Holocaust Remembrance Day… but…

yad-vashem-sculpture

To have a “day” dedicated to remembrance is O.K., I guess. I guess it means that special events and activities might take place while articles and photos with salient captions might be published while gripping short-films might be released while field trips might take place, and so on. O.K. Yes. That’s all good. It’s a day that jars us weak human beings out of our distraction and brings back the urgency to the fore. O.K.

But let’s also remember that there are those for whom this is never just a “day”, for it is burned into their hearts and souls and minds 24/7/365. They never forget. They carry this with them. And they schedule this day for the rest of humanity which needs such a day.

Let’s also recognize, however, that no matter what one does to tell the story, there are those who just won’t get it, who simply will not understand. I remember making my way through Yad vaShem in Jerusalem when a massive motorcade entered the compound. I didn’t know what this was about until I was at the Warsaw Ghetto wall of remembrance at the same time as Hillary Clinton and her entourage. I was first of all shocked that none of the Secret Service payed attention to me, though I was the only one there not belonging to their group. And then I noticed she had stopped walking so as to make a statement, short and sweet. No, really. Sweet. It was like she was in an ice cream store at the beach. She said ever so glibly and giggly and dancy and effervescently and with such sing-song-ness: “♬How♬wonderful♬it♬is♬to♬be♬here!♬” Surreal is not an adequate word.

I remember when coming back from Lourdes that an air marshal sitting next to me made the statement – after quite a long conversation – that Catholics should just take what is coming to them for not agreeing to the Obama Administration’s imposition of a direct payment into the abortion superfund when people pay their Obamacare Insurance premiums. The air marshal said that Catholics should be as submissive as the Jews were when being brought to the extermination camps. Mind you, air marshals are covert anti-terrorist federal agents. I’m so happy that Hillary did not win the election.

The video I made:

4 Comments

Filed under Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Politics, Racism

4 responses to “Holocaust Remembrance Day… but…

  1. pelerin

    I am shocked at Hillary Clinton’s comment – how insensitive of her.

    Looking through the tv programmes here in England for today I see nothing remotely connected to the Holocaust Remembrance Day. I did read that there was an exhibition at our local library this week on the subject and went down this afternoon to view it. Arriving at 3pm I was told it had already been dismanteled on today or all days.

    However last week there was a showing of the very moving French film ‘Au Revoir les Enfants’ based on the real experience of the director Louis Malle. Names had been changed but the heroic priest featured who had brought in Jewish boys into his school to try and save their lives really lived and had taught Louis Malle. His real name was Pere Jacques and I understand he is en route for beatification. He died shortly after being liberated from Maunthausen concentration camp.

    Although I had seen the film before I particularly wanted to see it this time as after the showing there was to be a talk by a Hungarian gentleman who at the age of 11 had been in Bergen-Belsen – and had survived to make his home in England. The auditorium was, not surprisingly, completely silent as he told us of his experiences there…

  2. pelerin

    I should have put the heroic priest’s full name – Pere Jacques de Jesus OCD as there is also another Priest known as Pere Jacques – Jacques Hamel – who was tragically butchered last year at his altar in the Rouen suburb of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray

  3. sanfelipe007

    I’ve seen that movie as well, pelerin. Very moving!

    I was so fortunate to have had a Holocaust survivor speak to my class when I was in high school. Father Pschvoedak (sic!) a Pole who survived Dachau. It was a most incredible thing; I will never forget it.

  4. pelerin

    sanfelipe007 – yes I do admire these now very elderly survivors who continue to bear witness to the horrors of the camps by speaking to the public and especially to schools. The gentleman I saw recently told us that he was once introduced by someone who said that they were so pleased to welcome him as in five years time there would not be any survivors left. He then laughed and said that was three years ago!

    Several years ago I shared a cafe table in Lourdes with a delightful elderly lady who proudly told me she was the same age as Pope Benedict. During the course of our conversation I learnt that her father had been in Dachau. As she left she gave me a prayer card with his picture on, his name having been put forward for beatification. When even the children of survivors are now approaching old age it is vitally important that people are made aware of what happened. The lady’s father survived Dachau and worked for reconciliation between the French and the Germans as a Minister in de Gaulle’s Government. He became known as the ‘minister who prays’ and one of the lady’s sons is now a Bishop.

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