Originally posted by @shavixmir to Soothfast
A few decades?
Poland, for one, should have been forced to explain how nobody there noticed FFing concentration camps...
And then, pants down, every communist, trade unionist, Jew, Romani and gay gets to whack every single Pole on their bear arses with electrified fly swatters...
And then wait a few decades.
"I survived the Warsaw ghetto. Here are the lessons I’d like to pass on.
I’m 93, and, as extremism sweeps across Europe, I fear we are doomed to repeat the
mistakes which created the Holocaust."
"I have watched from afar in recent years as armchair patriots in my native Poland have
sought to exploit and manipulate the memories and experiences of my generation."
"Given what I’ve learned over my lifetime I would, first, urge future generations of Europeans
to remember my generation as we really were, not as they may wish us to have been.
We had all the same vices and weaknesses as today’s young people do: most of us
were neither heroes nor monsters.
Of course, many people did extraordinary things, but in most cases only because they
were forced to by extreme circumstances, and even then, true heroes were very few and
far between: I do not count myself among them.
The same applies to those who failed in their moral obligations during that time.
Of course, there were many who committed unspeakable, unforgivable crimes.
But it is nonetheless important to understand that we were a generation living in fear,
and fear makes people do terrible things. Unless you have felt it, you cannot truly understand it."
"Second, just as there is no such thing as a “heroic generation”, there is no such thing
as a “heroic nation” – or indeed an inherently malign or evil nation either."
"The truth is that, as a Pole and as a Jew, as a soldier and as a refugee, I experienced a
wide spectrum of behaviour at the hands of Poles – from those who sheltered me at risk
to their own lives, to those who sought to take advantage of my vulnerability, and all
possible shades of concern and indifference in between.
And although the Third Reich destroyed my world, it was a German woman who saved
my life by introducing me to the men who would recruit me into the Polish underground.
No nation has a monopoly on virtue – something that many people, including many of
my fellow Israeli citizens, still struggle to understand."
"Confronting lies sometimes means confronting difficult truths about one’s self and one’s
own country. It is much easier to forgive yourself and condemn another, than the other
way round; but this is something that everyone must do. I have made my peace with
modern Germany, and hope that all Europeans can do the same."
"If disaster comes, you will find that all the myths you once cherished are of no use to you.
You will see what it is like to live in a society where morality has collapsed, causing all
your assumptions and prejudices to crumble before your eyes. And after it’s all over,
you will watch as, slowly but surely, these harshest of lessons are forgotten as the
witnesses pass on and new myths take their place."
Bravo! Stanlislaw Aronson confirms what I have heard from other survivors of the Second World War.