Dark Side


It was interesting to see I had someone from Bosnia-Herzegovina visit my blog. I didn’t see a comment, but cool nonetheless. If they’d stopped by, I would’ve loved to have said hi. Would’ve told them about the time I lived a little to the east, in Romania.

Just the other day, I was looking at the map of Eastern Europe, trying to figure out the various corridors set up for refugees making their way to Europe via Greece.

It’s difficult keeping away from the news coming in from that part of the world these days. So much of Europe’s history goes back to refugee crisis of its own, war, senseless suffering, and here we are again — more senseless suffering, people fleeing their homes, looking not for a better life, but for a life.

I understand the safety concerns, and how overwhelming this mass influx can be on any one country. The refugees have to be housed, fed, and receive medical attention. Many are going to stay, no matter what, and will need jobs at some point, schooling and so on.

Still … these are people — from babies to seventy-year olds — fleeing unimaginable violence. Not the faces of folks looking for economic opportunity, I don’t think, more like going through harrowing journeys to survive.

Who is to say this can’t happen in Eastern Europe one day? With all the political insecurity, the turmoil on the other side of the Black Sea, who’s to say many Eastern Europeans won’t find themselves in this very situation, fleeing, desperately looking for a refuge?

There is a dark side to humanity, and what’s going on in Eastern Europe right now — the refusal to help no matter how overwhelming — highlights the darkest of the streaks. This is not to be said for every country, of course, Croatia just announced they would allow refugees in, but for so many it’s too late.

Given Europe’s history, the complicity in evil that killed millions in places like Dachau and Birkenau, I can’t help but wonder how the current crisis is going to look with the benefit hindsight.


Image: doitineurope.com

20 responses to “Dark Side

  1. My heart goes out to these refugees. War is a ghastly experience. We saw this to a mild extent in the Civil War here in the U.S. Groves of slaves running away looking for a new beginning. Seeing the mass killing in the various wars in the various countries all over the world is heart-breaking. I truly hope that the various countries reach out to these refugees to help them.

  2. Yeah, that’s rough. People panic, thinking that these people coming in are going to take something from them. It’s a fear reaction. Not good on any side.

  3. I’m just back from Turkey … travelling south and then eastwards approaching Ankara we saw refugee tents in the countryside. When in Istanbul on the last day (Tuesday) there were many refugees on the street begging, or just sitting on the pavement looking lost and forlorn. It’s hard to imagine from our comfortable positions of clothing, food, roof over our heads but we do know on some deep level that there by the grace of G.d go you or I. Also, here in South Africa millions live below the poverty level … and many have fled other African countries to come here. Thanks for this post Silvia and for highlighting the plight of the asylum seekers, refugees – that word ‘refugees’, seeking refuge. Can we be ‘refusees’? I don’t think so …

    • Thanks for sharing this, Susan. Terrible. The bigger crisis is that the neighboring countries, Turkey included, can’t do anything for these people. That the refugees walk for kilometers and go on boats to get to Europe. Shameful.

  4. The disconnect between the time that political leaders want/need to make decisions and the immediate need of so many people fleeing for their lives is so very hard to comprehend. I don’t understand why the UN isn’t prepared to step into these situations to help with the immediate needs. Maybe they are, maybe I just don’t get that in my news.

    • The EU is not a properly functioning group. The center countries (Germany, etc) force their policies on the peripheral countries, make absurd demands. The representatives are caught up in political bs and likely more worried about the next election. In the meantime, people suffer. Never, ever learn. Thank you for commenting, Dan.

  5. Joerubin27425@gmail.com

    The dark side of mankind is, indeed, heartrending. Theological issues come to mind. G.D has shown love for His Creation for thousands of centuries – – – but not always! One assumes that G.D has the power to limit man’s responsibility and free will for evil-doing, as easily as a high school kid can program a computer that would be able, at yes/no junction points, to make something happen or not to happen.

    • I guess we were left with control over many of our actions, and in some instances we take the wrong path. Like a gown child, we shall live with our decisions, good or bad. Sadly, sometimes the bad outnumber the good.

  6. It’s very sad to see walls and fences going up. And the attitude of our, UK, govt is appalling.

  7. I cannot even begin to imagine what these people have gone through as they fled horrific and terrifying home situations and now find themselves on foreign land. I salute their courage and wish for them a peaceful and harmonious future. I also salute Europe and Germany in particular for opening their borders and hope that other countries will join in the fight against this dark side of humanity.

  8. Hi Silvia – it’s good that you’ve posted this -and I’ll keep it open to read again. I can’t think properly about what is going on – obviously I’ve a very good idea – the reporting here is excellent. I would have no answers … but I definitely would find something.

    I heard a woman who is offering a place for a family in her home and has started a Support Web page for it … but apparently it’s not a possibility – as there’s wheels that turn … it’s a complicated issue.

    I then heard a talk on the BBC Radio 4 this morning called “The Long View” by Jonathan Freedland … where they discussed the lessons to be learnt from the Vietnam refugee crisis back in 1979. It was very interesting to see the comparisons and lesson to be learnt.

    The numbers are are enormous – mostly those in the Middle East … it is an interesting and worrying situation for so many – and what will history make of it all.

    I’ll be back to read the post and comments again – all the best Hilary

    • I forgot to mention .. that of course that many in the East European countries do not speak English (perhaps a bit now I know!) and also they have not had the education that many of us have had of the free world … we haven’t been closed off – they have.

      • Hilary, thank you for such a thoughtful comment. In the big cities, mostly everyone speaks English in Eastern Europe, or they speak enough. Remember the big “brain drain” after the fall of communism, how the western world “drained the brain” of E. Europe, so to speak, by luring the best educated minds out of E. Europe to work for much less what they’d pay others in the west. So, education is not so much the issue as it is fear. People fear something will be taken from them, especially since they, in many instances, barely have enough. It’s also the religious issue, as those arriving from the middle east are not Christians, etc. A long and complicated history at play.

  9. When will humans learn the value of life? So sad, all of it I can only imagine the terror and desperation that those mothers feel.

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