April marks Holocaust month.
It is a time to remember.
It is a time to remind ourselves that we should never forget man’s inhumanity to man.
The genocide and slaughter of 6 million Jews as well as an untold number of Catholics and Protestants at the hands of the Nazis shows mankind at his basest level.
European Jewry was almost entirely erased. In Poland, for instance, there were three million Jews living in Poland. The Polish Jews had been living in Poland for more than 800 years.
When the Nazis invaded Poland at the beginning of the war, they began the systematic slaughter not only of Polish people, but also of Jews.
Today, despite the fact there are those who say the Holocaust didn’t happen, there are about 6,000 Jews in Poland and very little else to remind anyone of what came before.
The same is true in Germany and in most of the great nations of Europe.
The living must honor the dead and the sacrifice they made.
Those who believe in God will never understand how the Holocaust was allowed to happen. How the World War that was a part of its making took the lives of 50 million innocents – and over what?
God’s work on this earth is our own.
This is what the Holocaust was about – mankind’s inability to contain our worst instincts, and to repress hatred and indifference, and to find a way to live in peace with one another.
Hans Frank, the governor general of Poland under the Nazis said it best long before he was put to death at Nuremburg by the allies.
“One thousand years will pass and the guilt of the German people will never be erased.”
As local Rabbi Abraham Teitel – a Holocaust survivor – likes to say: “Let us never forget.”