23 Apr It comes down to you!
For the past three weeks, Tswi Herschel has been giving lectures, including one for the FOZ (Friends of Zion) Museum in Jerusalem, , that streamed a lecture on Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day. The lecture certainly did not fail to come straight to the point. Tswi thought he was giving a simple talk till the museum showed it had soon been viewed more than 30,000 times.
‘I am still speechless.’
We do understand it and respect you all the more for it, but we also know the world needs to hear your story. We don’t have to tell you why. In the midst of the Covid pandemic, society is under immense pressure and this doesn’t make people any happier or more tolerant.
We would like to present what you said at the Friends of Zion Museum on Yom Hashoah. And not just because we like how directly you made your point. We are well aware of how nice it can sound to caution people not to forget, but it has become such common practice to say things like that at memorials that it barely means anything anymore. You know how the Dutch are good at commemorating and with such sacred conviction.
Well, having the message then mainly passed on by museums is not something we are happy with either. It is safely and undoubtedly nicely translated, but not particularly effective. And we know, just as you do, that you have to do more than simply repeat the message. And that you have to take Never Again a step further, internalize the message and then have it express itself in your daily life. Show you mean it by calling out conduct that is wrong. Not hesitating and waiting for others to confirm the message, but immediately speaking out in no uncertain terms. Showing courage and acting. It comes down to YOU, so from now on it is also Up to you!
In Tswi’s words:
The aim of my lecture is to bring awareness regarding discrimination and to make one think about the consequences.
Although we are in a trans-historical moment, memory is being transformed into history, it will assist us to become more tolerant and reduce prejudice in everyday life.
‘Die Endlösung – “The Final Solution’ was a creation by the most civilized country and people of the world, Nazi Germany. It was this civilization that failed to civilize, resulting in the largest brutal Genocide ever, unique in its character, size and shape.
Today it is Yom HaShoah, we remember the liberation of Europe, Balkan, and North Africa from the devastating systematic murdering machine of the Third Reich that haunted innocent people. This day, every day is a day of awareness that we live in freedom and in a democracy.
We must learn from the dark pages of history, Nazism, to be able to determine our future. The past, the present and the future cannot be disconnected.
The dislike of the unlike, the Jews, the anti-Semitism or anti-Israel of today is to compare with the 1930ies. It reached a level which is unsustainable.
A better world can only be created based on equality, justice and certainly not on murderous hatred. This involves fighting against discrimination, homophobia, xenophobia, and antisemitism, as well as showing tolerance and respect.
With the knowledge of the Second World War, and particularly the Shoah, we should not hide anymore behind flags, populist statements, and/or claims. It is a must to evaluate all information independently and critically. Judge for yourself whether it is the truth so that we are not led or influenced by demagogues from the left or the right.
Be tolerant to those who think differently.
‘Wir haben es nicht gewust’, ‘We did not know’ You can no longer hide behind these words.
The slogan ‘NEVER AGAIN AUSCHWITZ’ can only be realized by working on it. Daily.
We should not try to explain the Holocaust. The mere fact that 1.5 million children, babies, toddlers, and teenagers were brutal, without mercy murdered in cold blood, makes it impossible to find an explanation. The question we must ask ourselves is: Where was humanity? And not where was God?! Where was humanity!!!???
Holocaust museums are not the answer, but a question mark.
Hate, negative energy, has brought nothing positive to the world we live in. From now on the moment has arrived not to discriminate against anyone, but to respect and to be tolerant. Starting Now! No not tomorrow. But Now!
It comes down to you!
*Photo: An Iris, from Tswi Herschel’s garden in Tel Mond (Israël). From Tswi to You