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Auschwitz..60 years on..

Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:06 am
by Andrew McGeever
Another 60th "anniversary"; there have been so many in the last few years, as veterans/survivors from WW2 have marched, recalled, and commemorated events that shaped the lives of people like me.
Auschwitz was "liberated" on January 27th 1945.
Both my parents were in the British armed forces from 1939-1945.
They both taught me the words NEVER AGAIN!
That's it.
I can't say more .

Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:29 am
by Bobbie

Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:07 pm
by bee
Andrew, it only seams that it was that long ago- it is not. There still are many people around who suffered trough the tragedy, many more, -who've done it. I've met some quite recently in Australia, from both sides.
It is a comforting idea- "never again", but can we be sure of that? I am not! I was so disturbed by things i heard from the past, and how the ideas are still living- just can not speek about it on the open forum. It is scary.
sometimes it feels like the past is still the present, there is NO escape.

Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:32 pm
by Henning
Silence ... and a deeper silence ! Silence is the reason why we have to mourn about the victims of the nazi regime. It happens when too many don’t raise their voice and hand against murder. “Never again” is a dream. A long-term dream. We should live that dream.

Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:59 pm
by tom.d.stiller
In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't Jewish.

Then they came for the trade unionist,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,

and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant,

Then they came for the homosexuals,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a homosexual,

Then they came for me,

and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemoeller, German Lutheran Pastor

Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:09 pm
by Paula
Tom that speech. Perfect.

Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:06 pm
by Tchocolatl
The Shoah is heartbreaking. I am so grateful not to have lived in these times.

What I like about the spirituality of the Jews is that they are really assuming their humanity. I do not want to blame the silent ones, I just remark : I hear no gypsy speaks as they (Jews) do, saying "remimber" and "never again". No gay. Only Jews seem to be never tired of holding the light and keeping it alive.

Thanks to them, and to who ever are joining their voices to them, wherever they are.

However, nazis officers were human also. We unfortunately tend to forget about this.

What I remark is that whenever a group is formed, more often, control and power abuse are showing their heads. Fear and/or intolerance of differences? False sens of security and power by actions that belittled others? Uncounciousness? I don't know.

What I know is that the problem lay in every human being and it is there that it will be solved, if it is ever solved someday.

Because social structures are only the product of human beings as they are.

Thanks G_d, it seems that we had evolved and we still are doing so!

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 8:03 am
by Jim Rotonda
Fascism is not fundamentally a psychological phenomenon.
It arises in service to the preservation of power of a corporatist state;
Usually in the face of an impending economic crisis.
Its “solutions” are imperialism along with reduction of the standard of living at home
The racism and destruction of civil liberties are tools it will ultimately resort to.
It is important to understand this because fascism, in its early manifestations, can have a smiling face.

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:08 am
by bee
Jim, fascism is not necessarily to be associated with antisemitism. Antisemitism at it's worst is- what we are talking about- which has been as one of the strongest sidelines of the nazi ideology. Being as one of the tools of that regime- it has had devastating consequences. Antisemitism succeeded because of total fascist regime.
Ideology of this kind still has a strong appeal in many countries, which are far from being under fascist regime. therefore did not become an ACTIVE part of political ideology.
I agree, that fascism is more a result of economical presssures and considerations than- psychology gone wrong.

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:57 pm
by Jim Rotonda
Hi bee
You are absolutely right,
and I apologize for not making that distinction.

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:24 pm
by catherine
Although we must be careful not to let it happen again and
there are actually enough regimes even these days,
operating in similar ways,
those 12 years of "madness" really topped everything.
It is and will probably always be, icomprehensible to me,
how this could have happened only 60 years ago.
With even my grandmother being too young to really have a sufficient memory of it ( she's a year younger than Leonard), I have never had in
my close family anyone to really help me find answers.
Since I am an adult I'm trying all the harder. But as hard as I try ,
so much still stays incomprehensible.
In Germany children deal with almost nothing else in their history lessons
and even before school . I believe there is great danger with "overdoing" the topic,
because kids tend to be "wanting to hear no more" at a certain point.
I don't know if it's the same in other countries,but would like to learn.

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:36 pm
by Tchocolatl
Very clear descrption of the social structure that is called fascim, Jim. Thanks. However I was not talking about psychology, I was talking about personal implication, the individual vs social structure. I know that the last influences the first extremely, but we tend to forget about the contrary, too often.

