We must never forget

Published 8:28 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The week of April 19-26 is designated as Days of Remembrance, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in honor of the survivors, rescuers and liberators.

In a noble attempt to honor those who died and lived through the tumultuous era, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has designated this year’s theme as “Never Again: What You Do Matters” to encourage people to reflect upon the power of individuals to create a more just and humane world, according to a news release from the museum.

About six million Jews — and millions of other victims of Nazi persecution — were targeted for destruction during the period of state-sponsored and state-organized terror by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945.

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“The notion that the Holocaust was the result of the actions of one man or a handful of leaders is false,” said Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “The ability to carry out the genocide depended upon the participation of tens of thousands and the acquiescence of millions.”

It’s hard to imagine that another Holocaust could take place in the present day. Most of us will never be able to comprehend the torture and pain millions endured during the reign of Nazi Germany. Those who were fortunate enough to survive bear terrible scars from the experience.

Sadly, though, genocide is still a part of our world, as exemplified not so long ago in Rwanda and Darfur, reminding the world that evil remains firmly entrenched as a foe that we must face together.

“This year, as we remember the victims of Nazi Germany and its collaborators, let us reflect on our own responsibilities in a world of rising anti-Semitism and continuing genocide,” said Bloomfield.