One of the most evil dictators of all time was Adolf Hitler. He not only wanted control of the world, but he decide that there were a number of people who had no right to live. To him, only the Aryan, or Master Race was of value. Hitler’s “Master Race” is a concept in Nazi ideology in which “the putative Nordic or Aryan races, predominant among Germans and other northern European peoples, are deemed the highest in racial hierarchy.” Hitler was obsessed with the idea of removing anyone who did not fit into that definition of the Master Race…especially the Jewish people.
Hitler was insane, and in reality, insane is not a strong enough word for it. I don’t think that most of us could conceive of the level of evil that possessed Adolf Hitler. He didn’t care who died to bring about his plan for the world. He expected sacrifice from his people, unquestioned sacrifice. Meanwhile, Hitler himself was always safely hidden away…protected from his enemies…the people who disagreed with his evil cruelty. Hitler had often said that his Third Reich would be a 1,000-year Reich. He was determined to have a legacy that would span the ages. Well, he is remembered I suppose, but with disdain.
I’m sure Hitler had several places that he hid in, but one of them, a refurbished air-raid shelter seemed to be his bunker of choice. Hitler had gone into his bunker on January 16, after deciding to remain in Berlin for the last great siege of the war. He knew he was losing, but coward that he was, had no intention of being arrested. Fifty-five feet under the chancellery, where as chancellor, he lived, was his shelter. It contained 18 small rooms and was fully self-sufficient, with its own water and electrical supply. During that time, he left only rarely (once to decorate a squadron of Hitler Youth) and spent most of his time micromanaging what was left of German defenses and entertaining such guests as Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, and Joachim von Ribbentrop. At his side were Eva Braun and his dog, an Alsatian named Blondi.
Hitler was a coward, who put his men out on the front lines to do his evil bidding, while he hid behind the scenes, so that the opposing armies couldn’t get to him. He thought he had it all planned out. but as April 1945 came to a close, his “1,000 year Reich” was collapsing and enemy soldiers were closing in to shut him down. So, he married his long-time girlfriend, Eva Braun on April 28, 1945, and two days later they committed suicide together. He was warned by officers that the Russians were only a day or so from overtaking the chancellery. They urged him to escape to Berchtesgarden, a small town in the Bavarian Alps where Hitler owned a home, but he instead chose suicide. It is believed that both he and his wife swallowed cyanide capsules…which had been tested for their efficacy on his “beloved” dog and her pups. Then, just to be sure, he shot himself with his service pistol. The couple’s bodies were cremated in the chancellery garden by the bunker survivors, as per Hitler’s orders and it was reported later that they were partially recovered by Russian troops. Still, that didn’t prove to many that he was dead. Finally, a German court officially declared Hitler dead in 1956. Finally the world was rid of a despicable piece of garbage.
Imagine being forced to take action against your own business. Most of us couldn’t even begin to comprehend what could possibly bring about such an event, but it has happened in the past…unbelievably. On April 23, 1938, before the main Holocaust took place, but leading up to it for sure, Austria’s 200,000 Jews were thrown into a state of panic. The Nazi anti-Semitic movement was gaining momentum, the Hitler Youth were becoming more and more emboldened at the urging of their evil leader. Demonstrations were held, in front of the Jewish shops, and more often that not, the Jewish shopkeeper was forced to carry a sign and actually picket their own shops.
The situation was alarming to the Jews, as they recalled that Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s so-called “Easter Peace” was to end on April 24th. Many of the German police had been gone since Friday and all but a few German troops were scheduled to leave soon. That might have seemed like a good thing to most of us, but the Jews knew better. They expected to find the situation in Austria more completely under the control of Austrian anti-Semites who were filled with hate for the Jews. So much had changed since the March 12, 1938, when the Nazis annexed Austria. The Jewish people had been transformed from successful business people and respected citizens, to being considered less than human.
While no mention of the boycott and forced picketing appeared in newspapers, who talked only about the need to infuse a “fresh spirit” into the anti-Jewish drive, the audacity of what took place was something far more sinister than the innocent sounding call to action. This could have easily been the beginning of the horrific event known to most of us as The Holocaust. Hitler encouraged the Nazis saying, “With the Easter peace over, Jewish agitators must look forward to meeting in person that typically German personage who dons evening dress when the time comes to wield the axe.” I did not know this, but German executioners wore evening dress for beheadings…like it was a big celebration.
