If you and I do not retell the story of the Holocaust to our peers and our children, history will repeat itself!
It is a very frightening truth that according to a recent survey by the Anti Defamation League, 1/3 of the world's population believes that the Holocaust was simply a myth...
they think it never happened: One third! One third of all the Jews in the world are murdered and one third today denies it even happened. How ironic is that?
In 1953, only eight years after the close of World War Two, Yom HaShoah became an official national memorial day in Israel. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion established this day as the yearly memorial to the six million Jewish victims, murdered at the hands of the Nazi regime in World War 2, which we now remember as the Holocaust. Every year and all over the world, Jewish people remember the 'Shoah' or “Catastrophe” as they seek to perpetuate the memory of their lost, loved ones. In Israel, on this day, a minute of silent reflection is observed at 10:00 AM as a siren is heard all over the nation. It is a very normal sight to see motorists stop in the middle of the road and get out of their cars to observe this most solemn of moments.
The Holocaust was an orchestrated, organized attempt at the total destruction of European Jewry. Reynhard Heydrich, the ridiculously evil SS Nazi general said that the Nazi's wanted to rid Europe, 'of ALL Jewry, from Vladisvostok to Belfast and from Lithuania to Libya.'
The final solution was a demonic attempt to murder, and rid the world of God's chosen people. Just as with all other genocides, as brutal as they might have been, there was always a way for some potential victims to escape and tell the story. We are thankful for those who survived and have testified to what happened in Europe during the Holocaust period.
The importance of perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust and its survivors cannot be underestimated. It is not about dwelling on the past just for the sake of dwelling on the darkest days of Jewish history, but rather for the sake of preventing another “Catastrophe” in our future that we remember the 'Shoah' . Most 'normal' people could never understand the hellish hatred and overwhelming bigotry by those in power, and others, during this time.
It is all so hard to fathom.
General Dwight Eisenhower caught the importance of documenting and remembering the Holocaust the minute that he walked inside the camps. As he visited one of the sub-camps of Buchenwald with Generals Bradley and Patton, he started to realize the magnitude of what he was witnessing and immediately wrote a letter to the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General George Marshall in which he said: … "The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick….
I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give firsthand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to “propaganda.”
Amazing as it may seem, and despite the commendable efforts made by Eisenhower and others, the Holocaust currently runs the risk of being relegated into some obscure corner of history, even worse… Some will soon believe that it simply never happened.
How could we possibly go from NEVER AGAIN to NEVER HAPPENED in 70 years? Actually, there is a coordinated and decisive effort to do just that. Holocaust denial is really gaining a lot of momentum globally. Simply consider this: The Nazi party, ever the leader in destroying Judaism was also the greatest source of Holocaust denial when they labeled their genocidal efforts “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. This made everything sound so normal, so institutional. Killing Jews became a normal sounding euphemism that protected the Nazi monsters from early criticism to their genocide.
In our modern times, Holocaust denial officially became organized by Willis Carto (Liberty Lobby) in 1978 with the founding of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR). Another of the most visible Holocaust revisionists and deniers in the United States has been Bradley Smith who since 1991 has advertised in college publications to promote Holocaust revisionism (denial).
France has always been an anti-semetic hotbed. The French extreme-right's long time leader has been, Jean Marie Le Pen (Front National party). This now semi-retired bigot first said that the Holocaust was “a detail of history”
Iran just organized its second Holocaust Cartoons Contest, seeking to minimize, revise and/or deny the truth about the Holocaust. At the same time they are preparing for a second one.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas wrote a dissertation in which he doubted the existence of the gas chambers and the high number of Jewish victims in 2014.
He back pedaled to admit that the Holocaust was a heinous crime yet the statements he made in English and in Arabic vary greatly. The great point to be be made is that here in 2015, 70 years after the events of the 'Shoah', we run the great risk of forgetting it happened at all.
The last remaining survivors of the Holocaust are now in their 80s and 90s, with some even over 100 years old. It won't be long before we will no longer be able to talk to anyone who lived through this hell on Earth. This is the reason why it is crucial to repeat often this story of the Holocaust. It is moving farther and farther into our memory banks. The dwindling number of survivors coupled with the disgusting desire of some to deny this incredible tragedy is a very dangerous combination and must be remembered!
I am convinced that with an ever growing animosity for the Jewish state and the Jewish people, many would feel no guilt if the Holocaust ceased to be remembered at all.
Today we witness Iran working around the clock to acquire nuclear bombs and brag of how they will destroy Israel.
Hamas, Israel's Palestinian neighbor, has the destruction of Israel written into their charter. There are many liberals and academics who preach anti-Semitic messages on university campuses along with extreme right-wingers who love the thought of the Jewish state being destroyed all together.
Yom HaShoah is for everyone:
Let us retell the story or risk seeing history repeat itself.
Some claim that the Holocaust never happened, some claim that it was greatly exaggerated, some claim that it was used for Jewish propaganda and some think that we talk too much about it altogether.
Let's be real here. If you and I do not retell the story of the Holocaust to our peers and our children, history could easily repeat itself! Let us resolve to stand with Israel and the Jewish people and say: NEVER AGAIN!