Never again?

Never again. That is the plea behind every exhibit on the Holocaust, every teacher's assignment of Eli Wiesel's Night, every classroom showing of Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. The hope, sometimes even the claim, is that once we know and see how one group of people has consciously and purposely destroyed another group of people, then we will be inspired to resist the temptation to stand by if it happens again.

And then it happens again. It has happened in Cambodia, in Bosnia, in Rwanda, in Kosovo. What has become of that "Never again"? Is it merely a phrase we utter to console ourselves, a wan hope (at odds with the Christian understanding of human sin) that the race must after all learn something from its horrific past?

 

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