05 June 2019

TV SHOW recommendation


Auschwitz - BBC documentary, 2005


Living today in the USA often reminds me that it is necessary to refresh my knowledge from history. Especially the part about why racism is wrong. 
I found this show thanks to the Netflix algorithms. I love historical documentaries, so this particular one was recommended to me. And boy it was spot on.
The documentary goes through the whole history of the Auschwitz, starting with the original military building that was on the site before Nazis took it over. It explains how politics and ideology of the Nazi, led humans in charge of Auschwitz to do monstrous things. 
And that last point, explaining how ordinary, everyday people with a bit weird ideology can be turned into monsters is what I really like in this documentary.
Through the time, people started de-humanized Nazi, representing them as some kind of evil, inhuman monsters. And that is sort of normal reaction, because if you can somehow prove that monster is not human, then you can prove that you and humans around you will never do such things. 
Sadly, that is not so. 
Unfortunately, all humans have in the capacity for evil and monstrosity. Forgetting that will allow monsters to appear, but reminding ourselves that ordinary human can turn monster, will make us more vigilant in stopping new monsters. 

That’s why I liked the documentary. It showed Nazi as they are, humans with a particular skill set,  love for problem-solving,  and engineering tendencies. Those same tendencies that later brought us the excellence of the German engineering examples.  
But this particular humans also had an entirely misguided and f-up ideology which told them that certain groups of humans are not humans but something less, inhuman, and in essence, merely annoying things that need to be removed for the betterment of their own group. 
And if the last thing sounds familiar, it is. Through human history, various kings and religious leaders used precisely the same rationalization to justify killing other humans. Any difference between US and THEM is enlarged and used as an excuse for killing. The important thing was that THEY have something that WE want. 
The problem was if you admit that fact, then WE are not good guys. No, it is better to form some form of the ideology that will make THEM seem like things and not humans. And then take stuff from THEM for US. And WE will still be all good and peachy, after all, THEY are not human, so how could you do evil to something that is not human?

And that is precisely what this particular documentary is uncovering. You can see Nazis convincing themselves that Jews, Slavs, disabled people, and Gypsies are not really human, so it is ok to get rid of them. As long as Nazi stick to the belief that what they were removing is a problem, inhuman, or even evil agent that makes their life worse, they can also believe that they are still good guys. 
The documentary shows, in a chilling way, Nazis using skills and life approach developed by their own efficient culture, to solve what they saw as a problem. The documentary shows how ordinary humans with misguided beliefs go from bad to worse in an attempt to solve a problem that, according to them, made their people unable to earn enough to have a decent life. 
When you see the story from that point, in the end, it was not surprising that commander of the Auschwitz was not remorseful for what he has done. He died considering humans he killed as annoying, evil, objects. He and his friends abandoned humanity because they convinced themselves they are not dealing with other fellow humans.

And that shows the truth behind this monstrosities. The moment when you start believing your leaders that THEY are somehow less than US, you are stepping at the path that might lead you to the exactly the same monstrosities as the ones Nazi did. The moment when you start treating another fellow human as a thing, you are turning to the path that will lead you not only to do bad stuff but also to cut pieces of yourself and your conscience away. You will not be a good guy anymore.

So do not believe when someone tells you that a person or a group of humans are somehow inhuman or evil. 
The progress of human societies and a variety of governments and problem-solving approaches to social problems showed that they are better ways to fix the issues in the community which blocks you from having a decent life. The problem is those better ways need refreshing and protecting every few generations.  Because the very people who are telling you that THEY are evil and problem, see you as a problem and inferior human. 

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