Friday, 27 January 2017

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. Together, we will remember the victims of the Holocaust and genocide.- a time for us all to reflect on the Nazis attempt to wipe out Jews, Gypsies and other  minority groups, Trade Unionists, Communists,  homosexuals, people with mental and physical difficulties, Jehovah Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other slavic peoples, all targeted for destruction and decimation  for racial, ethnic reasons, based on the fascists twisted 'Aryan' concept of a master race.
From the time they assumed power in 1933, the Nazis used  persecution, propoganda, and legislation to deny human rights to so many. Using hate as their foundation, setting out to systematically destroy all opposition.
By the end of the Holocaust historians estimate the total number of deaths to be 11 million, and the Nazis succeeded on an industrial scale in murdering two thirds of European Jews. Men, women, children who had perished in ghettoes and mass shootings, slaughtered in concentration camps and extermination camps on such a horrific scale.
Holocaust Memorial day is now  held today because it marks the liberation of Aushwitz-Birkenau , the largest of the Nazi Concentration Camps. The United Nations declared it a day for observance in 2005.But it is also used today to mark and remember all subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia  and Darfur etc etc.
Human beings are capable of doing such wicked things, so that is why we should continue to confront the dangers of intolerance, hate, racism and fascism, and defeat the ideas that continue to create so much pain. We must never forget the journeys of all persecuted. support those that face hostility today, and when we say never again, we must mean never again.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, despite his ardent nationalism. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the following   quotation:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

So continue to remember, defend, and speak out if you can. 

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