Sunday, June 26, 2011

right ....

The term "concentration camp" was first used to describe camps operated by the British in South Africa during this conflict [the Boer War].
In my lifetime, "concentration camp" was generally applied to World War II -- most horrifically to the Nazi concentration camps where millions of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, priests and other 'undesirable' people were detained and killed. But concentration camps also referred to prisoner of war camps in many nations involved in that war ... and in subsequent wars. But concentration camps were not just for enemy combatants.

The 'civilized world' was horrified by the Holocaust.

Lizzie Van Zyl
And yet it was one of the leading exponents of that civilized world that helped to create the picture below at right -- a picture that is all but indistinguishable from the Nazi death camps or the Bataan death march. Here is that picture from 'another' time -- the Boer War:
It really ought to set off warning bells when anyone declares s/he is "right" or that the circumstances of being "right" this time differ significantly from the "right-ness" of the past. It is a good idea to keep a very close eye on our own willingness to be "right."

1 comment:

  1. Bravo! Its so easy for the parsimonious society in which we live to selective about such issues and its so easy for us to say "...never by us"!! Take for example the US as a vocal proponent of Human rights and its creation and perpetuation of Guantanamo Bay and the ill treatment of US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. It’s difficult to understand especially if we are not prepared to ask hard questions.