A world built by Abel, not by Cain

Internationally known as the “Nazi hunter,” Simon Wiesenthal (1908–2005) didn´t like this title. In his own words “neither hater nor a fanatic,” the Holocaust survivor who hoped to contribute to atonement toward the victims of unspeakable crimes had two work principles: “first truth, then justice” and “information is resistance.”

Nowadays, so many people will tell you they are “struggling for justice.” Well, the credible ones are actually fighting for the truth. One can´t help but notice that omission of facts is normalized by the mainstream media and denial of reality is tailored to appear trendy. The further away from the real word, the more remote the truth, and justice is to fade into the distance… Paraphrasing John Adams: “Facts are stubborn things,” bona-fide reporters must be more than obstinate and self-serving social engineers. Meanwhile, UNESCO deplores the fact that impunity for killings of journalists remains unacceptably high at 86%:” Freedom of expression cannot be protected when there is such a staggering number of unresolved cases.”

While it´s impossible to disagree with their statement: “UNESCO is concerned that impunity damages whole societies by covering up serious human rights abuses, corruption, and crime,” I can´t help but wonder if “multiple forms of violence against journalists” are recorded worldwide, or only within borders of political correctness. The assumption that bad things happen in “developing countries” only would be a blatant lie. These days Africa reflects on who writes “the Western scripts.”

The importance of accountability was a subject of an interesting study: “Justice heals: The impact of impunity and the fight against it on the recovery of severe human rights violations´ survivors.” The authors, Knut Rauchfuss, MD and Bianca Schmolze, BA, BSc observe: “Under the atmosphere and culture of impunity, a recovery of society is impossible and the recovery of individual survivors faces insurmountable barriers.”

While impunity can be defined as “the exercise of power without accountability,” interpretation of “crime” depends on collective conscience within society. Children should learn the societal norms through socialization, but if “right” is no longer encouraged and “wrong” is normalized, neither accountability, nor consensus on what constitutes a crime can exist. If we want a world by Abel, not by Cain we need to strengthen our collective conscience and to refresh our collective memory. Meeting President Carter in 1980, Simon Wiesenthal warned: "There is no denying that Hitler and Stalin are alive today... they are waiting for us to forget, because this is what makes possible the resurrection of these two monsters."

First truth, then justice. How do we get there? Is a world by Abel, not by Cain even realistic?

Well, Mahatma Gandhi thought so: “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, always.”

Image: Assereto

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