Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I am up at 2:00 in the morning because I have an obsession. And this time it isn't Target. Ever since my DC trip and the visit to the Holocaust museum I have been obsessed. I just cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this really happened.

I couldn't grasp it all at the museum because it was like information overload and I was very claustrophobic in there with all the people, but I couldn't get the image of the crematorium model out of my head. Telling people they are going to take a shower and then shoving them naked into a room and gassing them to death? And then all those shoes. All those people tortured for what? How could this happen? It wasn't just one man. Hitler didn't do it all alone. How could humans do this?

It sparked my interest so I started with watching Schindler's List a few weeks ago. That movie brought to life a lot of the things I saw in the museum. Like the walls of old photos. In the movie they took all their belongings and sorted them and one was a pile of family photos they took out of the suitcases. Another was a pile of shoes. The movie showed the difference between the ghettos and the concentration camps. It showed the cattle cars packed with people on top of each other. It gave real life images to the displays in the museum.

Today I just finished the book Night by Elie Wiesel. I could feel their hunger. I could feel the cold. I could feel the weakness and desire to just give up. Life came down to very very little for a lot of people in the struggle to survive. Family and food were their only priorities. Keeping each other alive the only goal.

Then tonight I thought I would put in the movie I had rented to try to fall asleep to. Someone told me the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was about the Holocaust so I had to rent it. Needless to say I couldn't fall asleep. It was about this family and the dad is a Nazi soldier and they move to the country so he can run a concentration camp. Only the little boy doesn't know what is going on. He thinks it's a farm. In fact none of them knew the whole extent when they got there. (except the dad of course) The boy forms a friendship with one of the little boys in the camp because there are no other children in the area. He goes to visit him at the fence almost everyday. And let me tell you there is a shock at the end. I was boo hooing so hard I could barely watch it.

It just blows my mind that this actually happened. Not The Boy in the Striped Pajamas part, but just such meanness and evil towards other human beings. And a lot of it was just because people didn't really know what was going on. And this stuff goes on today too. Some not on such a large scale, but another movie I watched tonight was Taken about human trafficking. Girls kidnapped and drugged and forced or sold into prostitution. Or look at the crisis in Darfur. I don't even know all the details of that, but I know it is bad. And then just this weekend I learned what "waterboarding" is. And no it isn't having fun on the lake. The US was using this technique of torture until it was banned by Obama last month.

I don't know how we stop this evil. The Bible says "Do not pay back evil for evil to anyone, but be careful to practice goodness before everyone," (Romans 12:17). The Bible also says, "Do not be defeated by evil, but overcome evil with good," (Romans 12:21). But really does that tell us how to deal with evil leaders who form evil groups of people who together can do very evil things?

Why can't all people just be good and kind to each other? How can we make that happen?

I need to stay more up to date on that is going on in our world. I don't want something like the Holocaust happen during my lifetime and me do absolutely nothing about it because of my ignorance.

I know I am rambling now cause the Ambien is starting to kick in. But please share your thoughts on this because I am at a loss. It happened and it could happen again in a different way, shape, or form because history does tend to repeat itself. And I am at a total loss. My mind wants to explode thinking about how it happened, why it happened, why it wasn't stopped much sooner, and what can we learn for that and apply to today's issues.

Oh and if anyone has a copy of The Diary of Ann Frank that I could borrow let me know!


Mary said...

I can't imagine how you took all this in at once. I went to see Schindler's list and everyone walked out crying. I haven't been able to watch it again. I've been to the nazi camp Dachau in Germany. It was so awful, I couldn't even take pictures of anything while I was there. You might also consider watching "Life is Beautiful". It's a really great story of how a father tried to protect his son while in a concentration camp.

Morgan said...

To keep up with current issues I read The Drudge Report (it's a conservative site - but it covers a lot of ground) - there are a ton of links to bloggers for NYT and other publications as well on Drudge.

Also, I watch the View (this week is all Hot Topics which is nice because they talk about a lot of things going on in the news and most of them, minus Elisabeth are pretty liberal).

