocide requires herculean collective effort. Along the way, it needs only a breakthrough or two, and a complacent public to go along.
Read a guest column written by Steve Carr, professor of communication and director of the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Purdue University Fort Wayne, in the Journal Gazette. (subscription required)