What Does the Holocaust Teach Us as Americans?

 

Periodically on this site, people have voiced their annoyance about the reminders that are posted regarding Holocaust Memorial Day, which is observed today. In Israel, everyone stops for two minutes at the sound of sirens to honor those lost. Those of us old enough to have been taught about the Holocaust in school or by our parents already know the story, yet there are some who would prefer not to be reminded of this tragedy. Given how blessed Jews are to live in this country, how often does the story need to be repeated?

In a survey conducted in 2020, an alarming number of respondents knew little about this period:

The survey, touted as the first 50-state survey of Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z, showed that many respondents were unclear about the basic facts of the genocide. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered, and over half of those thought the death toll was fewer than 2 million. Over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos were established during World War II, but nearly half of U.S. respondents could not name a single one.

Yet we can still ask, why do we have to remember this terrible event? Jews need to remember because throughout our existence we have been the scapegoats of countries and civilizations. In many cases, we were determined to “fit into” the wider community, wanting to be appreciated and accepted as dedicated citizens and contributing members of society. Our desire to fit in and in many cases assimilate has come back to haunt us, as one country after another has decided throughout history to humiliate, ostracize, and in some cases kill the Jews. Yet today, many Jews have still decided that they want to be like everyone else; many Jews on the political Left are one example. And some societies still refuse to accept our allegiance and dedication to their countries; anti-Semitic acts frequently occur in European countries.

* * * * *

But I would like to propose that in recent years and now in 2021, the Holocaust has a lesson for all of us; our entire country has slowly been telegraphing the message that unless we succumb to the dominant forces of Leftism, we could be in danger. In fact, those opinions are being stated publicly, saying that we must be “de-programmed” or even killed. If you listen carefully, you will notice a few parallels to the rhetoric before World War II:

  • These people are evil.
  • They are irredeemable.
  • They are hateful and greedy.
  • They are racists and white supremacists.
  • They don’t care about saving the earth.
  • They don’t care about equality or fairness.
  • They are irrational religionists.
  • They are arrogant and think they are better than us.
  • They are potential domestic terrorists.
  • They love guns and violence.

And this list is incomplete.

If you compare this rhetoric to those used against the Jews in the past, you will find many similarities.

I would also suggest that if we try to convince the Left that we are good human beings; if we try to fit in as American citizens and be widely accepted; if we point to our acts of charity and generosity—the Left simply may not care. They are convinced that we are every worst stereotype of evil that people can imagine. And more.

So, what can we do?

First, we have to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. We are not just talking about the future of our country; we are talking about potential action against us as individuals. So when you hear of people being censored, fired from their jobs, driven off the internet; when you hear stories of proposed gun buy-backs, religious organizations being discriminated against; virulent attacks on free-speech—what are we to think?

I am not suggesting that people be paranoid. But we must be vigilant. We must speak out against injustice. We must continue to write, publish and gather together to discuss the actions of the Left and condemn them as often as we can.

Or there will be no rights to protect.

* * * * *

We can’t take our rights for granted. We cannot assume that our freedom is so woven into the fabric of our country that it can’t be lost. Like the Israelis today, let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on the lives lost to protect our freedoms, and how we can prepare for the months and years ahead.

Let’s take a lesson from the Jews.

Published in Culture
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 103 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    For those who don’t like Holocaust analogies, remember that the count of those murdered didn’t reach 6 million until it did. And the Holocaust started before the killing started..

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Nobody forget.

    • #2
  3. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Like @susanquinn says, those that see this is a uniquely Jewish matter really miss the point. For every event that we remember there are numerous similar events that we don’t. Persistence in memory is due to the universal lesson to be learned regardless of the identity of the victims and oppressors. Anyone who thinks this is uniquely Jewish is susceptible to missing the lesson and participating in the next atrocity.

