gillpolack (gillpolack) wrote,
gillpolack
gillpolack

Today I'm thinking about Shoah. Most people save that for the official remembrance day, but the official remembrance day is always on or near my birthday, so I think about it earlier. Also, Donna and I were talking about the different ways people dealt with their tattoos the other night (because the Phryne Fisher episode had characters from the Jewish Melbourne that was my family's Melbourne - and the world of the novel and TV was nothing like my family's world) and so it's on my mind. In my childhood, I didn't know who were survivors and who weren't, for they all wore long sleeves and we were told it would be cheeky to ask about their childhood. A special kind of courtesy was instilled in me that helped family friends move on. Donna was saying that her experience was quite different - she knew people who showed their numbers.

What strikes me always and ever that there is nothing distinctive about Shoah survivors compared to other humans (any of the survivors - not the Jewish ones alone): there was absolutely no reason they were persecuted. All the reasons for persecution were cultural inventions. They were all human beings.

It wasn't any apparent differences or real threats that caused so much pain. It was imagined differences and perceived threats. It was a misplaced sense of privilege on the part of the persecutors and a really warped understanding of the relative importance of human beings. That sense of privilege and of relative worth led to a bully culture and one where the capacity to kill was given to the bullies.

Every year I mourn the millions who were murdered. This year is no exception.
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