Sep 282007

Here at Suicide of the West you can find photos of evildoers getting in a little R&R:

What is most monstrous about these photographs is that they depict no monsters. No spaced-out, khat-chewing raiders ripping around in technical trucks. No rampaging, machete-wielding mobs caught up in the vortex of spontaneous violence. One is struck here by the sheer ordinariness of the happy people smiling back at the camera, people who at those very moments were willing, even enthusiastic accessories to the most horrific crime in human history. They were functionaries, bureaucrats, administering the machinery of genocide with professional detachment and absolute moral disinterest.  Clock in and kill the Jews. Clock out and catch a movie with the wife. And, unlike the rest of the German nation, the people in these photographs lacked even the false excuse, “We never really knew.” To the contrary, these were the accountants who worked the numbers, the stockmen who inventoried the gold teeth and shoes, the musclemen who slammed and locked shut the doors to the showers and the crematoria. These people knew full well, and still they drank wine and poked at volleyballs, kissed their kids goodnight and made love to their wives.

It’s scary to see this, but it’s important that we do.   These aren’t ranting maniacs (though there were a few of those in Nazi Germany.)  These are people not that different from us.    Evil is not something out there in an alternate universe.

It’s something I think about when working on my Black Hawk Slept Here history at and  I can identify with the Euro-American settlers.   I can take pride with them in their accomplishments and in the communities they built.   Yet they were also participants in evil done to the Native Americans whose land they took.   And the evil is not marked with spooky music, dark hats, bad hair and bad complexions like in the movies.   It’s very ordinary.