Sunday, January 27, 2019

We Remember: Fight racism. End Xenophobia. Remember the Holocaust

"It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. It can happen, and it can happen everywhere." - Primo Levi, 1986 The Drowned and the Saved

Today, January 27th is recognized by the United Nations as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and is observed around the worldOn this day in 1945, allied forces liberated Auschwitz.  It is important to recall that Soviet forces in 1939 had allied with the Nazis in invading and dividing up Poland in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that started WW2. They only changed sides after Germany invaded them on June 22, 1941.

Soviet soldier and Nazi soldiers fraternize after conquering Poland in 1939
We must never forget what happened and remain vigilant now and in the future to battle against the mass destruction of innocent human beings.  Unfortunately the international community has failed more than once since 1945 to prevent another mass slaughter. Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge murdered between one fourth and one third of its population between 1975 and 1979, civil libertarian Nat Hentoff pointed to another genocide that could have been stopped in Rwanda in 1994, and now we are witnessing another in Syria where religious minorities, including Christians are being targeted.

Holocaust memorial on Miami Beach
 It is also important to remember that antisemitism is on the rise world wide and people of the Jewish faith need our solidarity and support in confronting rising hatred and intolerance to ensure that what Nazi Germany did never be repeated. 

At the same time it is important to remember and honor the martyrs and heroes who resisted the Nazis.  They are exemplars in moral courage that are much needed today. In 2017 in the United States we saw Neo-Nazis on the march in Charlottesville, North Carolina first in a torchlight parade chanting anti-Semitic rants that the following day turned deadly in violent clashes that claimed an innocent life. We must remain vigilant and denounce this evil ideology wherever and whenever it arises. 

Let us begin by saying #WeRemember and committing to it never happening again.
"To forget the victims means to kill them a second time. So I couldn't prevent the first death. I surely must be capable of saving them from a second death." - Elie Wiesel

No comments:

Post a Comment