Friday, January 29, 2010

Memories of Auschwitz

Samuel Pisar was 16 when, in the last days of the war, he escaped from Auschwitz ...
Samuel Pisar - Out of Auschwitz -

... those of us who survived have a duty to transmit to humankind the memory of what we endured in body and soul, to tell our children that the fanaticism and violence that nearly destroyed our universe have the power to enflame theirs, too. The fury of the Haitian earthquake, which has taken more than 200,000 lives, teaches us how cruel nature can be to man. The Holocaust, which destroyed a people, teaches us that nature, even in its cruelest moments, is benign in comparison with man when he loses his moral compass and his reason.

After so much death, a groundswell of compassion and solidarity for victims — all victims, whether from natural disasters, racial hatred, religious intolerance or terrorism — occasionally manifests itself, as it has in recent days.

These actions stand in contrast to those moments when we have failed to act; they remind us, on this dark anniversary, of how often we remain divided and confused, how in the face of horror we hesitate, vacillate, like sleepwalkers at the edge of the abyss. Of course, they remind us, too, that we have managed to stave off the irrevocable; that our chances for living in harmony are, thankfully, still intact.

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