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Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019, Post-Pittsburgh Massacre

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When the Soviets breached the German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp on Jan. 27, 1945, they not only started the camp’s liberation process but would wind up creating an anniversary on which all would especially take time to remember the atrocities committed during the Holocaust against the Jewish people and other people deemed undesirable by the Nazis. Those soldiers had been through some of the worst of war, but nothing could have braced them for what they saw at those camps, images that the world needed to see. The world had to see the evidence of the crimes against humanity the Nazis committed, a genocide on an almost unimaginable scale. The Nazis were so efficient that many towns were nearly eradicated of Jews.

 

But now, in the next century, as the final remaining Holocaust survivors die out, people seem to be forgetting, and fascistic movements are on the rise across the globe.

 

One of Adolf Hitler’s final passages, that he wrote while he contemplated suicide in his führerbunker: “Centuries will pass away, but out of the ruins of our towns and monuments the hatred against those finally responsible whom we have to thank for everything, international Jewry and its helpers, will grow.”

 

The Allies may have defeated the Axis powers and Germany may have criminalized Nazism, but its ideology has never died. Groups continue to support the idea of a master race and Jews being backstabbers that need to be wiped off the Earth. Just a few months ago, a man who trafficked in fringe conspiracy theories felt that he needed to shoot and kill some Jews peacefully praying in a Pittsburgh synagogue because he thought they and Holocaust survivor George Soros were funding an invasion at the southern border. White supremacists gathered in Charlottesville and chanted, among other things, “Jews will not replace us.”

 

Fox News found a survey conducted by Schoen that showed 31 percent of all Americans and 41 percent of millennials in the poll think no more than 2 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. While the orchestrated mass murder of 2 million people would still be unfathomably evil, this kind of slow denialism is what the neo-Nazis want. They can chip away at the truth, little by little, until all of a sudden Hitler wasn’t such a bad guy and was actually misunderstood. And so it begins. It’s almost universally agreed upon that the Nazis systematically exterminated nearly 6 million Jews and 4 million other vulnerable groups for the explicit purpose of eliminating entire human races until only what they considered Aryans were left.

 

The survey also found that almost half of both adults and millennials were unable to name one single concentration camp. Not Auschwitz-Buchenwald, not Dachau, not Theresienstadt, Sobibór, nothing. Like these places never existed, to almost half of the millenials and adults surveyed. Around 80 percent of Americans can’t say they’ve stepped foot in a Holocaust museum, and only one out of every three people can say he or she knows a survivor, someone who can personally testify to the horrors and atrocities.

 

After the Pittsburgh massacre, the Jewish community showed its strength, love, and determination to stand strongly against hatred. The battle will continue to be uphill though to catch people’s attentions in the world of 24/7 news and social media and educate them about the Holocaust.

 

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jacek Kotowski

    02/02/2019 at 8:38 pm

    Dear Jewish friends.

    You have to commit fighting real causes of nazism, and they were not because there was a crazy dictator Hitler but because elites long erlier, and I mean top elites of the Western World, thinkers, industrialists, bankers quite many of them, welcomed the idea that human being, like other animals, can be bred and selected.
    It is not true that nazi perpetrators were punished, only the most representative and otspoken representatives clowns were.
    Who ordered Mengele research? Who was his mentor? What happened to results of his research? Who tought SD/SS how to run camps? Were there training trips to gulag, exchange of experience and high official meetings on international level equal to Vaansee or even more spectacular and decisive? Such meetings were mentioned in famous documentary “Soviet Story”, of high officials of NKVD and SD in Krakow. Why we know noting about them.
    Is there a campaign, financed by big money, to take away the odium of perpetrators from Germany and other collaborators that “worked through their guilt already” and now shift it on others, like Polish victims – see evident “Polish complicity” campaign in foreign media? Is holocaust used today for a political fight, for instance against conservative govs that win elections in Central Europe? Isnt’ it Orwellian that it must have started in 2018?
    I ask these questions as a grandson of a survivor of German heavy labor camp (designed to kill within avg 3 months of hard labor) who was 11 year old girl when incarcerated. Earlier she was evicted from her house by a communist neighbor on threat of deporation to Sibirian gulag. Part of my family was killed by Germans and was persecuted by Soviets.
    What are the lessons?
    Who were the fighters of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Is it true that Armia Krajowa was defamed after the war by soviets and left historians but during the war it assisted Jewish fighters? Why was there a Polish flag together with Jewish flag over Muranow?
    A certain “historian” mentions that Poles are guilty of killing 200 th Jews. Is it true. If not, if his works are a lie, like Mr Kosinksi “Painted Bird” novel, why is he listened to, invited and quoted.
    My grandma survived the camp and she learns from TV she is “complicit” and did not “work through the guilt” How could she help the Jews more when she suffered together with them. When Polish villages were purged by Germans and Russians, most elites down to gymnasium graduates killed or incarcerated…

    No… no lesson was learned from Holocaust, people do not know what eugenics mean and basically they would welcome new nazism under the name of science. They welcome the ideas of post birth eugenic abortion and euthanasia at will of depressed. “The right to die” is another nazi concept.

    No lessons were learned.

    I wish you peace my Jewish friends. Greetings from Poland

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