Have We Learned Anything from the Past Century?

Dov Talpaz, “One Will Carry the City” (2018), pen on paper, 5.5 x 8 inches

The world is failing the Syrians. Helping them is not a question of political or military strategy, but of humanity. If we have learned anything from the past century, that should be more then enough of a reason.

From “Report from a Besieged City” by Zbigniew Herbert (Warsaw, 1982):

we were left with the place an attachment to the place
still we keep ruins of temples phantoms of gardens of houses
if we were to lose the ruins we would be left with nothing

[…]

we look at the face of hunger the face of fire the face of death
and the worst of them all—the face of treason

and only our dreams have not been humiliated

(translated by Czeslaw Milosz; source: The New York Review of Books, August 18, 1983)

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