Light The Darkness/Erleuchte Die Dunkelheit

From The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust:

Genocide is facilitated by ordinary people. Ordinary people turn a blind eye, believe propaganda, join murderous regimes. And those who are persecuted, oppressed and murdered in genocide aren’t persecuted because of crimes they’ve committed – they are persecuted simply because they are ordinary people who belong to a particular group (eg, Roma, Jewish community, Tutsi).

Ordinary people were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution of other groups, and in the genocides that took place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Ordinary people were perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses – and ordinary people were victims.

In every genocide, those targeted faced limited choices – ‘choiceless choices’ (Lawrence Langer) but in every genocide the perpetrators have choices, ordinary people have choices…

Vom Holocaust Memorial Day Trust:

Völkermord wird von einfachen Menschen ermöglicht. Gewöhnliche Menschen drücken ein Auge zu, glauben der Propaganda, schließen sich mörderischen Regimen an. Und diejenigen, die im Völkermord verfolgt, unterdrückt und ermordet werden, werden nicht wegen Verbrechen verfolgt, die sie begangen haben – sie werden einfach verfolgt, weil sie einfache Menschen sind, die einer bestimmten Gruppe angehören (z. B. Roma, jüdische Gemeinde, Tutsi).

Gewöhnliche Menschen waren an allen Aspekten des Holocaust, der nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung anderer Gruppen und an den Völkermorden in Kambodscha, Ruanda, Bosnien und Darfur beteiligt. Normalbürger waren Täter, Zuschauer, Retter, Zeugen – und Normalbürger waren Opfer.

Bei jedem Völkermord hatten die Zielpersonen nur begrenzte Wahlmöglichkeiten – „wahllose Entscheidungen“ (Lawrence Langer), aber bei jedem Völkermord haben die Täter Wahlmöglichkeiten, normale Menschen haben Wahlmöglichkeiten…

6 thoughts on “Light The Darkness/Erleuchte Die Dunkelheit

  1. You are so right, my friend. Without the gullibility of ordinary people, the Holocaust never could have happened, or any of the other genocides you mention. People follow, it seems, the loudest voices, else bury their heads in the sand. We are seeing a rise in hate crimes, in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, in crimes against the LGBTQ community, and I wonder where it ends. Frightening, sad times. Hugs, Sweet Bee!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just quoted parts of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust because I simply have no words anymore for all that is going on. But I felt Brexit, Trumpism, Modiism, and the war in Ukraine are all possible because “normal” people are hoodwinked into believing persecuting whole groups of people is the easy solution to everything. Germans in Nazi Germany were not all evil. They were normal people who just ran with it because they had “no choice”. That’s how evil happens. The enablers might be worse than those who instigate evil. But I have no idea how to make people see who do not want to see until it is too late. 😪

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s quite scary how this problem seems to have persisted in so many areas throughout history and today. Humanity has so much growing up to do. That’s why we should all be grateful for WordPress sites like yours to continue raising awareness. Because they can make a difference. I have faith in that. Thank you so much.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You are definitely right in your assessment, at least in the areas of which I have some knowledge. Trumpism and Brexit were the result of populists with loud voices who convinced people that they had problems they didn’t have, and that the answer lay in drastic change. The reality, of course, was quite the opposite, but people, especially the under-educated, will follow the flautist … remember the Pied Piper of Hamlin? This is why education is SO important, but here in the U.S., we are scaling back education, teaching less and less of the history that provides valuable lessons for the future. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

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