Post 16:08 On apologies

I wholeheartedly support today’s apology to the stolen generations.

And I’m blogging it for two reasons.

One is that I fully expect that ten years from now, blogs like this one will be material that my son uses when writing reports about the tenth anniversary of the apology. He’ll be in year nine. So hi there, future son!

Secondly, the apology is warranted as I know from some personal history of family destruction. My late grandmother Lucia had six siblings, all of whom died in the Holocaust. Her attempts to find any trace of them in post-war Europe are seldom spoken of in the family, so harrowing were the years of waiting for letters from the Red Cross and other organisations who scoured Europe in the post-war years, helping survivors to track their loved ones. None of the letters she received ever contained good news.

For me, the Nazi attempts at genocide are no less ghastly than Australia’s. For a time, we simply did not believe that Aboriginal people or their culture had any role in our society, a monstrously arrogant position. And while we did not mass murder on an industrial scale, as the Nazis did, we nonetheless had the same aim of causing a race to cease existing.

I hope today’s apology means Australia can make sure that it never practices similar policies again.

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