Holocaust Memorial Day 2017
Our lives can change in an instant. Time and unforeseen occurrences can befall us all. 99.9% of the time we don’t worry about it. We wake every morning and go about our own familiar routine. Life in the first world for most of us is relatively easy. We have a voice, we have an opinion and we allowed to air them. We are allowed to choose our own lifestyle and can worship or practice whatever religion we feel compelled too, or not! Most of us simply exist and we are quite happy to do this.
Now imagine this…
One day there is an announcement by the government, it’s breaking news, everyone is talking about it. Everyone who is “different” has to sign a register. By “different” of course anyone who does not conform to that government. Anyone who is foreign, has different colour skin, has a disability, is not a member of the state church or maybe anyone that believes in God, anyone who leads an alternative lifestyle or just anyone who does not fit in? What would your reaction be? Would you have to sign the register?
We remember the Holocaust and we think of all the people who died because one man decided that those people should not belong in the world. He called it Ethnic Cleansing.
This years theme is: How can life go on?
Three people spring into my head when I think about this theme.
For the VICTIM of course life does not go on. They are the fodder. They die for no reason just on the whim of those in power. It is the family and friends of the victim that have to go on.
The PERPETRATOR now here is mixed bag. Of course it begins with the one who gives the order, but what about those who follow the orders? They follow the orders because if they don’t they become the victim. It doesn’t make it right but that’s what a lot of people do they go along with who ever holds the power. Simply because they are selfish and they are looking at saving their own skin. When that person loses power, who will protect them then?
The SURVIVOR who was once the victim. They have to pick up their lives after their ordeal. They are the ones who have to voice their experiences, they have to tell whoever will listen what they were forced to experience. Forced to live back in a society that only a short time since refused to acknowledge their existence. To live side by side next to those who once spit at them in the streets, who turned them into the authorities when all they were trying to do was protect their families. People who they once trusted, who used to smile at them in the street, who turned into enemies under the influence of a tyrannical leader and then wanted to see them exterminated.
How can you go back and live with those people?
How Can Life Go ON?
Life goes on and it does carry on but anyone that lives through a traumatic experience is never the same again.
For those of us who read the experiences of those in the Holocaust, Darfur, Bosnia, Rwanda and Cambodia, we all should take heed. Ethnic Cleansing has occurred on more than one occasion and unfortunately it could happen again. Who will you be? Victim, Perpetrator, Survivor? Hopefully, you will be a voice. The voice of one who refuses to participate in the annihilation of another human being.
Life can only go on… once we find a way to live in peace with each other. Once we all realise that no matter the colour of our skin, our ethnic background etc… that we are all basically the same and that everyone has the right to live in this world.