An article by Edward B. Westermann was published on Aeon on February 16th 2018 and was linked to a post on reddit the following day. The reddit thread went to the popular page, and when I first encountered it, it had 9,900 up votes and several hundred comments. Today (three days later) it has around 14,000 up votes.
The article details how the Nazis frequently consumed large amounts of alcohol while policing concentration camps, and had celebratory drinks when they achieved a new personal record of kills (one man brags, “Man, today I’m celebrating my 1,000th execution!”)
While the article itself is an interesting read, what I find most fascinating is the discussion and access of the article. This article was published by Aeon, a not extremely popular news source (I hadn’t heard of it until I today), which describes itself as a, “charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.” The publication is targeted mostly to an audience who frequently reads think pieces, and probably searches for Holocaust new stories. Aeon also published a narration clip of the entire article next to the text, making it very accessible. The link being posted to reddit most likely made it more popular, and definitely more accessible. Its safe to say quite a number of people (myself included) stumbled upon this article.
The reddit post fosters an interesting discussion. Currently, the post is locked from comments, with a moderating posting 2 days ago, “Hi, everyone! This thread ended up accumulating quite a number of people promoting either Holocaust denial or political soapboxing (from any and all possible positions). As such, we’re going to be locking this thread. Sorry about that!”
Of course, the comments promoting Holocaust denial have been deleted, but here are the top comments/my favorite comments:
Typically we are used to seeing one sided discussions about the Holocaust, usually an article or video explaining some sort of history of the survivors, liberators, or Nazis. Seeing one of these one sided articles turn multi-dimensional, especially with people of the present day, begins to create a dialogue different from the ones we see in classrooms or purely scholarly spheres.