Thursday, May 15, 2008

Forgiving in Rwanda

A fascinating story about how Rwandans are trying to put the genocide behind them. Apparently low-level murderers, i.e. the ones following orders and brutally slaughtering their neighbors with machetes and axes, can in some cases come before their community, including the survivors, and if they tell the truth about what they did and beg forgiveness, it is granted. Even by the survivors themselves.

The item gives no numbers or general context (well, it's CNN, after all), so we don't know if the forgiving is widespread, total, or rare, nor what happens when someone doesn't play their "alloted" role. Still, it is interesting that this avenue exists, and it least in some cases also works. We already knew from the survivors of the Shoah that the endless talk about how people with grievances will be bitter, violent, and seek revenge was not the only human option, and that people can make moral decisions no matter how much they have suffered. Some variation of this seems to be operating also in Rwanda.


Oskopia Kaleid said...

Yes. Something to let it work in me. Thank you for the link.

Oskopia Kaleid said...

Jean Hatzfeld
"Zeit der Macheten"
In a first book he wrote about Tutsi who survived. In this 2nd one he wrote about the murderers. What they say now, what they did, how it was organized. That they were normal poeple and many of them in their opinion could live as normal people again. Why it is a difference between mass murdering and genozide.