To Forget is to Deny

May 19, 2010
Millions were murdered in an event known to us as The Holocaust. It is saddening to admit that the world is beginning, only seventy some years later, to forget an event that altered every human beings life and mentality, causing them to question, many for the first time, where their loyalty was. In many countries in the Middle East, and now even in Europe, they are removing photos and word entries in any shape or form from their textbooks claiming that the Holocaust was a mythical occurrence despite the mounting evidence that it did occur. President Eisenhower ordered that as many pictures, videos and testimonies be collected as possible he said, “…because the day will come when some ‘son of a b****’ will say this never happened.” If we forget the past then are condemned to repeat it no matter how good or bad it was. When people doubted that another Holocaust could ever happen Rwanda occurred. What’s next? We must never forget this event because its victims are not numbers, they are not percentages; they are people. Every nation in the world is obligated to teach their children the fatal fanaticisms of power and they must be warned of the dangers of following blindly. They must know that there are always, always consequences. That no matter the nation, no matter the reputation of the nation, evil can sprout from anywhere.


One of the biggest threats facing the remembrance of the Holocaust in future generations is the lack of respect for history, for culture, for humanity. Even though I personally do not go to public school I have friends who do and they told me a ‘joke’ that was told to them. It went like this, “What’s the difference between a pizza and a Jew? Pizza doesn’t scream when you put it in the oven…” This in itself exemplifies just how ignorant the youth of today is. The only reason the youth doesn’t know, or care, is because they are looking for someone who does and that person doesn’t exist. We learn by example. Each generation must be what they wish of the next generation. So as you can see this is not just a problem facing this generation but every generation.


One of the things that completely baffles me when it comes to the Holocaust is that it started with just ONE man. Sometimes I hear people ask, “Well what’s just one person, what’s just one voice in a world of billions?” Let me ask you something, what was a world of billions to this one man? The point isn’t whether you see the glass of half empty or half full. The point is that the glass does, no matter the point of view; it does have something in it. And we cannot afford to loose what’s in it…Hope. The only way to never forget the Holocaust, to help prevent another, is to, first, educate yourself then GO and educate others. Tell me ten kids who love school…right. So learning from textbooks, remembering from textbooks, gaining passion about this subject from textbooks, is not all that possible when the main environment for it is in a glorified nursery. Kids have to a) want to know, b) understand, and c) want to help others know. Knowledge is power and power is being able to help, if you use it in the right way.


I am going to tell you what is it I do to help the remembrance of the Holocaust. I am a published and awarded poet and a lot of the poems that I write are about people or events. After I write a poem about a person I try to contact that person, a relative or descendant, the actor who portrayed them in the film, the author who wrote their biography or even an organization, foundation or museum that lives on in their honor. I have been successful on many occasions; however, I wish to tell you about just one in particular. His name is Berthold Graf Stauffenberg. Mr. Stauffenberg resides in Germany and his father was Colonel Von Stauffenberg, the last man to try to assassinate Hitler at the Wolf’s Lair. Colonel Von Stauffenberg was caught and shot with others who participated in the attempt to kill Hitler then initiate Valkyrie to take over the government. Just before Christmas of last year I sent Mr. Stauffenberg a poem that I had written in Honor of his father. He later replied saying how much he appreciated it and gave me his email to stay in touch and that he’d answer any questions that I may have. This is what I do. I do not tell stories, I tell peoples live. People today to not have the time to read a two to six hundred paged biography but they do to read a two paged poem. At least this way I am planting a seed and with it being in the poetry format I am incorporating a nearly lost art form.


The only true way to remember the Holocaust and to prevent violence and discrimination in the future is to inform others. One voice. In the beginning that’s all it takes. It doesn’t have to be loud just loud enough to be heard by someone else. Then that someone else will be heard by someone else and so on. Until that the whole word echo’s “JUSTICE, FREEDOM, PEACE!”





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