For the last month I’ve been busy reading 21 books in English about Slovakia – read the reviews and enter the giveaway here – and six of those books were about Jews during WWII.
Of course we learned about the horrors of WWII in school, of racism and concentration camps. Nazi soldiers often come up in ethical discussions as The Ultimate Evil That Has Existed, i.e. “If you were faced with Nazi soldiers, would x action still be unacceptable?”
But growing up in Canada, the idea of war was so far away. We keep every Remembrance Day, maybe heard stories from grandparents or read a historical fiction novel. It seems closer in Slovakia, to some degree, just because fighting was on this soil. People still go metal detecting in the hills behind our home, looking for war artefacts. It seems strange that those quiet hills, perhaps even some of the same trees, saw such violence and action. When in the Low Tatras, a memorial to partisans killed high up in the mountain seemed so startling.
Call me naive, but I had this idea that the Nazis were the bad guys, Jew and other targeted groups were the victims, and everybody else was just kind of didn’t know what was going on. Click to continue reading