My philosophy is in today's age ignorance is never an excuse, especially with the Internet and mass communication.

Last summer after I graduated and before I got a job, everyday I would get up and walk around Lake Johnson (it's a great 3 mile walk with hills and works you out pretty well) and watch the news/the View and then run errands or go to the pool and read and then go for another walk! Just some ideas - I know it's frustrating to spend all day at home without a lot to do!

Anonymous said...

It is a fact: Evil does exist in our world! It is also a fact that satan is reall and he is powerful. In my mind there can be no doubt that his hand was all over what happened in Nazi Germany. Is it a coincidence that Hitlers most hated enemy were the Jews? No, Hitlers mind was shaped and affected by satan's plans for him. As Christians we have to be aware of satan, the reality that he exists and that he can have power over those who don't know the true living God and even over those who do if they are not constantly diligent in watching for him. The fact that you are sickened by what took place is good. Everyone should be sickened by it. And we all have to watch and make sure it never happens again.

marathoner81 said...

It's horrific. I visited a concentration camp in Germany. I touched the splitered wooden bed that someone once called home, I stood in a "shower" where thousands were murdered, and walked in front of ovens that burned the evidence. These images have haunted me for years.

I will never be able to write in words what that place was like...I have goosebumps just trying.

The genocide in Darfur is horrible and it's good that you want to learn more. There are so many messed up things going on in the world that people are unaware about.

Melissa Leeanne said...

It must have been reading Anne Frank's diary when I was still in elementary school that got me started on German history, expecially between WWI and WWII, as well as the time just after. I eventually wrote my senior thesis on Die Weisse Rose or the White Rose. If you want a little hope in with all the depressing stuff, it helps to know that there were Germans who resisted. Check out the movie Sophie Scholl. I visited Dachau while living in Germany but visiting Auschwitz while visiting Poland was even more powerful a reminder of the worst of which humans are capable.

Melissa Leeanne said...

Also, I am in DC now and I'm glad to be reminded to visit the holocaust museum!

Akirah said...

I agree with Mary...I don't know how you could've seen all that in such a short period of time. Anything about the Holocaust causes me to shut down. I remember once I watched an episode of Seventh Heaven about a Holocaust survivor and I could hardly speak or eat for the rest of the day. The ridiculousness of people infuriates me so much...I can hardly stand it.

But I think there is hope. When you read the Diary of Anne Frank, you'll see. Despite everything she endures, she somehow manages to believe that people are good. I think that's pretty amazing.

Children of the Nineties said...

I went on a Poland trip that was a week-long tour of concentration camps. It really was overwhelmingly emotional, we actually went to the gas chambers and crematoriums and all of the other horrific places.

My family have a lot of friends that are survivors, though, and it's incredible to think people survived life like that. Obviously there was so much evil, but there were also good people willing to help them live.

On an aside, I don't know how you could deal with all of this on Ambien, I'd probably be crying hysterically and sleep-eating cookies...of course, I wouldn't remember it in the morning.

Shoshanah said...

I've always seemed to have somewhat a fascination to learn all I could about the Holocaust, I think partly because I am Jewish. Luckily all of my relatives emigrated in the 1890s, so I don't have any relatives who died or were survivors. I do have several Jewish friends whose grandparents were, one whose grandfather was actually one of Schindler's Jews.

There is a lot of information out there if you wanted to learn more. Last night actually I finished reading a book called, Sarah's Key which I haven't been able to stop thinking about since I read it. One book which is good and talks about how a country (I think Denmark) smuggled almost all their Jews out of the country overnight is Number the Stars. Its a children's book, so it isn't too gut wrenching. If your up for any more suggestions of books to read, let me know. I've be happy to pass more along.

Jennifer Carr said...

Did you get the book yet? I have a copy if you didn't get it. It was my favorite book in middle school. We could meet for lunch one day near Brier Creek if you want and you can borrow it. Email me. Also, I just watched Valkyrie last night, you might check that movie out too. Of course that movie is all Hollywood, but still it was part of the whole story (often overlooked).