Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.
We’ve been taught that it is important to know history so that we can understand and learn
from past mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future. On May 2nd, millions of people worldwide will remember the victims of the Holocaust as we observe the Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Holocaust is the term that refers to the tragedy of the World War II, specifically the ethnic
cleansing carried out by the Nazis. Counting around 11 million deaths, it is undoubtedly one of the
most horrendous crimes committed against humanity. Holocaust encompasses the time period from 1938
to 1945; its victims range from Jews to physically disabled. Singled out as the primary target,
the Jewish people suffered around 6 million deaths during the Holocaust, that being nearly 65%
of European Jewry. However, they were not the only ones.
Germans sought to really “cleanse” the human race. They targeted all the people who were
somehow different from their “norms”. 5 million people other than Jews were killed during the
Holocaust; these included homosexuals, gypsies, disabled, Jehova’s witnesses and Polish people,
the list goes on and on. Asides from all the deaths, Nazis are famous for notorious experiments
that they performed on “lower” races in and outside of their concentration camps. They tore apart
families, often making parents watch their children being escorted to the gas chambers. 11 million
people fled during the Holocaust, imagine how many lost their families.
On May 2nd you will see black tablecloths and burning candles on them. You can
also see some movies and statistics. When you do see this, stop for just a second and think about
those 11 million. If anything good can ever come out of the Holocaust, let it be the lesson for future
generations. This lesson can be summarized in words of Martin Niemoller, an anti-Nazi German
‘ First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist.
Then they cane for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”