“It is the grimmest of ironies that one of the most savage, barbaric acts of evil in history began in one of the most modernized societies of its time, where so many markers of human progress became tools of human depravity: science that can heal used to kill; education that can enlighten used to rationalize away basic moral impulses; the bureaucracy that sustains modern life used as the machinery of mass death — a ruthless, chillingly efficient system where many were responsible for the killing, but few got actual blood on their hands.”What the President said is true and well-said, despite the irony of his own policies. But the President's observation that this evil came from one of the most modernized societies of its time is not ironic, but rather follows logically.
— United States President Barack Obama, April 23rd, 2009, Holocaust Days of Remembrance Ceremony, Washington D.C.
The evils of genocide, slavery, abortion, hatred, and euthanasia have existed throughout history, but contemporary society and ideology makes these evils more prevalent, and on a much greater scale.
The holocaust memorialized by the President — when nearly all of my Polish Catholic relatives were also killed — was started by a regime that was democratically elected. As these maps show, it was the modern parts of the country that brought the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei to power, while the backward Catholic regions resisted. The Communists also resisted, and were also killed, but they later gained power and caused their own vast atrocities.
The false notion that man can save himself, the centralization of power, and a disregard for the natural moral law — all characteristics of contemporary society of whatever political persuasion — lead necessarily to atrocity.