I heard on NPR this morning about this daughter who said she questioned her father, who'd been in the Holocaust, about Auschwitz. He never would tell her about it, but finally relented on his death bed. He gave her a final warning though: You are knocking on the door to a room, and once you step inside you will never be able to leave the room.

Take a moment today and think about Auschwitz. Think if you were stolen from your home and computer and job and friends and school and blog and family and pets and clothes and hobbies and all that made you happy. Think what it would be to lose it all, be left with only yourself, and then watch yourself fade into nothing.

Think what it was to live with the stench of death in your hair and clothes and nostrils. I wonder if they ever escaped it?

Just a moment, today, think what it was for those prisoners to be rescued. Think what it has been for them to look down on those tattoos on their arms; every time they stepped out of the shower, every time they went golfing, every time they went swimming, every time they extended their hand in greeting, every morning when they reached out for a cup of coffee.

Think of the piles of coats and hair and glasses and gold teeth and money and shoes.

Think of tiny child-size shoes.

May the human race never forget what's inside that room.


Greg said...

I don't want to think about that stuff. And I thought going to jail for 2 weeks was bad, jail is freedom compared to what these people went through. This stuff was so tragic people actually have the nerve to say it never happened. As if their inability to comprehend means it could never have existed. Horrible.

Ole Blue The Heretic said...

NPR was cutting in and out on me while driving to work but I heard parts of the same program. A friend at work was telling me that the father’s admonishment was concerning the political situation today, with the war on terror and the erosion of civil liberties.

I do not believe we can ever fathom the depth of depravity that these survivors of the concentration camps went through.
We can only remember the history and learn from it. Unfortunately, I see to many people willing to live, once again, in the arms of tyranny and the depravity that comes with absolute power.


sex scenes at starbucks said...

Huh, I didn't get that at all from the report and I heard the whole thing. But it definitely applies to either situation.

I know this is a departure for me, but it's been on my mind today. Tomorrow I'll be back to my typical depravity, I assure you.

My tender little Gregory? Two weeks in jail? Oh, yeah, I'm buggin you til you tell, for sure.

Greg said...

Ahh yes sex, little gregory has some stories. I would have blogged some but there's alot of people that read that I'd rather not let know. And plus i'm kind of ashamed of what I used to do. I think I'll blog about living with my bipolar roomate though.

But if you must know, I did lots and lots of drugs. Cops came into my dorm room. Arrested me. Spend 2 days in jail. Got kicked out of the dorms. Lived with a bipolar roomate. Failed a drug test. Went back for 2 weeks. Dropped out of school. Started coming to SMC. And uuum, throw in alot of vomiting bodily abuse in between the lines and that was my life.

Greg said...

I'm still tender though!

Drink More Jack said...

Humanity can scare the hell out of me.

Monkey said...

It is terrible isn't it!?
I visited Dachou(sp?) in Germany once - it sure woke me up - just walking along there seeing the place - the actual trenches dug in the ground for the blood to run away - it's something I'll never forget. (And should never forget)
Thanks for a great, well-written, thought-provoking post!

T Kwong said...

I'm always feel guilty about this sort of thing because it always makes me a little peeved. Let me explain, a lot is made over the Jewish Holocaust, and rightfully so, but with all that time and energy spent thinking about how horrific it was, you'd think someone would remember Japanese Units 100, 516, and 731. I guess it's easy to miss, you know, with estimates of those killed ranging from about 700,000 to 1,000,000 Chinese and the conservative estimates say Japan killed at least 12 times the number of civillians the Nazis did. Moreover, no one has ever gone to trial for any of it. The doctors and army commanders involved all went on to have normal lives, some even became corporate heads. No apology, no nothing. Which isn't to say anything is wrong with Japanese people, but the government doesn't get high points from me.

So, while I whole-heartedly believe we need to remember what happened, it's damnably frstrating to know that people mark the day camps were liberated, but don't even know anything even happened.

Sorry, I'm done.


sex scenes at starbucks said...

Good point, Tom. The US Education system is not big on focusing on much oriental culture or history. And there are the Kurds in the Middle East and Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and of course countless others.

I think the Occupation and Holocaust strike a cord with so many Americans because many victims came to America, and I can put myself easily into the Jews' place; they lived a life much like ours in western culture, middle to upper class, well-educated and fairly well traveled, etc. I can see my family taken from my comfortable home and put on a train to god knows where into god knows what kind of conditions; I can see it especially well now with the religious right gaining power. I think they are capable of genocide like that - all it takes is one charismatic psycho to lead them.

Anyway, it was on my mind yesterday. Today I'll lighten up, promise. :)

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