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In memoriam… My visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau, Poland

Krakow, May 4, 4:30AM. I can’t sleep anymore; pictures and figures from Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps are popping up from my subconscious mind. During my visit tears just dropped spontaneously, again and again. I felt very, very small and deeply ashamed for mankind. People destroying other people on behalf of the superior German race, for their own benefit: it is just too extreme, far beyond my imagination… still, so true.

All caused by one dangerous, fundamentalist view, by one man, by one sickening both brutal and brilliant propaganda, by group thinking at an unbelievably large scale. Blaming others in political talks and discussions evolved rapidly into a blind, mass-murdering machine of SS members killing others, just in the blind belief that they were superior to Jews, gipsies, and others who thought differently. They were horrifying dreams of some lunatic narcissists leading to horrifying hurdle thinking.

We must never ever forget this ultra black page in the history of mankind, as a warning for every next generation: it’s true, we haven’t got a World War right now, but racism and fundamentalism are more relevant to our times than ever. Where there is chaos, dangerous populism arises.

Things will go out of control even faster when freedom of speech is curbed nationwide, when comedians are chased or killed and when large groups just follow one view blindly. These situations occur much easier when people just want to blame others for their situation, don’t have any self reflection skills and move slightly from some political ‘innocent remarks’ to rigid, cruel inhuman thinking. It’s too complex and too big for me—what can I do?

Although it sounds like a minor effort, I believe I can contribute myself by stopping being rude to others, by reducing rigid thinking and dangerous group thinking—by cultivating mutual respect and kindness in all my own meetings. From my point of view, especially during all our meetings, we have a great opportunity for spreading deliberately fruitful seeds of mutual respect and kindness. We all seek for peace, harmony, love and laughter, so why not evaluate our meetings on those criteria?