Die Wahrheit macht frei ('The truth sets you free')

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We are
Visiting Austchwitz
We read 'Arbeit macht frei'
That terrible lie 
For Jewish eyes
Only. 

We enter
The gates of hell.

◄ Warmer than blood

Dust motes for Dante Alighieri 1265 - 1321 ►

Comments

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Brian Maryon

Tue 15th Sep 2020 07:13

Tom, I hope you are right. But look how easily power-mad leaders get themselves elected and look at how Trump has fostered an anti-Mexican feeling.

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Tom

Mon 14th Sep 2020 23:27

I can perhaps understand what you’re saying in a historical context. However, to put it politely, do you not think the idea of a collective national psyche in countries such as the UK and Germany is a little outdated these days? In light of progressive moral attitudes, access to information and multiculturalism... these tasty new ingredients in our culture’s soup will hopefully dilute some of the more carcinogenic ones. There is a lot of hope, if you choose to see it.

As for your poem John, it’s short and to the point. My own visit there was filled with bricks to the head. From kids taking selfies in buildings filled with shaved hair and prosthetics, to the oppressive eeriness of the furnaces. It was unremittingly brutal, depressing, eye opening and necessary. I’ll never go back, but I value having gone. Absolutely, worth remembering in poems.

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Brian Maryon

Mon 14th Sep 2020 22:55

Tom, perhaps semi-serious. And as John has brought up Japan I also think there is an inherent Samurai mentality that influenced their behaviour during WW2.

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John Marks

Mon 14th Sep 2020 22:49

Thank you Keith, Tom and Brian. I am as guilty as everyone else in indulging in racial and national stereotypes. However, the Germans and English share a common origin and 'type' as our languages attest, so we should be careful. We allowed (yes allowed) millions of Irish people to starve to death in the potato famine of the1840s and millions of Indians to starve to death in the Begal famine of the1940s. Also, modern Germany has apologised deeply and often for the Shoah, their terrible crimes against the Jewish people and other vulnerable minorities. The Japanese, on the other hand, still refuse to apologise for their many crimes against Chinese civilians, young Korean women and Allied POWs

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Tom

Mon 14th Sep 2020 22:18

Brian, are you serious?

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Brian Maryon

Mon 14th Sep 2020 17:22

I always wonder whether it is something in the German nature, an arrogance, that will come out and manifest itself in other ways in the future.

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keith jeffries

Mon 14th Sep 2020 15:50

John,

This brief poem is a statement which holds the truth. "The truth will set you free" is a Biblical (New Testament) quotation and often misunderstood even by theologians and many Christians. One can only hope that future generations will never repeat this horror. The truth is that evil manifested itself in the most appalling crime instigated by man. Those who participated, all Germans, should now be well acquainted with the truth of their actions. They lied and murdered the most vulnerable. They bear the blame and the shame.

Thank you for this
Keith

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