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The Tragedy of Andreas Lubitz

Friday, 27 March, 2015

They buried Richard III in Leicester Cathedral yesterday. As the excavated remains of the blood-sodden English king were being laid to rest, the Bishop of Leicester said, “All our journeys lead to this place where reputation counts for nothing.” But what does this mean? That history does not distinguish between good and evil? That the passenger and the pilot are made equal when the plane crashes? Shakespeare begged to differ, and he had this to say in The Tragedy of Richard the Third, Act 5, Scene 3:

What do I fear? Myself? There’s none else by.
Richard loves Richard; that is, I and I.
Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am.
Then fly! What, from myself? Great reason why:
Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? For any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no! Alas, I rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself.
I am a villain. Yet I lie. I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well. Fool, do not flatter:
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.

Brice Robin, the chief prosecutor of Marseilles, listened to the recovered audio file, from start to finish, of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525. He concluded that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz knew his actions and his slow, steady breathing were being recorded.
“Is there a murderer here?”
Why did the lives of those 149 people mean absolutely nothing to him?
“Alas, I rather hate myself.”
We do not know what goes through the mind of a person who feels utter despair. We cannot comprehend the anguish the chronically depressed feel. We are unable to understand the actions of those who have lost all hope. But the Bishop of Leicester was wrong in claiming that all our journeys lead to a place where reputation counts for nothing. Those who write the rough drafts of history have examined the last moments of the co-pilot and his hostage passengers. Their Shakespearean verdict will stand:
“And every tale condemns me for a villain.”


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