18 December 2012
The Holocaust was a very significant atrocity against the Jewish people. Under the command of Hitler, many millions of Jewish people did not live through his reign of terror. Yet, there are those who did survive through this and grew from this genocide. To this day, many Jewish people still participate in a day dedicated solely to the memory of the man, women, and children who died during the Holocaust. The day is to remind people that valuable lives were lost and cannot be replaced. It is a day to remind the world what happens when inaction is taken until the last minute. It is a day where the motto “never again” rings throughout the Jewish community. The world lost many innocent people during this heinous crime and the influence on the Jewish community because of it is prevalent to this day. Some may question whether remembrance of this day is relevant or even necessary so long after it happened or whether we should “never forget” what took place. We should never forget about what happened during the Holocaust. The first of three main reasons as to why the Holocaust should not be forgotten is what the Jewish people had to endure physically. During the Holocaust, Hitler would round up most of the Jewish people living in Germany and relocate them to concentration camps (Museum). The very large amount of people being relocated was so very large that Hitler created the SS, a powerful guard force in the Nazi regime, to take care of the relocation and camp setup. Along with these concentration camps were forced labor camps and detention camps. Many of the “inmates” taken to the camps ended up malnourished, looking like skeletons after not being fed well and not being able to get enough food to survive. Sickness and death was an everyday occurrence to the average camp survivor. Among the very long list of diseases that developed frequently with the locked up Jewish people were digestive diseases from lack of good food and water, coronary diseases, brain diseases, and other forms of life threatening disease. Of all of these diseases causes, one thing is a common factor in getting them, extreme malnourishment. Not only was the pain and suffering on the physical level, but also on the spiritual level. The Jewish people were faced with one of the largest and most prevalent tests of faith of their lives. When word spread of the atrocities taken against the Jewish people, some denied their own faith in order to survive. The Holocaust pushed every Jewish man, woman, and child to question their faith (Elman). A anger directed towards the Non-Jewish world was intense because they had been persecuted by Gentiles. The Holocaust had caused an apparently irreversible rupture in the Jewish-Christian relations. Jews felt and still feel enraged because their expectations of a decent world were shattered into pieces by the most, supposedly, civilized people in the world. "Where was God?" wrote Elie Wiesel, a question asked many times among the Jews. They felt that God had deserted his very own people. Faith, after the Holocaust, became more of an individual decision and every Jew had to face the problem and let his conscience be his guide. Never before had there been such anger toward any question raised by Jewish suffering. The second generation had brought a whole new group of issues to deal with among the Jews. Great emotions surrounded the birth of each second generation child of a survivor. Jewish women feared that they would not be able to bear children because of what they had experienced. Not having children would have been a sign of defeat. Once born, the children were almost certain to be special. Not only would it be evidence of one's own survival but also the survival of the Jewish people. A child represented the ultimate defeat of Nazism, a life created against overwhelming odds, and for some, a precious gift of God. The...