Remember the Holocaust
by Katherine Puzycki ’17
It seems as if centuries have passed since the release of prisoners from the concentration camp at Auschwitz in 1945. There lies a span of events that makes this seem so: the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Great March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the assassination of JFK and putting the first man on the moon, the Berlin Wall, Watergate, 9/11, the first African American President of the United States, and countless other momentous occurrences.
Realistically, this all happened within just 72 short years. Friday, January 27, marked the 12th annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day, inspiring me to consider that we are not really that far off from the generations that underwent the insufferable tragedies that occurred during the Second World War.
Friday also marked a day of suffering for many abroad, as President Donald Trump signed executive orders restricting immigration. The ban now affects the citizens of Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, and Iran who plan to travel to the United States for at least three months, will reject refugees from these countries for four months, and has placed and indefinite halt to all Syrian refugees.
I am not here to preach my politics to anybody. I will say, though, that we cannot preach about “Never Forget” if we accept intolerant behavior aimed toward those who are different than us.
Right now, our country has reached a place of deep divide and deep fear, especially in regard to the well-being and safety of the American people. However, we must keep in mind what happened only 72 years ago.
The events of the Holocaust need not be our only example though, for that would be a borderline exploitation of those people. Today, we must be the counterexample to the sentiment that allowed the Holocaust to occur.
We need to open our minds and hearts, and when we think of the loved ones we are so desperate to protect, we must also think of the parents desperate to protect their children, their neighbors, their brothers and sisters, and their own lives. If we have really learned anything since Auschwitz, now is the time to prove it.