There are a number of beautiful, heart-rending posts in the blogosphere regarding Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Rememberance Day - which is today. Irina has a roundup of a number of excellent ones within her own post. Jewlicious has an excellent post as well, which is where this picture is taken from.For me, however, there is little to write. I have always had some trouble relating to the Holocaust, at least to the extent I see others doing so. A family friend helps run Yad Vashem, and though we spent hours there when I was young - and I remember clearly that visit - I still don't have that *connection*. I remember spending time at the Holocaust Museum on a school trip and being thoroughly disappointed - we only had about an hour to be there, and I was barely out of the first room when we had to leave. When I went to Yad Vashem again as a post-high school student, we had a little time, but again - not enough.
But the primary reason I think I am so distant from the Holocaust is simply this: My family wasn't there. All of my grandparents were born in the United States. I think I may have had great-grandparents born in America. We are - thankfully - a family without tragic stories from the past, without lost parents and siblings, without recollections of atrocities. The closest anyone in my family got to the Holocaust was my grandfather, who served in the
But I think that this is the point. As the last survivors fade away from this world, it will become harder and harder for all of us to relate to that which happened. The Holocaust deniers aren't waiting - they have been pushing their lies for decades already. We must - absolutely must - make sure that the atrocities which happened are never forgotten. Those memories, those images, those tragic stories must always remain an integral lesson to the world, to the Jewish nation, to each of us individually.
Never again? Never forget.