". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Angel at the Fence

Have you heard the story "Angel at the Fence"? I received it via email this past year.

It was recently revealed to be a hoax. The subjects/propagators of the story have said their motivation was not to deceive or personally profit but to touch hearts with an inspirational tale relating to the Holocaust.

Here's one writer's thoughts on the whole episode. He says it is just an example of a trend towards "candy-coating the Holocaust" by focusing on peripheral stories that pull at the heartstrings rather than looking the horror of the Holocaust squarely in the face.

I'm not sure what I think of his thesis. It seems to me that one thing kids are learning in history classes these days is Holocaust history.

On the other hand, perhaps the writer has a point. Maybe it's just too painful for us to face the evil of that time head on, and so we deal with it by coming at it from less shocking angles.

Or maybe the world is already starting to forget. As I look at the news of the day, it seems to me that anti-Semitism is alive and well. Here's one perspective from a respected source that provocatively says it is even worse today than in Hitler's Germany.

What do you think?


Elephantschild said...

Everyone likes to think "it can't happen again." We like to pretend that our education and our growing civility have somehow trumped our human nature. How like us, as sinful humans, to think that our own good works have banished evil!

But it hasn't. We can't. It is us, this ugliness, this horror. It is humanity, and we dare not ever forget it.

In this post-modern secular humanist age it's really not surprising that so many people think "we're above that sort of behavior." And so, people will refuse to see what is laid out clearly before their eyes: an evil the same as has always plagued humanity and always will. Come quickly to save us, Lord Jesus!

Big Doofus said...

My 15 year old is learning about the Holocaust right now in public high school. I would say that they are doing a pretty good job as I've noticed that he's pretty worked up about it--and that doesn't happen much with him.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I remember hearing that English schools were giving up teaching the Holocaust so as to avoid offending Muslims. Don't know how true that is, but recently some pro-Hamas demonstrators in Ft. Lauderdale were telling Jews to get back to their ovens. Lovely, innit?

Robbie F. said...

It hardly matters how heart-warming the story was. It's not the candy-coatedness of it that's the problem. The problem is that the story turned out to be a hoax. Topics far more important than the holocaust come in for the same kind of treatment. When the next great story you get by email about, for example, the Christian faith, turns out to be a hoax, how does that help anyone's faith? When you're constantly being hoaxed about even the most important things, what can you believe?