Today we watched a film/documentary called “Night and Fog” published by the Criterion Collection. This film incorporates media: photos and video, from the 40s in the Nazi concentration camps. This was the first time that I ever watched videos from that time; I had only seen pictures before. I cannot even put into words what my feelings and thoughts were while watching the film. Every time that I thought I had already seen the worst things, something even more horrifying was shown afterwards. I have no words to describe the atrocities that the Nazi regime and ideas generated. Wow.
It was easy to forget that the communist, homosexuals, Jews, criminals, etc. were human because of the way people treated them. They were not treated as people; they were not even treated as dogs. One of the images that really struck me is one of a dog walking around a concentration camp with freedom to do whatever he wanted, with love and apparently even with food because he was far from being as skinny as the people inside the camps. Even dogs were better fed and free, unlike men! I guess that it gets easier to think of people as merchandise and as objects if that is how people treat them all the time. Little by little the mentality of the Germans was shaped to hate, resentment and destruction. This mentality was shaped by small actions, by jokes, gossip and comments. Little by little everyone started to believe in these ideas. Was it out of fear? Was it out of a lack of questioning themselves? Was it out of accepting everything/anything that an authority said? Was it because of the thought that law makes things moral? Was it out of gossip? Was it really out of hate?
The only words that I may use to describe this event is: outrageousness and insanity. The lack of individuality showed by the soldiers is crazy. Each, claimed that they were only following orders and that they had no option and were not responsible for any of their actions. But if they were not responsible, then who was? Who was controlling their minds and bodies? Why did they even permit this? Why was everyone taking part on this madness? We can’t be like sheep all the time. If we do nothing to change what we think is wrong then we are being sheep. We can’t be blaming others for our own mistakes. We are responsible for what we think and for what we do.
I remember how the thought of WWII used to scare me, ever since I was a little girl. One of my cousins watched “The Book Thief” and ever since she has been very interested and surprised by the Holocaust. She is 9 years old and she recognized that the evilness of killing 9,000,000 people is out of question. It is obviously wrong to treat people like that and to judge individuals as part of a group. It is awful to kill people because they were born in a certain place or under a certain religion. I remember how I also recognized this when I was a little kid. There is no excuse for people to claim that the Nazis didn’t know all the harm that they were doing. Every sane person can notice that they were up to no good. But, hey! No one noticed or so it seems, because no one acted until it was fairly late. Don’t let other people scare you. Take ownership, control and responsibility for your life and stop being sheep that other sheep control! Be your own hero, become your better self with every day that goes by. Do what’s right and don’t let others tell you otherwise. Listen to the people who are worth it, who add you value and ignore and stop the negative comments and gossip generated by others. It was with small actions that the Holocaust started. Don’t let it happen again. This happened a few years ago and it could happen again. Today, it is YOUR turn to take responsibility and to not let such a thing happen again! Promise to yourself that starting today you will be very aware of how your thoughts and actions affect, shape and change your environment and the people that surround you.