Holocaust Remembrance Day
The late, great, Charles Bowden spent much of his life witnessing and reporting on the horrors of cartel violence in Mexico.
When asked what the most important thing he learned was, he replied that he was shocked to find that those perpetrating the violence were “normal” people.
They were not monsters or demons but “normal” people acting out in monstrous and demonic ways.
The potential for such, he believed, was in all of us.
So it was for most who perpetrated the Holocaust and (if history is our guide) will be again somewhere, some horrible day.
It is too easy for us to believe that we are doing good while doing great evil, especially when fear grips us.
Let us all remember that as we remember what that terrible potential has already produced.
For Holocaust Remembrance Day, our song, 'Ravensbruck' – a duet with @MichaelGlenBell and our friend, @Jennifer_Knapp…
Never forget… Never again…#WeRemember https://t.co/mVPbqho4rp
— The Project (@MartyrsProject) January 27, 2020
My parents migrated from Germany after WWII. The holocaust affected my family directly. I had two great-uncles of partial Jewish heritage. One fled to Colombia with his family, the other (a veteran of WWI) stayed. Uncle Conrad died in a concentration camp for the “crime” of being Jewish. When he attended my parents wedding, he was already having to wear the distinct star that set him apart.
Horrific crimes were committed against the Jews, a people that so many in Europe had despised for hundreds of years for being different. Hitler picked as his victims a group that so many already hated. He didn’t create the hate, for that already existed throughout the continent. He just brought it to its awful climax. May we never forget the atrocities.
Kaddish is the mourner’s prayer we can all pray, for your great-uncle Conrad and all who died…
“Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world
which He has created according to His will.
May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days,
and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon;
and say, Amen.
May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored,
adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,
beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that
are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
He who creates peace in His celestial heights,
may He create peace for us and for all Israel;
and say, Amen.”
Of all of the places we saw on my two Euro-tours, Auschwitz was the one that impacted me the most. I both wish we had more than an afternoon at both camps, but also feel “that was enough.” We were there in June, yet it wasn’t crowded. I took some haunting pictures. We also visited Dachau which was significant, but being crowded and also in the middle of the city, it didn’t feel as powerful. Then again, being in the middle of the city next to a condo development, it felt powerful in a different way.
I recently read “Account Rendered: “A Dossier On My Former Self,”a memoir by Melita Maschmann (1913-2010) who joined the Hitler Youth in 1933 when she was a very idealistic teenager. She continued to work hard and harden her heart against the cruelties she witnessed because she believed the end justified the means. In 1945 when her world came crashing down, she had to come to terms with her willingness to be deceived by the empty promises of National Socialism. It took her a few years and much soul searching, but she grappled with many complexities in her thorough repentance. When in 1963 she published her book, there were very few Germans who had publicly recanted and she was greatly criticized by the many who did not want to face their own cognitive dissonance during the Nazi years. She explains the mental processes that she went thru that allowed her, an ordinary and normal person, to become the willing contributor to a monstrous regime. And how she unflinchingly examined herself, regained her integrity and became a fully aware and responsible human being again.
I found this book very insightful and it has given me compassion for others who are caught up in poisonous systems of thinking and who could commit horrors while believing they are justified. This is not to excuse their behavior by any means, but to enable me to have a bridge that sees them as another human being instead of someone to despise and hate–my preferred fleshly self righteous position. In these grievous and conflicted times, I am thankful to have read the story of someone who has “been there and come back again.” It gives me hope.
The book has been published again in 2013 as ebook with introduction and afterward.
Thank you…excellent recommendation!
Antisemitism has reared its ugly head again (all over the world though it stayed submerged for a spell).
There isn’t anything the devil hates worse than women and Jews.
Woman, because it was her genome that the Almighty used to bring himself into this world, and the Jews because they were the bloodlines by which he retrieved the least damaged ovum from the fall.
My mother and her family were Jews living in Germany who managed to leave in 1940. They spent the next eight years in Shanghai, China where they were thankfully safe.
They lived in terrible conditions and my Grandmother almost died from typhus. They ended up coming to the states after receiving funds from my mother’s uncle who had wisely gone to South Africa.
Sadly, all extended family stayed and died in the camps.
I have both the book and DVD titled “Shanghai Ghetto.” Their story is one you don’t come across too often.
Having see so many documentaries through the years it’s painful to see the other “holocausts” that have taken place. Thankfully I have a living hope in Christ Jesus.
My mom and father married and his family had fled Russia during the rule of Stalin. Their marriage lasted until he was 60 when he passed away in 1997. Mom is now 83 and lives with dementia.
Praying for you and your mother, Erunner… your posts here encourage many of us and make it clear that you ARE running the race, keeping the Faith