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The Thing Hidden since the Foundation of the World

“Beautiful” memorials conceal the corpse. “White-tombs” hide men’s bones. Memorials are erected to compel us to forget dead, mutilated bodies.

The thing “hidden since the foundation of the world” is that soldiers die in order to give rise to the community. We adore their naïve devotion. Like Christ, they die for all of us. We love the idea that men sacrifice their lives. But we don’t want to be reminded of the ugliness of dead and mutilated bodies.
Rene Girard: “Tombs exist to honor the dead, but also to hide them in so far as they are dead, to conceal the corpse and ensure that death as such is no longer visible. This act of concealment is essential.” Rene Girard, citing Matthew 23, 27—"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like white-washed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
German Soldiers Image 1 German Soldiers Image 1