Tuesday, January 27, 2015

From Above

It seems to be lost in the news today with weather reports seemingly playing on a loop. No matter how much snow is on the ground, today will never be remembered for the weather that occurred or never happened. Today is the day we remember the liberation of Auschwitz. Today, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we rededicate ourselves to NEVER FORGET what happened, how it happened, and what was not done to prevent the horror.

The past 70 years have done nothing to ease the pain that permeates the conscious of the world, the families of the survivors, and the generations that were cast into the sky across Europe. For those that survived it is not simply a memory, it is a reality as vivid as the number on their arm. It is history that requires the strength of the living in order to ensure that those who did not survive are forever remembered.

Unfortunately, the lessons taught in the schools are continuously being tempered removing much of the horrifying vividness and barbarism that can be found in the words of those who survived the Nazi reign. As the number of survivors slowly dwindles we find ourselves in a situation where the only people that can describe what happened are disappearing. While we can do our best and even gain praise from those who were there, our words will forever fall short as our experiences will never come close to what actually happened.

Sometimes when we are doing our best we still feel as though we are falling short of reality. I have attempted to tell the little known stories of those who have vanished into history but I know that my words are just that… words on a page. Even the images that we have all seen on the screen can only convey so much. We watch, removed no matter how engrossed, far away in both time and space.

The emotions are still fresh even in what would seem to be an objective view such as the aerial footage of Auschwitz released by the BBC today. I watch that video and see the expanse of the camp from the vantage point of the countless Jews who floated up the smoke stacks and drifted over those same buildings on their voyage to meet G-d. It is an emotion and a connection that keeps me from watching the short video straight through.

However, just above where the camera hovered, jets scream across the sky. Hope flies above as the Israeli Air Force conducted a fly over of the concentration camp today. This, above and beyond any words that I can write, is the best way not only to say but to declare NEVER AGAIN!