Former inmates of Dachau Concentration Camp moments away from executing an SS guard with a shovel on the day of the camp’s liberation.
Dachau, Germany - April 29, 1945
Mixed feelings over this photograph.
For one, the fact that it is the day of their liberation, and the inmates are getting their revenge by executing one of the men responsible for torture of the Holocaust victims.
Secondly… they’re all people. I fucking hate war. It is disgusting that people can kill other people and have such elation over it. FOR FUCKS SAKE, YOU’RE BOTH PEOPLE. How can you not have compassion?
I understand that the SS guard deserved it, but the fact is, humanity is sick. We are sick. Shit like this happens, every day. People kill other people. I don’t get it. I don’t think I could kill another person, even that I hated with all my entirety. But then, if I had been in those victims’ shoes, dealing with what they were dealt, I’m sure I would have had just as much fury and been able to kill. But it’s hard to imagine harboring that kind of pure hatred.
Wish that shit like this didn’t have to happen.
The Holocaust is definitely one of my favorite things to research, though; the fact that something like this happened and was accepted as normalcy, is mind-boggling. Then you get into the details and it is a complete mind-fuck. Any time when I get upset about unfairness, I think back to this time period, and realize just how good I have it… and could something happen again, that is just as bad? A different kind of bad. I can’t even fathom what that might be. Well, I have some ideas. But you really don’t know how bad it is till you experience it.
*edit - Rereading this post the next day I still feel like I didn’t explain my thoughts correctly. The reason it’s so perturbing is that the prisoners of the camps were forced to deal with such horrible events and see such horrible things happen to people, and yet here they are, standing, ready to invoke more horrible events. Yes, he deserved it, it is just sick because of whom is invoking it, someone who was forced into war, that maybe didn’t even believe in it, being forced to partake in it’s bedlam.