Hate must not replace us. In The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, written in 1986, she included what I call both a historical and prophetic line: “. . . you have to create an it, where none was before. You do that first, in your head, and then you make it real.” If you want to see an extreme and real example with historical forebodings for today, study Germany and Europe in the 1930s as I have. Like it or not, the lessons are black and white. Consider this post an editorial observation and a historical comparison that most certainly shows precedent.
After three years of planning, World Youth Day 2016 begins this week in Kraków. Organizers expect the event will draw more than two million people from around the world. Poland’s archdioceses and dioceses have pledged to offer accommodations for over 373,000 foreign visitors. The festive gathering of youth and young adults represents the chance to share in prayer, worship, and a celebration of the Catholic faith. From Pope Francis to dancing nuns, Catholic leaders will welcome everyone in attendance.
Remember the name Raoul Wallenberg. As a Swedish diplomat dispatched to Budapest, Hungary in 1944, he is credited with saving over 100,000 Hungarian Jews from deportation and certain death. Ironically, even though the United States was allied with Stalin, and Sweden was neutral, Soviet officials took him into custody on January 17, 1945. He was never seen or heard from again.
“Auschwitz had a wonderful orchestra.” With that line, Henry Zguda introduced me to a lesser known component of all German concentration camps – music. For some lucky prisoners, musical ability saved their lives, because they were selected for the camp orchestra. Henry worked for the director of the Auschwitz orchestra, so was able to describe it in first-hand detail.