Endless Musings

This blog contains the random thoughts, feelings, and observations of a slightly "left of normal" young woman.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

A Day of Remembrance

Today marks the 60th anniverisary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In 1945 allied troops liberated the concentration camp. The Commandant of Auschwitz would be tried and executed in 1947, in Warsaw, for the deaths of 4 million Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and other Slavs.
There is a very moving interview with an Auschwitz survivor on http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,338597,00.html.
The survivor was only 18 when she was deported to Auschwitz. She was spared the gas chamber because she could play the cello. Apparently, the Nazis had a band made up of prisoners and they needed a cello player. When a guard asked her what she did before the war she told them of her talent and they decided to let her live. She lived on to become a memeber of the English Chamber Orchestra.
She makes the point in the interview that the most important reason for mankind to remember the Holocaust is so that we can think about what happened then and how it might apply to things that are currently happening in the world.
We can never stand by and let this part of history repeat itself. Nor should we turn a blind eye to more modern examples of genocide.
Many people in world said, "never again" after the truth of the Holocaust was revealed. However, there have been examples of genocide since then.
Consider the following: Bangladesh 1971, 500,000 to 3 million people, mostly Hidus, are killed within a ten month period;
East Timor 1975-1999, 200,000 East Timorese (one third of the population) are killed after the Indonesian army invaded; Cambodia 1975-1979, 1.7 million native Cambodians killed by the Khmer Rouge Regime; Guatemala 1981-1983, 200,000 Mayans methodically killed by the Guatemalan army; Bosnia 1992-1995, over 200,000 Muslims killed by the Bosian Serbs; Rwanda 1994, 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus killed over a 100 day period by the Rwandan Hutus; Sudan 2004-????, over 70,000 non-Arabs have been killed by the Janjaweed troops who are supported by the Sudan government.
It would be nice to think that the days of genocide ended when the WW2 concentration camps were liberated, but it continues to plague our world.
Many people turn a blind eye to these issues because it's so unpleasant to even think about it, but as long as people look away it will continue. Many people feel that there's nothing they can do about such things. There almost always IS something people can do. We can speak out against genocide. We can boycot products that give money directly or indirectly to the people committing these crimes. We can keep our eyes on our own government and how it responds to these issues.
Just think of how many people in Germany during the Holocaust did have an idea of what was going on, but decided that there was nothing they could do. Consider for a moment what would have happened if these people did whatever they could. Might history have turned out differently? I would like to think that it would have.


  • At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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    related site. Check it out if you get a chance. The URL is case cello history


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