Not even one hundred years have passed since the Holocaust—since six million Jews and millions of others died at the hands of the Nazi machine.
People are still alive who remember the events vividly, who still see flashes of the horrific images of brutality and mutilated dead bodies in their darkest of dreams. They can still remember those feelings of indescribable hunger, pain, fear, and bitter cold.
There are still people alive who can remember, but we are forgetting. Our world is slowly erasing the memory of horrific atrocities that took place in “civilized” and “progressive” Western culture less than a century ago. Those events, which pushed for the creation of the Jewish State, a much-needed haven for the world’s Jews, are now diminished. The state that resulted is being vilified at every turn.
It is crucial, now more than ever, that we do not forget the events of the Holocaust. Some schools do not mention it in their curriculum anymore, and the schools that do tend to gloss over the event very quickly. Holocaust survivors are dying off, and their memory is threatening to die with them. Within the next twenty years, there will be no more living first-hand accounts of the horrors of the ghettos and concentration camps.
This is why it is so important that you fill in this empty gap that the survivors are leaving. Our culture will continue to forget; our schools will continue not to prioritize this era of world history. Nevertheless, you can be a voice in your middle and high schools and even in your colleges. You can mention it to your teachers, bring it up in class, and make sure that your friends and classmates never forget what happened.
Remembering is a mitzvah, a good deed, a command. Judaism values blessing the memory of those departed. Six million-plus Jewish souls were murdered viciously in less than a decade, and this is an atrocity the world must remember so that it will not happen again.
However, the world is continuing to get more anti-Semitic, masking it as anti-Israel and anti-Zionism. Jews are being attacked and gunned down, and synagogues and Jewish businesses are being vandalized and demolished. A Holocaust could very well happen again. If the world forgets about the first Holocaust, it will be tempted to commit a second.
You stand as a defender of the Jewish people. You can help your local community remember. You can help to stop the wave of anti-Semitism that is resurrecting. The world needs you; the Jewish people need you; and the memories of those who no longer have any voice need you. Never forget, and don’t allow our world to either.