Reference to the singularity of Jewish victimhood in the Holocaust should be an essential element of all Holocaust education and commemorative activities.
While it is right and commendable to recognize the suffering of so many other innocent victims of Nazi genocide and persecution, specific mention of Jewish suffering during the Shoah must not be overlooked.
As has been stated by many: Anti-semitism wasn’t a minor aspect of Nazi Germany’s policies – it lay at the very core of their worldview. Referencing Jewish suffering during the Holocaust reflects the fact that of all the groups persecuted, only the Jews were targeted for complete annihilation, regardless of age, geography or material threat to Nazi Germany.
The Nazi war on the Jewish people, in its motivation, scope and methodology was unparalleled and unprecedented in human history.
Not emphasizing this historical reality, may give credence to those “soft Holocaust deniers” who accuse the Jewish people of claiming unwarranted special recognition and treatment. In fact, it was Nazi Germany who “elevated” the Jewish people to the most supreme level of persecution.
January 27th was chosen by the United Nations to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, because it was the day Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by Soviet troops. Of the 1.1 million of Auschwitz’s murdered victims, 1 million were Jews. This is not a trivial or accidental detail – but one that reflects the Nazi belief that the Jews were the ultimate enemies of all humanity.
Omitting any reference to the overwhelming loss of Jewish life during the Holocaust, further magnifies the pain of the survivors, whose family members were murdered for only one reason: They were Jewish.
We invite all people of good will to join us on the March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoah, to witness firsthand the evidence of Nazi atrocities toward the Jewish people and so many other innocent victims, and our commitment to remember the tragic events of our past and build a better future for all humanity.