Anna Smolsky

5 things Holocaust took from us

What do we know about holocaust, especially gen z when every year there are less and less survivors alive among us? And how do we get our knowledge about the most horrific genocide of jews? Films by Steven Spielberg, “Boy in stripped pajamas” or “Book thief” books?

Holocaust took lives of at least 6 millions and with these people we have lost their culture, talents and everything that they gained and carefully preserved for generations of their families and communities. It took the whole world that we will never be able to see.

Local culture of jewish communities

Even though Judaism is a universal religion, every community had it special traditions, customs that they perished for centuries. But then the Nazis erased whole towns and the culture with them. Today the word shtetl became the term used in the history class but not as a part of jewish life and culture.

painting of V. Lubarov “My name is Tevye”

Jewish art

During the occupation of territories, Nazis and their collaborators took not only jewish lives but also their property and art. Jewish artist were considered as degenerates and many modernist artworks were destroyed. The property of jewish art collectors was looted and till this day we don’t know where the hundreds of stolen masterpieces are.

Science and medicine

How many doctors and scientist were in the line that led to the gas cameras, how many of them died from the diseases in the concentration camps we will never know. The humanity buried with them potential discoveries in the fields of medicine, physics, biology and much more. It could have been a treatment for cancer, solution for numerous science problems, whether other living creatures inhabited the galaxy and how universe was created.

Unborn children

The people who had miraculously survived had faced afterwards poor health due harsh conditions during the war. It was my grand grandmother Fanya, who could not have more than one pregnancy and died at a young age. Other women were less lucky and could not have children at all, due to typhus and other diseases a lot of them suffered from.

Trust in people

The most shocking in the Holocaust was not even the hate towards Jews but indifference. Indifference of neighbors, who lived for years alongside, indifference of international community, which did not pay much attention to the biggest genocide, indifference of immigration policies, which restricted jews from seeking shelter in Britain and USA before and during the war. Indifference that made it so easy to slaughter 6 million people in 20th century made it hard to believe in humanity after the war has ended.

There are way more things we have lost due to Holocaust, things that were destroyed with unjustified hate and violence. We can only remember and preserve the memory for the future generations, so the history will not repeat itself once more. NEVER AGAIN IS NOW.

About the Author
Anna Smolsky is first year student at Bar Ilan University, currently studying Communications and Political Science. She made aliyah to Israel in the beginning of 2022 and all her life lived in Ukraine near Poland. Anna is keen on the topics of Zionism, Israel's population and society. In her free from the university time she works as a teacher assistant in the field of special education.She also likes reading mysteries, historic and modern fiction books.
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