    • #3
  4. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Not to denigrate the Jewish Holocaust but it seems to be in our DNA for humans to commit these kind of atrocities. I agree that we should never forget but it seems like we as a species can’t learn from history. For politicians of any party in the U.S. to be suggesting re-education camps and such is beyond the pale. To create an enemy because of a difference in policy and death is the only solution is insane.

    • #4
  5. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Not to denigrate the Jewish Holocaust but it seems to be in our DNA for humans to commit these kind of atrocities. I agree that we should never forget but it seems like we as a species can’t learn from history. For politicians of any party in the U.S. to be suggesting re-education camps and such is beyond the pale.

    Interesting that you should choose that expression. It seems to have entered the English language in reference to the zone of Ireland occupied by the English and beyond which was barbarism.

    A later use, germane to the subject of the OP, is in the phrase Pale of Settlement, which

    was a western region of Imperial Russia with varying borders that existed from 1791 to 1917 in which permanent residency by Jews was allowed and beyond which Jewish residency, permanent or temporary, was mostly forbidden. Most Jews were still excluded from residency in a number of cities within the Pale as well. A few Jews were allowed to live outside the area, including those with university education, the ennobled, members of the most affluent of the merchant guilds and particular artisans, some military personnel and some services associated with them, including their families, and sometimes their servants.

     

    • #5
  6. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Susan Quinn:

    • These people are evil.
    • They are irredeemable.
    • They are hateful and greedy.
    • They are racists and white supremacists.
    • They don’t care about saving the earth.
    • They don’t care about equality or fairness.
    • They are irrational religionists.
    • They are arrogant and think they are better than us.
    • They are potential domestic terrorists.
    • They love guns and violence.

    We should likewise be chary of only looking for this in others. How often do we rattle such things off for those on the political left?

    • These people are evil
    • They are irredeemable
    • They are selfish thin-skinned snowflakes who want to destroy America
    • They are racists and sexists who hate whites and males
    • They only care about the earth
    • They’re so obsessed with equity that they will oppress us all
    • They are arrogant and think they are better than us
    • They’re terrorists who burn down cities
    • They’re out to destroy all churches

    Susan Quinn: I would also suggest that if we try to convince the Left that we are good human beings; if we try to fit in as American citizens and be widely accepted; if we point to our acts of charity and generosity—the Left simply may not care. They are convinced that we are every worst stereotype of evil that people can imagine. And more

    Again, we’re often quick to do the same right back at them, reducing them also to the worst stereotypes we see.

    Susan Quinn:

    I am not suggesting that people be paranoid. But we must be vigilant. We must speak out against injustice. We must continue to write, publish and gather together to discuss the actions of the Left and condemn them as often as we can.

    Or there will be no rights to protect.

    But this should be tempered with fair judgement and mercy.

    I don’t see the dangers of a new pogrom or holocaust here so much as an actual civil war, and when too many on both sides are reducing the “other” to unthinking villainy and stereotype, and actually hungering for some grand conflict to “right the wrongs”, that sort of civil war only becomes increasingly likely.

    The Jews in Europe were badly outnumbered, culturally distinct and identifiable, and often clustered into population centers. The numbers on the American Right and Left are practically a dead heat, and very mixed. That makes any prospective civil war not something like our Revolution, or our big Civil War, but something far worse – a French Revolution or Spanish Civil War, or (God forbid) Rwanda.

    Both sides need to ratchet it down – and the “wrong side” refusing to do so is no excuse at all for us to mimic and mirror them.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    Not to denigrate the Jewish Holocaust but it seems to be in our DNA for humans to commit these kind of atrocities.

    It’s not a denigration at all, but an affirmation of my post, @phcheese. We all have the potential for evil, and that is why we see how quickly people can participate in barbaric acts. For that particular point, one only needs to look at Rwanda.

    • #7
  8. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Not to denigrate the Jewish Holocaust but it seems to be in our DNA for humans to commit these kind of atrocities. I agree that we should never forget but it seems like we as a species can’t learn from history. For politicians of any party in the U.S. to be suggesting re-education camps and such is beyond the pale.

