Various Direct Links

19 April 2012

Yom Hashoah 2012

Today, 19 April 2012, is marked by many as Yom Hashoah, a Remembrance of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust.  The exact numbers are debated by scholars, but approximately thirteen million people were killed by the Nazis in their Concentration Camps.  Rounding from the Wikipedia page and a few other sources (so these are my guesses but should give a fair idea),
  • Jews               6 million murdered
  • Soviet POWs  3 million murdered
  • Poles              2 million murdered
  • Gypsies          1.5 million murdered
  • Disabled         250 thousand murdered
  • Masons          80 thousand murdered
  • Solvenes         25 thousand murdered
  • Gays              15 thousand murdered
These numbers are necessarily approximate.  While the Nazis kept many records, a gay Jew might have been recorded as a homosexual, a Jew, a Pole, or perhaps some combination of these.  In terms of percentages, Gypsies saw the greatest losses which some estimate at 90% of the world's Romani.

In the United States, there are several museums that document what happened.  In 1993, I had the honor of escorting one of the American Liberators of the Nazi Death Camps to the Opening Ceremony of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Among my memories of that day is a group of protesters who were Holocaust deniers.  One held up a prominent sign, "Where is the proof?"  The proof, of course, is in part housed in the building that was behind him.  The proof included an elderly American hero, carrying a cane beside me, who had been awarded medals by the United States, France, and Italy for his service fighting against the Nazi regime.  Those who lived through that war are few today.  One of my neighbors is another American hero who landed at Normandy and fought the Nazis in France.  The proof that will survive these heroes is preserved in the documents and artifacts housed at places like and including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

There is an eight minute film at that I strongly urge you to watch today.  It is important that we remember.  It is as important that we stop the violence, the bullying, the injustice, and the inequality that is still part of our society.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No longer open for freely commenting.