I am watching „Schindler’s list” again, as I happened to switch to a channel that shows it and I couldn’t skip it. There are several scenes in this movie that I avoid watching. The ones in which the blood rushes out of people’s heads, shot from a very close distance. The one in which prisoners are shoveling burnt bodies of their countrymen and the ashes seem to be snow, while the living ones are carrying the dead ones to be burnt in that huge pile of corps… The scene in which a small boy dives through the toilet seat straight into shit and refuses to leave this hideout, although he is asked to by the three other children that were already there. The one in which women are rushed to the showers and as the lights turn off, mothers and daughters are experiencing the most agonizing seconds of their lives, waiting for death to pour through those shower heads . The scene in which the Nazi soldiers are prevented by Schindler to separate children from their mothers, as those children are also his workers and their little fingers are the only ones that can polish the inside of shells. This last scene always makes my eyes instantly weep … I think about what if somebody would take my 5 year old son away from me. Or my one week year old daughter, that sleeps now few inches from me. What if somebody would take them from me and there would be nothing I could do about it … the same way those people and others caught in armed conflicts could do nothing for their loved ones or for themselves.
This is what war does to you. To me, to us. In the current context, it seems the start of a new World War is just a matter of time …
And I have always ask myself, while watching this movie, two things: how can a “normal” human being treat another human being the way those guards did? We are not talking about “elite” sadistic bastards, hand-picked by Hitler for his staff … we are not talking about serial killers, with psychological traumas that made their most evil side manifest on a regular basis. I cannot believe that all the German guards that witnessed, encouraged and performed acts of horrifying cruelty had a mental disease excuse for that … My mind just refuses to understand this… They had no choice, you might say, it was “kill or be killed”? Really? This was the option given to the entire “fleet” of German guards in the WW II? Is there at least one story of a German soldier / guard who preferred to be killed by his colleagues or killed himself rather than killing with such a pleasure Jewish people? Don’t know, but I would like to find out. Another explanation: those guards were brain washed! I cannot believe that either!
So my question still remains, strictly from a human being’s point of view and in the name of everything that I feel whenever I watch this movie: how in the hell can a person allow another person to beat, torture, humiliate and kill? How can an entire community of HUMANS by birth find entertainment in such a cruelty? Maybe some psychology book can give me a clue … It’s not just this war that hurts me, but all of them …
The second question I have always had is: why do we need more? Why basic concepts like enjoying our life with the loved ones, are not enough? Why simple things like having your will power, clothes, food, a shelter, are a sign of criticized self-sufficiency and not a sign of healthy balance? I am asking myself these questions, as I am one of the “modern” people: I want more. More does not mean better or more peaceful or more beautiful … It just means more. More stress, more anxiety, more time away from your family, more tears when realizing years pass and you can’t sort out your priorities, more fights with your inner self.
More seems to be the motto of this era … and it actually means SUFFER MORE.
I strongly believe we are living the greatest development period in human kind history. Yet, we might be one step from extinction …
We want more because maybe we were raised like this. It is hard not to fight for food when you starve as a child. I can still hear Scarlett’s voice in my ears: “I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”
It’s difficult not putting money first after you spend a quarter of your life being cold or seeing your loved ones die because they can’t afford proper medical care.
It’s sometimes useless to talk about spiritual riches when you have been mocked by others for being poor and your intelligence has been constantly underestimated because of the same reason.
It’s a rough job to always feel misplaced because of how people treat you, as they see your financial and social status and not you.
Money seems to be an answer. To our fears. To our despair. To our hidden desires. To our dreams. But we don’t realize that we do not need it to come first. Wars start because of people, not money. Because of all the flaws of human character. Greed, envy, lust, pride and so many others that make human beings behave like animals. Sorry, animals don’t kill for pleasure … So, why do we need more? Because we see the “easy” life of others and we want that as well. Because we want to never feel ashamed again. Because we want what’s best for our kids. And as we think more is the answer, we realize only when it’s too late – we fall ill, we get close to death or we are caught in something bigger than us, worse than we would imagine – it is only then, maybe, that we realize how simple life could have been. I will try to repeat myself everyday that all I am and all I have are my loved ones. And maybe this way I will give up, step by step, on “more”. War is the only thing I fear more than death. As death is an event we each face alone, taking us to the great UNKNOWN, while war, by hurting our loved ones, becomes a horror worse than death.
I wish I could finish this article in a positive manner and say that world „leaders” have learnt something from past conflicts and that something is to never have wars again! I wish I could say that human kind will no longer allow its members to hurt one another as they did in the past. I am afraid I can’t say that, as humans are the most unpredictable residents of this planet. What I can say is that I will never lose hope. Hope that my kids and their kids and their kids will not have to learn about war from anywhere else than from history books. And I can say that I trust human spirit. The spirit of common people that sometimes turns thunder into silence, rain into rainbow, storm into blue sky and war into peace.