International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day on the 27th of January commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews and 11 million others, by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Holocaust_Remembrance_Day)
I have done a lot of reading about the Holocaust over the years and it never ceases to amaze how the Nazi regime was able to create this monstrous concentration camp system and how they ran it using so many compliant people. It took hordes of rubber stamp wielders and bureaucrats to put it in motion and to achieve the maximum output. It also took hordes of men and women to enforce the rules, murder the inmates and decide who lived and who died. Yet, when the war ended so many of them just walked away unpunished; some even finding employment in the East German Stasi and some seemingly vanished. Unfortunately way too many woke up the day after the war ended and hid their evil pasts and carried on as if nothing really happened and they were not complicit in the murder of millions. Many would find excuses for their actions, hiding behind excuses like “I was only obeying orders” or “I did not know they were murdering people” or “They would have shot me if I refused”. Quite a few would have admitted that they enjoyed what they were doing, some would hide behind Nazi racial rhetoric and many would have complained that they had not been able to finish the job. Sadly this is also true of the monsters that murdered millions in the former Soviet Union and any number of massacres perpetuated by society and its rulers.
I was only able to visit one Holocaust Memorial in South Africa, and it was situated in West Park Cemetery. Not too many people are aware of it and it is somewhat of an imposing memorial.
It was sculpted by Herman Wald and may be found in the Jewish section of the cemetery. The memorial was rededicated on 50th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps (27 April 1995).
There are many websites that you can visit to learn more and I won’t even try to list them. The one Holocaust exhibition that really moved me was that of the Imperial War Museum in London. Unfortunately you may not take photographs in it, but it is worth the visit.
And, if your own personal beliefs are that the holocaust never happened, or it was justified then I suggest you really go pay a visit to Auschwitz and look around you and try to remember that even one innocent victim is one victim too many.
DRW © 2020. Created 27/01/2020