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Monday, April 16, 2012

Holocaust Day -- Yom Ha-Shoah: A Day We Can't Forget as Elie Weisel Warns Us

Nadene Goldfoot
This coming Thursday is Nissan 27, or April 19th, which is our Holocaust Day, a memorial day set aside to remember the victims and heros of the worst part of our history so that it will not happen again.  It was chosen as it is the day of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. 

Elie Wiesel, b: 1928  is a Romanian Jewish survivor of the Holocaust and now lives in Israel.  He wrote the following about his time as a prisoner in Auschwitz as he will never forget: "Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.  Never shall I forget that smoke.  Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. 
   Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.
   Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live.  Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust.  Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself.  Never." 

He was lucky enough to be liberated from Buchenbwald in 1945.  Before that he had been in Birkenau, Auschwitz and Buna.  This writing of his didn't happen immediately after his ordeal.  He had come out of it putting a 10 year vow of silence on himself before he could describe what had happened.  When he did write, he couldn't get a publisher interested.  Even after being published, people were not interested in reading about the holocaust as it is a depressing subject. 

Some people are in denial of the Holocaust.  Many would prefer it didn't happen.  To do this, "they are committing the greatest indignity human beings can inflict on one  another; telling people who have suffered excruciating pain and loss that their pain and loss were illusions.  The greater indignity is committed by those who believe the disbelievers. 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran is the world's leading Holocaust denier. During a speech in 2009 to the UN on a Friday, "he questioned whether the Holocaust was "a real event" and called it a pretext used by Jews to trick the West into backing the creation of Israel. He said the Jewish state was created out of "a lie and a mythical claim."  The United States called this a hateful speech.  Ahmadinejad still sticks to his denial even though there is incredible evidence to the contrary showing that he is really an idiot. 

History is well known in many countries that Jews started the process of creating a National Jewish Homeland way before the Holocaust when pioneers were returning to Palestine in the late 1800's.  At the end of the 1st world war when Britain held the mandate for Palestine, the process of creating Israel was in full swing.  The Holocaust only brought out the truth that we had needed our own nation way before this had happened.  It is the clincher or king pin that tells us how important Israel is to us.  6 million Jews died along with others that the world really didn't think mattered; especially the Nazis. 

Elie Weisel tells the story from his pain, to honor the dead and to also warn us living that it could happen again and that it must never happen again.  Perhaps this is why Netanyahu takes Iran's leaders' rants seriously when they speak of Jews as pigs and such and their intention of wiping Israel off the map.  When they are working on possible atomic energy that can create weapons, it is a sure sign who they intend to use it on.  It isn't the first time an Iranian threatened all the Jews' lives in the world.  Long ago when it was Persia, a terrible man named Hamen also plotted to kill all Jews everywhere.  We remember that event during Purim. It was a Holocaust that was averted by Queen Esther. 

Resource: Night by Elie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, page 32, written in memory of his parents and of his little sister, Tzipora
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

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