As I mentioned earlier, I really have no idea how the thoughts of this thread will work out. I work on ideas for high technology to bring man closer together, get a coffee and just type into the computer, never sure about what is going to come out concerning art & war. Who knew watching one movie called monument men would trigger such a response?
The extremes of World War 2 were presented to me years later. I call it the contrasts of real life experiences. The first was playing a show in Hiroshima, going to the peace park and museums. the second, I still get shivers thinking about standing in front of the gate of Dachau concentration camp.
The simplest explanation is that the first was unbelievable in scale. The second actually brought a scent of personalized death (if there is such a smell) into my brain. What happened in the second was systematic cruelty on an individual basis, not a gigantic flash from an atomic weapon. These two moments in my life, combined with visiting any military cemetery bring home more of the scope of the insanity of mankind on the planet when pride overrides common sense.
Today, Hiroshima is an interesting vibrant city. Nearby, There is one of my favorite Tori that was somehow constructed in the water with gigantic trees on a beautiful island you take a little ferry to Miyajima. But when you go walk into the peace park that is preserved to remind us of what happened on that day the first atomic bomb was used on humanity, despite the photos, the information and the sheer size of the city, my mind could not comprehend how wide scale and large the destruction of what happened that day with one bomb. I would look to the surrounding mountains and then look down at the information map, look up, at the map, “my god, from here to there was obliterated in an instant.”
The event was too large for me to comprehend, and I was standing at a spot near the middle of where it all happened. I also remembered where the world has taken the technology to warheads that are 500 times more powerful that the Hiroshima bomb. God willing, man won’t decide to use them on each other.
The other instant that polarized the horror of ww2 to me, aside from sitting at the graves of friends who lost their lives buried in military cemeteries, was the time I went to Dachau. I can sit here and type and feel my eyes well up. There wasn’t much left of the original camp, more at the time did I realize how many work camps there were during ww2, but I didn’t even need to go in to realize the cruelty and human to human horrors that happened inside its walls. It was a rare occasion where the ground seemed to speak in a frequency that touched my heart. “Something horrific happened to people here.”
Then there is that smell I remember. The smell of slow, personalized, death.
I am going to stop typing now, maybe just get quite and pray. Pray that one-day man realizes just how nice we do have it on the planet with nature and the gift of life. And pray man doesn’t’ try to obliterate his fellow man that doesn’t think just like he does. In the scale of the universe, man isn’t all that big. God is.
When will man start making wiser choices?