View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 20 January 2012

Friday 20 January

Seventy years ago, leading Nazi figures met at the Wannsee near Berlin to plot the Final Solution to the Jewish problem: mass extermination. As a result, six million people were killed merely because they were Jewish, had Jewish parents or more distant Jewish ancestors. Others who also did not meet the criteria, set out by the Nazis as to what qualified as a proper Aryan person, were sent to a similar fate. One and a half million died at Auschwitz-Birkenau, in present-day Poland, alone, until the camp was liberated by Soviet forces - 67 years ago next Friday. Auschwitz was but one of many camps in Germany and occupied Europe where people were sent to their deaths. The German president has referred to the Wannsee conference as a source of deep shame for Germany.

Today's weather in Stornoway was grey and overcast, with rain moving in during the afternoon. It did not feel really cold (7C / 45F), but that will change. Tomorrow, we can expect severe gales and wintry showers, making for a bitterly cold day.

People in Mauritius are worried about tropical cyclone Ethel, which is bearing down on the island of Rodrigues, 400 miles to its east. Ethel will be a category 1 hurricane as it passes over the island during the next 24 hours, with winds just above the 75 mph threshold. I am not able to access the website of the Mauritian weather service. My own TC blog has so far attracted more than 800 hits today.