mercredi 11 avril 2012

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways" says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaïah 55 : 8-9)

I am just a human being; Isaïah 55 : 8-9 remembers us that passing any final judgement on anyone is simply impossible.

A person known as Raymond Aubrac has just died at 97. No doubt he will be eulogized by many, and no doubt any dissenting voice on the matter will be barely audible if not silenced.

I cannot mourn the person (nor could I mourn his wife who passed away five years earlier) and this has nothing to do with the controversies he and his madam were embroiled in regarding rivalries among resistance movements. This is a world I am no part of.

I remember a documentary broadcast on France 3 TV channel in the late 1990s at a late hour (around 11 PM).

The topic was about the plight of German prisoners of war (POWs) in France between 1944 and 1948.

As Commissaire de la Republique (i.e. : prefet) in the Bouches-du-Rhone departement, Raymond Aubrac had been in charge of mines clearance in the area. In a clear breach of international conventions regarding the handlong of POWs, Aubrac often used young and inexperienced German prisoners for mines clearance operations thus sending score of them to a certain and ignominious death. Asked on France 3 about this dark episode of his carreer, Aubrac remained unapologetic. He just said : "these conventions, you know, you had to be able to interpret them". And asked if he ever could find in himself  some measure of hatred", Aubrac replied "Well, I am searching for it, and I do not find anything, but you know it might be that I am not searching well enough".

Under Aubrac as Commissaire de la Republique, Jean Giono, a famous pacifist writer was arrested and spent months in jail. His deadly sin ? Jean Giono had once been close to the Communist Party, but turned his back on it later. The Communists could not forgive Giono. Aubrac was a fellow traveller for the Communist Party for years. Recently, he endorsed Socialist François Hollande for the presidency of France. As president of the Corrèze General Council, in an area where Resistance movements committed many heinous crimes during World War II and after the war, Hollande presides ritually over celebrations of the deeds of the local Resistance movements without apparent unease. No wonder Aubrac endorsed him.

There are enough persons to eulogize you these days, Ray, and may God have your soul, but as far as I am concerned I cannot mourn you. My thoughts go first to these defenseless people you sent to death after the war and whose years did not number a fourth of the 97 you had the privilege to live.