Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ik ben droevig

Here are photos from Auschwitz that show the Nazi staff having recreational time, laughing, and singing, all the while immeasureable suffering is taking place in the death camp. These pictures are fascinating because they suggest that none of them thought they were doing anything wrong, or if they did, they suppressed it enough to go along with the norms of Germany's "genocidal state."

This is a testament to the capacity for normal, otherwise decent human beings to do awful things. Slave traders, Klansmen, serial killers, terrorists: outside the realm of the horrors they commit, many of these people are normal. They hug their wives. They dote on their kids. They're nice to their pets. They think of themselves as good people and a lot of people who know them do too.

So I ask those of you reading this to think about yourselves, and I'll think about myself too. Now, I'm pretty sure none of you are perpetrating a genocide, running a white supremicist group, enslaving other human beings, or beating your significant other or secretly murdering strangers every night. And I'm not doing any of those things either. But i have done some grave wrongs in my time and just gone on living like it was nothing and now I'm trying to make ammends. Search and see if you have anything for which you should do the same, not that you necessarily do.

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