Sunday, January 23, 2005

Did we learn

Just a Caveat. This is serious stuff.

I just watched Schindler's List. A very powerful, frightening, amazing movie. Those of you who have seen it, understand what i say. Those of you who haven't, should.

My question is this. Did we learn? I have never had the Holocaust brought to me in such a way, and made entirely too real. Yes, I've seen pictures of the living victims when camps like Auschwitz were liberated, and how emaciated the living were, and the pictures of the bodies, and the showers, and the ovens. But this made it real. This made it truly an atrocity to me. I'm old enough to understand what happened, my father's generation fought the war, and were among those who liberated these camps. I've seen the tattoos. But that generation is dying. Did we learn? I fear for my children's generation, and my grandchildren's generation. Will they take these lessons to heart, and do all they can to prevent anything like this from ever happening again? Or will they take it as a fairy tale, albeit a horrifying one, and brush it off as the meanderings of a few very old people they consider senile, and out of step. Be it Jews, or Kurds, or Tutsi, this can never happen again.

At the end of the movie, when all the survivors walked by Oskar Schindler's grave, and left rocks, i cried. Not for the survivors, but the ones who did not. For every person there, there were family that never made it. Beautiful girls, and handsome boys, and mothers, and fathers, and grandparents. How can we, as human beings, be so hideously atrocious to each other? I don't understand, and never will, i suppose.

Did we learn?

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