A prophetic and thought-provoking comment appeared this morning in response to Thursday’s post “No Justice In The Face Of Auschwitz.”

The original post and comment can be read here: https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/no-justice-in-the-face-of-auschwitz/

It begins with a wise and important insight into the nature of evil and the causes that encourage its expression:

Hatred and evil is within our hearts and within our society, yet those human qualities are not strong until they have a powerful charismatic cause and leader to rally around; it waits until human beings are too tired to love, too tired to feel compassion for anyone but themselves; too tired and hurt to care if anyone but themselves are being persecuted.

It waits until the “good” people feel helpless to do anything, and get ignored and beat up even when they try. It waits until people begin to mistake evil for good, and good for evil.( Evangelicals endorsing Trump comes to mind ). It waits until there is a suitable scapegoat ( this time it is the other Semite brother who is the one the world loves to hate, though give anyone-one a chance to show hatred for Jews today and they will take it ).

The comment goes on to suggest that this reality gives some rationale to the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930’s and suggests a parallel in our current context:

All these things happened to Germany then and are happening today, especially under our noses in America. Yet are the countries in thrall with the Right today as in a desperate state as Germany was before the Nazis were voted in? Yet we still consider the Germans the ones we need to write and doco and film about, so we don’t fall into evil.

Clearly we need to understand the past in order to learn from it, but something has gone wrong it seems if the very countries that have condemned the Germans, who have not allowed the story of ordinary German people see the light of day, who have done nothing but focus on Nazis being evil, are the ones who are falling for the very danger that Germany was in not so very long ago.

The  concluding questions are important to ponder for anyone concerned about the current social political context in which we live:

What if all those films and books and docos have done is not help us remember the Holocaust as much as it kept evil in the past so we do not need to look at it today. What if all they did is give evil a chance to hide behind so it could build it’s strength in order to creep up upon us unawares and rise amongst us today?

Anything can be used to lull us into unconsciousness or alternatively to help us awaken to reality. When we choose to become unconscious, unaware, insensitive to the realities in which we live, we doom ourselves to repeat the mistakes of the past and risk falling into the very evils we seek to avoid.

 

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