Two quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
"The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children."
"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak.
Not to act is to act."
Mr Justice Robert H Jackson, the representative and chief of council for the United States of America at the Nuremberg trials held in 1946, concluded with these words regarding the Trials: "It constitutes juridical action of a kind to ensure that those who start a war will pay for it personally".
To picture Mr Putin on trial at the Hague seems today a fantasy, but you never know. Undoubtedly, he and his cronies should be held accountable for their atrocities in Ukraine, but it is difficult to imagine how that would transpire from where we are today.
Delving back into the history of the two world wars, how they came about, how the Versailles peace treaty, at least in part, gave rise to the Nazi Party, and Hitler is chilling.
Even more chilling, though, is the language and thinly disguised intentions of the perpetrators and seed sowers of the horrors perpetrated by the Nazi's on entirely innocent people in Germany at that time and later in other European countries. And all because of prejudice, racism, stoking fear in the weak - appealing to the population's lowest part of their souls, greed and base fears.
And what is so chilling is that it is a very close reflection of what comes out of the mouths of so many of today's Western, American and European politicians. I find that terrifying.
And no one can help but conclude, when studying this comparatively recent history, in asking the question - Why? How did we, supposedly civilised human beings, allow this to happen? Millions of innocent people killed and murdered in the most horrific ways imaginable. The enormity of it - the suffering, the pain - both physical and the emotional pain of those wounded and those deprived of their loved ones or forced to witness their loved ones suffer unimaginable torment.
Why did we humans even contemplate it, let alone allow it?
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and Christians throughout the world may reflect on the Easter Story of The Crucifixion of Christ. Whether Christian or not, agnostic or atheist - the message of Christ dying on the cross for the sins of humankind is as relevant today as it ever has been.
I conclude with the truism - if you bury your head in the sand, you're likely to get bitten in the ass. And so it is with all of us, and perhaps that is a part of the test of life. Do we rise to the occasion and stand for what we know to be right, despite intimidation, fear and potential loss - or succumb to the dark-side of our souls, turning a blind eye to the darkness of humankind and hide from our own conscience?
We all get to have this choice before the cock crows twice. Remember, in Democracies; it is down to us - we vote our MPs, legislators and lawmakers into power. They answer to us, making us responsible - we get what we deserve.
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good people do nothing.
Rikki - Suffolk - UK - Saturday - 8th April - 2023