Monday, July 21, 2008

Legacy: Heightened Awareness of Torture. When you can hear it, see it - Petr Ginz and others at Auschwitz

Auschwitz. A tree grows by the ovens.

Warfare and genocide turned this child's life into death. This site began as a benign photography site elaborating on the life of Petr Ginz. It has more of an edge now.

Here are the ovens, the crematory. Below, structures including medical experiments buildings at Auschwitz. He was there. Think quietly of the sights and sounds?

This is unimaginable. Here is a tidied tourist Auschwitz. Gas. Ovens. See Auschwitz posts and more photos at Poland Road Ways. Forced labor at other camps, see Buchenwald posts at Germany Road Ways; and the mass burial sites at Jasenovac in Croatia, Croatia Road Ways, where, among the atrocities, Roman Catholic Christians stood by Orthodox Christians were put to death rather than stand up for life.


Torture. It may not be too late to see for yourself what torture is. Whether you call it "extreme interrogation," and try to sanitize it out of existence so you can do it anyway, or fake it as "torture light," the concept remains.

Go to Romania, actually or by internet.

There used to be a website showing where all the old political prisons were. We should have printed it out because it is not online any more, not where we can find it.

We chose to see Sighet Prison at Sighetu Marmetiei, now "The Museum of Arrested Thought," in Maramures. See the benevolent little description of the activities inside offered at this site in passing, in hopes you won't notice, at

Then take the tour. The guide will not be free to talk much, but you can try. This site gives a more accurate description: Floors of cells, clang. Central atrium set-up. See and hear everybody. See further discussion of the role of pain-infliction in societies, ours and Romanian, at Romania Road Ways, post on Sighet Prison, Maramures.

Frigid temperature techniques, our heads of state say is fine? See the cell, iron ring in the center, floor level at least 6 inches below the rest - so water up to 4 inches can layer the floor for the naked prisoner, chained to the ring. Make the prisoner lie down? What if the water is up 6 inches, and you can't rest your head while lying down. How long? No chair. Floors of cells with rings on the walls, photos, metal tables. Torture shown. Go there. See Sighet entries at Romania Road Ways. We were so relieved that America would never do those things. Tut. Antiseptic torture - turn on the spigot, lock the lock, leave. Nice. Is it not torture just because you can set the mechanisms going, then walk away. Or outsource the cudgeling.

Auschwitz. Street and Guard Tower

A problem with force
: It cannot, and will not, be controlled out. It can only be managed, if caught and channelled early enough. Is that right?

It is addictive. Gives pleasure to the forcer. Household, domestic, colonial or other international abuse. Accelerating. Universal corruption. No way to restrict force to the minimal needed to accomplish or even define a proper objective. What is reasonable defense. Reasonable containment.

Can we go another route entirely? Who were those tortured at Sighet Prison, the now Museum of Arrested Thought - academics, ministers, historians, more -- see photos, building, history at

We do not torture, say some heads of state. What do they mean. See There used to be a map on the web with all the sites of the prisons in Romania. Can't find it now. Here it is - somebody has it up - a reproduction, at Are they used?

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