The average Holocaust survivors that are alive today are in the age category of 85-100 years old. There is something about these Holocaust survivors that reminds us all of the fact that the safety that we have in this world is so much more fragile than we are accustomed to think. Many of the memories that we have today are still living memories. But many young people today do not have a personal connection with any Holocaust survivors. Once or twice a year, it is the right thing for everyone to pause and make sure to learn the proper lessons of the Holocaust.
It is not just about talking and discussing the Holocaust that is necessary. It is critical that we need to accept what we all want to hope is wrong – that the basic nature of mankind is actually quite destructive if left unchecked. The Holocaust was the most sustained and systematic of all massive anti-semitic events in history. But, it actually was a continuation of so many other anti-semitic events that have been a constant throughout history.
The best place for a Jew to get a high level education was the University of Berlin – just years before the Nazi regime took power. The place where Jews assimilated and lost their unique Jewishness more than any other European country was Germany. But none of this mattered to the masses in Germany who brought the Nazi regime to power in 1933. Yes, the majority did not vote in the Nazis. This is yet another reminder of the fragility of the political leadership in democracies. The Weimar Republic collapsed under enormous economic strain. Can Democratic countries in Europe once again lose their way if their economies crumble? What about the United States? Can it happen here?
The problem is the word – “it?” Perhaps a Holocaust cannot happen again. But major world calamities certainly can. The global coronavirus pandemic has woken up anyone willing to smell the coffee to the fact that problems on one side of the world can negatively affect the entire world. We need to be vigilant about threats that exist in the far reaches of the world. A Chinese lab can kill hundreds of thousands of people around the world. So can a nuclear bomb in North Korea or Iran. An attitude of isolationism can literally endanger the entire United States of America. Let’s discuss and learn the lessons of the Holocaust by first reminding ourselves that the entire world is one global village that is connected to one another in more ways than we realize.