Do we take the money from companies that want to store coal ash in our towns, even though toxins could wind up in our groundwater?
A refugee used to be a person driven to seek refuge because of some act committed or some political opinion held. Well, it is true we have had to seek refuge; but we committed no acts and most of us never dreamt of having any radical opinion. Before this war broke out we were even more sensitive about being called refugees.
We did our best to prove to other people that we were just ordinary immigrants. We wanted to rebuild our lives, that was all. So we are very optimistic. Our optimism, indeed, is admirable, even if we say so ourselves.
The story of our struggle has finally become known. We lost our home, which means the familiarity of daily life. We lost our occupation, which means the confidence that we are of some use in this world. We lost our language, which means the naturalness of reactions, the simplicity of gestures, the unaffected expression of feelings.
We left our relatives in the Polish ghettos and our best friends have been killed in concentration camps, and that means the rupture of our private lives. Nevertheless, as soon as we were saved—and most of us had to be saved several times—we started our new lives and tried to follow as closely as possible all the good advice our saviors passed on to us.
We were told to forget; and we forgot quicker than anybody ever could imagine. In a friendly way we were reminded that the new country would become a new home; and after four weeks in France or six weeks in America, we pretended to be Frenchmen or Americans.
The most optimistic among us would even add that their whole former life had been passed in a kind of unconscious exile and only their new country now taught them what a home really looks like. It is true we sometimes raise objections when we are told to forget about our former work; and our former ideals are usually hard to throw over if our social standard is at stake.
With the language, however, we find no difficulties: In order to forget more efficiently we rather avoid any allusion to concentration or internment camps we experienced in nearly all European countries—it might be interpreted as pessimism or lack of confidence in the new homeland.
Besides, how often have we been told that nobody likes to listen to all that; hell is no longer a religious belief or a fantasy, but something as real as houses and stones and trees.
Apparently nobody wants to know that contemporary history has created a new kind of human beings—the kind that are put in concentration camps by their foes and in internment camps by their friends.
Instead, we have found our own way of mastering an uncertain future. Since everybody plans and wishes and hopes, so do we. Apart from the general human attitudes, however, we try to clear up the future more scientifically.
After so much bad luck we want a course as sure as a gun.
Therefore, we leave the earth with all its uncertainties behind and we cast our eyes up to the sky. The stars tell us—rather than the newspapers—when Hitler will be defeated and when we shall become American citizens.
We think the stars more reliable advisers than all our friends; we learn from the stars when we should have lunch with our benefactors and on what day we have the best chances of filling out one of these countless questionnaires which accompany our present lives.
Thus we learn less about political events but more about our own dear selves, even though somehow psychoanalysis has gone out of fashion. Those happier times are past when bored ladies and gentlemen of high society conversed about the genial misdemeanors of their early childhood.
There is no longer any need of bewitching the past; it is spellbound enough in reality. Thus, in spite of our outspoken optimism, we use all sorts of magical tricks to conjure up the spirits of the future.
I dare not ask for information, since I, too, had rather be an optimist.
But sometimes I imagine that at least nightly we think of our dead or we remember the poems we once loved. But when technical reasons prevented you from leaving your home during the dark house, it certainly was not easy to avoid some dark speculations about the relation between technicality and reality.
No, there is something wrong with our optimism. There are those odd optimists among us who, having made a lot of optimistic speeches, go home and turn on the gas or make use of a skyscraper in quite an unexpected way.
They seem to prove that our proclaimed cheerfulness is based on a dangerous readiness for death. Brought up in the conviction that life is the highest good and death the greatest dismay, we became witnesses and victims of worse terrors than death—without having been able to discover a higher ideal than life.
Thus, although death lost its horror for us, we became neither willing nor capable to risk our lives for a cause. Instead of fighting—or thinking about how to become able to fight back—refugees have got used to wishing death to friends or relatives; if somebody dies, we cheerfully imagine all the trouble he has been saved.
Finally many of us end by wishing that we, too, could be saved some trouble, and act accordingly. As time went on, we got worse—even more optimistic and even more inclined to suicide. Austrian Jews under Schuschnigg were such a cheerful people—all impartial observers admired them.
It was quite wonderful how deeply convinced they were that nothing could happen to them.There is something powerfully raw and vivid about Hannah Arendt’s essay that came out in the midst of Europe’s darkness in the Second World War, before the worst horrors inflicted upon the Jews were fully unveiled.
Originally published in January as “We Refugees” in a small Jewish journal called Menorah (shut down in ), . One of the most influential and prolific organizations within Calvinistic circles is The Banner of Truth Trust. In addition to its magazine, The Banner of Truth, it has published.
Bullshit, Frankfurt wrote, was defined by the bullshitter's indifference to truth: The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides is that the truth .
This is Greenberg's breakthrough essay from , written for the Partisan Review when he was twenty-nine years of age and at the time more involved with literature than with painting.
He came, later, to reject much of the essay -- notably the definition of kitsch which he later believed to be ill thought out (as, indeed, it is.). Is it always better to tell the truth?
For an individual? No, for better or for worse, it is almost always better to tell people what will be most advantageous to you, regardless of whether it is true. Truth is always bitter essay. Style of essay natural resources events management dissertation names essay about business study hall planning write an essay ks2 70 words essay about education internet for education essays french colonial choosing an essay topics narrative.