How could it happen? We still wonder today how 6 million Jews could have been exterminated by Hitler’s Germany. We also wonder how Stalin could have murdered even more of his own people. And we wonder, too, how Mao could have topped them all in his record-breaking long, barbaric march.

The answer, if you think about it, is quite simple. These cataclysmic atrocities were perpetrated by totalitarian governments that kept their evil deeds secret — sometimes with the active complicity of sympathetic, ideologically driven foreign journalists who knowingly covered them up.

We never seem to learn from our mistakes. Because, what appears to be the greatest holocaust in human history is taking place right now. Once again, the world is in the dark.

What am I talking about? The systematic annihilation of young Chinese girls — both pre-birth and post-birth. The documentation of this unspeakable “gender-cide” first leaked out of a United Nations World Health Organization report in late September. Picked up only in a brief news article by the Associated Press in Sydney, Australia, the story was quickly spiked for international distribution.

It took nearly two months for WHO to respond to my repeated requests for a copy of the report, cryptically titled, “Women’s Health in a Social Context in the Western Pacific Region.” Yet, it was everything I expected based on the earlier, abbreviated news dispatch.

Indeed, it found as many as 50 million women are “missing” in China — “victims of female feticide, selective malnourishment of girls, lack of investment in women’s health and various forms of violence.”

“Son preference affects all aspects of a woman’s life, including child care, health, education and employment, because she is discriminated against the moment she is born and sometimes even before if sex-selection procedures are available,” says the 62-page report.

“China has one of the ‘world’s most skewed birth rates,’ with 117 boys born for every 100 girls in 1994,” it says. “Although baby girls usually have a better survival rate than baby boys (which evens up the imbalance at birth), in China, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam, that natural process is being reversed by female infanticide, neglect, maltreatment and malnutrition of female infants.”

In other words, China’s one-child-per-family, population-control policy, exacerbated by traditional, cultural preferences for boys, has systematically snuffed out an entire generation of girls — some 50 million. It has happened quietly because we can’t hear the screams of dying little girls here in the West, thanks to that familiar combination of brutal totalitarianism and a compliant press establishment.

Even scarier, in this New World Order, is the way such findings can be obscured by the global health partisans of social engineering and strict, command-and-control population planning. Never once in the report is China’s one-child limit condemned or overtly blamed for this holocaust. Instead, economic factors and Asia’s old-fashioned, “sexist” traditions are denounced.

Economic factors? China, we’re told, is the economy of the future — experiencing unprecedented growth. If systematic victimization of girls occurs in the best of times, imagine what the worst will hold. And “harmful traditional practices”? Whatever happened to the U.N.’s nostrum of “multiculturalism”?

This report raises other questions, too — questions about where we in the West are headed on population-control issues, questions about abortion and infanticide and questions about yielding national sovereignty to global authorities. But those questions aren’t being asked because this report and the horrific facts it details have not seen the light of day.

When I raised first questions about this report with WHO officials, I sensed an immediate reticence to be forthcoming. The alarming statistics were downplayed. They tried to convince me I didn’t really want to see it. I got the feeling they weren’t sure if I could be trusted with this information. Certainly the general public couldn’t be. I was assured repeatedly that the report, which alleged in no uncertain terms that 50 million Chinese females had been obliterated from the face of the earth, was not intended as an indictment of Beijing.

Imagine if the Nazi war criminals had such a propaganda machine at their disposal? Imagine if they had a “respectable” international body making excuses for their butchery? After all, could there have been a Dachau without the existence of some “harmful traditional anti-Semitic practices”?

If the despots in China can’t be held accountable for what they have wrought on the public, then we’ll have to forgive Hitler, Stalin and Mao, too.

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