Today is the day set aside to remember the victims of one of history’s greatest tragedies, the massacre of over 6,000,000 European Jews by the Nazis and their allies for the "crime" of being born Jewish. In Poland, over 11,000 marched from Auschwitz to Birkenau to commemorate the dead. Here are a few links you should follow:
- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is a good place to start.
- Yad Vashem is the Israeli Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.
- The Simon Wiesenthal Center dedicates itself to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and fighting bigotry in all its forms. Its museum here in Los Angeles is well-worth visiting.
- Fausta has posted several interesting links to videos and written reflections.
And no, I’m not ignoring the terrible things that have happened to other people who’ve fallen victim to maniacs: Ukrainians, Armenians, Cambodians, Chinese, Kurds, and others have experienced genocide or ethnic cleansing. But the Shoah stands out for me as the most chillingly systematic effort ever to eradicate an entire people from existence. That there are fools and idiots who can minimize it, deny it, or even claim the Jews themselves organized it, is appalling.
The reason we must not forget such things is not just to remember the victims, but to recognize that it can happen again and to guard against it. The last time wasn’t that long ago.