    Interesting that you should choose that expression. It seems to have entered the English language in reference to the zone of Ireland occupied by the English and beyond which was barbarism.

    A later use, germane to the subject of the OP, is in the phrase Pale of Settlement, which

    was a western region of Imperial Russia with varying borders that existed from 1791 to 1917 in which permanent residency by Jews was allowed and beyond which Jewish residency, permanent or temporary, was mostly forbidden. Most Jews were still excluded from residency in a number of cities within the Pale as well. A few Jews were allowed to live outside the area, including those with university education, the ennobled, members of the most affluent of the merchant guilds and particular artisans, some military personnel and some services associated with them, including their families, and sometimes their servants.

     

    Yes I am of Irish decent and as I understand beyond the pale was beyond the reach of the English. The English constabulary wore light gray hats and coats thus if you in an area not patrolled by them you were beyond the pale.

    • #8
  9. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Not to denigrate the Jewish Holocaust but it seems to be in our DNA for humans to commit these kind of atrocities. I agree that we should never forget but it seems like we as a species can’t learn from history. For politicians of any party in the U.S. to be suggesting re-education camps and such is beyond the pale.

    Interesting that you should choose that expression. It seems to have entered the English language in reference to the zone of Ireland occupied by the English and beyond which was barbarism.

    A later use, germane to the subject of the OP, is in the phrase Pale of Settlement, which

    was a western region of Imperial Russia with varying borders that existed from 1791 to 1917 in which permanent residency by Jews was allowed and beyond which Jewish residency, permanent or temporary, was mostly forbidden. Most Jews were still excluded from residency in a number of cities within the Pale as well. A few Jews were allowed to live outside the area, including those with university education, the ennobled, members of the most affluent of the merchant guilds and particular artisans, some military personnel and some services associated with them, including their families, and sometimes their servants.

     

    Yes I am of Irish decent and as I understand beyond the pale was beyond the reach of the English. The English constabulary wore light gray hats and coats thus if you in an area not patrolled by them you were beyond the pale.

    The etymology is actually quite different. Has nothing to do with uniforms.

    Pale here actually comes from the Latin for stake, and a Pale referred to a border marked out by stakes. The Danelaw in early Medieval England was similarly a Pale.

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    But this should be tempered with fair judgement and mercy.

    How would these attributes be demonstrated, @skipsul? I need to be clear that I’m not assuming that the beliefs I listed are true for all people on the Left; there are, of course, degrees of adherence to them and desire to act on them. I also believe that many of the accusations against the Right are hyperbole, particularly among everyday people. Except for tiny pockets of nutcases on our side, I don’t hear calls to violence against the Left. But I hear our leaders and high-profile people on the Left engaging in demonization of us and threats.

    I don’t see an actual Holocaust happening here. But there are a lot of things in the last ten years that I would never have anticipated. I’m less interested in fomenting anger on our side than I am in creating awareness of the seriousness of the times.

    • #10
  11. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Not to denigrate the Jewish Holocaust but it seems to be in our DNA for humans to commit these kind of atrocities. I agree that we should never forget but it seems like we as a species can’t learn from history. For politicians of any party in the U.S. to be suggesting re-education camps and such is beyond the pale.

    Interesting that you should choose that expression. It seems to have entered the English language in reference to the zone of Ireland occupied by the English and beyond which was barbarism.

    A later use, germane to the subject of the OP, is in the phrase Pale of Settlement, which

    was a western region of Imperial Russia with varying borders that existed from 1791 to 1917 in which permanent residency by Jews was allowed and beyond which Jewish residency, permanent or temporary, was mostly forbidden. Most Jews were still excluded from residency in a number of cities within the Pale as well. A few Jews were allowed to live outside the area, including those with university education, the ennobled, members of the most affluent of the merchant guilds and particular artisans, some military personnel and some services associated with them, including their families, and sometimes their servants.

