History is only a teacher if you listen well
The Holocaust was terrible. It showed us a dark side of humanity we weren’t all willing to believe. It proved any one of us can succumb to cancerous ideologies of hatred and bigotry. I regard all genocide memorials as a warning to the human race: be mindful of messages of hate, for they are usually followed with violence and destruction.
I’m an idealist, so in my mind, the best way to avoid another potential holocaust is to make sure all human beings are properly respected, regardless of creed, race, and sexuality. It’s why I find it so tragic that a New York Holocaust memorial has become yet another victim of the bigoted attitudes of religious Orthodoxy.
Dov Hikind’s mother was in Auschwitz, and he refuses to allow other groups that also suffered at the hands of the Nazis from sharing the memorial.
“These people are not in the same category as Jewish people with regards to the Holocaust,” Hikind said following a press conference at the memorial. “It is so vastly different. You cannot compare political prisoners with Jewish victims.”
Hikind is upset because the memorial wanted to honor the tens of thousands of homosexuals, disabled, and Jehovah’s Witnesses who were also killed. In total 5 million people, who had no connection with Jews at all, were also massacred. It’s not something we tend to hear about very often, and it’s an oversight many are trying to correct.
Much of the attention to the Holocaust has been paid to the Jews, and with good merit; they suffered the most through the ordeal. It does not, however, excuse the behavior of some of their descendants who have decided the memories of other minorities are not ‘in the same category’ as their own. Last time I checked, no one likes getting killed, and the lessons of the Holocaust aren’t only ‘don’t kill the Jews’. I know human history is ripe with genocides (too many to count, really), but we should treat every single death seriously indeed.
Dov Hikind’s rejection of other ethnic groups to the memorial makes me sick. He’s just the latest addition on my growing ‘Wall of Shame‘. You’re a sad man, Dov. Your mother was a victim of crazed ideologues. Do you not think you dishonor her memory by refusing to recognize the tragedy of death simply because some of the victims were gay, or another religion? History is a teacher, but you can only learn from it if you listen closely enough. Otherwise, you find yourself repeating the same patterns, again and again…