We Will Remember
"Small is the ring
Adolf Hitler's seizure of German power from 1933-1945 witnessed a destruction of humanity. Nazi tyranny saw the merciless, mass extermination of six million Jews and five and a half million Gypsies, Poles, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, persons with mental and physical disabilities and political and clerical dissidents. The belief of Aryan German superiority, thus the racial inferiority of any other race, and the concept of "human perfection" was at the cornerstone of Nazi ideology. The Jewish populace was distinctly targeted through the Final Solution, in which economic troubles were blamed on the Jewish people and the Christian German public rallied behind a monetary cause. The Final Solution of the Jewish Question consisted of Jewish systematic relocation and consolidation in ghettos, transport to concentration camps and the subsequent ruthless extermination of millions of innocent lives.
Remembrance of the horrific events which occurred during the Third Reich
is essential, and knowledge of the Holocaust must forever be maintained.
With the rapidly approaching tides of time, the number of survivors
victimized by the inhumane Nazi crimes is dwindling. It is imperative that
their remarkable stories of courage are heard by the many generations to
come. Silence and censorship are dangerous to the preservation of voice.
The brilliant, highly admirable Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor himself,
once said, ". . . [I]f we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices . . .
[n]eutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the
tormentor, never the tormented." Silence also encourages the conspiring
stories of Holocaust revisionists, who deny the occurrence of the
Holocaust or assert that it is deliberately exaggerated. One holocaust
revisionist on http://zundelsite.org
Knowledge also helps to combat racism and to prevent the recurrence of such evil in our future. History teaches us valuable lessons for the present and the future; relative to the Holocaust, the dangers of anti-Semitism and any other form of racism are illuminated. Through education we shall enlighten our world with the powers of consciousness and intellect in order to prevent such disturbing, abhorrent abuses from ever occurring again. In addition, awareness regarding the dangers of dictatorial fascism has given way to today's active participation in politics; many Westerners are appreciative of the civil rights bestowed upon them from birth. Furthermore, ardent support for a favorable, virtuous government, highly unlike that of Nazi Germany, will caution the world from the appointment of a redundant tyrant to office.
With the failure of Holocaust remembrance, a devastating loss of textbookish history will occur. However, one must stop and think, that in addition to historical facts, geographical locations and numerical statistics, the failure of remembrance will bring about a loss of emotion toward the Holocaust, and hundreds and thousands of poignant accounts may vanish forever. The miraculous personal stories of the rescuers and the victims must always be carried with us and passed on to our descendants to continue the flow of complex, impassioned emotion about Holocaust from one heart to another. Never shall we forget the young boy hanged in Elie Wiesel's Night as he symbolically struggled between life and death. Never shall we forget the miraculous story of Oskar Schindler, a man who defied his party and rescued 1,200 Jews from the hands of doom. Such stories testify to the heroism of the human spirit and serve as inspiration to people of good will in any time, and in any place.
Education and the maintenance of an open mind are the keys to battling prejudice, discrimination and violence. As students, we must educate ourselves about the hazards of the aforementioned malignancies in order to battle and to prevent a corrupted future. In doing so, may we hope for a future of civility, virtue and nonviolence. With the freedoms and opportunities we are fortunate to have here in America, our generation should actively participate in programs in school and abroad aimed toward battling racism, discrimination and other detrimental factors which can lead to hate and violence. Together, students should proudly recognize and celebrate global multifariousness, for diversity of society and culture is a beautiful aspect of the human condition.
Anti-Semitism has always been a force in history, but prejudice and discrimination reached their ultimate climax in 1933 with the birth of the Third Reich. Nearly twelve million innocent civilians died under the wretched conditions of concentration camps simply because they were not ethnically pure in the eyes of the Nazis. One cannot even begin to describe the physical and emotional torment the prisoners underwent as a result of racism, and it would be as great an injustice if the world were denied this truth. The adversities racism can create must be illuminated through literature and education in order to preserve the voices of history, for silence may cause the heroic reports of survival and the horrors perpetuated by racial superiority to be lost forever. Looking toward the future, it is essential to maintain an open mind that will perceive the beauty of diversity of the world and to guard it against threats to its continuance on the face of the earth.
"Anti-Semitism - Wikipedia." 3 April 2005. <http:l/en.wikipedia.orq/wiki/Anti-semitism>
"Auschwitz/Birkenau - Photographs by Alan Jacobs." 1996.3 April 2005. <http://remember.orq/Jacobs/>
Bitton-Jackson, Livia. I Have Lived a Thousand Years. New York: Simon
Spiegelman, Art. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Beqan. New York: Pantheon, 1992.
"United States Holocaust Memorial Museum." 3 April 2005. <http://www.ushmm.org/>
Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Bantam, 1982.
The opinions, comments, and sentiments expressed by
the participants are not necessarily those of Holland & Knight LLP or the
Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, Inc.