     

    Yes I am of Irish decent and as I understand beyond the pale was beyond the reach of the English. The English constabulary wore light gray hats and coats thus if you in an area not patrolled by them you were beyond the pale.

    That sartorial play on words was probably an addition to fence palings, as in the vertical boards or posts in a fence. From Latin palus, hence impale.

    • #11
  12. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    How would this attributes be demonstrated

    Self sacrifice borne of identifying the real enemies. Most people, right or left, are going through their lives unheeding, mouthing platitudes and demonstrating beliefs whose origins and implications are unknown. They’re like fish who cannot even understand that they are wet, or that their water is dirty, unless they encounter air or clean water and recognize the difference. That may make such people the immediate implements of the real foes, but they aren’t the actual foes. Instead they’re mimicking the prestigious, vainly hoping for acceptance. Give them something better to mimic.

    Put simply, try not to return evil for evil, come what may. Do what you can to demonstrate compassion and commonality with others. But do not compromise your morals while doing so – just be forewarned that this may well mean you’re excluded from the social elites.

    This is an interesting diagnosis of what is going on.

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/new-national-american-elite

    • #12
  13. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Susan Quinn: Those of us old enough to have been taught about the Holocaust in school

    Yesterday my 13 year-old daughter reminded me that today would be Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date was selected because Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, 1945. To help give perspective, her teacher also mentioned that if you had a minute of silence for every Jew killed during the Holocaust it would last over 11 years.

    So, it is still taught in some public schools. In the past, they had survivors speak at the school (although there can’t be too many left). Unlike where I grew up (just a few miles away) we have very few Jews in our town (and quite a few Muslims) so it is the teachers and administrators who are pushing for this to be taught. 

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Both sides need to ratchet it down – and the “wrong side” refusing to do so is no excuse at all for us to mimic and mirror them.

    You make a valid point, and having lived my entire life always feeling a little bit apart and outside whatever group I was ostensibly a part of, I understand what you are saying.

    But I think it really gets down to who is the aggressor in the relationship. And it is a relationship we are talking about. If people would simply leave each other alone and not try to force their beliefs and ideas and agendas on the other people, there would not be the kind of conflict that leads to physical civil war, which you end your comment talking about. I’m nervous about that seeming inevitability too at this moment.

    I was in favor of a lot of the rather dictatorial measures taken in my own state to combat the pandemic. Massachusetts has had a rough time of it: Out of a population of about 7 million people (fewer than New York City, interestingly), the current tally is 506,000 cases, 14,000 deaths. It’s our gray weather mostly. And isn’t it bizarre that in general, the citizens of New York State and Massachusetts generally support these measures even though clearly they did not work as intended. :-) The why of that continued support (mine too!) is a question for the ages.

    However, during the past year, many times the fear has crossed my mind that the Democratic Party leaders who believe in a man-made global-warming crisis were watching and learning how to move the public to accept radical change in their daily life and their savings accounts.

    Sure enough, as the pandemic fear has eased, the Massachusetts Democratic Party legislature is hard at work on a global-warming-ameliorating agenda. Charlie Baker has vetoed this bill, but I’m pretty sure the sponsors have sufficient support to override it as many times as he vetoes it.

    The left is very aggressive. They never back off saying, “Gosh, they don’t share this vision of this problem.” Instead, they bully their way to change. They don’t try to reason with the right. They try to push through the elements of their agenda.

    That aggression and bullying are the sources of the chronic frustration on the right.

    • #14
  15. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    “The survey, touted as the first 50-state survey of Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z, showed that many respondents were unclear about the basic facts of the genocide. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered, and over half of those thought the death toll was fewer than 2 million. Over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos were established during World War II, but nearly half of U.S. respondents could not name a single one.”

    Of course, people in that age range also tend to be ignorant of many other historical facts…like what decade the Civil War occurred in, what countries were American allies or American enemies in WWII, and lots of other things. Surveys have shown this kind of ignorance repeatedly.

