The Killing fields

Pictures from the war zone are all we have to understand the situation on the killing fields. However, when pictures emerge that are so abhorrent that they ‘cut’ and ‘sicken’ the soul, they show how low mankind can stoop to in terms of evil.

The TV movie entitled Conspiracy staring Kenneth Branagh showed a dramatic recreation of the Wannsee Conference where the Nazi Final Solution phase of the Holocaust was devised. Imagine it is Nazi Germany, 1942. The Russian Front has been bogged down in snow and mud, and the Americans have entered the war. For the first time, defeat is a possibility. In light of this, fifteen high-ranking members from all areas of the Nazi government – soldiers, economists, administrators and lawyers – are brought together by order of the Fuhrer in a luxurious mansion in Wansee, Berlin. No records of their meeting will be kept, and they will not reveal the substance of their discussion to the outside world. The issue before them is to determine in their minds a solution – a final solution – to what the German’s of the time called ‘the Jewish problem’. Their solution will lead to one of the most horrific and shameful episodes in human history.

Why mention this shameful act? The reason is to show that evil resides in all walks of life. It’s almost as if humans have a series of internal buttons or channels that can be remotely controlled to turn them into communal killers. Some may say that a lot depends of the background of perpetrators. But consider the conscious of the workers at death camps. How did they live with the thought that they’d killed so many people each day? Maybe they blanked it from their minds or had become brainwashed by their neighbours and politicians.

Yet one would have thought that the fighting against such those that dared to place acts against humanity would today free us from such a situation arising again. Unfortunately, the evil enablers are still around today. Much can be blamed on lack of education but the root causes are deeper. It is either the small mindedness and associated opinion of a few that drive fear into the hearts of their followers or that no one has dared to say that certain ways of thinking are intolerable.

For example, although the Geneva convention for human rights exists and agencies such as The Red Cross and Amnesty international report actively on human abuses, interpretation of their findings is often compromised for political neighbouring or trade deals.

Until we have leadership that categorically proclaims such evil acts as intolerable and administers an independent monitoring body to proactively check on abuse, political powers will take advantage of the legalised torture and apologise as an afterthought.

Categories: 2004

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