Intolerance, what does that word mean to you? No, don't look it up just yet in a dictionary, what images in your mind does the word intolerance envision? Do you picture bigotry, racism, or hate? All humans have an intolerance to something: child abuse, animal abuse, poverty, or maybe high gas prices. Some humans have an intolerance to other humans because of the color of their skin, or their religious beliefs. Intolerance is generally looked at as negative, most of the time it probably is, although it would depend on what you are intolerant of. What I picture in my mind when I think of intolerance is hate and bigotry. What causes bigotry? Ignorance? Fear?
A deep hate? Caused by what? What is the root of it? These are questions I can't answer.
Their are those who believe that the Holocaust did not happen, or that it was overly dramatized;
their are so many eyewitnesses to the contrary. The book "Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky, is a panoramic view of what happened in 1940 when the German's invaded France. The story of how the book came to be is awe inspiring, that Irene's two young daughters took their mother's manuscripts into hiding with them, keeping them for many years, until sixty-four years later they were published into the book "Suite Francaise." The book is actually two books entitled "Storm in June" and "Dolce." "Storm in June" is a sweeping look at several families and individuals, from all socio-economic classes, and diversity, all trying to escape Paris, knowing that Germany's invasion and occupation is imminent. The second book "Dolce" is converged on one family that was apart of the first book. The protagonist a young woman that is already in a complicated and hapless situation, is now faced with an arduous assignment. My dad was an American soldier in Europe during World War II, I have talked about some of his experiences before. In a book that my dad has, are pictures of what some of the town people did to women that had affairs with the German soldiers: their heads were shaved, they were striped of their clothes, they were spit on, and degraded. These women had slept with the enemy. Even as a little girl when I would look at the pictures of these women I wondered why did they do what they did: were they hungry, destitute, lonely, forced, did they fall in love. I am sure that all of the reasons could be true. My dad has expressed to me that I cannot imagine how horrible it was for the civilians during and even after the war.
I am grateful for the witnesses that have stepped forward to tell "their stories."