charlottesville

I as a European have always watched the political events in the United States. It is one of the biggest countries in the world and arguably the most influential one. I never comment on it though. Because I am not an American I don’t live there and never have so I feel it is not for me to comment on the political situation there. But I have to talk about this.

For those of you who don’t know on August 12 a “Unite the Right” rally was planned  to protest against  the removal of a statue of Confederate icon General Robert E Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia. Speeding car, driven by one of the protestors, rammed into counter-demonstrators injuring more than 30 of people and killing one of them.

The protestors were waiving Nazi flags, shouting “blood and soil” and “white lives matter”. Let’s call them by their name, they are Nazis. No alt right, no sugar-coating. They are Nazis. The are horrible, disgusting people. They make me sick.

One of the things makes me sad is that most of the American public doesn’t really know about the horrors of WWII. Of course they know about it from history lessons and so on, but they never get to see it and hear about it on a regular daily basis. I live in the Czech Republic. Our country was occupied by the Germans from 1938 to 1945.

I was born 51 years after the war ended and I know the stories. My great grandparents lived through it. They were farmers, living in a small village nowhere important and even they were terrified of the Germans. They feared that one day they will come for them and send them to a concentration camp. My teacher used to tell me stories about his childhood, how they would hide in a basement when the Nazis were patrolling  the streets. I read the books by Arnošt Lustig and other great czech writers about their suffering in concentration camps. I had the pleasure to hear his sister Hana talk about her experience in Terezín and Auschwitz. If you speak czech or know someone who does please watch this video and listen to her talk about her horrifying experiences.

I visited Auschwitz couple of years ago as a school trip. It was horrifying. I will never forget how I felt when I was there. Standing in places where unspeakable horrors have happened and so many innocent people suffered and died is terrifying. I saw the clothes, the suitcases, the toys, the shoes, the hair of the people who died in gas chambers. But I don’t have to go that far to be reminded of those who lost their lives to hatred. There are two monuments of the WWII victims in a walking distance from my house. And not just here, it will probably be impossible to find a village or a town without a similar monument.

I promised myself that when I have kids I will talk to them about it, that I will educate them so they would never let history repeat itself.

But it is happening right now. It makes me angry that there are people who believe that other people should die based on the color of their skin or their religion.  James Alex Fields Jr is a terrorist. White supremacists are terrorists. Yet Trump is blaming both sides. He is saying the alt- left (whatever that might be in his head) is as evil as the white supremacist. I can’t wrap my head around it. By alt – left he probably means communists and yes socialistic regimes are also evil, but the USA has never got even close to socialism. Never. But that is a topic for another article. Basically the president defends the Nazis. I have nothing but disrespect and disquist for that man.

I am affraid, because I know the history. I’ve met people who survived concentration camps and those who lived in fear and saw the terrors of the Nazi regime. I am affraid the history is gonna repeat. But I know that now, more than ever is time to speak up against it. Speak against the white supremacy. Don’t dismiss it. Read a history book. Watch The Pianist or The Schindler’s List. Do something. Stand up for what is right.

 

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6 thoughts on “charlottesville

  1. thank you for sharing. a perspective like yours is what we need. please don’t be apprehensive in sharing, as we really need to hear the voices of reason in these troubled times.

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  2. I agree. I think america has never went through a true war that shook its country. Its always the other countries that are get bombed or getting miltary sent to it. While many americans remain unaware of what war really feels like. I hope it gets better but it doesnt look like that and the fact that weapons and guns are legal and common is a scary thought to what the future may hold.

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  3. I think a good majority of the American public does know about the horrors of WWII and that’s why we are so appalled and embarrassed by the actions of those in Charlottesville. Those people do not represent who we are and what we know.

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  4. Hi Carolyn,
    Thanks for sharing, it’s always interesting to hear perspectives from people looking in from abroad… what happened there is a huge embarrassment for us regardless of what side of the isle you hail from.
    My grandfather fought in WW2, and I spent a great deal of time researching what he did, what he saw, where he went, and most importantly, the events leading up to what landed him in Europe. I’ve visited said camps as well and… yeah it’s tough. It makes me sick to think that there are people who share my country’s soil that are like that.
    Though I would like to clarify one point you were talking about, regarding Trump’s comment about the alt-left. It was inappropriate, I’ll admit. However what he was referring to was a group of left wing extremists/Anarchists who have euphemistically labelled themselves ‘anti-fascist.’ These people have destroyed property, assaulted people, and gone to great lengths to silence any and all opposing viewpoints. It doesn’t matter if you’re moderate, conservative, or liberal. If you don’t share their narrow, extremist ideology, you are a fascist by their standard. A few states here have started labeling them a domestic terrorist group and they were also present at the rally in Charlottesville.
    Just wanted to clarify that.

    Anyway, great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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