Why were the crimes committed in Auschwitz-Birkenau? At the time, Germany had a very well-appreciated constitution that was to guard the democracy of the society. It is usually known as the Weimar Constitution that was believed to assure a flawless democratic system, but it was not so. The Constitution guaranteed indiviudal rights and a parliamentary democracy. However, it dose not say anything about what kind of belief or idea the society must defend. You can call such a kind of attitude value relativism that means you may accept any ideas that are contradictory to each other to be protected in the society, even cruelty of racism. This is the fundamental flawn of the Weimar Republic. Auschwitz-Birkenau is not only the crimes committed by Nazi but also shows a first crisis and failure of a moden democracy. Not a large number of critics referred to this fact.
Why did the modern democary make such a great failure at the time? One of reasons is that value relativism is easy to invite an idea to force people to hand off their freedom and surrender to a small number of people who look to assure them with a "paradise". The lack of respect to freedom including religeous freedom is found in the constitution. The Weimar Constitution details a parliamentary system and a set of individual rights to be protected under the system, though what kind of belief should be guarded never appears in it. It is a kind of counteraction to the previous empire. The constitution is limited to the scope of its power. I always remember the cruelty of a democracy without belief that is dramatically descried in a popular booklet written by Plato about the death of Socrates. Even in the ancient Greece, a direct democracy made such a stupid mistake. Socrates was forced to drink poison under the rule of law people decided. The victims in Auschwitz-Birkenau and other camps were killed under the Weimar Constitution.
A constitution and a democracy are nothing without a belief or a value they are purported to protect. Otherwise they are just toys of dictators to whom people are easy to devote their liberty under the name of law. If any organization, company, school, univeristy, government does not have its belief to guard freedom, people go down to the hell of democractic failure. Value relativism is very dangerous in its property. Therefore, Germany's current fundamental law removes it and declares fundamental values protected and not to be destroyed under any situations.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is not a symbol of the crimes committed by an extreme group but lets us know a failure of the modern democracy of a nation.