Why We Remember the Evil

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 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.
— Elie Wiesel

On this day in 1945, the largest Nazi Concentration camp - Auschwitz-Birkenau - was liberated. The war was not yet over and there were many other camps yet to be freed, but this was the beginning of the end. In 2005, the UN made this day the International Holocaust Remembrance Day - which urges all the members of the assembly to remember the victims from this genocide. But why is it important for us to remember? Shouldn't something this evil be something we put behind us and forget? 

Elie Wiesel was born in what is now Romania. At the age of 15, the Nazis sent him and his family to Auschwitz. His mother and little sister died there. He was transferred to another camp and watched his father die, as well. He miraculously survived Auschwitz, Buna, Buchenwald and Gleiwitz. After he was liberated in 1945, he vowed to never speak of what he experienced. But he began writing for a newspaper in Paris, and one of his colleagues convinced him to share his story. Like Moses, he did not want to speak; but like Moses, he had no choice but to speak.

To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.

Solomon says, "There is nothing new under the sun." And I'm sure you've heard the old adage, "History repeats itself". If we don't take the time to educate ourselves and our families of the horrors that befell the millions of Jewish people during this, one of the darkest times in history, it will happen again. Maybe not in the same place or in the same way, but the same injustice will happen. We must learn to stand up against the injustice in the world. Against racism. Against hate crimes. Against murder of innocent lives. We cannot allow these lives to have been taken for nothing. My hope is that we will honor them in their deaths by making sure it never happens again. 

They fought alone, they suffered alone, they lived alone, but they did not die alone, for something in all of us died with them.
Jonathan MitchellComment