Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Shouldn't we let it go?

 A Jewish friend has told me of his ambition to visit Auschwitz at the end of October with the Zenpeacemakers (see link).  Apparently, this annual event draws people of all religions who have many different reasons for wanting to 'bear witness' or expiate demons of their own by visiting this austere and tragic venue where they will sit beside the railway line for 5 days,  in silence in the cold, or meditating the Zen way, chanting names of those who were sent to the gas chambers.  Strange things happen to those who lose themselves in this way. Some have had visions of the departed and imagine themselves as one particular person: they see themselves arriving on the train.  One person, disturbingly for him, saw himself as a guard - shooting at some poor victim.  Although I can understand what might motivate anyone to make this pilgrimage, shouldn't we let it go and concentrate on present ills?



  1. Somehow I don't think I need to sit in the cold for 5 days to feel the agony of Auschwitz.
    We just have to do what we can to make sure that is never repeated.
    Arkansas Patti

  2. As the symbol of ultimate evil, the Holocaust is something we should never forget, especially at a time when those who would deny it ever happened are prominent and the survivors dwindling in number every day. That said, I agree that there are many current problems and issues, including genocides, that are happening right now that need our attention and action. I guess it's a matter of finding a balance between keeping the past alive so we don't repeat it and taking the lessons learned and applying these to current ills -- of which there are many!