"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." George Santayana
Simon Wiesenthal, so called “the Nazi Hunter” passed away this morning during his sleep at age of 96. Having survived concentration camps during world war 2, he spent most of his post-war life investigating and helping bring Nazi war criminals to justice. Among the approximately 1,100 war criminals tracked down and captured thanks to his work were Adolf Eichmann and Franz Stangl, commandant at the Treblinka extermination camp.
Somehow, I have the feeling that this is the last we’ve heard of him... And pretty soon, WWII will become a fairytale... The only thing left will be movies and dusty books which will one day rust/rot and vanish from our memories for good...
It seems that we have absolutely not learned anything from humankind’s previous mistakes and acts of ignorance. The bombing of Hiroshima, World War 1,2, and pretty much every single stupid war recorded in the annals of history have pretty much been forgotten and almost that completely erased from our short-termed memory society. The names of the “masterminds” behind all of the events mentioned before have also fallen into a vacuum and will most definitely also be forgotten within the next 2 decades.
Stalin, Hitler, Bush, Columbus, Pizarro, Custer... [insert your tyrant name here]... For better or worse, these are the names that we should never, ever forget! More important yet, we should memorize and know by heart the catastrophic event(s) that go with them!
I know nothing about Simon Wiesenthal’s personal life... I know nothing about his antics and methods for bringing war crimes perpetrators to justice... But this is not about him... This is about history! About how little we choose to remember about historical events... and ironically how quickly we remember “more important” trivia such as who played first base for the 1995 NY Yankees!
Know your history! It is who you are!