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April 20, 1990 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-04-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ple participate in mass
murder?"
Studying the survivors and
listening to their stories
reveal that there is only so
much to be learned from the
victims about the dangers of
the perpetrators. If lessons
can be learned from the
Holocaust, they seem to come
from studying the perpetra-
tors. They might tell us how
to avoid becoming like them.
What do we do to reduce in-
difference? There are no
Nazis knocking on doors.
Reducing indifference begins
with little things. Watching
out for bigotry and ignorance,
educating ourselves and each
other, not allowing ourselves
to become mindless zombies
(a term Eichmann used to
describe his obedience to the
law), keeping our ethical
values.
These lessons seem clear.
Yet I find it frustrating and
frightening that lessons
about indifference are useless
in the face of bigotry which
stems from ignorance. We
seem to have no choice but to
hope that education and
memory will overcome
bigotry and ignorance —
frustrating and frightening
when they do not.
"Above all," Wiesel has
said, "to forget the victims is
for them to die all over
again." Still, we have the im-
age of the woman who
remembers losing her mother.
What has she learned? What
can any of the victims learn?
For the victims, it is impor-
tant to be vigilant so we do
not allow ourselves or others
to become perpetrators. ❑

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