Welcome everyone, to this Holocaust remembrance day post.
Since I remember myself, the memory of the holocaust is ingrained in my being. It strongly affected my childhood, adolescence and played a key role in shaping my set of beliefs and dis-beliefs in my life so far.
The only grandmother I knew was a holocaust survivor. She never told me (or most anyone) about her experiences until very late in her life. I can’t blame her. When I finally learned she survived two different death camps, It just made me respect her even more. No one should ever have to experience such horror.
There are too many lessons to be learned from that dark part of history to be shared in a single post, so I will share a few of the ones I learned.
The purpose of Holocaust remembrance day as evident in the name selected is to remember. To keep the memory alive through the generations to come. The most important lesson of all is to make sure we never forget what happened.
This is not to keep a grudge. There is nothing to be gained from that. Every German I ever met was nothing but another person with flaws and good qualities, just like any other person I ever met. We don’t remember the holocaust in order to keep score. The past is in the past. But it still is critical we remember.
This is not so politicians can use the memory of the holocaust for political gain.
I stopped watching the “official” speeches given by our so-called leaders a long time ago. Besides the fact that they are trivial, they are predictably motivated. I don’t need my prime minister to assure me that “we will never let this happen to us again”. The Jewish people, as people will ensure that. I don’t need my prime minister to nominate new Hitlers. I need them to respect this day and put politics aside for just 24 hours.
The only reason, it’s critical to remember and make sure future generation do is to ensure that this never happens again to anyone on earth.
Many of us live in a society of mixed cultures. Every day we see something different, something foreign. We see people dressed differently, believe in different things, Some look different on the surface. We’re of different colours, and build and gender and age. We tend to fear what we don’t know, and that enables certain people to feed of this (See a previous post). The lesson learned from this memorial day is accepting the other, the different. Because in the end of the day, we’re all part of one family.
I believe that kids are entitled to their opinions, and I love the pearls that come out of their innocent mouths at times. I do my best to let them express their feelings and views in every possible way, but there is one word that is not allowed in my house. There is one distinction I make point of making.
We don’t hate.
We may be angry, Disappointed, furious even. Some people can act in ways so cruel that the heart shrinks. But we do not hate. Because hate is (excuse the cliché’) the mother of all evil. So we must remember, how the fear was used and abused in order to prepare the ground for one of humanity’s darkest hours. We must eliminate hate from our vocabulary and from our souls.
This last lesson I learned from an amazing individual. A holocaust survivor who accompanied our group when we visited death camps in Poland. With humor that at first shocked me, then consoled and finally allowed me to say things I couldn’t otherwise express, I learned that there is no “right way” to remember the holocaust. There is only remembering and reminding.
So let’s remember one thing people. Let’s remember what’s worse than a broken heart.
Hitler. Hitler is worse.