Friday, January 27, 2012

Remembering those who would be forgotten

‘I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.’ 
– Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor

27th January is Holocaust Memorial today: the day where the world remembers the victims of the Nazi Persecutions, and those of the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.

Holocaust is always done in silence. It seeks to wipe its victims from the world, and from memory too - to burn their bodies and erase their name and make it as though they had never existed.

We cannot bring back those who were killed - but we can remember them, and thereby deny their murders their final victory.

So please: when you read this, take a moment - make a specific effort to think of those whom ignorance and hatred tried to wipe from the world and from memory: because of their race, their political beliefs, their sexuality or disability.

Remember them and honour them in denying the hatred that caused their deaths.

And then take a moment to realise that such terrible crimes can only happen because others allowed it to happen - allowed those ruled by hatred to take power, and then said nothing when that power was abused.

Remember that such atrocities are only a single step away from any form of discrimination that dehumanises its victims - and stem from words of hate that create a mindset of segregation based on difference.

Remember that silence was the greatest ally that allowed the Holocaust to happen - and then pledge to never let fear and hatred rule again.

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