     

     

     

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Those of us old enough to have been taught about the Holocaust in school

    Yesterday my 13 year-old daughter reminded me that today would be Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date was selected because Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, 1945. To help give perspective, her teacher also mentioned that if you had a minute of silence for every Jew killed during the Holocaust it would last over 11 years.

    So, it is still taught in some public schools. In the past, they had survivors speak at the school (although there can’t be too many left). Unlike where I grew up (just a few miles away) we have very few Jews in our town (and quite a few Muslims) so it is the teachers and administrators who are pushing for this to be taught.

    Vance, I am so glad to hear this news! There is at least one teacher out there, and one girl who I would thank if I could. Thanks for sharing this.

    • #16
  17. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    it seems to be in our DNA for humans to commit these kind of atrocities.

    This is why we must not forget about the worst parts of humanity and how it happened. This is supposed to keep us vigilant about it happening again. We must also remember the Maoist Cultural Revolution where some humans mistreated others, not because of race or religion, because of their political beliefs. There are many too many parallels with today’s Corporate Fascism.

    • #17
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: Yet we can still ask, why do we have to remember this terrible event?

    We need to remember so we can understand how a supposedly civilized country can elect a murderous regime which not only participated in a world war, but committed some of the most inhumane crimes against humanity.

    The only thing I would consider adding to the Day is to include not just the Jewish people who suffered, but Slavs, gypsys, homosexuals, the disabled, other religions . . . it should be a lesson that any group of people can become victims. Leftists today see social ostracization of conservatives as a rightous cause much like the Nazis and their belief in Aryan Supremacy. If they were students of history, particularly the holocaust, they would realize they’re only one step away from becoming Nazis themselves . . .

    • #18
  19. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    But this should be tempered with fair judgement and mercy.

    How would this attributes be demonstrated, @skipsul? I need to be clear that I’m not assuming that the beliefs I listed are true for all people on the Left; there are, of course, degrees of adherence to them and desire to act on them. I also believe that many of the accusations against the Right are hyperbole, particularly among everyday people. Except for tiny pockets of nutcases on our side, I don’t hear calls to violence against the Left. But I hear our leaders and high-profile people on the Left engaging in demonization of us and threats.

    I don’t see an actual Holocaust happening here. But there are a lot of things in the last ten years that I would never have anticipated. I’m less interested in fomenting anger on our side than I am in creating awareness of the seriousness of the times.

    One mistake human beings make over and over again is assuming that their kindly neighbors who subscribe to hateful politics will not go along with the worst excesses of their leaders. They underestimate the power of peer pressure to manifest the oppression and violence advocated only by a minority. 

    Do most Democrat voters expressly support riots, vandalism, destruction of careers, seizure of assets as political punishment, etc? No. But they support a party and groups that do pursue such ends. 

    The most important lesson of the Holocaust is not that human beings can be so evil. It is how such evils rise to power. German voters did not sign on to a policy of extermination, though many directly participated. They supported a party of resentment, tribalism, unequal rights, and unchecked authority. They supported a party that relied on fear as much as enthusiasm. 

    Too many conservatives have succumbed to resentment. But only one party in America promotes a tribal system of unequal rights and total authority. Only one party in America relies on fear to force adoption of its ideas and practices.

    Humility, charity, and introspection are always necessary. Love is necessary. But truth is also a quality of love. Let’s be honest. The left and right are not mirror images. 

    The Jews are God’s chosen people. That is why they suffer particularly. Jews are best defended by devotion to God. The best defense against political carnage is faithful devotion to a higher authority.

    • #19
  20. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    David Foster (View Comment):

    “The survey, touted as the first 50-state survey of Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z, showed that many respondents were unclear about the basic facts of the genocide. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered, and over half of those thought the death toll was fewer than 2 million. Over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos were established during World War II, but nearly half of U.S. respondents could not name a single one.”

    Of course, people in that age range also tend to be ignorant of many other historical facts…like what decade the Civil War occurred in, what countries were American allies or American enemies in WWII, and lots of other things. Surveys have shown this kind of ignorance repeatedly.

