Today, Thursday, April 19th, 2012, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today is the day when we remember the Six Million Jews who died in the Holocaust of Adolph Hitler. They died for only one reason; because they were Jewish. They were victims of unbridled hatred and their suffering is hard to imagine.
We should also bow our heads in thanks to the millions of Allied soldiers who gave their lives to free the world from the horrors of Hitler and Tojo. We should say a prayer of remembrance for all of the sixty million human beings who perished during World War Two.
In Poland, 11,000 students from 35 nations commemorated the day by participating in the 25th Annual March Of The Living. The students marched from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Thursday Afternoon. They were accompanied by Holocaust Survivors and elderly American Soldiers who had helped to liberate the Concentration Camps at the end of the World War Two. Israeli Police Commissioner, Inspector General Yochanan Danino participated in the march and he voiced the feelings of all the marchers when he said, “Today, we, the police officers of the Jewish state, are taking part in a journey to the heart of the darkest and most tragic episode in human civilization.”
The Holocaust stands out from the many centuries of war and human suffering as the ultimate example of human cruelty and hate. Six Million Jews, along with many of the Roma people, priests, the mentally ill, the disabled and political prisoners were shot, gassed and burned in the Nazi Death Camps. It is on this day each year that we remember all the victims and pray to the Almighty that they will all find peace in His loving embrace.
On this day, it is important to remember that each and every one of the fallen had a name. They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives. There were grandparents and great grandparents. There were rabbis, priests, teachers, scientists, students, doctors, lawyers, artists and musicians. They were little children still nursing at their mother’s breast and they were so elderly they had to be carried to the gas chambers.
It is easy to become numb to the suffering of humanity. So many have died as the victims of someone’s mad dreams of power. As I wrote this article, I spoke to my mother, who was born in Germany and fled the Nazis in 1938. Many of her family died in the Concentration Camps. She told me, “Remember what happened, be vigilant but above all, HAVE HOPE.” We must all think and remember. Never forget. May G*d have mercy on them all. We pray for the peace of Humanity.