A forgetful world must remember (NEW YORK DAILYNEWS EDITORIAL) 01/27/05)
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As we mark today the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
by Red Army troops, it behooves us all to hear the words currently
echoing through the Duma, or lower house of the Russian Parliament:
Jews provoke anti-Semitism. All Jewish organizations are extremist
and should be banned. The entire democratic world is under the
financial and political control of the Jews. Jews stage attacks
against their own community as a provocation so they can blame
others. And so on.
Those stomach-turning proclamations were part of a letter sent Jan.
13 to the prosecutor general by 20 Duma members. Granted, it´s 20 out
of 450 and the letter has been withdrawn, but the very fact that
those assertions were made in an official context rings as a warning
that virulent and dangerous anti-Semitism lives on.
There are still many who would deny the Holocaust, and today´s
gathering of world leaders at the death camp in Poland will likely do
little to dissuade them. The deniers refuse to see, and so they will
not see. Many others simply hate, with the young particularly
vulnerable to being infected by anti-Semitism.
A U.S. State Department report released this month made clear that
the lessons of Auschwitz must be handed down through the generations.
Far too many, particularly in Europe, have little or no grasp of the
horrors of the Holocaust. They care even less about educating
themselves, and their governments are not especially perturbed by
ignorance that gives way to intolerance. Example: In Norway, Jews who
displayed Stars of David or the Israeli flag were barred from
Kristallnacht commemorations. How´s that for cruel irony?
On Tuesday, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder issued a
warning. "The evil of Nazi ideology did not come from nowhere," he
said. "Nazi ideology was desired by people and man-made."
The people who desired and made it share responsibility for the 1.5
million prisoners - most of them Jews - murdered at Auschwitz. When
that camp and the others were liberated and the world stood witness,
the obscenities of the Nazi regime seemed almost inconceivable. But
they were real. Now, 60 years later, an abominable number of people
are spreading, or willing to accept, loathsome prejudice. And
righteous men and women must stand together with one common
thought: "Never again!" Never. No matter what it takes. (© 2005 Daily
News, L.P. 01/27/05)
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