Frederick Feeley over at the Paranormal Romance Guild wrote this moving essay about the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya and its connection to history — and how keeping history from repeating itself requires constant effort.
Many of us, growing up, learned of these [Nazi] atrocities in school. Some of us even remember reading that Ike Eisenhower (who would later go on to serve as the 34th President of the United States) would order his troops to record and document what they’d witnessed at each and every death camp he personally visited toward the end of World War Two. 80 thousand feet of moving film as well as still images were taken and would later on be used by Thomas Dodd the Chief Prosecutor of Nazi War Crimes at the Nuremberg trials. https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/EISENHOWER-S-PROOF-Holocaust-Evidence
However, seventeen years into the 21st Century – with advances in medicine, with advances in technology, advances in space exploration, our ability to map DNA, expanses in Civil Rights concerning LGBTQ people, and our collective ability to communicate instantaneously with people all over the world – this time in our history feels like a shadow. A dark, lonely, horrific time when a rogue government under the cover of a much bigger world than the one we live in now was capable of such great and terrible things as the mass genocide of those they deemed inferior. It seems impossible that something like that could happen today. It seems unfathomable, that a nation like Russia – who helped liberate many death-camps themselves including Auschwitz – would be complicit in participating or turning a blind eye to what is happening to LGBTQ people in Chechnya and the resurrection of death camps.
But it isn’t impossible. The atrocities of 72 years ago were committed by human beings. As Terence, a former slave set free by his master, who was astonished at his ability to learn and reason, around 150 B.C. once put Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto or “I am human. Nothing human can be alien to me.” Depending on the variables in and around our lives – it is imperative to understand that everyone is capable of anything, anywhere, all of the time. The same goes for the good mankind is capable of as well as the wickedness hidden inside his heart. This time, however, that long shadow of fascism and destruction does not hover over Germany. This time it’s long shadow is cast further to the east.
Right now in Chechnya gay and bisexual men and women and being rounded up and put into concentration camps. Speaking to the Mail Online, Svetlana Zakharova from the Russian LGBT Network said, “Gay people have been detained and rounded up and we are working to evacuate people from the camps and some have now left the region. Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40. They are tortured with electrical currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.” It is thought that these people are being held in Argun or somewhere outside that city.
Read the complete essay at Help us prevent an LGBTQ Holocaust – Paranormal Romance Guild.
Learn how to help at Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens.