Reader comment on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s passage ...
On Nov 17, 2011 Somik Raha wrote:|
However, I can say with a certaintly, that I have NOT found that "kindness begets kindness" as you say. Did the "kind" and innocent Jews receive "kindness" at the hands of the Nazis, or did they all "deserve it" somehow via acts of karma?
That's where all this falls down for me. Along with the reaction and problems I am having with this current nonprofit, who apparently has something to hide. Did I bring that on myself by asking for information? Was I not "kind" enough in my simple, factual request?
If we go deep into the Nazi regime, we find two things. First, people, Nazi or otherwise, have a strange tendency to bow down to authority (and you refer to this). So, when given an order from above, they mindlessly follow it. People during that time in Germany were at the pinnacle of culture, and yet, their ethical apparatus failed them. How do we know if that is a whitewash, or if they really felt something was wrong? All you have to do is look at how many people either committed suicide or died every day with their guilt. And those that didn't were hounded all around in society (as Nazi war criminals). There should be no doubt in your mind that most people of that time paid a big price for being a part of the regime. Getting to the Jews, we may presume that many were kind to others and led lives of service. The test of whether that brought back kindness is how much loved they were in their own communities, and there too you will find that many well-respected and loved people existed and were sent to the gas chambers.
Second, the Nazi phenomenon was a unique event in our history, made possible by a tremendous concentration of power and dehumanization. You might be surprised that the first counting machines were developed in Germany to tabulate the census, which was used to identify where all the Jews where. Massive deception made it possible to hide the brutality that was to unfold. If the local Germans had known what was up, I wonder what would have happened. As an example, when German society found out that autistic and mentally challenged children were being killed under a program for that was deceptively labeled. When the public found out, the government had to stop it. The extent of secrecy was so massive that not until World War II ended did people find out what went on at the camps. Mass cruelty is possible (I find) when massive secrecy is at play.