Any Jewish business was a target…not just in Austria and Germany, but Hitler’s poisonous rhetoric spilled over to other countries as well. Even countries who didn’t really hate the Jewish people turned against the Jewish people…mostly because they were afraid of the consequences they could face by being empathetic with the Jewish people. The humiliation poured out on the Jewish people from all directions was appalling, and criminal. And the idea of forcing them to picket in front of their own business…against their own business, is despicable. The audacity of such an act is only topped by the further cruel acts that were carried out on these same people.
As Hitler’s vicious plan to wipe out the Jewish people started to come together, many Jewish people found their lives ripped away from them, and then, found themselves in the ghettos…if they were lucky, or the “work” camps…if they weren’t. Eventually the plan was to move all the Jews to the camps, or to transport them into the woods and shoot them. Once people were moved into the camp, there was pretty much one way out of there…death. The people dreamed of escaping the camps, but it was futile…until April 10, 1944.
Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler came from the same hometown of Trnava in Slovakia. Being from the same town, they knew they could trust each other. The two men were determined to escape from Auschwitz so they could somehow let the rest of the world know what was going on there. Every day, they probed Auschwitz for weaknesses. While they searched, they were formulating escape plans. Day after day they rejected plans that they knew would only get them killed, and spoil their chances of completing their mission to save their people. Finally, one day, Fred Wetzler approached Rudi Vrba with a plan that seemed plausible. For the first time, they felt like they had a chance to succeed.
Fred told Rudolf about a pile of wooden planks stacked outside the camp perimeter waiting to be used for construction of a new facility. Fred said he knew of four prisoners planning to hide in a cavity in the middle of the wood pile. The plan was to wait for the SS guards to conclude a mandatory three-day search, and then make their escape and head south toward Slovakia. It was risky, but a few days later the plan went off without a hitch…at least the escape did. The initial strategy planned by the four prisoners, of hiding in the wood planks had worked, and they got away, but a few days later the four prisoners were caught in the village south of the camp. Rudi and Fred were worried that the four prisoners would reveal the method of their escape to the SS, but to their credit, they kept silent.
The secret of the cavity in the stack of planks stayed a secret, and a couple of weeks later, Fred and Rudi decided to attempt the same escape plan themselves. Their escape was far more successful than the escape of the first four prisoners. Once they were out of Auschwitz, Fred and Rudi had roughly 80 miles of Nazi occupied Poland ahead of them before the reached Slovakia. Their journey wasn’t a straightforward trip. They got lost and wandered around a village called Bielsko. It took them all night to find their way out and then in broad daylight, they had no choice to ask for help. They knocked on the door of a house and a woman, knowing that they were on the run, let them in and fed them. Then later that night, she gave them money, and told them how to escape through the mountains.
Of course, their journey was not without it troubles. At one point, they crossed paths with a German patrol. A gun shot sent them scrambling for cover. They heard dogs howling, and as they were running they came upon a stream. It would save them in the end. The water hid their scent, and while the water was freezing, they crossed the stream, and escaped. More strangers helped them along their journey, and against all odds, the two men made it to the Polish-Slovak borer.
On April 21st, 1944, fourteen days after they emerged from the stack of planks, Rudi Vrba and Fred Wetzler reached Slovak soil. Once inside Slovakia, they met yet another sympathetic peasant who brought them to a prominent doctor in the town of Cadca. The doctor listened to their story and said, “Tomorrow I’ll take you to the leaders of the Jewish community in Zilina. They’ll know what’s best to do.” For the rest of his life, Rudolf Vrba, who had escaped from Auschwitz determined to warn the world about the death factory before another train load of Jews could be shipped there, wished the doctor had been right.
Milly Elise “Lise” Borsum was a Norwegian resistance member during World War II. Born on September 18, 1908 in Kristiania, she was the daughter of pianist and composer Eyvind Alnaes and his wife Emilie Thorne. She was married to physician Ragnar Borsum from 1930 to 1949, and was mother of actress Bente Borsum.
