“Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out,
swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing...
And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes.
And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still
red, his eyes not yet extinguished.
Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
"For God's sake, where is God?"
And from within me, I heard a voice answer:
"Where He is? This is where--hanging here from this gallows..."
That night, the soup tasted of corpses.”
In Daniel Goldhagen's book "Hitler's Willing Executioners -- Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust" he describes the ordinary German, the everyday folk who were needed to make the functioning of the Holocaust work. They simply were doing the job assigned removing its goal of genocide from the forefront of their minds. What can we learn when man is reduced to untermenschen (subhuman) which make the bestial slaughter of innocent men, women and children palatable for other men to perpetrate. Hannah Ardent in her book "The Banality of Evil" (A description of Adolf Eichmann the designer of what to do about the "Jewish Question") says profundities. Eichmann was not a monster. He was an ordinary being and describes the perverse actions of normal human beings that become easy for them to do as they incorporate its nationalist rationalizations into every day life. He was doing it for his country. He was only following orders.
The profound question, of course, is what can we learn from this bastardization of human behavior? Never Again rings in my ears always as I look out on a world that seemingly has learned little from the monstrosity of its historically collective malevolent experience. Again and again we see actions of our own government and actions of those in the eternal civil wars of Middle East religious and tribal hatred which allow them do unspeakable things no one should have the right to do. Throwing bodies from buildings, placing human cargo in iron carts sunk into the depth of the sea to drown in a horrific death; heads lopped off simply because they are from another group or tribe as if they were trees cut to build a house. What can we do to stem the tide both at home and abroad to save ourselves from ourselves?