Sunday, January 26, 2014

Holocaust Memorial Day

This picture haunts my dreams.

Read: Will the Jews Ever Be Forgiven for the Holocaust?

January 27 is the annual Holocaust Memorial Day. This date was chosen by the United Nations because it is the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.  Social Acceptance, Humanity and Autism was written to commemorate this day and Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah) in the Jewish calendar. It is worth another read.

Please go the United States Holocaust Museum and Yad Va'shem websites for more educational information.

It is important to remember that before the Nazis came for the Jews, they tried to eradicate the disabled in their midst. So for me this day has a dual meaning, for my boys were twice threatened by this evil society and the complacency of the world...sadly with the lack of respect for the disabled that still abounds and the growth of antisemitism worldwide, particularly the growth of Holocaust denial and Holocaust inversion,  it seems that ignorance and hate never does end. But it doesn't mean we give up the fight for understanding.

On these days of remembrance I remind myself that we are dedicated to the idea that "we do not fight the fights that are easy, we fight the fights that are worth fighting....."

As a side note: one in five German highschool students do not know that Auschwitz was a death camp.

KADDISH is the Jewish prayer for the dead. From The Jewish Virtual Library:

The Kaddish is a prayer that praises God and expresses a yearning for the establishment of God's kingdom on earth. The emotional reactions inspired by the Kaddish come from the circumstances in which it is said: it is recited at funerals and by mourners.

The word Kaddish means sanctification, and the prayer is a sanctification of God's name.

The opening words, yitgadal t'yitkadash, were inspired by Ezekiel 38:23 when the prophet envisions a time when God will become great in the eyes of all the nations. The response of the listeners to the first lines of the mourners is a public declaration of the belief that God is great and holy: Yehei Shmei rabba mevorakh l'olam ul'almei almaya (May His great Name be blessed forever and ever). This response is central to the Kaddish and should be said out loud by all present when the prayer is recited.


My recommended books on the Holocaust:

Older Elementary/Middle School:
Number the Stars
Devil's Arithmetic (also a movie with Kirsten Dunst)

Diary of Anne Frank
Night by Elie Wiesel (Nobel Laureate)
Maus I and II

Mila 18 by Leon Uris

A really good movie is Judgement at Nuremberg. I know that there have been dozens of Holocaust movies since then, but this movie makes more of a statement with its words than most movies do with their pictures.

Until next time,