During the Holocaust, Lise and her husband had compassion on the Jewish people, making the fateful decision to harbor them from the Nazis. In April of 1943, Lise and her husband were arrested and incarcerated at the Grini concentration camp for two months. They had been members of a network which helped Jewish people escape to Sweden. On June 28, 1943, she was sent to Germany, with MS Monte Rosa from Oslo to Arhus, and further with railway transport to Hamburg. She spent a short time at the Hütten Gefängnis in Hamburg before ending up as a Nacht und Nebel prisoner at the Ravensbrück concentration camp, which was a camp specifically for women. Nacht und Nebel was a directive issued by Adolf Hitler on December 7, 1941 targeting political activists and resistance “helpers” in World War II to be imprisoned or killed. Their families and the population usually knew nothing of their fate or whereabouts They were the Nazi state’s alleged offenders, often without trial or conviction or even charges. Victims who disappeared in these Night and Fog actions were often never heard from again. The prisoners usually had their heads shaved and their dignity removed in any horrific way imaginable to bring them into submission.
She was held at Ravensbrück until April 8, 1945, when the surviving Scandinavian prisoners were transported home with the White Buses organized by the Swedish Red Cross. She was one of the blessed few who walked away alive from the concentration camps. Many prisoners, political or otherwise were killed, starved, beaten, or worked to death. Lise Borsum managed to live through it. Later in life, she was known for her writings and for organizing work after the war. She went on to live a long life, dying on August 29, 1985 at the age of 76. She had done her part to help the Jewish people during the Holocaust, and she was not sorry.
Every United States Presidential election brings heated debates, and many arguments from both sides of the aisle. I’m sure it is the same in most other nations, who have the opportunity to vote too. Being an unapologetic Conservative, it is my belief that the less the government controls the citizens the better. Socialism and Fascism are both forms of government control, and while some people think these are great, they ultimately find out that what the government gives, the government can also take away. This was what we saw with Adolf Hitler. He came into office as an elected official, and before long, he changed everything for the German people, and in many ways the world, especially the Jewish people, Gypsies, and any other groups he disagreed with. The people were fooled into thinking he was a great man, until it was too late.
Similar to Adolf Hitler, Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini did not become the dictator of a totalitarian regime overnight. Mussolini started out as a schoolteacher and an avowed socialist. After World War I he became a leader of the nascent Fascist movement. Like much of Europe, Italy was in the middle of great social turmoil following World War I. During the turmoil, paramilitary groups and street gangs frequently clashed over their competing ideas for the new political order. A close confidant of Mussolini formed a Fascist paramilitary group, known as the Blackshirts or Squadristi, and because Mussolini was their leader, the gangs found that government fears of a communist revolution allowed them to operate without state intervention. Apparently, the people thought Socialism and Fascism were better than Communism. By 1921, Mussolini had been elected to parliament as the leader of the growing National Fascist Party.
Soon after Mussolini’s election…the party’s Chosen One…armed Blackshirts marched on Rome, demanding that the king install Mussolini as Prime Minister. Why the king allowed this to happen, is beyond me, but in a decision that utterly changed the course of Italian and European history, King Victor Emmanuel III ignored Prime Minister Luigi Facta’s pleas that he declare martial law, leading to Facta’s resignation and Emmanuel’s invitation to Mussolini to form a new government. It was a move that was completely insane. The Fascists and their moderate allies began dismantling Italy’s democratic institutions. Mussolini was proclaimed dictator for a year, like that was going to be all it was, and increasingly merged his party and its paramilitary wing with the state and the official military. He also undertook a program of privatizations and anti-union legislation in order to assure industrialists and aristocrats that fascism would protect them from socialism. Before long, the Italian government didn’t even resemble its former self.
Still, many Fascists felt Mussolini was moving too slowly, so they took matters into their own hands. In 1924, assassins with ties to Mussolini killed socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti, leading most of the parliamentary opposition to boycott Mussolini’s legislature. The Fascists felt that their moment had come. On December 31, they issued an ultimatum to Mussolini. Three days later on January 3rd, he addressed the remainder of parliament, declaring “I, and I alone, assume the political, moral, and historical responsibility for all that has happened,” obliquely referring to the assassination of Matteotti. In doing this, Mussolini dared prosecutors and the rest of Italy’s democratic institutions, as well as the king, to challenge his authority. It was their last chance, but no one opposed him. Thus, from 1925 onward, Mussolini was able to operate openly as a dictator, styling himself Il Duce (meaning The Leader) and fusing the state and the Fascist Party. For the next two decades, suppression and brutality became the norm, culminating in Mussolini’s alliance with Nazi Germany and World War II. I heard it said that, “You can vote yourself into Socialism, but you will have to shoot your way out of it.” It is a good warning for all of us as we approach the next Presidential election. We have a number of candidates who want Socialism, and it would be a dire mistake to allow that to happen to our free, Capitalist nation. People don’t always understand how important our elections are.