I was talking about the dynamic between human beings. First. And second, about our own responsibility as individual to acknowledge (more or less counsciously) to play the social games we are part of (political and economical).

Also, I consider that this is not just a nazi/jew affair. I consider that this is a problem at the level of whole humanity, a human drama replayed again and again here and there on the planet, between countries, between co-workers at work places, in families and neighbourhoods.

I think that all the problems children can encouter in schoolwards - drugs, violence, lunch stoling, sex abuse, etc., etc., etc., are just the mirror of what they are withnessing about the behaviour of adults around them. The truth came from the mouth of children. The fact that this truth is sad does not change the reality. So. We have the choice to endure the statu quo and/or being active to make it worst, or to try to change things for (hopefully) the best, "outside", but firts, it has to be counscious inside. And this is good into all social structures. That is what I meant.

I know this is difficult to "reshaping the narrow law and art" of our own craft - like I do in these posts. This is not comfortable, however, I did not want to preach (this, I am afraid to be accused of doing so), and I am at the opposite of wishing people to feel guilty or ashame (in the contrary, believe me). I was just expressing my feelings about all this.

How can I put it? I will borrow Mr. Scott's (Frank) words.

"We love the easy and the smart,
But now, with keener hand and brain,
We rise to play a greater part."

For me (and I insist for me - I do not pretend to say what Scott and/or Cohen were thinking about this) it means that, us, each and every individual, as individual, are being more and more conscious and are acting accordingly.

I think this is too easy to wash our hands of humanitarian problems by saying : "Look, Madam, this is not psychology, this is politic and finance". By saying this, it is said : the problem is not ours, is not mine, it lays outside (another version of "the others" are the problem) so there is nothing I can do. For me, this just means "Money and control are ruling me and I do not want this to change". And that's it.

I wish for little more freedom and responsability, and evolution, and counsciousness. And that's it. And yes, Love. I am a big dreamer :D

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 7:58 pm
by bee
Jim, right, thank you.
Catherine, I don't think that the problem of children not wanting to hear about the nazi crimes occurs only in Germany.
I remember when Spielbergs "Shindlers List" came out and children from Oakland's schools were taken to watch it, they were sitting there and laughing, having a good time among themselves, because they said- it was such an ugly tale, the people suffering were ugly, they said. And it was a a big lie, they said.
As for you talking to your grandmama- I can understand that she has not much to say- she was brought up as child under the pressure of that devilish ideology, and than it all collapsed.
About overdoing it- I don't know the answer to that. Perhaps you know much more about, how it works.

Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 12:11 am
by Jim Rotonda
I was touched by catherine’s bitter searching of the heart,
And I certainly do not want to debate the nature of fascism.
After all; how do you analyze the incomprehensible?
But evil is insidious and needs to be identified least it creeps up on us again.
In that regard; I appreciate Tchocolatl’s and all of your efforts.

A few years ago I heard a 1992 interview of LC in which he talked about “The Future”
I have posted excerpts from it many times and will again below.
I find myself in awe of his passion and vision.
The artist has his ear to the ground and can often see the starkest implications of the most subtle signs.

The pertinent question for me is; would we know a fascist society if we were living in one?
LC - “”When they said 'repent,' I wonder what they meant." We're not even able to hold a concept now of a resurrection mechanism; we don't even know what the concept is about, now. We can't even locate it in our mental equipment. And, I do feel that the centrality has dissolved. You know, we used to talk about the broken family. We all have experienced the broken family, now -- us! You know, the people we were talking about -- the sociologists, the acamedicians, the poets, the mental workers -- none of these things we were talking about, from an observational point of view, has stayed as objects of our conversation. They have become the environment that we ourselves are inhabiting. So, we are living a world -- in a daily life -- of such ambiguity -- ambiguity about ourselves, about our wives, our husbands, our loves, our families, our loyalties, our work -- the ambiguities have become intolerable. We are no longer outside the problem. There no longer is a distance. There is no hill to see this from -- you share one body, now, with the serpent you forbid and with the dove that you allow. We're in it. And, The Future comes out of that experience.”
How many of you get a knot in your stomach every time you hear the phrase “collateral damage”.


Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:00 am
by Midnight
How many of you get a knot in your stomach every time you hear the phrase “collateral damage”.
I knew this was where this thread would end up.