April 15, 2010
The time leading up to Holocaust Remembrance Day, which Jewish people around the world observed on Sunday, April 11, is always very emotional for me. I use it to study some of the individual stories of Jews who perished under horrific conditions in the Holocaust. I interview Holocaust survivors and marvel at the astounding strength it must have taken to rebuild their lives after suffering such incredible hardship. It pains me to think about how many individual life stories, and entire family trees, were lost in the gas chambers.
The stories I hear put faces on the six million—the unfathomable number of Jews killed during this terrible time in history. And every year I am haunted by the reality that the few Holocaust survivors that are still living today are growing old. Although I have been privileged to hear their heroic stories first hand, my children, unfortunately, will not.
I remember my teacher in middle school trying to teach the students how large the number six million is. Beginning at noon on Holocaust Remembrance Day, a digital clock was set at the entrance of our classrooms that began to count up to six million seconds. Each second that the clock ticked represented another Jewish life that was taken by the Nazis. It took the clock over two full months to reach six million.
I remember staring at the clock, wondering which second represented my family members that were murdered in the Holocaust. I would always thank God that one of those family members—my grandfather—miraculously escaped Nazi Germany by hiding in the forest for months on end with his three siblings and his pregnant mother.
Even as an adult, the systematic murder of six million people in just a little more than a decade is difficult to grasp. To reach six million casualties, the horrors of 9/11 would need to be repeated daily for years, God forbid. In 2009, the entire population of the state of Colorado did not come close to six million. There are not even six million Jews currently living in the U.S. Even harder to comprehend is how so much of the world could have stood by while six million Jews were being slaughtered. And I wonder if the same thing could happen today.
For 62 years the Jewish people have been blessed with a Jewish homeland in the biblical Promised Land. We have a flourishing army, a democratic government, and—most importantly—an awesome God on our side. I pray that this Holocaust Remembrance Day the world will take the lessons of the Holocaust to heart, and collectively call out to Iran's leaders and all others who threaten Israells existence—Never Again!
With blessings from Jerusalem,
Well, many Muslims, and particularly Iranian and Arabian Muslims would love to repeat the Holocaust in Israel.
They state this quite frequently.
I thank Yael for this excellent article.