Friday, the 13th is not considered to be a lucky day…if you happen to be superstitious, but for almost 2500 Jewish people, as well as for Major Clarence L. Benjamin, Friday the 13th of April, 1945 would prove that Friday the 13th could be a very blessed day. While on a routine patrol a few miles northwest of Magdeburg, Benjamin and his unit came upon a railroad siding in a wooded ravine not far from the Elbe River. There, about 200 shabby looking civilians were sitting by the side of the road. Even in their shabby state, there was something immediately apparent about each one of these people, men and women, which drew immediate attention. These people were skeleton thin with starvation Their faces showed a sickness, and the way in which they stood…was like they were beaten and dejected, but there was something else. When they saw the Americans they began laughing in joy…if it could be called laughing. It was an outpouring of pure, near-hysterical relief. The reason, the unit soon found out was the railroad siding.
Standing silently on the tracks of the siding was a long string of grimy, ancient boxcars. On the banks by the tracks, trying to get some pitiful comfort from the thin April sun, sat a multitude of people of varying stages of misery. They sat motionless in despair. When they group sighted the Americans, a great stir went through this strange camp. Those who were able rushed toward the Major’s jeep and the two light tanks. On the hill to the left people were resting…some forever. About sixteen people died of starvation before food could be brought to the train. They simply couldn’t hold out any longer.
As the Major soothed the people, he eventually found some who spoke English, and their story came out. This had been, and still was, a horror train. This train which contained about 2,500 Jews, had a few days previously left the Bergen-Belsen death camp. Men, women and children, were all loaded into a few available railway cars, some passenger and some freight, but mostly the typical antiquated freight cars, called “40 and 8” cars. The term, from World War I, “40 and 8” meant that these cars would accommodate 40 men or 8 horses, but the cars were crammed with about 60 to 70 people, with standing room only for most of them. The cars were hot and it was hard to breathe. In all, the cars held about 2,500 Jews, far more than they should have.
The war was winding down, and the Nazis were trying to evacuate the concentration camps ahead of the Allied troops arrival. On April 10, 1945, three trains were sent from Bergen-Belsen with the purpose to move eastward from the Camp, to the Elbe River. They were told to reverse direction because of the rapidly advancing Russian Army. The train reversed direction and headed to Farsleben. There, they were then told that they were heading into the advancing American Army. The train halted at Farsleben…awaiting further orders. The engineers received their orders…drive the train to, and onto the bridge over the Elbe River, and either blow it up, or just drive it off the end of the damaged bridge, with all of the cars of the train crashing into the river, and killing or drowning all of the occupants. While the engineers thought about this action, knowing that they too would be hurtling themselves to death, the Americans caught up to them. The arrival of the 743rd Tank Battalion was the only reason anyone came out of the trains alive. It was Friday the 13th…a very blessed day for these Jews. Not an ounce of bad luck there.
We have all heard of the atrocities that took place in Nazi Germany regarding the Jewish people. And many people might have seen the movie called Schindler’s List. When the movie came out, I did not have a real interest in the old war movies, but I really should have in this one, because it is not your typical war movie. The movie documents the actions of a member of the Nazi Party, who saw something that was morally wrong, and did something about it.
Schindler wasn’t what would be considered a moral upstanding citizen to the Christian way of thinking. He married Emilie Pelzl at nineteen, but was never without a mistress or two. When his family’s business went under, he presided over the the proceedings, and then became a salesman when opportunity came knocking in the form of the war. Schindler was never one to miss a chance to make money. He saw opportunity in Poland, so he marched in on the heels of the SS. Soon, he was deep into the black-market and the underworld..making friends with the Gestapo officials along the way…softening them up with women, money and illicit booze.
