Sunday, July 03, 2016

The Evil That Man Is Capable Of

Elie Wiesel (SF Chronicle/AP photo)
71 years after the truths of the Nazi gas chambers and crematoria became known, the mind still cannot comprehend the magnitude of the evil.

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), Auschwitz survivor, made it his life's work to remind the world of the Holocaust, which most of us don't think about and, frankly, would rather forget.

Dozens of people die in a terrorist attack, and the incident becomes grist for editorializing and political change. Multiply such an act of terrorism by 100,000, and we are in the neighborhood of the Holocaust (6,000,000 killed).
“Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God himself. Never.”
One 20th-century society made it a deliberate goal to exterminate millions of human beings; the fact is still incomprehensible. Elie Wiesel forced us to look at the evil that man is capable of. He didn't get cheers of thanks, but we give him thanks nonetheless.

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