Today in labor history, February 25, 1941: The February Strike begins. It was a general strike in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands by workers against the pogroms and deportation of Jews in Amsterdam. It was the only direct action of its kind during World War II in Europe against the Nazis’ treatment of Jews. The strike is commemorated annually on February 25 at the statue of the De Dokwerker (“The Dock Worker”) in Amsterdam.
Today I feel as though I’m watching the worst of our past repeat itself.
When I look at Syria, I see the Rwandan genocide. When I read the desperate words of Bana Alabed in Aleppo, I see Anne Frank in Amsterdam.
History shows us the same children suffering, the ones we always say we surely would have helped, if only we had been there. But history does not fall from the sky, it is us who make it.
To the children under siege in Aleppo, I pray that you will get out safely. I pray that you will grow up strong, go to school and see peace in your country some day.
But prayers are not enough. We must act. The international community must do everything they can to end to this inhumane war. The Syrian regime must give safe passage to people who want to leave and allow aid workers into Aleppo to save as many lives as they can.
May God be with the children of Aleppo, even if our world leaders are not.