We must remember the Holocaust

Published 9:35 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2016

To the editor:

May 5 is a special day that many of us may not be aware of. It is Holocaust Memorial Day. Nearly two generations after its end, we all do well to remember it, because the ability to repeat the Holocaust is always present within us.

It is easy to minimize our need to be reminded. It was “back then” and “over there.”

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Much modern attention focuses on terrorism overseas. Every now and then, we see it happen on our land. Aware of its existence, we trust our government is working night and day to do as much as possible to prevent the next attack.

What I ask you to remember is that, in one way, terrorism is not a nation-problem, a culture-problem or a religion-problem. Nations, ancient empires, various ethnic groups and religious movements have all acted out both terrorizing impulses and humanitarian impulses.

We need to recall this horrific time in human history, because terrorism is a human problem. It is potentially any one of us justifying our thoughts, emotions and desires to scare others and threaten their lives.

The Holocaust involved many people, some acting in concert with the tyrannical regime, some acting against it and some reluctantly going along with the program. I imagine many who thought they would never act out evil impulses found themselves doing so.

Viktor Frankl, known for his system of logotherapy that was put to the test in the camps, described his discovery of some Germans who were more humane than some of his fellow Jews and some of his fellow Jews who were as evil as some German captors.

Since World War II, the nations of the world have begun to break barriers and move closer to being one global community. It is easy to think that the terrors and horrors of the Holocaust will not be repeated. Let us find a way to remember, though, that denial of the possibility is the first step in its recurrence.

In fact, my understanding of Scripture informs me that one will happen again. Why? Because idolatrous man believes he can be who he is, without God’s help. He prefers a “natural goodness of man” (natural theology), instead of a “man in need of God” (revealed theology).

Obviously, there is much more to be said about this. For now, I say, “Be strong! Be strong! And may we all be strengthened in the Lord and in the enabling power of His strength!”

Kevin Snashall