     

     

     

    Reminds me of a quip Peter Robinson often uses in his Uncommon Knowledge interviews – one he got from Clare Luce (I think):

    In time, history will give even the greatest people but a single sentence in the books.

    I think this is true of events and wars too. In the rush to impart a timeline to everyone, as that timeline gets ever longer we can cram in less and less about any one thing. And for most people it becomes a blur – plus most people figure out that what does make it in is really there only to serve one agenda or another.

    I am convinced this is why so many find history boring or intolerable to study – they resent, without being quite able to express it, the feeling that they’re being made to memorize this stuff only because others want them to feel strong emotions about the past so that they’ll have unthinking loyalties towards something in the present – in short, they know they’re being manipulated, but don’t know why, and aren’t able to tell if the manipulation is good or bad.

    For many today, the Holocaust is “just one more damned thing to feel guilty about”, to which they likely have no personal connection or history, dredged up from a past that seems to have no bearing on them now, and politicized to support agendas they know nothing about, but are somehow supposed to feel something about.

    For the past to be meaningful, people need to have empathy for those who went before, and see themselves in those people.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The left is very aggressive. They never back off saying, “Gosh, they don’t share this vision of this problem.” Instead, they bully their way to change. They don’t try to reason with the right. They try to push through the elements of their agenda.

    That aggression and bullying are the sources of the chronic frustration on the right.

    Great comments, @marcin. These last sentences reflect my biggest concern. In addition to bullying their way to change, they are unwilling to back up their positions and accusation. At this point I am more than frustrated. I am worried. Thanks.

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):
    The only thing I would consider adding to the Day is to include not just the Jewish people who suffered, but Slavs, gypsys, homosexuals, the disabled, other religions . . . it should be a lesson that any group of people can become victims.

    Thanks for adding this point. These groups made up the other 6 million people who were killed, for a total of 12 million. Again, I’m not trying to have people become paranoid or angry enough to act, but we need to pay attention to events of the day.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Humility, charity, and introspection are always necessary. Love is necessary. But truth is also a quality of love. Let’s be honest. The left and right are not mirror images. 

    I so appreciate all your points, Aaron. But I especially liked this one. And your points about evil are also very important. 

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    For many today, the Holocaust is “just one more damned thing to feel guilty about”, to which they likely have no personal connection or history, dredged up from a past that seems to have no bearing on them now, and politicized to support agendas they know nothing about, but are somehow supposed to feel something about.

    For the past to be meaningful, people need to have empathy for those who went before, and see themselves in those people.

    Thanks, Skip, an outstanding point. My folks never discussed the Holocaust, and I don’t even remember if I was taught about it in school. But I was curious. Although knowing the facts was helpful, learning the stories was extremely important to me. And reading about one shtetl recently and its people, made it come alive. I felt more connected to those people and my heritage when I knew what their day-to-day lives were about–whether they practiced everyday rituals or tried to survive the killings.

    • #24
  25. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    it seems to be in our DNA for humans to commit these kind of atrocities.

    This is why we must not forget about the worst parts of humanity and how it happened. This is supposed to keep us vigilant about it happening again. We must also remember the Maoist Cultural Revolution where some humans mistreated others, not because of race or religion, because of their political beliefs. There are many too many parallels with today’s Corporate Fascism.

    Or the Khmer Rouge has many parallels to the Global Warming extremists.

    • #25
  26. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    For many today, the Holocaust is “just one more damned thing to feel guilty about”, to which they likely have no personal connection or history, dredged up from a past that seems to have no bearing on them now, and politicized to support agendas they know nothing about, but are somehow supposed to feel something about.

    For the past to be meaningful, people need to have empathy for those who went before, and see themselves in those people.

