Riflessioni sul Perdono, sulla Dignità e sulla Riconciliazione

Eva Mozes Kor

1. I negoziati di pace, generalmente, sono incentrati sulle dimensioni politica ed economica. Quale è la Sua percezione della necessità di toccare aspetti più profondi e genuini della riconciliazione e come si può ottenere questo?

There is a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness is an individual’s action to empower and heal oneself. It is a healthy self-centered activity. It can be public or private, but it has to be genuine. Forgiveness does not need the approval or acceptance of others, but if we want to promote reconciliation, then we need both sides of the conflict to come to some kind of acceptance and agreement of each other. To promote a good reconciliation with a good possibility of working, I recommend that each party involved in the dispute be given an assignment prior to meeting. The assignment would be to forgive the other side for everything they have done, real or perceived. This way when the two adversaries meet, they would start out with the empowerment of their own actions, “on a level playing field,” with a very different attitude. Another exercise that would help would be for the opposing leaders to spend one day as “the enemy” and give a 30-minute presentation of the enemy’s point of view. After the original ground work of clearing their minds and hearts of the poison of hatred, then the negotiation can begin.

2. Quali sono le condizioni nelle quali, al di là dell’assicurare gli interessi della parti in conflitto, può essere stabilito un processo incentrato su un senso di equità e dignità?

Forgiveness by the individuals involved in the negotiations is essential. There is no hope that attitudes have changed unless they have forgiven the other side of real or perceived victimization. As a precursor to forgiveness and reconciliation, we must ask the participants the following questions.
The reconciliation process should be divided into six levels, (questions):

  • Do you really want peace between you and your “Enemy“? If yes, say convincingly why you want peace.
  • If yes, are you willing to try new ideas to reach that peace? Give examples of what you are willing to give up. 
  • Each side that has succeeded in forgiving the other has to accept and respect the other side’s right to exist in peace and within secure borders. 
  • In order to better understand the other side to the conflict, individuals of each conflicting parties must live a day as their opposition, in a virtual reality setting.
  • Give a 60 minutes presentation as the opposition, and then the discussions for peace, reconciliation and compromise can start. 
  • Complete each level and be judged on it before going on to the next level.

3. Quanto il perdono è essenziale alla dimensione della riconciliazione? Alla radice della Sua cultura politica e/o della Sua fede religiosa quali sono i principi che implicano o escludono il perdono? Quali versi o detti che fanno parte del Suo personale patrimonio spirituale possono, nella sua opinione, avere un significato universale

Forgiveness is, absolutely, an essential part of reconciliation; there is no future without it. My forgiveness ideas have nothing to do with my heritage, religious affiliations, cultural, or political ties. It stands alone as an act of self-empowerment, self-healing, and control over my life. In 1993, I wanted to thank a Nazi doctor for his willingness to document the operation of the gas chambers as he witnessed them. After ten months of searching for an appropriate gift to give this Nazi doctor, as I kept asking myself what to give Dr. Muench, I had the idea of a simple letter of forgiveness from me to him. I knew that he would like it, but what I discovered for myself was much more important: That I had the power to forgive, no one could give me this power and no one could take it away, it was mine to use in any way I wished. That feeling of having any power was tremendous. This was the first time since I became a victim that I realized that I had any power over my destiny, to change it and improve it. I was fascinated and still am with how simple it is. I wrote my letter to Dr. Muench and in an effort to correct my spelling, I contacted my former English professor. She became very interested, and we met three times before she urged me to forgive Dr. Mengele, the real perpetrator. I promised that I would think about it. Once I realized that even I had the power to forgive Mengele, it made me feel good to have that power, and I decided to forgive everybody who has ever hurt me, and I had quite a list. We arrived in Auschwitz on January 27, 1995 — Dr. Muench with his son and daughter; I with my son Alex Kor and daughter Rina Kor. Dr. Munch signed his document, and I read mine and signed it. Immediately, I felt a sense of freedom, an easing of all the burdens I carried all my life. Finally I was free from Auschwitz, from Mengele, from the Nazis. It was good to be alive and to breathe in the air. I was powerful — I could do anything in my life because I had the power over my destiny. I gave my children a CLEAN slate; they don’t have to fight my battles, because I have none. I am free to embrace life and enjoy it. I believe that the world would greatly benefit from such an idea.

4. Il perdono richiede qualche forma di pentimento da parte di coloro a cui il perdono viene offerto? Il perdono ha condizioni o è senza condizioni?

Forgiveness does not require any repentance or conditions from the perpetrators. Some of the perpetrators are dead, some don’t care, and some think that they were right. Much more important is to advocate and exercise the power that each of us have to free ourselves by forgiving our victimizers, that the former victim should not and will not give up the power over their future destiny, and that it should not depend on anybody but the will and ability of the former victim to forgive, to free themselves, and control their own destiny. I rebut any precondition to forgiveness. I did it because I wanted to. It made me feel good to have power over my future. I do not, ever, give Mengele, the Nazis, or anyone else the power to decide my life. I am in charge; I have the power to live my life without anybody’s approval because I am free, and I have the power over my own life and future.
Mutual forgiveness and acceptance of each other should be the basis of reconciliation. Each person should be assigned a forgiveness/reconciliation coach. The moment one side starts an accusation of the other side, the forgiveness coach must step in and ask the speaker to take a walk with the coach. One more thing: The forgiveness and reconciliation process should start in a place like Auschwitz, Hiroshima, a place we know the results and lessons of man’s destruction of man, man’s inhumanity to man. Once they learned forgiveness, the group should travel to ARA PACIS, Rome.

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