February 17th, 2012

death cab

lest we forget

Hitler had his gas chambers. People didn't believe it. They believed only when Hitler was no more. Stalin had his death camps. No one believed it, because their hearing had been so lulled by the slogans: "All men are brothers," "To the bright future of all mankind," etc. And if timid moans from the vast region of Siberia (and not only Siberia) did manage to get through, they were answered by the authoritative government refutation against "slander" and "anti-Soviet agitation." But believe we did when Stalin died, and Khrushchev, for opportunistic reasons, "lifted the edge of the bloody mat," in Solzhenitsyn's words.

I am told: No one will believe this. This can't be proven. They don't believe now that healthy people are crippled in crazy houses for dissident thinking, that physical torture is used under cover of "white robes." Man doesn't want to believe in evil, in very great evil. It tries one's conscience. It forces one to think: If this is true, why do I remain on the side, why don't I interfere? It means that I am a coward, I am dishonorable.

It is easier not to believe.

~~From Memoirs by Mikhail Kukobaka (as compiled by Aleksandr Podrabinek and Viktor Nekipelov in The Silent Asylum).
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