The one aspect that impacted me the most regarding the March of Remembrance was watching Baerbel Suzette Pfeiffer apologize to all these Jewish descendants on behalf of her grandfather. Baerbel confesses that her grandfather was the man who laid the pipework for the gas chambers in Auschwitz and many of the electric fences that sealed in thousands of Jewish prisoners. When Baerbel found out the truth, she felt so conflicted living with the fact that her grandfather was the one who gave the tools to these Nazis to torture and killed all these Jewish inmates. Her voice sounded so guilty and heartbroken.
University of Houston, double major Spanish and history We stood there. About 15 people were in the tour group, spaced out about 6 feet apart from each other because of the social distancing norms and consideration for our fellow Houstonians. The tour guide continues on with his speech without missing a beat. He tells the story of the unimaginable transportation of the victims of the Holocaust from their native countries to, if they were lucky, labor camps, or the well known extermination camps that were at the center of the Nazi “Final Solution.” But was it so unimaginable?
University of Houston, double major political science and computer science The Holocaust’s reputation as an atrocious genocide reduces this nightmare to focus on the massive numbers of lives that were lost. The much more jarring implication was that it was enabled through the willingness of several people who made intentional decisions to remain silent. Whether this occurred as a result of fear, subservience, or some indescribable feeling does not justify the horrors that took place in World War II or today. The HRA virtual march has taught me that waiting until tragedies amass to the extent of the Holocaust repeats the same cycles of violence which permeated Germany during the World Wars.