It was his newfound connections that helped him acquire the factory in Krakow during the German occupation of Poland, which he ran with the cheapest labor around…namely the Jewish people from the nearby Jewish ghetto. Schindler was a hard man, and didn’t care much about others, but somewhere along the line, something changed. When the Nazis decided to liquidate the ghetto, he persuaded the officials to allow the transfer of his workers to the Plaszow labor camp. I’m not sure what they workers thought of that situation right away, but in the end, to saved them from deportation to the death camps, for which they were grateful.
By 1944, Hitler had become more and more crazed, and all the Jews at Plaszow were to be sent to Auschwitz, but Schindler couldn’t bear to see his workers murdered by Hitler. Schindler decided to take a huge risk, and bribe the officials into allowing him to keep his workers and set up a factory in a safer location in occupied Czechoslovakia. Miraculously, they agreed to let him have his workers, probably thinking of the factory’s production, and not the fact that these Jews would not meet the horrible fate awaiting them in the death camps. So, Schindler gave them a list of his workers, and of course, that is where the name of the movie came from. By the war’s end, Schindler was penniless, but he had saved 1,200 Jews. And that makes him a very rich man, indeed. In 1962, he was declared a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official agency for remembering the Holocaust. Oskar Schindler died on this day, October 9, 1974, and according to his wishes, he was buried in Israel at the Catholic cemetery on Mount Zion.
Over the centuries, people have gone to great lengths to humiliate their enemies. The worst thing for the Jewish people was that over the centuries, there have been so many enemies. To this day, it doesn’t matter that Israel is one of the smallest nations in the world, the Muslim nations don’t even want them to have that small area, and the Muslims weren’t the only enemy of the Jewish people either. The Jews of Europe were legally forced to wear badges or distinguishing garments, like pointed hats, to let everyone know who they were. This practice began at least as far back as the 13th century. It continued throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but was then largely phased out during the 17th and 18th centuries. With the coming of the French Revolution and the emancipation of western European Jews throughout the 19th century, the wearing of Jewish badges was abolished in Western Europe.
Enter Hitler. The Nazis, under Hitler’s direction, resurrected this practice as part of humiliation tactics during the Holocaust. Reinhardt Heydrich, chief of the Reich Main Security Office, first recommended that Jews should wear identifying badges following the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9 and 10, 1938. Hitler liked the idea, because Hitler hated the Jews. Shortly after the invasion of Poland in September 1939, local German authorities began introducing mandatory wearing of badges. By the end of 1939, all Jews in the newly-acquired Polish territories were required to wear badges. Upon invading the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Germans again required the Jews in the newly-conquered lands to wear badges. Throughout the rest of 1941 and 1942, Germany, its satellite states and western occupied territories adopted regulations stipulating that Jews wear identifying badges. On May 29, 1942, on the advice of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler orders all Jews in occupied Paris to wear an identifying yellow star on the left side of their coats. Only in Denmark, where King Christian X is said to have threatened to wear the badge himself if it were imposed on his country’s Jewish population, were the Germans unable to impose such a regulation. Too bad some of the other nations did not stand up for the Jewish people too.
The Yellow Star was imposed on the Jewish people as part of many psychological tactics aimed at isolating and dehumanizing the Jews of Europe and especially by the Nazis. They were being directly marked as being different and inferior to everyone else. It also allowed the Germans to facilitate their separation from society and subsequent ghettoization, which ultimately led to the deportation and murder of 6 million Jews. Those who failed or refused to wear the badge risked severe punishment, including death. For example, the Jewish Council (Judenrat) of the ghetto in Bialystok, Poland announced that “… the authorities have warned that severe punishment – up to and including death by shooting – is in store for Jews who do not wear the yellow badge on back and front.” The star took on different forms in different regions, but everyone in the area knew what it meant. Of course, the Jewish people hated the badge for what it symbolized, even though the Star of David had stood for the Jewish people since about the 12th century. While the Star of David, known as the Magen David, has continued to be the unofficial symbol of the Jewish people, even on their flag, the Menorah continues to be the official symbol of Judaism (The Jewish people). It seems to me that they would not really want the Star of David after all of the persecution that has been associated with it, but I guess it could be looked at as a badge of honor, as they, as a people survived the persecution.
