The Jewish Report Editorial

Global impact of the Holocaust

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No event since biblical times has impacted on the Jews of the world like the monstrous German extermination policy of Adolf Hitler - the Holocaust.
by SUZANNE BELLING | Feb 02, 2017

The enormity of the vile deeds of the SS killing machine profoundly affected the world - six million Jews, apart from Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Freemasons, the Roma and disabled people - in an effort to bring about the evil dictator’s vision of a pure Aryan race.

In 2005, 60 years after Auschwitz was liberated, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed International Holocaust Remembrance Day to be held on January 27 annually.

South Africa is one of many countries across the globe observing the day each year.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day involves participants of all faiths, far outweighing the Holocaust deniers, a minority few, who rear their heads every so often in speeches, print - and especially social media.

But Jews around the world have their own commemorative day each year, Yom Hashoah, on the anniversary of the April 19,1943 (27 Nissan, 5703) Warsaw Ghetto uprising. This is to pay homage to the victims of the Holocaust and to honour the now-dwindling number of survivors whose recall of their horrors in the camps and elsewhere debunks every lie of the anti-Semitic deniers.

One has to commend the sterling efforts of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, under directorship of Richard Freedman, who is also director of the SA Holocaust and Genocide Foundation; the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, under Tali Nates; and the Durban Holocaust Centre, under Mary Kluk, in promoting Holocaust education and bringing many doubtful non-Jews, among them schoolchildren, some brainwashed with revisionist history, to the truth.

In fact, Holocaust education is a compulsory subject for grade 9 as part of the social history programme at all schools and, for those wishing to pursue the subject for matric, grade 11s are taught about Nazi eugenics, social Darwinism and racism - a real feather in the cap for the Holocaust centres which advocated and realised this. The centres support the national programme, as well as offering teacher training.

Freedman says the programme is offered in all nine provinces of South Africa.

There has been talk in some circles of holding International Holocaust Remembrance Day and Yom Hashoah on the same day. Some of the ultra-observant Jews would like it held on the 9th of Av. But that would detract from the other historical disasters befalling the Jews, especially the fall of the First and Second Temples.

Yom Hashoah, too, should not be linked with the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, for this is an intensely Jewish day of mourning. It was declared as such by the State of Israel in 1953.

Every year, Israel comes to a standstill on Yom Hashoah, when people stop their vehicles, their work and their studies at school and university to hear the siren, commemorating the Holocaust, as it is sounded throughout the land. Cape Town has adopted this custom, when the siren sounds on the day from the CTHC.

However, International Holocaust Remembrance Day is yet another occasion to reinforce the credo, “Never Again”.

But, disappointingly, America’s 45th President Donald Trump made no reference to the Jews in his first statement about the Holocaust, saying only the victims, survivors and heroes should be remembered and pledging to do everything in his power throughout his presidency to “ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good”.

His omission to mention the Jews is a repeat of the error made last year by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who came under fire from Jewish groups.

This is Trump’s first major mistake as far as world Jewry is concerned.



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