12/10/2008

How Beautiful Could The World Be?


"In camp too, a man might draw the attention of a comrade working next to him to a nice view of the setting sun shining through the tall trees of the Bavarian woods (as in the famous water color by Dürer), the same woods in which we had built an enormous, hidden munitions plant. One evening, when we were already resting on the floor of our hut, dead tired, soup bowls in hand, a fellow prisoner rushed in and asked us to run out to the assembly grounds and see the wonderful sunset. Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors, from steel blue to blood red. The desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky. Then, after minutes of moving silence, one prisoner said to another, 'How beautiful the world could be!'"

Viktor Frankl
Man's Search For Meaning

2 comments:

Roadkill said...

Sunny,

Got any good quotes from "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" or "The Gulag Archipelago?"

Hitler learned about how to run concentration camps from vists to the Soviet Union. Did he miss the lesson on stamping out all hope and beauty in the lives of the prisoners? The Man of Steel had no tolerance for such things.

Creating the workers paradise was too important to waste time, mercy or justice on enemies of the state.

I don't recall Solzhenitsyn expressing any hopeful sentiments at all in his memoirs of life in the Soviet camps.

Perhaps life was marginally better under the Nazi's than under the Communists? Hard to say.

The fact is, history records that tens of millions fewer were killed by fascist regimes than by Communist governments.

But of course, its so much safer and politically correct to demonize right wing fascism than left wing communism, because the motives of the more prolific communist murderers were purer.

Sunny B said...

I don't have any good quotes from the two books you mentioned. It's been over 35 years since I read "A Day In The LIfe..." Perhaps I will read it again and find some more interesting quotes.

Personally, I have my doubts that life in Hilter's or Stalin's concentration camps were much to be desired. They both sound like the South's Andersonville from the Civil War era. Likewise, the Japanese camps didn't sound like fun.

I actually think Frankl's focus was less on political ideology and more on the individual's reason for survival.

Roadkill, you seem preoccupied with pointing out the Communists in the USSR were much better exterminators than the NAZIs. Do you feel I've ignored the horror's of the Communists? I certainly don't mean to do that. I don't mean to lead readers on that they might be much happier living under communists rule than living under Hitler's vison. Although, I'm sure there where many happy Germans living under Hilter and many happy Communists living under Stalin. Those would be the ones with access to the booze and drugs to numb their conscience and dull their internal pain from committing man's inhumanity to man.