Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today, we remember the millions of victims were killed simply for who they were.
I count myself among the lucky ones. My family has been in this country for more than a century. My great grandparents left Europe in the early 20th century, looking for a better life for themselves and their families in America. My grandparents were born in this country, I am a third generation Jewish American. But that does not exempt me from The Holocaust. Most of the family that my great grandparents left behind were slaughtered.
In the late 1970’s, one of my mother’s uncles added his grandfather, my great-great grandfather to the list of Holocaust victims at Yad Vashem.
While I will go about my business today, my heart will be breaking a little.
May the memory of those killed be a blessing and a reminder of what happens when we forget that the person next to us is first and foremost just another human being.
One of my new favorite songs is actually a classic. Disturb’s cover of The Sounds Of Silence is one of the most beautiful, haunting songs I have heard in a very long time.
It reminds me that this song, is still as powerful in 2017 as it was in late 60’s. The basic message of the song to be quiet and listen to one another. Given our present fractured political climate, it feels right to re-introduce the song to a new generation. Instead of yelling over each other, this country and this world would be a better place if we actually understood what it is to listen to others.
Songs are more powerful than we think they have. Songs can move mountains, change the world, change an opinion. This song is one of those songs.
That is the reason it is one of my new favorite songs.
Filed under Music, Politics
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Today we remember the 6 million Jewish souls whose lives were taken simply because they were Jewish.
There are so many angles that I can use to approach this post.
Today I want to talk about the possibilities that were lost.
The six million that were murdered, the possibilities of their lives were endless. But we will never know what directions their lives could have taken.
Especially the children. 1.5 million Jewish children were killed at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. An entire generation was lost before they truly had the chance the live. The children who did survive and grow to adulthood were forever changed. Imagine what these children who were murdered might have accomplished as adults. Imagine what their children and grandchildren and perhaps great-grandchildren would have accomplished as adults. But we will never know.
Every year, we say never again. But sometimes it feels hollow, just another statement without action to back it up, especially considering that antisemitism is one more rearing its ugly head.
I’m going to say it again and perhaps it will stick with one person. I hope that is not too much to ask for.
May the memories of those murdered be a blessing to all of us, so we can remember how inhumane we can be to our fellow human being.
Filed under History, Music
The last survivor of Treblinka passed away on Friday.
Samuel Willenberg died at the age of 93.
A member of the “organizing committee”, Mr. Willenberg was part of the revolt by the prisoners in Treblinka.
It’s been 71 years since the end of World War II. The number of survivors still living is dwindling fast.
We are the last generation to hear the testimony of the survivors in person.
When we speak of the Holocaust, we say Never Again.
There are many in this world who question why we continue to speak of the Holocaust.
The reason we continue to say Never Again and repeat the testimony of the survivors is that I hope that one day, the phrase Never Again is unnecessary.
But the world we live in and history of our species is littered with stories of hatred, destruction and murder based on the external factors that were used as an excuse to kill innocent human beings en masse 71 years ago.
RIP Mr. Willenberg, may you be reunited with those who you lost all of those years ago.
May your memory be a blessing not just to those who knew you personally, but to the rest of us rely on you and your generation to remind us of the best and word of humanity.