Piecing together what we thought we knew about the location of the hamlet in the Belarusian marsh our grandparents came from, my cousin and I settled on a spit of land across the Pina River from Pinsk. It fit the descriptions we had, though it was not marked on any map anyone could find . Assuming that’s where they lived, it is a simple matter to find out the dates of the Pinsk Aktions, the Nazi mobilizations to round up and liquidate the local population, and we always assumed it was on those dates that the Nazis killed everyone in our family who had not made it to America by 1923 or died before those terrible dates.
Aktion is what the Nazis called these round-ups and “liquidations”. They’d assemble all the undesirables, the poisoners of the genetic pool, the deadly enemies of the people, down to the tiniest children, and lead them off to their deaths. An aktion usually involved a bunch of men with guns and a large ditch, sometimes dug, at gunpoint, by the victims.
The men who did the killing during an aktion, the einsatzgruppen, had a famously hard time, many became alcoholics and drug addicts. This is one reason the Nazis mechanized the process, to spare their people the horror of what it was necessary to do. There were simply too many enemies of the people to be killed and it is hard for a human being to shoot dozens, if not hundreds, of unarmed civilians day after day. No matter how strongly one believed in the ultimate justice of what one was doing. How many children can you murder before it gets to you?
I would not put that question to our president. I seriously don’t think the suffering or even the death of an illegal Mexican rapist child means anything to him. Look at the evidence. He’s got untold numbers of children from Central America in child prisons, dirty, disease infested, cramped, unhealthy child prisons. Concentration camps, actually (and recall, these facilities are not nearly as bad as Death Camps where actual mass killing was carried out). Concentration camps. For children.
His spin is that these kids have it great, much, much better than in their shithole countries, even if the food and sanitary conditions are sometimes not fantastic. Whatever he’s been ordered by federal courts to do about this brutal policy of family separation, he clearly doesn’t give a shit. Neither do the people running these brutal facilities where kids are not allowed to wash, where they sleep on the floor, where disease proliferates, where every sort of abuse is winked at.
Recently the president has been making a lot of noise, for the benefit of his angry base and to fire them up about his reelection campaign (which began the day he was inaugurated, before a historically gigantic crowd of supporters), about rounding up millions of these illegal alien fuckers and doing whatever is necessary to get these sons of bitches out of our country. OUT! NO MORE ROOM! OUT! BACK TO YOUR SHITHOLE COUNTRIES, LOSERS!
The president often behaves like an angry psychopath. His people love it! He was planning his nonlethal aktion for the July 4th weekend, then decided not to politicize the day, just having military jets fly over him as he made a patriotic speech. But now he announces it’s going to happen, as promised, a massive round up of perhaps millions, simultaneously in more than ten cities where they are hiding these filthy, violent criminals. His base, crazed with inchoate fear and hatred that Trump understands intimately, loves this kind of macho no prisoners theatre.
When journalist and legal American resident Jamal Khashoggi was lured to the Saudi embassy where he was strangled and dismembered on the orders of MBS of the Saudi Arabian monarchy, Trump was sympathetic. To his killers. He changed his tune over and over as the various transparent lies of MBS and his people came out. “Well,” he said thoughtfully, “MBS is denying it very strongly, very strong denial. So, you know.” Even when it was shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Saudis close to MBS planned and carried out the grisly execution, Trump shrugged. It was hard to think that Trump wouldn’t love to be able to have some of these fake news enemy of the people fuckers given the old Khashoggi treatment.
You know, without the illegal leaks, and the people who won’t shut up, and the laws, and the courts, the unfair courts that only get it right when they dismiss a suit against Trump for lack of standing or some other technicality, and the press, the goddamned disloyal press — oh, and subpoenas and so-called legal process — but especially the press, the media, with their constant airing of very unfair facts, and photographs, and videos and interviews with lying, disloyal people who won’t shut up, who think they are fighting for some kind of justice (fake justice) there would be no problems. Trump and his people know what to do. Get rid of all the fucking illegal immigrants. Is that too much to ask?
Without the goddamned lying media, A.G. Bill Barr’s (arguably) false public statement:
Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims.
would be an unchallengeable slam dunk, don’t you see? Only an enemy of the people would point out that access to campaign and finance documents was extremely fettered, that key witnesses lied or refused to testify, that the president submitted only to written queries and answered each one pleading no memory before finally simply refusing to answer at all, that senior aides and others were and have been forbidden from giving further testimony (NO DO-OVERS, LOSERS!) and that a flimsy protective privilege for all testimony and documents related to the redacted Mueller report has been asserted, on fucking Bagpiper Bill Barr’s written advice to the president.
It’s hard to think that someone as childishly impulsive and transactional as Trump wouldn’t jump at the chance to silence a particularly vicious “enemy of the people” by any means he could get away with. This is a man who paid off women he probably paid to have sex with, had them sign non-disclosure agreements and fought them to a standstill in the courts. This is a man who repeatedly called for the execution of five NYC boys who were completely exonerated of the crime they were convicted of. Kill them anyway. This is one sick puppy.
This planned nonlethal aktion against “illegals”– I’m sure Trump is wishing it could be something even more dramatic. Imagine the polling numbers if he could actually go on TV and shoot a few of these raping fucks in their ugly, desperate faces?
 It turns out, according to a Belarusian geneologist named Yuri that my cousin hired, the shtetl was not across the Pina from Pinsk, but 40 something kilometers east, closer to Stolin (Plotnitsa being the closest town on a map). There was, of course, an aktion there too. The Nazis were nothing if not thorough.