Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Erwin and Albert, R.I.P.
Tomorrow, April 19, will be a sad day for me. It is the birthday of my brother Erwin.
I never met Erwin. His life was cut short, at about 9 months of age, in January, 1945, near the end of World War II. He died in a Children's Clinic in Graal Muritz, Germany. He became ill from hunger and cold while my mother was fleeing, on foot, the Russian Army advancing from the east, and died in the clinic where my mother took him to be cared for.
I had another brother, Albert. I never met Albert, either. He also died, at about the same time as his brother Erwin, in the same Children's Clinic in Graal Muritz. He was about three years old when he died.
I was born in July of 1945, six months after my brothers died.
Erwin and Albert are shown, with my mother Alma, in the accompanying photograph, taken not long before they died.
No, I never got to meet my brothers. Sadly, many other people have lost brothers and sisters, parents, relatives and friends, in numerous wars before and since.
There will always be war. As long as humans want what isn't theirs, people will be killing each other. As long as some people hunger for power, they will force others to kill for them, so they won't stain their own hands with all that blood. Governments are made up of people who think they know best how we should live our lives. They relish the power they have over us. Governments make it possible to kill more people, more efficiently. I am not afraid of my neighbours. I am very afraid of governments, here and elsewhere. They can force me to do things I wouldn't normally do. They can extort from me, via taxation, the money to have others do things I would never condone.
I never knew my brothers. But I miss them more than I can put into words. They died, for no good reason, because Adolf Hitler wanted to rule the world. Hitler wasn't the first, or the last psychopathic megalomaniac to rule a country. There have been many, like him, since, in countries around the world.
Are our own children safe?
I hope so.