Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Holocaust Days of Remembrance - April 21–26, 2009

Remembrance obligates us not only to memorialize those 
who were killed in the Holocaust, but also to reflect on what 
could have been done to save them.

Those who survived tell us that as many faced their horrific deaths, their last words were "Remember us. Tell our story."

Nazi Germany murdered six million Jews in a systematic, persecution 
and extermination now known as the Holocaust.

Holocaust Days of Remembrance - April 21–26, 2009 

The Holocaust

Nazi Germany persecuted, incarcerated and murdered millions of its own citizens, and those of the countries it invaded, on the basis of skin color; disability; sexual orientation; ethnicity; religious belief or political affiliation.

In 1933, when the Nazis came to power in Germany, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. The Nazi campaign to exclude and persecute Jews, and others, as “life unworthy of life” began. By May 1945 close to two out of every three Jews in Europe had been murdered in the Holocaust.

Although Jews were the primary victims of Nazi racism, others targeted for death included upwards of two hundred thousand Roma and Sinti (Gypsies) and almost quarter of a million mentally or physically disabled people. As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, millions of people were persecuted and murdered. More than three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease, or maltreatment. The Nazis killed tens of thousands of Polish intellectual and religious leaders; deported millions of Polish and Soviet citizens for forced labor and persecuted and incarcerated gay men and lesbians.

Millions of lives were lost, or changed beyond recognition. The consequences of this loss and persecution are felt today by Holocaust survivors, their children and grand-children, around the world.

by Alexander Kimel- Holocaust Survivor.

Do I want to remember?
The peaceful ghetto, before the raid:
Children shaking like leaves in the wind.
Mothers searching for a piece of bread.
Shadows, on swollen legs, moving with fear.
No, I don't want to remember, but how can I forget?

Do I want to remember, the creation of hell?
The shouts of the Raiders, enjoying the hunt.
Cries of the wounded, begging for life.
Faces of mothers carved with pain.
Hiding Children, dripping with fear.
No, I don't want to remember, but how can I forget?

Do I want to remember, my fearful return?
Families vanished in the midst of the day.
The mass grave steaming with vapor of blood.
Mothers searching for children in vain.
The pain of the ghetto, cuts like a knife.
No, I don't want to remember, but how can I forget?

Do I want to remember, the wailing of the night?
The doors kicked ajar, ripped feathers floating the air.
The night scented with snow-melting blood.
While the compassionate moon, is showing the way.
For the faceless shadows, searching for kin.
No, I don't want to remember, but I cannot forget.

Do I want to remember this world upside down?
Where the departed are blessed with an instant death.
While the living condemned to a short wretched life,
And a long tortuous journey into unnamed place,
Converting Living Souls, into ashes and gas.
No. I Have to Remember and Never Let You Forget.


Survivors promised that they would tell their stories so that never again would the world stand silent or look the other way. 


If you witness an act of injustice - speak up -
 let people know that you do not agree. 
It takes courage to make a change in the world.
What you do (or don't do) matters.

1 comment:

troutbirder said...

Never again. My son and daughter in law are in the process of a second adoption in Rwanda