Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In the Shadows of Broken Light

I'd just finished published this post when I spotted Jamie Ridler's weekly Wishcast post. Dear Readers, I wish to tell you all what's weaved into this post (read below). I wish to tell the world to stop sleeping ... to WAKE UP ... to realise that freedom can only exist with responsibility ... to see the value of life in the carnage of violent suffering and death ... and to see violence as intrusive, and NOT entertainment.

 Read on, then.

Found in the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's online holocaust photo archives ~ a farwell letter, dated October 27, 1944, written by Herbert Langer to his sister Elly (Langer) Weil, living in Beverly Hills. The letter was written the night before Herbert's deportation to Auschwitz Concentration Camp where he perished.

Clicking the image above will open a link to a PDF file of all three images (large sizes). The letter on the RHS of the image provides an English translation. I dare you, I invite you to read the words and soak yourself in them, and the sentiments they convey.

The world is a dangerous place in which to live ... not because of those who do evil, but because of the good people who allow evil to happen.


... in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquillity will return again.
~Anne Frank


... Here the train was waiting for us, with our escort for the journey. Here we received the first blows; and it was so new and senseless that we felt no pain, neither in body nor in spirit. Only a profound amazement; how can one hit a man without anger?

There were twelve box cars for six hundred and fifty ... Here, then, before our very eyes, under our very feet, was one of those notorious transport trains, those which never return and of which, shuddering and always a little incredulous, we had so often heard people speak. Exactly like this, detail for detail: box cars closed from the outside, with men, women and children pressed together without pity, like cheap merchandise, for a journey towards nothingness, a journey down there, towards the bottom. This time it is we who are inside.
~Primo Levi, Italy, If this Be a Man

November, 1944. Jewish children were brought to Auschwitz. A truck stopped in front of the Political Section. A little boy jumped off. He held an apple in his hand. Two of the SS men were standing in the doorway. Suddenly one of them went over to the boy, grabbed his legs and smashed his head against the wall. Then he calmly picked up the apple. And the other told me to wipe "that" off the wall. About an hour later I was called by the first to interpret in an interrogation and I saw him eating the child's apple.
~Bernd Neumann, Auschwitz, trans. by Jean Steinberg

Violence is like a weed - it does not die even in the greatest drought.
~Simon Wiesenthal

Dear Diary, I have begun reading a book entitled Long Shadows: Truth, Lies, and History, written by Erna Paris. In her discussion of Postwar Germany and the ruins of the Holocaust, Paris speaks of "... listening to unquiet ghosts that reside in the hundreds of empty spaces that pockmark [Berlin, and of] memory holes that have never been plugged ..." We love that warm, fuzzy feeling we get when we nod our heads in affirmation upon hearing another say, never again. How foolish we seem, and so much like Sisyphus. Perhaps Camus had a point, when he wrote "The struggle itself...is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy." Are we doomed, like Sisyphus?

Look closely at all the images, particularly the ones that reflexively make you want to push them away, as you deliberately look away. Look! And tell your heart that looking away contributed to the horror which nazism wreaked upon humanity. We can provide no comfort to the survivors. We can only always look things in the eye, and see ... really, really see.

listen to the voices of the holocaust

**all images are in the public domain


Lawendula said...

Important topic, important wishes, as you wish for yourself, I wish for you also.

LaWendula (born in Berlin with a grandpa that has given Jews and Gypsies credit in his little grocery store )

Sacred Discovery said...

As Tinkerbell wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

May there be a time where violence has stopped existing.

Jamie Ridler said...

As Tabitha wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Holly said...

To those of us who insist on remembering, we stand the chance of stemming the tide so this never occurs again.

But, even the most horrific acts start out small, unconsidered, unnoticed, before it becomes the tidal wave of destruction that history records.

To your wish that we all do our part to make certain we do not repeat these things, I would add,
May we all have eyes and ears that are so acute, that we are able to know sooner that we must act.

What you posted here today was honorable. Hard to consider. But truly honorable work. I wish you well.

And, as Tinkerbell our bipolar one wishes so justly for herself and our world, so I lovingly and with intention, wish for her and us also.

Peace be with you today.

Linnea said...

As Tinkerbell wishes for herself and for our world, I wish for her -- and for our world -- also.

Giulietta said...

Dear Tinkerbell,

Pretty header! I wish your wishes for our world come true ...

Muse thx, Giulietta the Muse

Judi said...

As Tink wishes for herself, so I also wish for her and the world.

Looks like we ended up on the same wave at different crest points.

Kim said...

May we all awaken. As Tinkerbell wishes, so I wish for her also.

Sarah said...

As Tinkerbell wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Since I was very young the pictures and words of these events have deeply effected me. It is good to be reminded now and again lest we forget the horror these amazing people endured. That we honor that!!
Deep and thoughtful post!!
Namaste, Sarah

Mama Rose said...

As Tinkerbell wishes for herself, I wish for her also.
I see the world in perfect harmony, held in light!

Girlie-Queue said...

As Tink wishes for herself, and so graciously reminds us that in the midst of so much horror there is so much life, so to do I wish for Tink and the truly beautiful world in which we live together.

KnittingJourneyman said...

As you wish, so it shall be.
When I come out from the introspection, I shall kiss thee.

As Tinkerbell wishes for herself, and for all of us, I so wish for her, and us, as well.

Tim King said...

Some good thoughts here, Tinkerbell.

As Tinkerbell wishes for herself, I wish for her also.


Beth said...

I can't see the 3rd page - I really would like to read it!! Great post... Beth

piktor said...

This is the link to the translation: Goodbye letter in English

Beth said...

wow... what can you even say after reading that...

frustrated artist said...

As Tinkerbell wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Kim said...

This is a very important message and
as Tinkerbell wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Kim x

Rebekah said...

Definitely a very important message.

As Tinkerbell wishes for herself and the world, so I wish for her and the world also.

Lani Gerity said...

As Tinkerbelle wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

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