Have you heard that phrase? Have you experienced it ever?
It happens sometimes when you are watching a horror movie… something gory and so sick that you really want to throw up but you stare at the screen in some morbid fascination.
It was that exact kind of fascination that got me through this article on NY Mag.
Short summary: It is an excerpt of a book that is to be published called ‘The Lampshade.’ The article written by Mark Jacobson talks about a lampshade that was found in the debris left behind Hurricane Katrina, which perhaps is a relic from Hitler’s era. The lampshade is made of human skin.
Morbid, isn’t it? And sick. And yes compelling to read. When you really think of it leather lampshades aren’t so rare. I do not use it but I have seen some really pretty ones out there… made of cow or goat skin. So when you think of it, both should make you equally sick (come to think of it, it does). But somehow knowing that it was a fellow human being… the warm skin of a person is now stretched out on 6 sticks is just… nauseating.
What makes it more so is the fact that it was another human being who did this, out of sheer racial spite. Or was it just a form of perversion which the war’s racial mania gave an opening to be expressed? Hate can be expressed in several ways but it would take a really twisted mind to do something so sick to another human being.
If I am wrong, I guess I am an absolute babe in the woods.
I have read stories about the Holocaust. I have friends from both the German and the Jew side who have horror stories. I have friends from Berlin who hate the city simply because of what it stood for. All through it, I never pretended to understand what drove man to such disgusting acts but I thought I was able to digest it. Now I realise I did not think it through. Did not know the least bit of the vileness that could exist in the human mind to do something so horrible.
The concentration camps, the persecution of the Jews, the mindless killing on them in several other regions. Was it a mania? Mob mentality?
Persecution exists here too. How many Sikhs were killed after Indira Gandhi was assassinated? How many Hindus and Muslims were slaughtered during the Calcutta riots? All in the name of religion.
But what happened during Hitler’s rule still perhaps tops the list. Dignity – perhaps the only thing that separates us from beasts (and note I do not say animals because they definitely have a lot more dignity than we can) was… non existent seems like a clean and minor word but that is the best I can come up with.
Would there be more such acts? Yes. Look at Afghanistan, Iraq. Every prisoner that is abused, every soldier that is tortured is a throwback to those times. Yet, somehow, we manage to ignore it and pretend it is all in the name of the country. Isn’t that the same excuse our ancestors gave?
Link of the day: Go read the article posted above.