On Holocaust Days of Remembrance remember who was really involved

April 16, 2007 by  

Millions of Israelis stood in silence today, as 10 a.m. marked Israel’s Holocaust remembrance day. In Poland, thousands of Jews commemorated the day by touring Auschwitz. In the U.S., it is Holocaust Days of Remembrance from April 15-22.

About half the world’s 500,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel, and they are dying at a rate of 2,000 a month. In the not so distant future, we will be living in a world without witnesses to one of man’s greatest atrocities.

But we will likely be stuck with those willing to compare themselves to the victims.

Comparing ones own travails to the plight of Holocaust victims has continued to be in vogue, especially amongst some prominent Americans whose lives couldn’t be any more different than those who were brutally enslaved, tortured and murdered for merely existing.

Tom DeLay is adamant that he believes his treatment - for breaking campaign finance laws - equates him with Holocaust victims:

I am so outraged by this whole criminalization of politics. It’s not good enough to defeat somebody politically. It’s not even good enough to vilify somebody publicly. They have to carpet bomb you with lies and made up scandals and false charges and indicting you on laws that don’t exist. … It’s the same thing as I say in my book, that the Nazis used. When you use the big lie in order to gain and maintain power, it is immoral and it is outrageous…

It’s the same process. It’s the same criminalization of politics. it’s the same oppression of people. It’s the same destroy people in order to gain power. It may be six million Jews. it may be indicting somebody on laws that don’t exist. But, it’s the same philosophy and it’s the same world view.

And former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore has no problem equating those against his push for a theocratic United States with Nazis:

As America and other nations try to “set themselves” against the laws of God, we increase the risk of repeating the lessons of history. When our thoughts turn toward the horrors of the Holocaust this weekend, let us not forget that the Nazis at Nuremberg were held accountable because of the higher law of God to which all nations, at all times, are subject.

Those like DeLay and Moore who are quick to accuse others of Nazi-like atrocities and try to paint themselves into the narrative of Holocaust survivor are not only showing a basic ignorance and narcissism for comparing their plight to the slaughter of millions, but also making a firm stand to deny what Holocaust Days of Remembrance is about.

As Manfred Gerstenfeld wrote in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post (Courtesy Yid with Lid):

Yet another category is the trivialization of Holocaust memory in recent years. This manifests itself in applications of language relating the industrialized murder of the Jews to other matters - transgressions of international law, environmental problems, abortion and animal slaughter - which bear no similarity to this genocide.

If a day to remember the Holocaust is anything, it’s a chance to remember the actors in that insidious play. The story has been told many times, including in such books as Elie Wiesel’s “Night.” In such works you can find the true stories of what those in the Holocaust suffered.

To insert oneself into the Holocaust narrative is narcissistic to the point of being inhuman. But while the DeLays, Moores and other footnotes of modern politics will always try and insinuate their insignificant acts into the Holocaust, we are still a world that has actual survivors of those horrifying times.

So while we still can, the best way to remember the Holocaust is by listening to the stories of those who lived through it. And to ignore and disparage those wishing to compare their plight to a genocide.


Crossposted at Shakesville


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