“All humanity was guilty during the Holocaust of the second original sin, committed by action, omission or self-imposed ignorance.” — Jan Karski.
The Holocaust is an appalling event for humanity and for modern history. Yet there are those who dare to deny or revise it, while it is clear that in the days when these horrendous events took place, many were already denying it or accommodating it at their disposal. The Western world, in principle, has a historical memory with a double standard, for its actions during the Second Great War left much to be desired. This is the case of the Allies, i.e. the powers that fought against Hitler and his lunatic, subnormal, feverish and sickly regime, with a profound incoherence, perversion and inalienable thirst as voracious hunger against humanity, at that time personified and represented by the Jews, those outcasts, weak, exiled, different, strangers. Among their ranks, however, intellectuals and academics; scientists, literati, musicians, philosophers, doctors, businessmen, theologians and rabbis.
The Allies did not do much. There is a debt owed to the Jewish people. There is a debt to history, a debt that has yet to be fully repaid. The Allies have an unresolved role to play in the most unholy genocide our history has ever known.
The Allies, that is, the Allied powers, could have done much more for the weak, the voiceless, those who were wiped out in life, as those women, men, children, grandparents and infants, even newborns, perished in the face of indifference. While there were private individuals, in some cases diplomats and people with economic or political reach, there were also simple people who risked their lives for the lives of the persecuted, silenced and forgotten. People who, regardless of the implications of their courageous stand in the face of inhumanity and disregard by civilians, rulers, institutions and society at large, took the task so seriously that they perished on the spot.
Jan Karski, a Pole, a Catholic, a simple person, was the one who decided to risk his life for the simple reason of informing the world of the great and terrible massacre that was taking place on European territory. And not only European territory, but a nation considered to be one of the most developed on that continent.
In the holocaust, not only the souls of the 6 million dead perished, but also the souls of the surviving remnant perished, or at least were diminished. Those who survived were left without family, without fortune, without destiny. Although, some of them would become the new generation of leaders of, for example, the nascent Hebrew nation, Israel; and also to the United States, Europe and different countries in other continents, in which we would also see the constant and proactive participation, also outstanding, of course, of this new generation of Jewish leaders who came at a certain moment to be almost totally lost, but who, nevertheless, their capacity for resilience and survival, turned them into this and into a reference, in countless cases, in contemporary history.
Despite the refusal of the allied nations to mobilise in favour of life, the remnant of Israel, “Sheerit Hapleitah” in Hebrew, would take over the reins of a territory left behind by 2000 years of abandonment, conquest and various disputes, conquest and various disputes and turn it into a modern Jewish nation, in what the pioneers of Zionism had dreamed of several years ago under the idea of a Jewish national home, which until then had remained practically pariahs or temporary and even timeless residents among the nations.
But why did the Allies not react in time to such genocide? Well, within the same Allied nations that fought Nazism, there were sympathisers to that cause with reference to the Jewish question. As bad as it sounds and as politically unsound as it was, there were particular individuals bent on maintaining a gratuitous and subtle hatred against the Jews.
Not a few knew and understood the real situation in Europe and specifically in the concentration and extermination camps, the same ones that the Nazis had erected in order to eradicate the people of Israel from the face of the earth. The lack of common sense and awareness with which many took the subject of the Jewish genocide, means that, to this day, there is a gap in this history. There was a deep knowledge in some cases of what happened, with evidence, testimonies and even details. This was silenced, as the outcome they expected was surely another, which in fact they came quite close to. A clear and concise knowledge about the Nazis’ plans for the Jews and likewise their plan to make it a reality.
The British minister Anthony Eden himself admitted it. Not only he, but also people who were eyewitnesses of that perverse episode in our history, today there is a small relief and in the end a vindication for the victims, many of them unknown and forgotten, but the lack of memory is no longer necessary, because the world already knows, even though some deny it or want to tell it in their own way, trying to change the story in most cases, what really happened. The world’s silence about the persecution and extermination of the Jews in the Europe of terror does not mean that this did not happen, but rather the opposite. It confirms that there was indifference and complicity on the part of individuals and nations, which in the end could do nothing more than accept the truth, and the truth is and was only one.
The fact that there were those who did not want to accept the events as they unfolded and their purpose, and beyond that, wanted to hide what was happening, does not mean that it did not happen, much less that the efforts of those who tried to make such a situation visible were in vain, for their memory is eternal, as is the memory of the victims that endures within Israel and within every Jew in the world, as well as the memory of humanity close to this cause. Moreover, the Nazis and their ideology, their collaborators and sympathisers as well as those indifferent to their atrocious crimes, would perish into oblivion. On the other hand, the testimony of the victims and eyewitnesses will last forever.