As a counterpoint to my closing remarks in the previous post, here are some words just remembered. They are from one of the most powerful works in the literature of the Holocaust, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen. Its author was Tadeusz Borowski, a Pole who survived Auschwitz and later took his own life. He distilled his experiences there into a number of unflinching stories. In one of these, he wrote:
Never before... has [hope] done so much harm as it has in this war, in this concentration camp. We were never taught how to give up hope, and this is why today we perish in gas chambers.Hope is a mighty, animating, emboldening, indispensable human force. But in some circumstances it can be delusionary.