Friday, 5 November 2010

We who live safe


You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes or no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter.
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

("If This Is A Man", Primo Levi)

Last Sunday was a warm and sunny day.
The guide told us: "Come back to Auschwitz. Come back here in January. Come back here when it's minus 25 degree outside and inside the barracks. Come back and never forget".

Last Sunday was a warm and sunny day, but I felt ice gripping my heart and desperation choking me. And yet I can't really understand to the full the reality of it: in "The Drowned and the Saved", Primo Levi says that the only to fully understood the lager were those who were drowned by it, perished in there.  We should remember and never forget, because we might become the next drowned.

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