Everything is connected: Vienna shooting & the holocaust.


Valerie laughing on Stromboli

 

Everything is connected. The news about the Vienna shooting is reminding me of my visit there in 2008. I stayed with the parents of a friend. His mother was a Hungarian holocaust survivor, her brother was the chief rabbi of the city, and Jörg Haider (far right politician and Nazi sympathiser) had just died.
 
I was surprised to learn that a contemporary politician had been praising Nazi policies in Austria, of all places. Absolutely horrifying. But then, Barack Obama was about to be elected and I was yet to fully cop on to how horrific America’s policies of genocide had been. But there are throughlines of hate.
 
Having since become better educated (with a still endless distance yet to go) about systemic racism, bigotry, & misogyny, as well as capitalism – and having watched the current US administration from afar – it is not as shocking. It is still disappointing, but not shocking. Seeing the interwoven fabric of hate, greed, and control around the world, today’s news about Vienna is likewise disappointing, but not shocking. I wish it were otherwise.
 
I am so, so sorry for the victims and the families. If it turns out, as expected, that this is a hate crime, please know that I will continue to do my best to learn, educate, and speak out against oppression. Cold comfort in the face of such violence and trauma, I know. But working towards inoculation against future suffering is one way to take action and overcome feelings of helplessness.
 
Despite everything, humans are hard-wired for cooperation & altruism.
We must get back on track if we are to survive.
 
This photo is of Valerie, my friend’s mother who survived the holocaust, taken one summer on Stromboli. She has departed this earth, but she made it a better place while she was here. Let’s make sure we remember history so we don’t have to repeat it. I don’t want to be part of this legacy of hatred. I’d rather this generation’s legacy be a throughline of reparations, education, compassion, and connection. Let’s do better.

 

Former VFX technician, prior Marine, feminist, geek. Sometimes travel blogger. Current MA student at University College Cork.

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