Polish children imprisoned in Auschwitz look out from behind the barbed wire fence. Approximately 40,000 Polish children were imprisoned in the camp before being transferred to Germany during the “Heuaktion” (Hay Action). The blond boy at the lower right may be Kalman Cylberszac (b. 1934), the son of Rachel and Nachum Cylberszac from Lask, Poland. Credit: Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives In the United States, many school systems have a “snow day” closing schools on Yom Kippur, a Jewish High Holy day so families can attend services together.
April has been declared “National Holocaust Month” and students study this time in history during that month so as “Never to Forget. ” Steven Spielberg made an Oscar winning film based upon Thomas Keneally’s book, Schindler’s List. And what does this mean to us? It means that our everyday lives exist with a certain kind of ease that I am sure none of the Holocaust victims would deny us; it is as this kind of life they had prior to World War II.
But, what they would want is for us to remember the nightmare of the Holocaust, because it can happen again. And each one of us, by knowing and remembering, will be ready so that the next time maniacal prejudicial attacks against Jews or any other people begins, such slaughter cannot happen again. There are many ways and many reasons to study and learn about the Holocaust. Everybody takes something different from the experience.
The below listed websites and book summaries are just a few that I hope will not only help you to remember the Holocaust, but give you courage to speak out and stand up if another situation occurs. And it is occurring… The Holocaust was a nightmare for all of humanity. Worldwide cruelty continues to exist. Perhaps reading these books, one can learn to recognize the evil…and remember that it can be stopped. But, it can only be stopped by individuals. It involves a commitment to ethical thinking and personal moral courage.