January 27, 1995 – Remembering Auschwitz – Explaining A Balanced Budget – The Barney Frank Kerfuffle – A 14 Year Old Venus Williams

Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp – symbolic of the indelible stain on humanity.

January 27, 1995 – All Things Considered – National Public Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

January 27, 1995 – A day of contrasts – from the goings on in Congress and Capitol Hill to the Tennis Courts in Melbourne to observance of one of the most heinous acts of inhumanity witnessed in the 20th century. A day with a lot on its plate.

Starting with this day in 1995 being the 50th anniversary that the Russian Army liberated the German concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau – a day the holocaust came to light – the most hideous display of man’s inhumanity to man was revealed for all the world to see, to be seared into the collective consciousness of every living human being possessed of a conscience and a determination this would never happen again. This day, this January 27th would come to be known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, since Auschwitz was discovered to be only one of several places of mass death. But it would serve as a symbol of just how evil humans are capable of being – and what, in fact they were still capable of being, some 50 years later. As was evidenced by a report from the region of the former Yugoslavia; the stories of ethnic cleansing and genocide, even in the 1990s of Serbs and Croats; Christians and Muslims. History, it would appear, fell on dead ears – and more would be revealed.

Back in Washington – the ever-present battle between parties – the Politics of budgets and programs – the uproars of innuendo and the slurs of homophobia. The slip of the tongue, Freudian or not, and the offense from the outspoken homosexual Senator over a colleagues epithet were just one more day on Capitol Hill – one more day of the 90s.

And buried towards the end of a story about the Australian Open Tennis Tournament were the high yet cautious hopes for a 14 year-old tennis rookie by the name of Venus Williams, who was showing a lot of promise and, fingers crossed, the kid could have a future.

All that, and a lot more via this episode of NPR’s All Things Considered for January 27, 1995.

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