How can innocent, tortured spirits live in peace while their oppressors haven’t paid for their acts and may never do? Chilean-American novelist Ariel Dorfman has raised this question in his book “Death and the Maiden”, inspired from a real incident that took place in Chile. It is the story of Paulina who was raped when she was a medical student by a sadist monster on the music of Franz Schubert’s quartet “Death and the Maiden”.
After 15 years, Paulina met him again at her husband’s house, who became a member of a committee investigating crimes of the former regime…what would she do? Nothing. But his confession would be sufficient to calm her soul.
This is what also happened in South Africa; executioners have confessed and writers of reports who led thousands of people to death have received forgiveness from their victims in crowded gatherings. Confessions omit the crime.
However, this never happened in our countries, and victims still live on the same land with executioners, who put the mask of victims.
Many people who have suffered from torture have their discrete stories, which they haven’t revealed yet. According to Dorfman, silence is the ugliest crime ever.
But what about the victims killed under torture in the dictators’ prisons? Why don’t we remember them anymore? Who killed them? We only know big killers.
A witness should always be present to tell all the past’s atrocities with its hidden prisons, fake courts, execution sessions, names of missing persons, accomplice judges, and writers of reports; people who will read about this in the future must also exist. The past will never go on if we didn’t look at its hidden details, reveal them, and most importantly release our spirits from them. Only justice can do all that; only justice can kill our primitive desires of vengeance and the personal attempts to fulfill the missing justice.