Monday, April 16, 2018

Never Again...And Again...And Again

As the world marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, the world forgot about the Holocaust. A survey released to coincide with Yom HaShoah, a date that commemorates not only those who died, but those who fought back. On April 19, 1943 the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began. Because of the difference between calendars, the day seems to skip around a bit, but it is always the same day on the only calendar that matters, lest we forget.
But ironically, forty-five percent of adults questioned could not name a death camp or ghetto in which more than six million people died at the hands of a Nazi Regime intent on exterminating a race: their Final Solution. This was happening seventy-five years ago, and it is fitting that we remember it not just on the day, but always. Lest we forget.
Or never learn in the first place.
Seventy percent of those surveyed said fewer people seem to care about the Holocaust than they used to.
Fifty-eight percent believe something like the Holocaust could happen again.
A majority in both cases.
So what about "Never Again?"
In the intervening three quarters of a century that have passed since that group of brave resistors stood up to their oppressors, have we lost track of just how horrifying the Holocaust was? Have we become numb to the deaths of masses of humanity, to the point that commemorating their passing is just another tap on the brakes for a planet geared toward its own extinction?
Actually, it's hard to blame the planet. Rather it's the inhabitants that seem to have a hard time keeping the memory of mass killing at the forefront of everyone's mind. There is a new massacre every month, and hate comes so much easier online and in the shadows. Shining a light into those dark corners is as vital now as it was in 1943. Maybe more so, since our attitudes toward Nazis seem to have shifted in a rather confounding direction since then. Putting "neo" in front of their club name doesn't make them new and improved. They are just as terrible now as they were back then, and it is vital that all of us keep that in mind as this new wave of fascism rears its ugly head.
We must say no to them.
And say yes to remembering.
Never again.