More than a Remembrance
It is an honor to witness this event, cross paths with this organization, and a privilege to hear stories from survivors of history’s darkest hour. I know this is a solemn event, but the cherished presence of the survivors transformed it into a sacred gathering. The survivors, through their testimony, fulfill the moral duty to never forget and engrave into the world’s memory the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people. They witnessed evil and what they saw was beyond description, beyond any description. Many lost their entire family, and everyone they loved was gone. They saw mothers and children led to the mass slaughter; they saw the starvation and the torture. They saw the organizational attempt of extermination of an entire race. Yet, they survived the ghettos, the concentration camps, and the death camps. All and all, they persevered. All the survivors and speakers deeply moved me. The entirety of this video made me realize how uninformed I genuinely am about certain things. I am delighted that they hold this even at a general level. It not only commemorates the ones who passed and the ones who survived but welcomes anyone who is a descendent of survivors. I was taken aback to know that the Acting Consul General of Germany was there too, and that was the part that impacted me the most. When the Acting Consul General of Germany, Michael Ott, humbly came up and shared a personal experience about when he was 14 years old and made a school trip to Munich where the trip also included a stop by the concentration camp in Daho. This is how he learned the reality of his country’s history.
While on the trip, an Italian couple approached him and asked if he could translate the documents on display. “At that time,” explains Ott, ” the display was less international as you will find it today when you go and visit. There were replicas from reports of the camp administration, excerpts of reports of so-called medical experiments describing the most barbaric treatments, orders, how to kill and execute prisoners, etcetera but those texts were not translated into foreign language.” After a short period of time he had a small audience, all from different countries. Ott remembers “it was horrible and the worst came at the end of the exhibition when one of those people wanted to give me a tip before I had to translate it. I turned around and ran out of the room tears in my eyes, kinda broke down outside. It was guilt. pure guilt.” Some people want to forget the past. Worse still, some are filled with such hate that they want to erase the Holocaust from history. Those who deny the Holocaust are an accomplice to this horrible evil. I will not be silent. I will never be silent in the face of evil. Denying the Holocaust is only one of many forms of dangerous antisemitism that continues all around the world. I’ve seen antisemitism on university campuses, in public, and threats against Jewish and other races. This is my pledge: I will confront antisemitism as I see fit, stamp out prejudice, and condemn hatred. The duty we have is to remember that long night so as never to repeat it. I pray for these.
The passing of so many great people left a void in their loved ones’ hearts, but I believe they were present in spirit at the March of Remembrance. They are all angels with kind souls who lived through hell and whose courage still lights the path from darkness. The State of Israel is an eternal monument to the undying strength of the Jewish. The fervent dream that burned in the hearts of the oppressed is now filled with the breath of life, and the Star of David waves atop a great nation arisen from the desert, and may it be so until the end of time.