27 January: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
On this day we honour and remember the approximately 22 million innocent souls who fell victims to hate racism and prejudice crimes, nearly 7.5 million of which were slaughtered for being who they were.
6 million Jews (1.5 million of which were children)
1.5 million Romani
270 000 People with disabilities (be it physical or mental)
55 000 gay people (approximately)
14 million civilians, caught in the crossfire, famine and ugliness of war from all over Europe.
12 000 Jehova’s Witnesses (approximately) of which 2 500 - 5 000 killed.
This day is an important reminder of what once was and what should never be again.
May their rest be more peaceful than their life and may their memory be a blessing.
my grandmother, that is. a woman who loved to play shop with me, to feed me her twist on new york style cheesecake, who loved to gift me with dolls from poland and the odd teddy bear or two. i remember her warmth, the slightly shrill voice, the woolen clothes and those brown loafers that she loved so much.
but i also remember how i’d catch a version of her that i wasn’t used to - a woman who looked much older, with ghost-white knuckles, and a hardened face that was far too solemn for someone who gave and gave and gave - for someone who deserved so much more than what she was given. i remember how that version of grandma would speak, too. in a hushed voice, speaking in the mousiest of whispers, as if she were a teenager again, trying not to make a peep as she hid with her whole family under the floorboards of a family friend’s home.
i also remember the tears. how they’d just… appear, from nowhere. sometimes they’d just start falling from her face mid-sentence, other times it was when she was looking forlornly out of the large window in the living room that i’d drawn on as a toddler. they were not the same tears she shed as a teenager, after watching her mother be taken away by men who embodied and reveled in pure evil. they were cracks in the wall that my grandmother had built.
then there were those days where i’d catch her looking at her arm, and the faded numbers that had overstayed their welcome there. it was like black paint on a white canvas only that canvas was a person and that paint had not been spilled accidentally, but tattooed into the arm of a young girl who had lost everything but her humanity - something the man who gave her the tattoo never had.
but worst of all, i remember how she’d frantically run about the kitchen to make me a meal when she learned i hadn’t eaten for a day. i asked her why.
“because, bubula, i know what hunger feels like.” she replied. i didnt quite understand the depth of that back then.
like how i didn’t understand the tremor in her hand when we walked past a group of teenage boys who made a hitler joke. how i didnt understand why she had to pull over on the side of the road to sob when she heard that a fellow holocaust survivor had died on the radio.
my grandmother was a fighter and a survivor and she was a woman who was strong as steel and as sweet as honey-dew. she was a woman who gave and gave and gave, a woman who deserved all the stars in the sky and pearls in the sea.
my grandmother was ripped from the arms of her family, she thrown into the deepest pit of hell, and she survived the flames. because my grandmother was a survivor of the holocaust.
Today, on International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the world bows its head in memory of 11 million lives lost; 11 million people who lived, learned, thrived, struggled, laughed, worked and loved.
Today, we remember 11 million people who were stripped of their individuality and humanity, and we say: Never again.
Googling “Did the Holocaust happen” leads to numerous
top-ranked search results from white supremacist and Holocaust denial
This includes a top-ranked result from online neo-Nazi site Stormfront, the Guardian reported Sunday.
The Stormfront thread appears before the Wikipedia article on
Holocaust denial and a list of common FAQs on the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum’s website.
There is no dispute among
academic historians the Holocaust happened, resulting in millions of
innocent deaths, and its intentionality is supported by extensive
eyewitness testimony and documentation kept by the Nazi regime itself.
In a statement to Fortune, Google suggested it would not be taking action to direct users away from Holocaust denial content. Read more
On this day in 1945, the Auschwitz-Birkenau
concentration camp in Poland was liberated by the Soviet Red Army. One of the most notorious camps of Nazi Germany, Jews and others persecuted by the Nazi regime were sent to Auschwitz from 1940 onwards. During its years in operation, over one million people died in Auschwitz, either from murder in the gas chambers or due to starvation and disease. As the war drew to a close and the Nazis steadily lost ground to the Allied forces, they began evacuating the camps and destroying evidence of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed there. The
leader of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, ordered the evacuation of the
remaining prisoners at the camp as the Soviet Red Army closed in on the area.
Nearly 60,000 prisoners from Auschwitz were forced on a march toward
Wodzisław Śląski (Loslau) where they would be sent to other camps; some
20,000 ended up in the Bergen-Belsen camp in Germany. However, thousands
died during the evacuation on the grueling marches, leading to them
being called ‘death marches’. 7,500 weak and sick prisoners remained in
Auschwitz, and they were liberated by the 322nd Rifle Division of the
Soviet Red Army on January 27th 1945. Auschwitz remains one of the most
powerful symbols of the Holocaust and the horrific crimes committed by
the Nazi regime against Jews and numerous other groups.
Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I’m more convinced than ever that it could happen here. I’m also convinced that if it were to happen here, the left would not support us.
There have been dozens of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers in the US these past few weeks. Yet only two of my hundreds of goyische Facebook Friends said anything about it and one only knew because his niece went to pre-school at a JCC. It’s not common knowledge, but JCC’s actually provide services and facilities for non-Jews as well as Jews, including pre-K and daycare. Which meant that one of my FB friends was aware of it without affecting her.
I’ve seen dozens of articles talking about the ethics of protecting Nazis, but I’ve seen virtually nothing outside of the Jewish media about protecting Jews. I’ve heard nothing anywhere about anti-romani racism.
The American Left seems increasingly blind to antisemitism and has grown moreso over the course of my life. Instead, what I’ve seen is an increasing display of Oppression Olympics in which antisemitism seems to constantly lose. The Left doesn’t de-prioritize antisemitism in favor of other issues so much as utterly ignore it.
Indeed, what I see happening is people continually downplaying Nazi antisemitism, despite the Nazis deliberately murdering 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, in favor of universalizing their hatred to include almost anyone except for Jews. I see dozens of repurposings of Niemoller’s “First they came for…” while somehow leaving Jews off the list.
It’s not like there haven’t been dozens of Swastikas painted all over the place since the Trump campaign kicked into high gear. It’s not like we haven’t had to evacuate our children from JCCs over bomb threats. It’s not like Nazis haven’t tried to organize armed marches to threaten Jews in Montana.
So today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, I’m calling non-Romani goyim out. Stop leaving Jews out. Stop talking around us. Stop lying about fighting antisemitism when you don’t even pay attention to it and ignore our concerns. Antisemitism neither began nor ended with the Holocaust, but the Holocaust shows us what can happen to us when hatred of Jews goes unchecked.