I am not related to Anne Frank, but her story is one that, while I cannot relate to personally, nevertheless touches me deeply. Anne, like another woman who I have long respected, Corrie ten Boom, went through some of the deepest forms of hatred there can possibly exist in this world. Anne was a Jewish girl, just turning 13 on this day, June 12, 1942, and Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian woman who helped as many Jewish people as she could during the ugliness that was Hitler’s reign, and that would eventually take Anne’s life. The two women never met in person, to my knowledge, but while Anne may never have heard of Corrie, I’m certain that Corrie heard of Anne. The plight of the Jewish people touched Corrie ten Boom deeply too…deeply enough that she and her family risked their lives trying to hide the Jewish people from Hitler’s men, and act that eventually precipitated their capture and imprisonment, because it was against the law to help the Jewish people.
Hitler hated the Jewish people, and in reality, was probably afraid of them…hence his need to rid himself of them. Hitler was insane. During the time that Hitler was taking the Jewish people prisoner, and killing them, a young girl named Anne Frank was turning 13, and was given a diary for her birthday. Having been a young girl with a diary, I can relate to the excitement of getting a diary in which to record your deepest thoughts, hopes, dreams, and secrets. I can also say that at that time, I felt like my life was relatively boring, and so writing in my diary quickly became a chore, and was soon forgotten. I have to wonder if Anne’s diary might have suffered the same fate…had things been different. Most kids get pretty bored with writing down their thoughts everyday, but Anne’s life was about to change forever. She was about to spend the next two years in hiding in a secret room in her father’s office, along with four other families, dependent on loving Christians for their every need.
The Nazis were coming, and they were determined to kill every Jewish person they could. Anne and her family had to go into hiding. And so it was, that a young girl trapped behind a wall that led to a secret room, where silence was essential for survival, began to write down her thoughts and experiences in what would become the most read diary in history. Anne would not live to become an adult, to marry, or to have children, and yet, she would go on to become one of the most well known children in history. My great aunt, Bertha Schumacher Hallgren said that anyone could become a famous writer, if they just wrote about the events of their life, and colored it with some information about the time in history in which they lived. That is exactly what Anne Frank did. I have to think that she assumed that no one would care about her little life spent in hiding, much less about how a 13 year old girl felt about it, but after she died of Typhus in a prison camp called Bergen-Belsen, just one month before the end of the war, they did care. The Christian friends found her diary after their capture, and kept it in the hope of giving it back to her. Her father lived through that horrible time, and the diary was returned to him. He had it published in her honor in 1947. The book was called “The Diary of a Young Girl,” and has been made into a movie too, because in the end, it told the world about a very ugly time in history.
In the United States, 9-11 has become synonymous with the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the downed plane in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It is a day that we all look back to a day when, by a horrific act of terrorism, thousands of people died. As a collective people, we vowed never to forget. As United States citizens, however, we seldom give any serious thought to such days of rememberance in other countries. I suppose that is natural to a degree, but sometimes there are events in history that are so horrible that we can’t forget them. Such is the case with the Holocaust and the horrific treatment of the Jewish people at that time.
During the Holocaust years, Nazi Germany murdered six million Jews. The Nazi persecution of the Jews began in 1933, but the mass murder was committed during World War II, over a period of just four and a half years. Most of the murders took place between April and November of 1942. In just 250 days in which they murdered about two and a half million Jews. They had no real criteria for who lived and who died, except the ability to work. The killing only slowed down only when they began to run out of Jews to kill. The murders finally stopped when the Allies defeated them.
The Jewish people had now way to escape. They had been captured, dragged from their homes, and taken by railroad in cattle cars to camps like Auschwitz, where the men were separated from the women and children, many of whom were killed right away, while the men were made to be slave labor…for as long as their strength held out. Once they were no longer useful, they were sent to the gas chamber. Being Jewish was considered a crime, punishable by death. There was no need for a trial in the eyes of the Nazis. If you were Jewish, you had to die. It was a horrible time in Jewish history, and it wasn’t the first time. It was just the most recent time in history. The Jewish people, like the people of the United States, had a need to remember the lost. A need to vow never to forget. That day is today. Yom Ha’Shoah, which means Holocaust Day, begins and sunset. In honor of those lost Jewish people, I will remember.