So, I’m currently making my way through Howey’s silo series. I just finished Shift, and it was… okay. There was some win, there was some fail (Anna was some misogynist nightmare, I swear), but the thing that really pissed me off was when Howey dragged the Holocaust into the conversation.
Now, I’m not going to say the inclusion was not warranted, when you’re talking about the annihilation of all but a few hundred thousand people, comparisons to genocides are perfectly valid. No, I dread whenever someone brings up the Holocaust because it’s either going to be a) trite, or b) entirely inaccurate.
Now, Howey managed to dodge most of a) but fucked up wildly with b). Firstly, Donald? You are not an inmate. You are an SS who honestly both didn’t know what he was doing and had no real way of knowing. It sucks, but it’s still kinda your fault. I did love the ‘it was not bad men who did this, it was an evil system’ and that fact that Shift explores how people who work in an evil system can so easily become corrupted without even knowing. Though Donald is still fighting, he’s still pretty much beyond redemption.
But there was one bit that absolutely pissed me off, because it shows that Howey didn’t do even a basic google reseach. There’s a bit where our reluctant proto-SS Donald remembers a photo from a concentration camp of a man driving a bulldozer which is shoving along a huge pile of corpses. Now, my degree was apparently good for something because I not only knew the photo, I could bring it up in my mind immediately. Which is why it pissed me off that Howey followed the reference with Donald thinking of how the man driving the bulldozer was clearly not bothered by what he was doing, that ‘it was just another job to him’.
Now, I had a hunch that Howey got so far the wrong end of stick that he was in another tree altogether, so I looked it up. Here’s the photo.
It’s from Bergen-Belsen, taken in April 1945. Do you see the problem? I do. Belsen was liberated in April 1945. That guy driving the bulldozer? Is a British soldier. And I’m pretty sure I can guarantee he wasn’t having a good day.
Howey didn’t even bother googling the picture. Because I did, and that was the first link I found.