From him I ask forgiveness. From that human scrap that walks towards the gas chamber. From that dead man that goes to die. From that being with enormous eyes that see nothing. From that poor blind man, from that victim, I ask forgiveness. I know some things I did, or didn’t do, that I said or didn’t say, that I knew but chose to ignore, I know that certain ideas I cowardly flung, without questioning them, without considering the results, without asking myself their purpose, took you to this place, where you are now, alone, naked, a few steps from death premeditated with ferocious rationality, alone, with no possible identity, given that I don’t know nor is it possible to know, if you are a Jew, Polish, gypsy, enemy of the Reich or a thin, dirty injured dog, eaten by plague fleas. Naked among uniformed men, there you are. To them, the uniform gives them identity, power. Your nakedness is anonymous. Your identity doesn’t exist. You are trash and will die with the garbage. I ask your forgiveness. Before you I am guilty. I am what they have made of you. I am that garbage you are, or worse. Because I am an accomplice, who believed himself innocent, who chose not to know, ignoring what in my name, in our name, in the name of Germany, was being done to you. I shall die, then, with you, as garbage and in the garbage, without redemption.Continues with the son's story.
Nothing else, Martin.
I have nothing to add.
Still, I will allow myself something: ask your forgiveness.
My son, forgive me.
Perhaps the severity with which I’ve decided to judge and punish my action will help you to do so.
Dieter Müller, your father.
Buenos Aires, November, 1948.
Labels: The Shadow of Heidegger