Walking round Auschwitz today I found it very difficult to gather a real sense of empathy for what happened here. I tried to link in and connect. Instead all I could see was my reflection in the glass, people milling amongst it all having fag breaks, taking photos and snapping at their kids to "come back". The surrounding trees many of which will have witnessed this atrocity stood tall and healthy, the buildings stood solid offering purpose. All I felt was an overwhelming sense of how quickly things turn around, move on and get forgotten. Our Planet with all its glorious systems shifting the Earth around... forever keeping things fresh. Humanity shuffling on and off the Mortal Coil. Political regimes, Imperial reigns , dictatorships, extinctions, Armageddons. Time ploughing through it all...always. Guiding Mother natures hand allowing the spirals to spiral overseeing the grand scheme of THINGS.
I noticed Frits Van Hall shared the same birthday as me. Born to Dutch parents in Indonesia on the 8th May 1899. His parents moved back to Holland 6 years later. He excelled in sculpture and was awarded the prestigious 'Prix de Rome' prize for promising young artists. Frits was active during the war in the Artists resistance movement. He was arrested in 1943 and taken to camp. Artists were of value to the Nazis. Frits was afforded a studio allowing him to continue working for a further 2 years. He managed to smuggle a few relief porters out of Germany during this time. He got caught and under the guise of 'Work Replacement' got put on a train to Auschwitz. The stories and detail of deception the Nazis employed to hoodwink the Jewish people was hard to stomach... I took a lot of deep breaths. Yet there I stood on the very ground where millions of mothers, fathers and Children got murdered by the most despicable face of humanity... only a 70 year period of time separated me from it, and I struggled to comprehend it.
The laminate that is human civilisation is extremely thin, it can be ripped up to expose the raw animalistic nature that breathes in us all. It only takes certain circumstance for it to rear its ugly head... be it fear of ones own mortality or preservation of kin that triggers it. The veil is thin. Thanks to an innate collective will to connect and love we keep the veneer well polished.
As aware as I am regarding the absolute necessity to never, ever forget the atrocity that was allowed to happen here... I couldn't help but muse in disgust the fact that it is still happening. We are all animals...many of us enjoying our convenience laden existence. With water on tap and a dimension of shallow media to keep us distracted.
All of it is redundant and futile until we all realise no one and nothing is of greater significance than the whole.
Auschwitz is still happening around the world today. It primarily feeds off personal inadequacy... the catalyst for greed and jealousy.Concocting this most potent of poisons that taints our world. No one and nothing is of more value than anything else.
Auschwitz just made me want to head for the hills and stick my head in the sand.
We have managed to reach a solid deluded understanding that consciousness is an attribute privy only to humans. In turn this foolish pride has built a false platform of superiority for us to view things from. I despair at this notion and despair at myself for being part of it.
Everything our senses allow us to recognise has to be cherished with equal magnitude that we afford ourselves. Only when this comes to be will such incomprehensible behaviour remain in the past and cease from destroying what we really are... an extremely privileged collection of beings living on the edge of a planet.
On the bus back I noticed a big Cinema on the outskirts of town. Batman was up in lights... I have yearned to watch it during the low moments, ever since I got Prometheus out the way. Perhaps their are enough tourists here to validate a showing in English.