Saturday, August 02, 2008

From the Ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane, France

You know, one of the things that forcibly struck me while I wandered the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane was that nothing we often measure as having meaning in society had saved anyone.

The six people who survived, survived because they were lucky in where they were shot or in an opportunity they grabbed but nothing, not money, material possessions, career, beauty or position in the community saved people.

Ex-mayors died alongside the doctor and the village beauty and that tiny baby, those 2 little boys and the man's mother who was found in the arms of his wife.

I think that's what we often fail to understand when we read of genocides - the fact that neither cluster bombs, bullets, landmines nor soldiers take the time to assess beauty, bank balance, position or intelligence - they don't take the time to know the target. Collateral damage is the name given to that wedding party accidentally shot to pieces or the baby in the car.

Oradour-sur-Glane is an important memorial but I don't think it will stop the savagery, racism and violence in the world.


furiousBall said...

i'm not sure how hard i would cry seeing something like this in person, Di. this must have been a powerful feeling

Di Mackey said...

It was, Van. It's an incredible place and so sad. There were a lot of people there and yet we were left fairly silent. Just the sound of feet on gravel mostly ... it's as if the ghosts were constantly on the move, listening to it.