Thursday, 27 January 2011

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day

On this day, over 60 years ago, the horror that was Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops and the reality of what had been happening behind the fences started to seep out into the world

I read so many history books about the era, to not mention it would seem disrespectful in some way. The people who suffered and were murdered is the most horrific chapter in the pages of WW2.

As much as I read about this sort of thing, about the Third Reich, about Dunkirk, about The Blitz, nothing shocks me more or stays with me as long as something about The Holocaust. I could live for a thousand years and never be able to get my head around why. I have come to various conclusions as to how. It is the why that I shall never understand. Not on a political or a religious level. Not even on a prejudice level.

On a human level.

It used to bother me how many pictures and film reels that exist, documenting acts of evil against innocent people. But now I am older, I realize that these images serve as a reminder to the future of what can happen when humanity counts for nothing.

I shall be keeping a candle on tonight in their memory and trust that, although they suffered, they suffer no more.


  1. If it wasn't for the intervention of a friend of my grandfather, I might not be here now.
    Never forget. x

  2. It has always chilled me. My best mate is Jewish and some of her family 'disappeared'. I can't even allow myself to imagine if she had been taken (if we were transported back in a time machine.)

  3. A nice reminder.
    Having learnt about the holocaust at school at a young age I think sometimes it can loose some of it's horror in familiarity.
    It's useful to see these photos or really get to grips with stats that make you reel with their enormity, just to reinstate the huge and awful reality of the scale of suffering.
    Thanks for the post.

  4. It is a day for thinking, and remembering, indeed. Like you I just can't get my head around it.

    One of my grandads was a pathologist with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the war, and ended up helping with the clear-up at Belsen. He seemed to forget a lot of his English before he died, but Belsen seemed to be one of the things that stayed in his mind, as though the sheer horror had pushed it in deep. I remember being shown videos at school - I believe they may have been of Belsen - with piles of spectacles, piles of shoes, piles of people. Truly horrendous.

  5. if anyone can get to the imperial war museum it is really worth the trip. they have a Holocaust exhibition - very very very moving and really explains how it all came to pass. you have to be over 14 to go in as it is so upsetting.

    on a maybe tacky note after saying that.... the shop is good too!

    the rest of the museum is fabulous

    thanks for the post - lest we never forget. x

  6. I agree, in fact I could've written this post. I too have read so many books & watched films, people think it's sick but I can't get my head around why anyone would do this! This was not 100's of years ago..this happened in my parents life time. I always light a candle too. :)

  7. Thanks LG - what a moving and sensitively written post. I went to Krakow last spring to visit the 'homeland'. It's an incredibly moving place.

  8. Very sensitive post!

    As I am finding out, sometimes people do find it strange that we want to learn more about these events....(my recent exploration into the Hampshire POW camps has raised a few eyebrows!)

    I think the photographic and film evidence from this time is vital, no matter how gruesome the content. What with all the work being analogue, it is the definite truth. The stories are so horrific, some may not be able to trust the facts without such evidence. We all know that some people even NOW are denying the holocaust, how such madness can be believed, we can never know.

    Education is vital, People need to ALWAYS be taught about this, we must always remember.

  9. Now days they dont really show much bout the holocaust in school. I'm 26 years old and i vaguely remember more than a few pages in history books about it. Honestly, I learned more doing research tonight than i ever did in school and my god, wow is all i can really say. How can any human being do such horrible things to soooo many people-but more so how can so many people do that. There had to have been millions of people to carry out these acts.
    I may have found this page bout a year after it was posted, but i'm still lighting my candle in rememberance.

  10. My father was a medic with the US army, and he was with those sent in to the camps after liberation, to save as many as could be. The horror never left him.
    We must always remember, and keep our eyes open to what people are capable of.

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