Remember the Holocaust.
Well another year has passed since people gathered together to observe Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. In 1954 the 27th day of Nisan, on the Jewish calendar, was set aside to call attention to the atrocities and targeted mass production murder of so many Jewish people, by the German Nazi regime between the mid 1930s and 1945.
In this enlightened age of the 21st century you would think genocide could not occur. Well think again. We continue to see numerous cases of people being killed for living in a particular geographical area as well as for ethnic reasons.
According to the Genocide Intervention Network, in Darfur 400,000 people have been killed since early 2003 with 2,500,000 being dislocated. Then there is the genocide in Rwanda. It is estimated that up to 800,000 Tutsis were killed by Hutu militia using clubs and machetes.
Sixty years have past since the Holocaust of the Jews during the 1930s and '40s Guess what! Now there is another potential situation brewing that could feasibly develop into another mass murder of millions of Jewish people. According to a New York Times study, 84 percent of Palestinian Authority Arabs support the massacre of Jews. And 64 percent of those surveyed support the firing of Kassam rockets at civilians in Negev towns in Israel.
It is easy to appreciate why people find it difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the murder of 6 million Jewish people, no less 12 million Jews and non-Jews combined. It is difficult to get emotional if you cannot fathom that magnitude of deaths. Then just think about one human being at time such as cute little Sara Livshitz, daughter of Moshe and Riva, born in 1938 in Vinnista, Ukraine. Sara was only three years old when she was murdered together with her parents and her brother Daniel age six.
Then there was little Gabor Neumann born on February 10, 1940 in Bekescsaba, Hungary. The son of Elek and Margit Neumann, Gabor was only four years old when he was deported to Auschwitz and murdered on June 29, 1944.
You still question if 12 million men, women and children could possibly be systematically slaughtered in such a short period of time or that any group could be so cold blooded. Would you believe the word of the 34th president of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was previously Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces in Europe during World War II?
According to the Eisenhower Library (http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/stories/death-camps.htm) he visited Ohrdruf concentration camp on the morning of April 4, 1945. Ohrdruf was one of several sub-camps serving the Buchenwald extermination camp. Ohrdruf was a holding facility for over 11,000 prisoners on their way to the gas chambers and crematoria.
Ike was so moved by what he observed upon visiting Ohrdruf he ordered every American soldier in the area who was not on the front lines to visit Ohrdruf and Buchenwald. He wanted them to see for themselves what they were fighting against. He also ordered that every citizen of the nearby town of Gotha personally tour the camp and, after having done so, the mayor and his wife went home and hanged themselves.
Ike wrote to his wife, Mamie, "I never dreamed that such cruelty, bestiality, and savagery could really exist in this world. Bodies were piled throughout the camp. There was evidence everywhere of systematic butchery. Many of the mounds of dead bodies were still smoldering from failed attempts by the departing SS guards to burn them. The stench was horrible."
There are many deniers of the Holocaust. It is hard to understand why very large contingents of people in the Middle East and throughout the world persist in the denial. For example Mohammed Mahdi Akef leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, has said that the Holocaust was a "myth." The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, continuously denies the Holocaust.
It is upsetting to realize there are so many people who deny that the Holocaust occurred. It is hard to believe that these deniers can persist in spite of the preponderance of evidence that exists. There are Holocaust survivors and people like Eisenhower who viewed the carnage and attest to it. Add to this the mountains of data maintained by the Nazi regime itself. This data is stored in Bad Arolsen, Germany by the International Tracing Service. There are various types of records containing 50 million reference cards on over 17.5 million people
The deniers are continuously denying the Holocaust and if we remain silent and not defend the truth the deniers will win and the Holocaust of six million Jewish people will disappear from history. If you can't imagine how this can happen, note, there is a school in England that has dropped the study of the Holocaust so as not to contradict what the Muslim children are being taught in their mosques.
Remember. Become knowledgeable. Do not expect the other guy to take action for you. It is up to you because you are the other guy.
(Ed Ziegler is a columnist for the Heritage Florida Jewish News, EZ14@comcast.net)