Atrocity – definition: shocking cruelty or wickedness
In human history there have been hundreds of atrocities, some are part of written history but many have, alas, been forgotten as those who spoke of them have passed. Why do we not, as a species, learn from our mistakes? It is only a few generations since the ‘war to end all wars’ – World War I (1914-1918). Unfortunately, it was not the end of all wars as World War II (1939 – 1945) followed a mere twenty one years later. My grandfather served in the first and my mother and father were children during the second. When we actually look at our own families ancestry, it brings into sharp focus that these events are not that long ago. Surely, that mere fact should act as a deterrent.
Unfortunately, war is glorified in movies, books and games without consequence to the viewer/player. This must desensitize us to the actual horror and suffering. It is not up close and personal for the majority of people. Warfare can be waged from remote locations and aircraft thousands of feet above the ‘target’. For troops on the ground the horrors are all too real and they are haunted by them for the rest of their lives. I experienced this with my own grandfather, when in his old age, he would be convinced he was back in the trenches and would hide underneath his bed, pulling me down to safety.
My grandfather was also part of the Christmas truce (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce ) when both sides joined together in peace. If they could do it for a day why not forever?
War is death of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children.
Why do humans continue to slaughter each other? We are the same species after all.
What is the answer to stop? That is the age old question that no one seems to know the answer to.
I recently saw a trailer for the movie The Book Thief. It is set in World War II and follows a young girls journey. I have attached a link to the book’s summary, for those interested.
- War letters home: ‘The Christmas truce saw German soldiers sharing a barrel of beer with us British’ (telegraph.co.uk)