Seven decades ago today, Soviet forces were rolling through Poland, uncovering some of the worst inhumanities of the Third Reich and some of the greatest abuses of the Jewish people. On January 27, 1945, they came into Auschwitz…a name that has become synonymous with evil and human suffering…where they liberated nearly 7,000 prisoners still in the camp. Nazis had forced some 60,000 to march west just days earlier and the world would come to learn that at least 1.1 million people were killed there.
We should remember the Holocaust for its history. Now seventy years distant, time has worked some of its effect. The movies, the pictures and the stories have perhaps calloused us a bit to the great horror of this epochal nightmare. We must work to make sure this history still haunts us and moves us to the resolve of “never again.” Stories like those of today’s Washington Post are very helpful at achieving this goal.The IHRA is also committed to this. In reaffirming the Stockholm Declaration today, they declared:
The unprecedented character of the Holocaust will always hold universal meaning for us. We are committed to remembering and honouring its victims, to upholding the terrible truth of the Holocaust, to standing up against those who distort or deny it and to combatting anti-semitism, racism and prejudice…We should remember the Holocaust for its anti-Semitism. Adolf Hitler’s maniacal obsession in obliterating the Jewish race is instructive. In the final days of Germany’s war effort, troop trains gave way to the trains carrying Jews to the gas chambers. The nation of Iran, the Palestinian state and a multitude of terrorist organizations are committed to the deaths of Jewish persons and the destruction of the nation of Israel. Stephen Spielberg, in his remarks today at the Auschwitz memorial said:
“If you are a Jew today, in fact if you are any person who believes in freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, you know that like many other groups we’re once again facing the perennial demons of intolerance.”
We should remember the Holocaust for its spirit. The spirit behind the Holocaust was hatred and violence. And this spirit lives on and is too seldom checked. Dr. Josef Mengele was the doctor who performed some of the worst experiments imaginable on human subjects at Auschwitz, most notably on identical twins. Mengele was able to escape to South America where he lived in Argentina for its “no extradition” policy. Mengele became an abortionist in Buenos Aires, transporting his violence towards Jews outside the womb to babies within the womb. In America, 57,000,000 babies have been aborted since its legalization. Our nation’s abortion chambers have turned out systematic death with such ruthless effectiveness that many of Hitler’s “Final Solution” Nazi planners would find impressive.
When several hundreds of people rioted in Ferguson, Missouri to protest the Grand Jury exoneration of Officer Darren Wilson, the national news media ran non-stop coverage. When nearly a quarter of a million people marched peacefully in Washington DC at this past year’s March for Life, the national news media was silent.
Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, have killed nearly 2,000 Christians and burned numerous churches in Nigeria with little resistance from the world. And again. We know more about the New England Patriots deflating their balls than the suffering of those Nigerian Christians.
We definitely need to remember the Holocaust. Let us remember the victims of one of the world's worst eras, and let us not forget that such evil continues.