Thursday, August 10, 2006
I have lately been revisiting some scenes of the Holocaust. Such images. I suppose it soon dawns to any student of history that there is no crime unimaginable, no ethical collapse not possible for us. This is no dramatic exaggaration: there are no limits to human cruelty. Nor can we ever wash our own hands clean. No person is an island - any crime, any cruelty committed is committed by all, no-one is completely innocent. At this very moment thousands are being killed, tortured, starved. Children, defenceless people marched to death. Mostly in front of carefully averted eyes, amidst lovingly nurtured ignorance. There is no such inevitability in the process that would absolve us of this never seizing tragedy - all the sorrow and suffering in this world is our direct creation, fashioned by our wills, by our being. In that sense even the Holocaust still goes on, those scenes still go on, the charge only increasing in seriousness with the unspeakable deeds themselves being gradually forgotten as real events.