Truth, historical

Is often impossible to know

March 18th 2013
So many of the events we observe remain unexplained, for they are the consequence of other events that occurred a long time ago, even sometimes well before our present lifetime. We notice an event that happened yesterday or today, but how can we know what gave rise to it? We will not necessarily find the cause where we are looking for it; too many details remain unknown or partially known. And so, the work of historians is often limited to making observations, and even if they make every effort to closely study the chain of events, they can never be sure of finding out what really happened. So many decisions were taken and acted on behind closed doors! So many lies were told by people in whose interest it was that their schemes should not be found out! And it was in the interest of so many others to peddle those lies! True, from time to time, documents come to light, and stunning discoveries are made requiring certain judgments to be revised, but it is often difficult to tell true from false. And so, although we speak of ‘historical truth’, our own history will always remain a partial enigma to us.