Unforgivable collective action
Unforgotten past injustice
Ethnic rancour over past events
Obsession with past wrongs
Unforgiven past events are basic to discussion of many regional conflicts including the Middle East, Yugoslavia, ethnic conflicts in the former USSR, Northern Ireland, and the situation of formerly colonized peoples. In the case of Poland, 6 million civilians died in the last war, leaving a million orphans. Systematic efforts were made to destroy the Polish elite. In the USA it was estimated in 1994 that for every US$1 million spent on American Jewish education, perhaps US$10 to 20 million had been spent on Holocaust memorials.
The question of forgiveness is absolutely central to the future not only of Eastern Europe but of Western civilization. History is against forgiveness. Justice for past crimes is frequently sought before any possibility of reconciliation can be envisaged.