Last night, we watched the film Schindlers List. It's a film which stays with you for days afterwards; sensitively done, but sparing none of the horrors of the Holocaust.
The first time we saw it was many years ago on the big screen. After some discussion, we decided to take my two younger boys, then aged 12 and 15. This was something we felt they should know about, and if they watched it with us, we could all talk about it afterwards.
I'll never forget the evening. The four of us left the cinema in total, stunned silence - what was there to say? - and began the drive home. On our way, we came across a man in an advanced stage of inebriation, crawling along in the gutter. We stopped the car, picked him up, and returned him to his (exasperated) wife). That broke the spell, and got us all talking. And talking.
I'll never forget that car journey, or that man, and all because of an extraordinary evening. The Holocaust is something which never seems to lose its power to shock and horrify, does it? Every single time. We are given frequent reminders in films and documentaries, and I think this is a good thing. It poses the obvious question: how could this possibly have happened, adn so recently? And the not so obvious: would I have been capable of anything like that? Is there something in all of us - perhaps only a tiny seed - that, under certain conditions, is capable of unimagineable cruelty?