If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Friday 10 August 2012
Read gnomica 1-50 here!
“There are no desperate situations, there are only desperate people.”
Heinz Guderian (17 Jun 1888 – 14 May 1954)
This fatuity mouthed by the (in)famous architect of Germany’s Blitzkrieg in WW II utterly outrages me. It strikes me as something born of an asinine arrogance or demented delusion, or both, perhaps at first glance somehow clever.
But it is not clever.
It is heartless and it is feral.
Of course there are desperate situations as well as desperate people: Herr Guderian might well have asked the civilian occupants of Oslo in April 1940 (of whom I was one!) or – much worse — the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto during the fall of that same unhappy year, or, for that matter, des Volkes Übermenschen in Hamburg during July of 1943 or in Dresden during February of 1945. On the latter two occasions, too bad the Generaloberst wasn’t on the ground to see for himself how desperate the situation wasn’t! I imagine the first two events seemed lacking in desperation from a German point of view; I likewise imagine the last two, not so much so!
In bringing myself daily almost in spite of myself to watch some television news of events in distant lands and perusing accounts of what is happening all over our peace-loving globe I read the authenticating accounts and I see the evidentiary photography of how we humans treat each other. There is an obscene plenty of ’desperate people’ and their swelling numbers are not unrelated to the obscene plenty of desperate situations – pace Guderian … and his repellent ilk.
In case you are wondering about the very personal sentiments underpinning my remarks here, well, there are, frankly, some occasions when justifiably tendentious commentary is more than called for.