Recently, I came across a post which made reference to the holocaust, one of the many replies to the post was “You Jews, you’re not seriously harping on about that still”.
This reaction is tragically a common response to Holocaust related articles, movies and lectures.
The word Yid has always had a negative connotation, Urban Dictionary has one definition that reads (I have had to cut out a few of the words)
“A yid is an annoying, short-arsed git, and they generally walk around with their chest puffed out and speaking in an irritating form of the English accent. They usually barrack for XXXX English soccer teams.
They may occasionally go on local soccer forums, telling people to stop bitching about flares at soccer games, when they’re only about 5’2″ themselves… This (among many other things) often causes people to wonder why THEY of all people would bring up terms like “XXXX” in the first place….”
Friday is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
When concentration camps were liberated, there was shock and trauma amongst soldiers.
Capt. William J. Hagood Jr., a doctor in the 335th Infantry Regiment of the 84th Division, wrote in a letter to his wife, “You must see it — and you are so stunned, you only say it was horrible. You can’t think of adjectives. We weren’t in the place two minutes before our eyes filled with tears.”
The article below, gives a detailed account of the liberation of Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps.
The holocaust is still in living memory, although the numbers of survivors, who can give testimony, are dwindling there are those who remember.
Those who remember Kristallnacht, one of the first signs of what was to come. Those who remember being branded, an everlasting memory of having humanity taken, and becoming a number. Those mothers who were dragged away from their children and babies, never to see them again, the fathers who were killed as they hugged their families. The children who had no understanding of the extreme hatred that was directed at them, who did not know why their parents and siblings had disappeared. The people who slowly starved, both physically and emotionally, all these and more, are slowly dwindling. Soon, there will be no living memory of the holocaust and it will go down in history as an event from long ago.
General Eisenhower, who served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe, and who later became president of the United States wrote the following on pages 408 -409 of Crusade in Europe.
“The same day [April 12, 1945] I saw my first horror camp. It was near the town of Gotha. I have never felt able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency. Up to that time I had known about it only generally or through secondary sources. I am certain, however that I have never at any other time experienced an equal sense of shock.
“I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first-hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that `the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda.’ Some members of the visiting party were unable to through the ordeal. I not only did so but as soon as I returned to Patton’s headquarters that evening I sent communications to both Washington and London, urging the two governments to send instantly to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative groups from the national legislatures. I felt that the evidence should be immediately placed before the American and British publics in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt.”
General Eisenhower knew that one day people would deny the Holocaust, there would be mumblings of “was it really that bad” “It was so long ago, move on”. His foresight is sadly showing in our world today.
We, as feeling, empathetic, caring people find it impossible to fathom the cruelty of the Nazi’s, we can question over and over, how does a human being do this to another human? To what depths can a person’s morality sink that they become able to subject another to the horrendous, unimaginable torture that the prisoners in the camp were tormented with daily. How does one send a baby, a child, a mother into a gas chamber?
These questions have no answers, we cannot turn back time. As Jews we keep surviving and telling our stories, we pass on our history to the next generation and entrust them to pass it on to theirs.
Lest we forget is a powerful saying. We will never forget, We cannot forget, Walking in to Sage Nursing Home we are confronted with the Holocaust on a daily basis. A Resident with a number tattooed on her arm, another who had to walk all night, as a young girl to try to reach safety, Those who remember the bombings, the shelters and the death..
When there are those who respond to Holocaust documentaries with “why are the Jews still going on about it” we know that we need to step up to our responsibility to bring forth the memory of those who perished, they are not able to give testimony, they have given us the language to ensure they are never lost.
Antisemitism has always been on the rise. We see articles telling us this, however it has never not been. The baseless hatred of Jews is irrational, but, it has always been, and sadly always will be.
This morning, outside a kosher shop, on a dustbin I see a crudely painted picture of a Jew, sidelocks flying, an extraordinarily long nose and devil horns. We, as Jews, walk past it, shake our heads, laugh it off, and move on. We are used to it; Jewish people are no stranger to hatred. At times your garden variety anti-Semites emerge, those who make jokes about Jews, those who have never met a Jew yet feel it is ok to mock them, these people become a noisy, very imaginative bunch. The ones that say, “get over the holocaust”.
At the nursing home I work, we have had and still have survivors of the Holocaust . We will never forget them. It is our duty to pass on their stories and their testimony, Because if we do not, who will?
The Shocking Liberation of Auschwitz: Soviets ‘Knew Nothing’ as They Approached
Reblogged this on The Musings of Sara.