We present two poems from Yakov Glatshtein. A central question is asked: was there or was there not, a political and philosophical consciousness about the enormity of the calamity that developed during the Second World war?. The pre-war poem, concludes that an unnamed calamity –a Holocaust– against the Jews is about to erupt, destroying the minority that had about 1000 years of tense coexistence in the region. The second poem, intents to digest the disaster once it has happened, and deals with the fact that there is no future to be imagined for the group or its culture. The importance of the poets’ arguments stem from his early recognition of the missing intellectual barriers within the discourse of the time, these needed to question the lack of ethical grounding within the political arrangements, but they were nowhere to be found. Today, 70 years from the Holocaust, conflicting interrelations among groups continue to linger unexplored, hiding the insidious roots of the problem. The absence of reformulations for the linkage of the ethical and the political, remain a most urgent task to be upheld if we hope to be able to distance ourselves of that political legacy of the war.
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Published on 31/03/17
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