We will not die on our knees

Said by an inhabitant of the Warsaw ghetto, as recorded by Marek Edelman, who was there and one of those who lead the uprising.

The jews in the ghetto of Warsaw knew that they would die soon. They knew that resistance would not help. They had few weapons, some of them self-made, some of them smuggled inside. It would never be enough to save them, to change the situation, to actually help. But though they were the weaker party, they did do harm to the Germans. They were not as weak as the German believed and killed quite a few. In the end many died there during the rising, others were deported. The ghetto vanished. But like Anna Heilman said: ” I don’t think it was a question at that point of Jews fighting Germans. It was us not going without resistance.”

I find that so touching. Can you imagine being strong enough to do this? Would you still fight if you knew you would die anyway? Maybe that’s even the best trigger to actually fight. Still my admiration for these people is immense. Dignity is the last thing they can take from you. Whatever happens, if you are strong enough you can still maintain your dignity and decide that you will not let yourself be killed without fighting. Never just give in.

I’m currently writing a paper on the Polish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto, which is incredibly interesting and inspiring as well. But while reading about this, I also realized that we’re always close to doing this again. I don’t know if you heard about the Wilders thing in the Netherlands? He’s the radical kind of politicians and he actually screamed in front of many people: “Do we want more or less Moroccans?” To which the people screamed back: “Less! Less!” This is so dangerous. It’s easy to say one group of people is bad, but this is pure racism. Even if there are many Moroccans in the Netherlands who end up in prison, or should belong there – I don’t know if this is the case! – then it is still racism. You cannot state that they are all bad. Generalizing is the worst thing you can do. People will end up not giving any Moroccan a chance because ‘they’re all bad’. When not given a chance, what should these people do? Eventually they will have no more choice to prove that they are okay people. And surely there will be bad people amongst them, just like there are bad people amongst the Dutch people.

We should be all aware of the danger of this kind of things. We should never let something like World War 2 happen again. There will only be things to regret afterwards. So hopefully all these people who screamed ‘Less! Less!’ will realize that they are ignoring an important part of the Moroccans living there who are actually good, hard-working people. Hopefully we will not end up generalizing and blaming one scapegoat for all the problems. If there are problems, do something about it in a constructive way instead of blaming and screaming.

And hopefully we will all find the courage to stand up when it’s needed, even when it’s a minor thing happening. We should all have more courage to do the right thing sometimes. And remember: we should not die on our knees!

 

More Polish history here.

Current condition: Studying

It’s summer, the sun is shining, it’s that kind of perfect weather… And I’m inside, studying to retake an exam. But I don’t really mind, as I don’t have the money to do all the fun stuff anyways. My life is so tragic.
Either way, here’s a sort of closer look, analysing of my current condition: studying.

Clothes: yoga pants and loose T-shirt with owl print.

However important elegance is to me, it doesn’t apply to all situations, okay? It’s bloody hot in my room, and I need the freedom to change my position every five to ten seconds. Plus: my inner dancer is very happy with these yoga pants. I can get up and throw my leg in the air whenever I want. Which is something I frequently do. (It sounds as if I’ve got a prosthesis. I mean to say I do a grand battement.)
The owl print is really cool, by the way. It’s more of a drawing made of stripes. Maybe I make it sound worse with every word I add, but seriously, it’s one of my favourite T-shirts. And it’s loose. Literally cool.

Makeup & Hair: Not really, and a mess.

Self conscious as I am, I do put on makeup when I leave the house, even if it’s just to buy bread or something. It makes passing by a mirror somewhat easier to deal with as well. But I got to the point where I sincerely long to dressing up and going all the way with makeup… Not just mascara, but eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, everything I can find here (which isn’t that much after all). The only makeup thing I have done now, is nail polish. I don’t think I’ve ever had such well done toe and finger nail polish. Seriously.

My feet. With blue nail polish.

My feet. With blue nail polish.

The hair, well, that’s more of a bun, if you want to call it like that. In reality it’s more like hair surrounded by a rubber band (the ones you use for hair, not like car tires).

Physical condition: hypochondriac.

Insomnia has been kicking in, I’m hungry all the time, headaches, chest ache for the moment, and so on. I’m always convinced I’ve got some terrible illness, but that’s probably not true. I mean, everyone has aches every now and then. I just wish I could sleep well. That would be so great.

Mental condition: happy as ever.

Hehe. I’m not really the shiny happy person who’s always optimistic. Things have been better, things have been worse. My self-esteem has decided to go on a holiday, but hey, he deserves it. He’s had a hard time after all. I hope he sends a post card.

Concentration: what’s that? Some kind of illness? It’s certainly not something I’ve got.

Desk condition: pretty crowded!

I’ve got like four piles of papers in the running, a book, Word documents, books I use to procrastinate, pens, pencils, movies I still have to watch, a Spanish fan (the ones you have in your hand. the automatic one has a place on the floor) and a stuffed pig. I’m not sure what to do with that pig. He’s kinda cute, and I got it once at a dance performance. Good memories. I’ll just let him be another witness of my struggle.

Knowledge condition: however much I’m trying to get all facts straight and in my head, I’m sure he’ll ask something I don’t know. Plus: it’s history I have to retake. Only the Polish, but all history is so tied together. Hurray hurray. I wish I had the feeling I know stuff, but I still feel like I don’t know anything at all. Like ‘Poland? It’s a country, right? Somewhere, I don’t know, south from America?’.

Only five more days to go.

Five’s not much.

Dear lord.