Today`s the Holocaust Memorial Day. This day we should honour the victims, survivors and rescuers of the Holocaust during the Second World War. We should think of them and remind ourselves of what we are capable of doing to other people. We should reflect upon on history and how we want to shape present and the future.
More than five years ago, I visited four conzentration camps. It was an amazing, but sad experience. I still remember when I saw the displays with the legs the Nazis had cut off on people they had done experiments on. It was awful to see that “live”, and I can`t imagine what it must have been like for the people who had to go through such horrible times. It`s actually unimagineable and it`s not something I`m able to swallow 100 %. How can humans do something like that to other humans? Did they know what they were doing? I also “met” a survivor during the trip. She told about her experiences in Ravensbruck and I must admit I was too sleepy, so I didn`t listen carefully. But, something she said in the end will forever stay with me. She told about her husband, which she met after the war. He had died some time ago, and she said something along the lines of “all the time we had been married, he had never said a mean word to me”. Not only are the survivors proof that Holocaust happened, but they also remind us of how cruel and beautiful life can be. It was very sad to hear what she had to say, but it also made me feel at least a little good when she shared what happened after the war. Life moved on. The scars and memories are still there, but we humans have been through some of the most horrible things ever and yet survived.
Because imagine being in the camp, knowing you might not ever be able to see the people you love? Imagine saying goodbye to your husband and not knowing it`s goodbye. Imagine walking inside a “bathroom” and not knowing you`re living the last seconds of your life. Damn, writing this is hard, how hard must it not have been for the people who were suffering at this time.
We MUST remember. We NEED to remember the hatred, the actions and the prejudices from that time. We can`t allow ourselves to forget, because forgetting might mean we allow these things to happen again. We can`t accept the unjustice that happened to someone else, just because it didn`t do us (at least not directly= any harm. There`s nothing we can do to change what happened during the 1930s and 1940s, but we can do a lot right now. I`m scared about how the survivors are slowly dying – soon there won`t be any of them left. Soon the people who actually went through these times, won`t be able to tell their own stories. It`s getting even more important that we listen carefully and carry on their stories so people get to know.
I wish I could say we`ve come far, but just a quick search reminds me of how certain people think it`s a joke and how some people even believe Holocaust never happened. We still have a long way to go and it`s SO important that we remember this, educate ourselves and learn history. No books and no movies can make you completely understand what actually happened, but that`s the least we could do. We owe it to those who died and suffered, simply because they were who they are.