In Memory Of The Holocaust
On January 27th 1945, the surviving prisoners of Aushwitz were liberated.
Many people wonder why we still commemorate the Holocaust, 70 years on. It is not to complain that 6 million of our brothers and sisters died at the hands of a racist regime. After all 11 million Soviet soldiers and between 7 and 20 million civilians died either directly or indirectly from the effects of the Second World War. The Nazis also killed homosexuals, the disabled, political dissenters as well as Quakers, who refused to ally themselves with the Nazi ideology.
The Jewish people, however, were singled out for the most cruel treatment, and were machine gunned, starved, worked, and gassed to death, then their bodies were dumped in mass graves or incinerated.
One can ask oneself how a whole nation could participate in such genocide. After all, it was the French occupation of the Ruhr and the Allies' insistence on repayment of war damages that drove post-WW1 Germany into economic depression and social privation - not the small population of hard-working, educated Jews. However, you only need to look at the economic and social conditions across Europe to see similarities that are leading to a rise in extremist politics on both the left and the right. Driving a country to the brink of collapse can only lead to a rise of nationalism - surely the EU can see that?
We're not looking for sympathy for the brothers and sisters we lost. Our commemoration of the Holocaust should, however, act as a reminder of the evil that humans can do to each other, regardless of race or religion. We have seen religious, racial or tribal violence in Ireland, Chechnya, Crimea and Ukraine, Rwanda, Iraq, Syria, Congo, Holomodor, Anatolia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Croatia, Sudan, Burundi, Bangladesh, Equatorial Guinea and Srebrenica to name but a few.
As long as we allow ourselves to dehumanise entire ethnic or religious groups and call them animals, this kind of abuse will be able to continue.
Humanity needs to fight the base instinct to shun "the other". We are all human, we all bleed, we all feel happiness, joy, despair, hate, anger, sorrow, hope, contentment , excitement, love... If you ever feel yourself dehumanising someone because of their religion, political affiliation, race or economic situation, remind yourself that like you they bleed, they make mistakes, they have hopes and they feel emotions. Think how you would feel if you were in their shoes.
it's time for us to all stand up and be counted as humans. No one race, religion or tribe is better than the other. We are all the same.