Friday, January 29, 2010

Two Races.

Viktor Frankl, after his captivity and abuse at the hands of the Nazis divided humanity into two distinct "races", decent men and indecent men. Frankl noted even amongst the Nazis, despite the rarity, decent men existed.

In particular, the SS commander of his camp, who took pity on the prisoners, and purchased, out of his own pocket, medicines from the nearest market town. At the same time, the senior camp warden, a prisoner himself, beat the other prisoners at every opportunity. Frankl goes on to say that, this SS commander was rewarded for his humanity. After the war, three young Hungarian Jews hid the commander in the Bavarian woods, then went to the commandant of the American forces, who were very eager to catch this SS commander, and stated that they would only disclose his location if it was promised no harm would come to this man. Not only did this commander escape harm, in a sense, he was restored to his position. The American forces put him in charge of distributing the clothing collected from neighboring towns to the former prisoners who had nothing but the now tattered clothes inherited from those immediately sent to the gas chambers upon arrival.

"...that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two -- the "race" of the decent man and the "race" of the indecent man. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people. In this sense, no group is of "pure race"..." -- Viktor E. Frankl "Man's Search For Meaning" p. 137
From Frankl's distinctions, all of the intrusive and/or presumptuous classifications -- red, white, yellow and, straight, bisexual and asexual...Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and Hindu...tall, short, fat and skinny -- used to catalogue man can be markedly minimized. Because all humans, despite the various groups to which they have been assigned, invariably will fall on one side or the other of this fundamental divide of decent and indecent.

A civilized man and a savage diverge not by their style of dress, type of dwelling, choice of food, nor number of possessions; rather a civilized man and a savage diverge in the way they treat another human being, despite the group, that human being has been assigned.


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