Thursday, September 14, 2006

"The Couple Who Fought Genocide"

A recent Washington Post article talks about the Sharps -- a husband and wife -- who risked their life during Nazis Germany to save Jews.
If you compare this article with that of the gunman in Montreal who shot several victims in Dawson College -- how can you explain human nature -- especially in relationship to what we have been reading about evil, the evolution of evil, and the roots of evil?


morgan marks said...

Katz discussed how we can understand evil through 'situational psych' and that evil is nurtured within certain communities. The gunman was said to be part of the 'vampirefreaks' website, his online diary. He stated how life and school sucked, and how he would be called the 'angel of death.' If he was in such a state that he lived everyday in hate, then he could not adapt to his school and every life to learn to like his circumstances. Going back to the community of evil, the online diary could have been his only form of escape, a place where other people understood, and where he felt like he belonged - where what he was feeling was normal, and ok. His online world would be a mutant moral community, one in which the outside world is wrong, and his own world is right. Where everything he feels towards the school and life is hate and dislike, thus making his action to hurt the people of the college a somewhat understandable reaction since his community has reinforced and bred him to believe it is right, moral, and ok. The difference between him and the couple saving lives is their communities, their moral values. The couple lived in the US, a land where freedom is valued and from the article they seemed to be very mindful of others - caring & kind people. They risked their own lives as well as the well being of their children to save others... whether you think that is noble or foolish, no matter, they took their 'good' morals and acted upon them, taking their seemingly happy lives here abroad in hopes to help the Jews in Europe. I think it takes a lot to rise above cirumstances and location, to find a place to belong... I also think sometimes people get caught up in situations they don't know how to handle, and then get dragged down - for many reasons. I'm not sure it's because some are stronger than others, or maybe more in need and receptive to seeing evil as good - but what I do know, is that the people stuck in such communities, where evil is being bred, ordinary people, searching for something, they need to be found - people need to care and reach out a hand - like the Sharps did.

jolly j said...

This is an incredible article. Unfortunately, I feel that the author belittled the Sharps' heroic actions by droning on the fact that they left their own children at home. They made it seem like the Sharps dropped their children off at the nearest orphanage and said 'good luck' when they were in fact staying with a wealthy neighbor... During WWII, many families in the US faced hardship- whether they were missionaries going off to rescue Jews or American soldiers sent to fight at the front. So why must a wonderful story about bravery and human kindness be tainted?