January 27 marks the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The holocaust was one of the most horrific acts of hate committed by human beings. The German Nazis hated the Slavs, Blacks, Gypsies (almost as much as they hated Jews), Socialists, Communists, the mentally ill, the elderly, the physically disabled, socially awkward, the poor, homeless, gays, unruly children, Freemasons, the unemployed, alcoholics and political prisoners. Most of all, Nazis hated the people of the Jewish faith, the Jews.
During World War II the Nazis were responsible for rounding up, incarcerating, experimenting on, forcing them into slave labor, torturing and the mass murder of over 11 million people. Six million of the 11 million people, who were tortured, incarcerated and died through gas chambers and in concentration camps were Jews.
This day is set aside to honor and remember those who were victims of the holocaust, both those who perished and those who survived. It is commemorated to remind us of the horrors that can occur when we stop seeing humanity in our fellow men and women but feeling jealousy and hate. This is a day to show us the atrocities that can happen when we do not celebrate diversity and understanding. It is a day to honor those who fought for their lives and the lives of others. It is a day to think about and ask ourselves what we can do so these atrocities will never happen again.
We honor those who were sacrificed in the holocaust and we honor those brave individuals who were able to escape the torture of the death and work camps those who worked and gave their lives to help others. Today we look to those heroes to understand how today we can help those who are marginalized, hated, bullied, burned, shot down in the streets, stopped, searched and interrogated just for being Black, Brown or Muslim, kept out of jobs, used as experimental subjects and slaves. It is a day to reflect upon what we can do to make sure another death march does not occur; no concentration camps are erected, no gas chambers are utilized and no group of people victimized. It is a day to reflect upon how we or our ancestors participated in acts of hatred against groups who do not look or worship like us. In contrast we must appreciate our diversity and welcome their diversity and variety to worship the faith of their choice as indicated in the Constitution.
Today makes us think about the horrors that occurred on our own soil through the cruelty of slavery, the racial hatred and the continued religious hatred presently directed at those of the Muslim faith, the continued discrimination in housing, work and the lead poisoning put in the water in the poor African American areas in Flint Michigan. We cannot let the holocaust happen again to any people, anywhere in the world. People must speak out when they see or hear discrimination, racism and hatred and remember the heroes and heroines of the holocaust. We must not forget!