16 Jul '15     home | previous

Animosity, Revenge and Change

This is about rising above the emotion that has plagued humanity for millennia. It's also about timeliness in the seeking of justice and the fact that people might not be the same person they were when the act in question was committed.

In 1942, Oskar Groening was a believer in Nazi ideology. He was 22 and a member of Hitler's elite military organization, the SS. He was put to work as an accountant at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Today he is 94. Along the way his thinking changed. He decided that he had been a part of something evil.

Groening sees Hitler's camps at the work of a great many people, including his own participation. After the war he made himself available to the justice system in Germany. In his first day in court, he said he felt morally guilty for his work at Auschwitz but that it was up to the court to determine if he was legally guilty. His lawyer later said that Groening felt his crimes at Auschwitz were such that he couldn't expect either the victims or their relatives "to even think about the question of forgiveness."

One who had survived Auschwitz did – Eva Kon. She said:

I know that people are quick to anger. Why are we so willing to accept animosity and revenge and not goodwill. She embraced Groening, and Groeing appreciated it.


More On Revenge.

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