Saturday, January 28, 2023

If We Forget

This is not one of my positive posts featuring birds or flowers or pictures of the sky.

Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in Poland.

Yes, what we call The Holocaust happened.

Yes, it needs to be remembered, along with other instances of hate and genocide in world history.

Yes, I've written about this particular anniversary before.  I invite you to read one or both of these blog posts.

I will blog about the Holocaust again, as long as I have a blog, and a voice, but this year, I have other things to say, because Holocaust Remembrance Day is not just a date on the calendar to pay lip service to and then return to our usual mental programming.

We must not hide history, even if it's painful.  We deny it at our peril.

The Holocaust is just one example.  Do we want to end up like some of our modern American citizens, with maybe some knowledge of the Holocaust but far from enough?

I read about the Holocaust as a young girl.  I knew Holocaust survivors - they were the parents of some of my friends.  It wasn't spoken about, but I breathed it in with each breath.  And those books, geared to young children? Some were published by Scholastic.  They included pictures, too.  Yes, perhaps not the worst pictures, but these children's books were never hidden from me.

It didn't wreck me.  Rather, my parents hoped that I would be in an adult where hatred of Jews and other minorities in this country would disappear.

That world has never existed, and it's getting worse.  It's acceptable once again to show hate.  Incidents of hate continue to rise both here and in other countries.  It isn't just the Holocaust.
I am horrified at the efforts to silence the teaching of certain parts of our history here in the United States, because, if anything needs to be taught in our schools (besides reading, writing, arithmetic and life skills one will need as an adult) to every child, it is history - including the history of how and when evil seemed to triumph for a time, and why.  It happened in Europe in the 1930's and 40's.  It happened here in the United States from time to time.  
About the American incidents, I wasn't taught about those incidents as a child.  I had to find them out on my own.  Some of them, I didn't find out about until my 60's.  Others, I still don't know about.

For a time, I lived about 115 miles from Tulsa, Oklahoma but never knew about this horror until 2021.

Yes, hate is rising again.  One of the bloggers I read, Roy Ackerman, has blogged about it from time to time.  Yes, Roy makes his political views clear and public, but even if you don't agree with his political views, I invite you to read his blog posts.  They aren't just about the Holocaust.  They are universal themes, this hating of "the other".
Just to be clear, "that other" may be your co workers, your friends, members of where you worship, your family (and maybe you don't even know all about your family), the people who grow and harvest your food, your medical professionals, your childrens' friends, the military people and first responders who protect you.

We must teach our children well, even as we adults confront this rise in hate.

"Never Again", as Roy says, begins with "Never Forget".
And "Never Forget" begins with good education.


  1. ...but sadly some don't know a thing about this.

  2. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it; we must never forget,

  3. If only we could get the lesson right so we don't have to keep going through these things.

  4. I only get to understand the importance of history once i am in the mature age

  5. We should never forget the Holocaust, and never permit those who seek to deny it or minimize it to succeed in doing so. Right wing fascism is on the rise again throughout the world, and degenerate politicians feel empowered to spew bile and hatred, and tell lies often enough that they become truth for some. This business of censoring what may be taught in school is terrifying. What's next? Book burning? Public flogging of teachers? If there is one constant with humankind it is that we never cease to find the excuses and the means to harm each other, and that we never learn from the past. Jews worshipping in a synagogue are not safe, Muslims praying in a mosque are not safe, and five cops just beat another man to death. Plus ça change plus c'est la même chose.

  6. The word "Holocaust" was exactly that, a word, when I was growing up. Many of the farmers we knew had been in WW2, and they didn't talk about that much. Fortunately, I am one American who has read of the horror.

  7. I don't remember learning about the Holocaust in high school history. I guess it was mentioned in the chapter of WWII, but not enough for it to make an impact on my memory. I didn't learn about Tulsa until a few years ago. Isn't that terrible? I remember asking my mother if, during WWII, they knew what was happening in Germany. She said she guessed so. Guessed so? Was it not in the news? I know the war impacted her neighbors in CA who were of Japanese descent.


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