April 20, 2012 § 1 Comment
Today is Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance day. For those of us who did not suffer the horrors, we cannot presume to remember the reality of these events, but we can strive to never forget. The fact that multiple genocides have occurred since WWII speaks shame to our efforts in this respect, but it also gives us no excuse for future, and all the more reason to honor the souls of those who have been killed, mutilated, humiliated and traumatized.
Pause for a moment. Put yourself in the horror for just a moment and imagine how your would feel. It can’t possibly come close to the reality, but just take a moment to “remember.”
Now try, even just for today, to refrain from adding a single ounce of anger, hatred, resentment, injustice or unjust judgment to the world. Be merciful and kind to one another. Bite your tongue once in a while, or reach out your hand. You may feel that your small life and your tiny acts are inconsequential, but they’re not. In them are the seeds for emotions and actions much, much larger–either for better, or for worse.
In light of today’s memorial, I recommend the book Maus, by Art Spiegelman. It is a quick read in which Spiegelman interviews his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The characters of this graphic novel (the first and only graphic novel I’ve ever read) are depicted as animals (Jews are mice, Nazis are cats, etc.); this may sound odd, but Maus is the first graphic novel ever to win the Pulitzer Prize. I highly recommend it.
For those more visually inclined, I also recommend the movie Sophie Scholl. Based on real events, this film shares the story of one very brave young student–someone akin to many of the brave students fighting for freedom and justice today.
You can see my notes on a lecture at the Holocaust Museum here.