Thursday, February 24, 2011

'I loved my mother so much, that I have killed her'

Sometimes a sentence makes you do a double take. As with the quote above written in a war-time diary by a young half-Jewess. It's detailed in Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital, 1939-1945, a fascinating account of the lives of Berliners from all walks of life during the conflict. The quote is from a chapter dealing with the deportation of 55,696 jews from the city between 1st October 1941 and the end of the war in 1945. In addition to this, it is estimated that 10% of those that received deportation notices committed suicide, whilst other sought escape by flight or hiding. In the case of the quote, it was an assisted suicide by poison. From early on in the deportation process rumours were circulating about the fate of those being 're-located' and some decided to take their own or their loved ones lives rather than face a brutal future ending in them having their lives taken through starvation, beatings, shootings and gassings. People and the societies we create never cease to amaze me.

'I loved my mother so much, that I have killed her.' And it was an act of love. What a messed up world.

Patti over at Pattinase has a flash fiction challenge running based on an overheard line: 'I don't really mind the scars.' 'I loved my mother so much, that I have killed her,' would probably produce a set of interesting stories.


Anonymous said...

Rob - Your post gives me so much to think about! It is a very strange and even sick society where killing someone can be seen as an act of love.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Is that a challenge?

Rob Kitchin said...

Hi Patti, I think it would make a good challenge, but I think it would need to be hosted by yourself or elsewhere as otherwise I suspect that they'll only be a handful of entrants given the relatively low traffic on this site. I have managed to write a piece for your present challenge and I also have a Forgotten Friday piece for tomorrow. Juat about keeping up!

kathy d. said...

This is very disturbing, to say the least.

I would think that the Nazis carried out such heinous crimes, and created such a horrendous society, that those who were victimized were forced into what we would consider unbelievable and unthinkable acts.

Who is to know what our societies, our cities, our neighbors would do under the same circumstances?

People in the various Resistance movements or those carrying out acts of anti-Nazi espionage often carried cyanide tablets so they could commit suicide, which for them, was preferable to torture and a brutal death--and even giving in and naming names in the face of the events.

I can't blame anyone--Jewish or otherwise--who committed unthinkable acts, as what was going on was so horrendous, that it defied our imaginations.