During my tour last year of Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, I was haunted by what I saw. Old movie clips and photos of Jews being herded off to concentration camps tore at my emotions. I could barely contain myself.
When I entered the children’s memorial, all I could think about were the millions of children who died in gas chambers. I saw images of some of their faces, and they were no different from my child or yours. In my mind, I could hear them giggling, laughing and enjoying life, but they died without mercy. (Photos 1 and 2 courtesy of Yossi Ben-David / Yad Vashem)
That’s why we must always remember the Holocaust. The atrocities of one of the most brutal genocides in world history should be etched deep in our hearts, lest we forget and perpetrate similar crimes against other nations of people. The deaths of 6 million Jews must never be in vain.
Every year the United Nations calls on the world to officially recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was observed Tuesday. With much focus on Israel, it’s interesting to see how the international community is responding to current events unfolding in the country.
Kasey Bar lives in Israel and wrote a blog for Travelujah about her take on what’s happening in the Promised Land. She challenges readers, especially Christians, to not only remember the Holocaust, but to speak out and not keep silent. Read her blog below.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day
By Kasey Bar
This morning I picked up the Jerusalem Post to read the headline, “PM Expected to Draw Connections Between Iran’s Nukes and Holocaust.” The article goes on to quote other leaders. “Merkel to Peres in Berlin: “Teheran’s time is up.”
Today is the official United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day and also the anniversary of the historic liberation of Auschwitz. I expected to see historic articles throughout the paper, but the main thrust of today’s headlines is a, not so subtle, warning that a second holocaust is waiting around the corner if the world does not act in some measure, and very quickly.
I find it eerie that on this day that we remember the atrocities of the past, we are confronted with a present day threat that could potentially kill more people in a few minutes then Hitler and his SS guards did in several years. On Tuesday, at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu wrote in the guestbook, “The people of Israel have learned their lesson.” I do not doubt his words, but I question whether the world has learned its lesson as well.
(Photos 3-5 courtesy of Travelujah)
This past summer I visited Dachau concentration camp right outside of Munich. It was my first visit to a concentration camp memorial. There is much to say on this subject, but that is for another blog on another day. But I remember feeling like I had stepped onto the set of some horror movie.
The heinous acts that were done there make the rational mind swim and finally go numb. I didn’t cry as I made my way through the man-made hell. I thought that the walks through the cramped housing units, gas chambers and crematorium would be very emotional, but I found that my senses were frozen. It was not until after I was away from it all that I could sort through my feelings. Even now, I have not fully unpacked the experience.