16 April 2015

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom HaShoah

How do you remember a tragedy some seventy years ago when you see it happening all over again, all around you and all around the world? How do you tell your children that those bad and evil people who murdered so many last century are not dead and gone as we once thought but still here, just wearing different faces, shouting different slogans?

How do you honour your family members, the ones still here who lived through it and the ones long gone, murdered or gassed or shot or simply left to rot, how do you remember them without the promise, always, of Never Again? How do you tell your children, your neighbours, your ancestors and future generations? How do you explain to them that despite the horror and the knowledge and the pain, it is happening again?

In Brussels (Belgium) where three innocents were murdered at a museum.
In Paris (France) where four were murdered at a kosher store.
In Copenhagen (Denmark) where a man was killed outside a party.
In Amsterdam (Netherlands) where "Jews to the gas" is heard on the streets.
In Jerusalem (Israel) where five died after an attack at a synagogue.
In Wuppertal (Germany) where a synagogue was attacked with fire bombs.
All around the world where swastikas are drawn or Jews are painted as evil.

The Holocaust in most languages, known as the Shoah in Hebrew. It ended some seventy years ago, officially, yet anti-Semitism is still going on, still happening, still waiting to kill more innocents simply for being who they are, for being born as they are. Today on the Jewish calendar is the 27th day of the month of Nisan - Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah (יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה; "Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its accessories, and for the Jewish resistance in that period. In Israel, it is a national memorial day and public holiday. (Wikipedia)
How do we honour those who were killed, who were gassed, who were starved, those who died in the streets, who were tricked or betrayed or left to rot as if their lives meant nothing? How do we teach our children about the horrors of the Shoah, how do we ensure they understand the tragedy, the pain, the absolute wrongness of what happened decades ago? How do we instil in future generations the knowledge that such horrors must Never, Ever happen Again?

I have no answers, yet I have so many questions.
I have no solutions, yet I see so many problems.
I have no wise words, only words of grief and sorrow.

What is wrong with the human race that we are unable to be compassionate?
What is wrong with us, that we believe it normal to kill those we dislike?
What is wrong with us, that we believe it is our right or our duty to murder those we disagree with?
What is wrong with us, that we are unable to learn from the past?
What is wrong with us, that we continue hating people simply for who they are and for how they were born?
What is wrong with us that we allow the slaughter of innocents to go on and on and on, despite knowing what the consequences are, despite knowing what they go through, despite being aware of the horror and the pain and the senseless hatred?

What is wrong with us that we do not stand up for our fellow human beings, protect them as if they were our own parents, siblings, children, friends? We are all human beings - our differences make us unique and special, they never make us better or more or somehow more entitled. Whatever our shape and colour, size and race, country and nationality and ethnicity, whatever our language and religion, we are all members of the human race, all members of the same family. We are all one creation, one people who inhabit this one world together. Why do we, with all of history to learn from, continue hating others? Why do we, with survivors who have numbers tattooed on their arms to learn from, continue acting as if nothing happened? What is wrong with us? And will we ever be able to make it right again? Will we ever be able to stop hating others, simply because they are who they are?