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Yom Ha'Shoah

Today is Yom Ha'Shoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Something doeeyedbunny said reminded me of one of the most important quotes about the Holocaust and remembrance, from the book Denying the Holocaust by Deborah Lipstadt (1994):

The deniers' window of opportunity will be enhanced in years to come. The public, particularly the uneducated public, will be increasingly susceptible to Holocaust denial as survivors die....Future generations will not hear the story from people who can say "this is what happened to me. This is my story." For them it will be part of the distant past and, consequently, more susceptible to revision and denial.

Zachor. Remember.


A very good friend of mine lost her entire family: Even though I was born more than twenty years later, I remember.
See my January post at: http://www.livejournal.com/users/donovanstitch/986.html

I'm planning another one sometime soon dealing with the issue of how best to effect widespread remembrance.
There's a fascinating Frontline piece available at pbs.org. The film clips are devastating.

Part of the problem with the Holocaust is that people denigrate it to a "Jewish thing," ignoring the 7 million non-Jews (mostly Catholics & Lutherans) also eliminated. (Most deniers are antisemitic.) If the Catholic church taught about the Holocaust with as much vigor as Jews do, the world would have a different perspective.
I believe that the “problem” you identify is not that the Holocaust is identified most closely with its principal intended victims. Instead, any “denigration” stems from the extent of the linkage to specific contemporary political views, and the accusation that Jews are collectively overemphasizing or exaggerating the Holocaust to advance specific political agendas -- as if all Jews agree on anything at all and could ever muster such unified action even if they wanted to.

It is of course true that millions of non-Jews were killed by Nazis. However, Catholics and Lutherans were not targeted by virtue of being born Catholics and Lutherans, let alone having had one Catholic or Lutheran grandparent. Mobile killing squads known as einsatzgruppen were not systematically dispatched to round up Catholics and Lutherans for mass execution.

The “Final Solution” was a detailed, well-documented plan for systematic elimination of the Jewish population of Europe. The plan was the logical outgrowth of Hitler’s ideology and a very long history of European Anti-Semitism. It was implemented vigorously, and pursued by the Nazis even when it required the diversion of manpower and equipment in a manner otherwise detrimental the Nazi war effort.

Finally, I for one would welcome more teaching from the Catholic Church about the Holocaust, but it is doubtful in the extreme that any past reticence had anything to do with an unwillingness to talk about Catholic victims.
Sadly, I think you're right about denialbility growning easier with passing generations. Kids of my parents generation had parents who were in camps, or parents who fought in the war. Kids of my generation have grandparents who were. But kids even just a little bit younger than me, I've seen some with an almost casual attitude about it (especially if they arent' Jewish), not quite understanding the magnitude of the Holocaust

December 2016

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