When Humanity Fails
May 5, 2009
In remembrance of the Holocaust, the Leonard Lief library at Lehman College, in cooperation with the Afikim Foundation, hosted The One Soul Exhibition: When Humanity Fails. The exhibit commemorated both victims and survivors of this genocide.
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This is Shomari Brown, a student at Lehman College. In remembrance of the Holocaust, the Leonard Lief library at Lehman College, in cooperation with the Afikim Foundation, hosted The One Soul Exhibition: When Humanity Fails. The exhibit commemorated both victims and survivors of this genocide. The installation was the first in a series of events at Lehman that will reflect on personal experiences of the Holocaust.
How people could treat other people like that to me is-- is-- is something I can still never understand. These-- these were not soldiers. I had seen people die in combat. But these were human beings. These were civilians. And it's something-- it left a mark on me. It left a mark right here in-- in-- in my heart and in my soul.
There was no government in Europe during World War II that had a white hat on. They were either collaborators, perpetrators, neutrals, and I want to tell you, neutrals were in no way people whom you want to be associated with.
I knew what I had seen. It was no myth. I wasn't hallucinating. And I wanted everybody, and I wanted the world to know. And once I started to speak, it was like a catharsis for me that was like a-- a purging of all the-- the poison that I kept inside. And I'll tell you, I started speaking about ten or twelve years ago, and now they don't-- they can't stop me.
I never went back to this camp. But I described it what I saw, and I still have the vivid memory, all of it. The crematoriums are there. Everything is there. There's cl-- over 200 buildings are standing there in that camp.
We-- we looked like skeletons. There was no-- no skin, no-- no flesh on our bones anymore.
Wherever you looked in Gunskirchen was the smell of the dead and the dying. One of my buddies said it was like the devil himself took a vacation on earth.
They were on the edge of evil watching over it, looking at it. That's a form of participation, ladies and gentlemen. Only good men who stand by and watch events that are horrible and don't intervene are men who cause destruction, death, and affliction.
RICARDO R. FERNÁNDEZ:
These memories illustrate this very dark chapter of human history, and they honor the bravery of those who fought for good in the face of unimaginable evil.
This exhibit also salutes the heroes of salvation, God's angels, the liberators.
They started walking on a road away from the camp. And then, they came across cars and tanks with with the American flag, and they-- they started realizing that maybe-- maybe this is-- it's over.
My generation did not do the job. We didn't get rid of it. And it's still out there. All you've got to do is still look around in the Congo, and the-- and Rwanda, and what's happened in the Darfur region of Sudan. We-- we forget too-- too much about what's going on. We've got to get rid of that hate.
[END OF AUDIO]