Seventy years ago yesterday, the Soviets liberated the few remaining prisoners in Auschwitz, people who stared evil in the eye and dared to survive. Some 300 of those survivors gathered for a memorial at the death camp. The world vowed to “Never Forget.”
And yet we seem to have amnesia. The very nation which freed the victims is now creating more victims, so many that they were excluded from the commemoration. Every week, we hear of more terrorism and slaughter.
“Never Forget” doesn’t go far enough. We need to Never. Forget. And. Never. Repeat.
In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I am including some quotes from victims and survivors and those who risked their lives to help, both Jews and Gentiles. And a link to the post I wrote the last time I visited Auschwitz (in 2011).
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” ~ Elie Wiesel
“Who has inflicted this upon us? Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example. Who knows, it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and that reason alone do we have to suffer now. We can never become just Netherlanders, or just English, or representatives of any country for that matter; we will always remain Jews, but we want to, too.” ~ Anne Frank
“I will never be able to go back to Sweden without knowing inside myself that I’d done all a man could do to save as many Jews as possible” ~ Raoul Wallenberg
“No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hetacombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?” ~ Maximilian Kolbe
“No pit is so deep that God is not deeper still.” ~ Corrie ten Boom