The Awakening

Orlando Lujan Martinez, IWAA

After reading a story about racism and religious persecution I walked across the living room to look at a photograph, tucked into the corner of a larger picture, of three jewish women martyrs freedom fighters captured by German troops when they destroyed the Jewish Ghetto of Warsaw Poland during the Second World War. The picture is a memorial.
The women, dressed in odd pieces of clothing, do not look defeated or frightened, there is only a look of exhaustion on their faces and a sense of alertness in the poise of their bodies. They are waiting. I know with a deadly certainty, and sadness, that they were ruthlessly murdered shortly after the picture was taken.
They have been gone these many decades. The place in the ruins where their blood spread across the stones has been built over, new building now stand on the hallowed ground, and what remains of them is this picture on my wall as a reminder of the danger of virulent racism, anti semitism and hatred. 
The soldiers, not in camera view, who pressed the triggers of the guns, smashed the rifle butts into the waiting faces and gave the coup de grace, to these brave martyrs women were also victims, in a sense, because they had been taught this hatred as children. And that hatred took them to that infamous moment in time when they stood with smoking weapons, the acid smell of gun smoke in their nostrils, over the dead bodies of the women crumpled at their feet, their blood spreading between the shattered stone of the Jewish ghetto. 
The Catholic Church knows if they can reach a child, with the word of God, at a early age then they are theirs forever - and this also stands true if they are taught to hate. Thus those that have been taught hatred, with love destroyed, without a God, can be found murdering Indian women, and children at Sand Creek, or at the lynching of a Mexican in the southwest or a blackman in the deep south, giving orders at My Lai or obeying orders of a insane man Hitler in the ruins of Warsaw.
As the assassins of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Megar Evans, as policemen brutalized minorities in the ghettos of the richest country in the world, there were many people behind the scene of these atrocities that by their silence, by looking the other way, by sneering behind the backs of people they hated, gave the nod to the murderers, and by this very act become accessories when the shots shatter living flesh, the clubs fall, and the rope is thrown over the limb. 
The pictures of the three women in the living room are there to remind me that the spiritual deaths of the German soldiers and the physical death of the victims are intertwined. At the moment the women are murdered a lesson is taught, if we care enough to remember, and the souls of the soldiers are destroyed. The bullets plunge into the bodies of the women, and transforms them into martyrs and their deaths become a example to the world of what hatred and racism will eventually do - if not remembered.
If forgotten then the cycle of hatred starts again. As demonstrated in Bosnia, Rewanda, Iraq and Afghanistan or when 23 police officers brutally beat a unarmed Rodney King not realizing that their assault have always been the prelude of the vicious hatred that was responsible for the murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi 1955 and the three jewish women martyrs in the ruins of Jewish Ghetto of Warsaw in 1945.
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41-45, M
Jul 26, 2010