When asked what the Holocaust was,
People have many different answers.
The gist of those was that a bunch of people were killed by some terrible dudes in Germany during WW2.
But what almost no one pictures,
No one can see,
Is the tidal wave of official documents that swept away an entire people
Men and women, seated at desks very much like these, were maestros of death
Orchestrating a horror which even today is beyond imagination.
How easy it must be to forget that that ink,
Spilling across pages, filling countless volumes,
Was also spilling blood, filling countless graves.
Locked away in a safe, warm office,
¿You can’t imagine that those cold papers themselves are pulsing with action, full of intent, killing any in their path?
People not turning the other cheek,
Instead turning a blind eye,
Far enough removed from the suffering they’d decreed
To see justice in their actions.
Organising, scheming, leading, laughing, living in a world
Where smoke doesn’t blot out the sky,
Living in a world that still makes sense,
Living in a world where the consequences of their actions are invisible,
Yet the rewards of them are not.
People speak of the banality of evil,
However I would instead argue for the fundamental unimaginable quality of evil.
How could I be the bad one?
I have a lovely family,
I love music,
I adore my new puppy- How can my actions drag the world into a place darker and more full of hate than the one I was born in?
I think I’m a good person so my actions MUST be just
At least that’s what I need to believe.
We always hear that we should stand for what we believe in,
Is it possible that instead, we believe in what we stand for?
Creating an identity and a worldview shaped by our own actions, each Reinforcing the other in a cycle ending only when there is no more difference Between the two?
We would love to believe that our response
in such a time as World War two,
in such a place as Nazi Europe,
Would be resistance,
Would be outrage,
Would be something,
But honestly, how many of us truly would never walk down that path,
Where so many others have gone before?
Justification follows right on the heels of atrocity
What would I change about our world?
I would make our actions reflect
What is good?
What is just?
What is right?
What is human,
I would say, above ending war and hunger
above fighting poverty and hate
Is making us realize those things
If humanity learned to be human
Then we have a chance