"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blind Spots

In the book In My Brother's Shadow: A Life and Death in the SS, Uwe Timm reflects on the diary his brother kept for almost six months in 1943. The entries are short

14 February
We expect action any time now. On the alert from nine-thirty.

15 February
Danger over, waiting

14 March
Airplanes. Ivans attacking. My looted Fahr machine gun, too heavy, shoots like a mad thing I can hardly hold it steady, a couple of hits

Stuff like that though the author is troubled over a few, such as

21 March
Bridgehead on the Donez. 75 m away Ivan smoking cigarettes, fodder for my MG.

But a note home is what prompted me to post.  His brother, fighting for the Nazis in the Ukraine, writes home:

"I'm worried about everyone at home, we hear reports of air raids by the English every day. If only they'd stop that filthy business. It's not war, it's the murder of women and children - it's inhumane."  (pg. 84)

The author is troubled by his brother's inability (or unwillingness) to see the parallels to what the English are doing in Hamburg with what he, Karl-Heinz, and his fellow Nazis are doing in the Ukraine and beyond.

How often do we see the bad in what others are doing, but don't apply those same standards to ourselves? I think of 9/11 and all the innocents who died. Yet many who protest those murders seem little troubled by those in other countries who are killed by our wars and our drones. You know, that collateral damage.

I'm sure I could think of other examples.  Can you? Do you think we have blind spots to our own faults yet clearly see the faults of others? How can we remedy this?

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