Readings, part 2: Ryszard Kapuscinski, 1932-2007
From Ryszard Kapuscinski, "When There Is Talk Of 1945," Granta 88, p. 255, translated from the Polish by Klara Glowczewska:
Posted by Brenden at January 27, 2007 8:08 PM
We who went through the war know how difficult it is to convey the truth about it to those for whom that experience is, happily, unfamiliar. We know how language fails us, how often we feel helpless, how the experience is, finally, incommunicable.
And yet, despite these difficulties and limitations, we should speak. Because speaking about all this does not divide, but rather unites us, allows us to establish threads of understanding and community. The dead admonish us. They bequeathed something important to us and now we must act responsibly. To the degree to which we are able, we should oppose everything that could again give rise to war, to crime, to catastrophe. Because we who lived through the war know how it begins, where it comes from. We know that it does not begin only with bombs and rockets, but with fanaticism and pride, stupidity and contempt, ignorance and hatred. It feeds on all that, grows on that and from that. That is why, just as some of us fight the pollution of the air, we should fight the polluting of human affairs by ignorance and hatred.