    Thanks, Skip, an outstanding point. My folks never discussed the Holocaust, and I don’t even remember if I was taught about it in school. But I was curious. Although knowing the facts was helpful, learning the stories was extremely important to me. And reading about one shtetl recently and its people, made it come alive. I felt more connected to those people and my heritage when I knew what their day-to-day lives were about–whether they practiced everyday rituals or tried to survive the killings.

    The grandmother of one of the girls in my high school class was a survivor of a camp – still had the tattoo. I do not remember which one now, but she came to speak at our school a couple of times. She married one of the American GIs who helped liberate the camp.

    • #26
  27. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Not to denigrate the Jewish Holocaust but it seems to be in our DNA for humans to commit these kind of atrocities. I agree that we should never forget but it seems like we as a species can’t learn from history. For politicians of any party in the U.S. to be suggesting re-education camps and such is beyond the pale.

    Interesting that you should choose that expression. It seems to have entered the English language in reference to the zone of Ireland occupied by the English and beyond which was barbarism.

    A later use, germane to the subject of the OP, is in the phrase Pale of Settlement,which

    was a western region of Imperial Russia with varying borders that existed from 1791 to 1917 in which permanent residency by Jews was allowed and beyond which Jewish residency, permanent or temporary, was mostly forbidden. Most Jews were still excluded from residency in a number of cities within the Pale as well. A few Jews were allowed to live outside the area, including those with university education, the ennobled, members of the most affluent of the merchant guilds and particular artisans, some military personnel and some services associated with them, including their families, and sometimes their servants.

    Basically, if you are part of a discriminated against group but have distanced yourself from your origins enough to identify with and be useful enough to the regime and nomenklatura, you get to be sorta kinda in the nomenklatura providing you behave.

    Tulsi “I endorse Joe Biden” “I support a Universal Basic Income” Gabbard

    on Tuesday went after Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), large technology companies, and former CIA Director John Brennan, claiming that they are much more “powerful” and therefore more “dangerous” than the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6.

    She pointed out the expansion of powers requested by lawmakers, like Schiff, and numerous former and current senior government officials who are targeting Trump supporters in an effort “turn our country into a police state.”

    Too bad she referred to the KGB her remarks instead of the PRC’s social credit state. That’s what the tech companies are helping the Chinese implement and will no doubt help the Harris/Biden regime implement here because free enterprise.

    • #27
  28. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Those of us old enough to have been taught about the Holocaust in school

    Yesterday my 13 year-old daughter reminded me that today would be Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date was selected because Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, 1945. To help give perspective, her teacher also mentioned that if you had a minute of silence for every Jew killed during the Holocaust it would last over 11 years.

    So, it is still taught in some public schools. In the past, they had survivors speak at the school (although there can’t be too many left). Unlike where I grew up (just a few miles away) we have very few Jews in our town (and quite a few Muslims) so it is the teachers and administrators who are pushing for this to be taught.

    That it is being taught is fantastic. Being the glass-half-empty person that I am, I hope it isn’t being taught with some sort of “See, this is an example of white supremacy” slant…

    • #28
  29. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    I was unaware of the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in Israel. Thank you for posting it, Susan. It was beautiful. Everyone just stopped, even the pedestrians walking over concrete in the hot sun. Beautiful, moving, highly honorable.

    We need to have such a universal public ceremony in this country. Perhaps on 9-11, perhaps on July 4, perhaps on Memorial Day. But I fear that we are too fractured as a nation to honor our history in such a serious way.

    • #29
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    I was unaware of the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in Israel. Thank you for posting it, Susan. It was beautiful. Everyone just stopped, even the pedestrians walking over concrete in the hot sun. Beautiful, moving, highly honorable.

    We need to have such a universal public ceremony in this country. Perhaps on 9-11, perhaps on July 4, perhaps on Memorial Day. But I fear that we are too fractured as a nation to honor our history in such a serious way.

    Thanks, @doctorrobert. It would be lovely if we did something similar in this country at the same moment, accommodating all the time zones. As you say, I don’t know if we could even agree on the purpose.

    • #30