Thursday, January 27, 2005

Auschwitz 60 Years Later

Many bloggers seem to have an urge to say something related to the 60th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation.

That includes me, although I feel uncomfortable because I don't think that anything I write might fit the relevancy and seriousness of the topic.

All I can do is to write two things. One is a personal anecdote and another is an slightly ironic observation.

Ten years ago I met an elderly gentleman and shook his hand. There was something strange in the way he shook my hand and looked at me. I never knew what it was but it was quite uncomfortable. I felt like I was shaking hands with some supernatural creature rather than a frail old man. Later they told me that the elderly gentleman survived Dachau.

This might look like a plot of a bad horror film, but sometimes I think that the horror and evil that old man had experienced somehow found a way to affect people even today.

I could only imagine what kinds of stories can tell people indirectly affected by Auschwitz.

On the other hand, what proved to be the bad thing for citizens of Auschwitz in 1939 – being at the mercy of the nastiest occupying force in recent history – proved to be a blessing after 1945. Today they can make money as a place of pilgrimage while calling their city by a different name and not experiencing unpleasantness some other historic locations do till this day.


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