Shawn Harding
Founder of The Holocaust Blueprint

The lost but not forgotten

Memorial Monday

I’m very upset about the whole situation, because how can you be indifferent to so much suffering? How can you watch indifferently when they deport people you know, the sick, the elderly, and the children?[1]

The Holocaust saw the death of six million Jewish people, of which, many victims remain unnamed today. However, just because they remain unnamed does not mean they are to be forgotten. I read a translation of an unknown girl’s diary from the Łódź ghetto; we do not know her name, but her words remain powerfully poignant. Allow these words to be the be the words of the lost but not forgotten. We must never forget.

Right now they are deporting people on welfare. People are in a state of panic. And this hunger. A struggle against death from starvation. Life is terrible, living conditions are abominable, and there is no food. It’s our bureaucrats who should be blamed for this. They were stealing from our provisions and let food rot. So nobody could get it. And now we are under sentence of death from starvation and are at the mercy of fortune. We see how death takes new victims every day. You need a vast amount of money to buy anything. How do you get it? Everything is so costly. On the street bread costs seventy reichmarks.[2]

The words that she wrote strike deep at the core of humanity. Human beings – children, men, women, and the elderly – dying of starvation every single day as the Nazis kept them locked away from civilization. Treated expendably, Jews were worked to death with miniscule food rations to try and survive day-to-day. Children – the most innocent of humanity – suffered terribly at the hands of a regime that was filled with hatred. Her words are a stark reminder of how important it is that we support people who are struggling to live, and those who are under occupation of a murderous regime committing a genocide of any level. As fellow humans, it is upon us to give all we can to those who need it, because our blessings in life include the life that we do have. This anonymous girl writes about her struggles and how it impacts their family life.

Today I had a fight with my father. I swore at him, even cursed him. It happened because yesterday I weighed twenty decagrams of zacierki and then sneaked a spoonful… My father started yelling at me and he was right… I became very upset and cursed my father. What have I done? I regret it so much, but it can’t be undone… We would be a happy family, if I didn’t fight with everybody. All the fights are started by me. I must be manipulated by some evil force. I would like to be different, but I don’t have a strong enough will. There is nobody I can talk to. Why isn’t there anybody who would guide me, why can’t anybody teach me?[3]

We collectively bear the duty to ensure that children across the world are safe and have a future, and the Holocaust serves as an example of what happens when the world remains silent in the face of hatred. She may remain unnamed, but her struggle was real. Her anonymity only serves to amplify the pain of knowing that children remained victimized, and we may never know their names. Victims suffered egregiously, and we may never be able to write their name down on a memorial. It is because of this that we must never forget – not only our families and those we know who died, but the countless victims who died that remain unknown. As a civilization we owe it to the victims to never forget, and we owe it to ourselves to cherish every moment of life that we have.

Her diary ends abruptly. A symbolic reminder of how quickly lives were taken with no regard to their beauty. A reminder of how hatred can control man and give them the power to commit egregious atrocities that continue to rattle humanity centuries after.

Right now they are deporting families. Sixty husbands or children[4]

[1][2][3][4] Alexandra Zapruder (Editor) – Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust.

About the Author
Shawn Harding is the founder of The Holocaust Blueprint. Shawn works to create educational materials for free for users across the world to visualize the Holocaust and obtain information in relation to it.
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