Monday, August 15, 2011

Today on to Treblinka

Yesterday, when we reached Warsaw, all I could think was that "okay, got it... ready to go home now..." There is so much blood, anger, violence, killing in this country. Where did all of this hatred, fear and anger come from? Why did the Germans hunt down every Jew, and why did so many, so many Poles assist them in their 'work', sometimes taking the initiative themselves and killing the innocent?

I know the explanations of deep anti-Semitism. That the Catholics were taught for many, many years that the Jews had killed Jesus and so they were the epitome of evil. But how does one explain that neighbors killed neighbors? That after 450 years of living in peaceful co-existence, side by side, all of the Jews were killed in two days in Lancut? Or that the Poles themselves burned alive 1300 Jews in the town of Jadnova? They had been neighbors...

I know the psychological reasons - fear, stereotypes, de-individuation, de-humanization.
But knowing these psychological reasons does not provide me with THE reason/s.
How can people do such terrible, really unthinkable acts, to one another?

Perhaps it is good that I will never be able to truly understand, for if I could, perhaps I could do such acts as well...

What I am learning from this trip? Be kind. Love your neighbor. Remember that s/he is a person. Spend your time being good to one another, and refuse to let hatred and anger and fear into your hearts.

Be kind

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