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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Monday Mottoes – #187

holocaust remembranceToday is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. At a set time, air raid sirens sound throughout the country and all comes to a stop. People get out of their cars, in the center of cities, in the center of highways, buses stop, pedestrians pause. Everyone stands in silence, remembering those who perished during the Nazi attempted extermination of the Jewish people. I have been part of this and unless you have experienced the total silencing of a city, save for the siren, it is beyond eerie and moving.

The rest of the world (those who know and those who care) commemorates this date Holocaust_remembrance2annually on January 27th. However, Israel sets apart “Yom haZikaron laShoah ve-l’Givora” – “Remembrance Day of the Holocaust and of Heroism” as something different. They remember the Holocaust, along with those who resisted, the heroes who fought back. Today is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

For four weeks, the 400,000 Jewish people confined to a small area of Warsaw, starving and without supplies, decided to fight against the Nazis. Poland had been conquered in 28 days, but this seemingly-small group of Jews rose up and would not be silent, fighting till the end. Today, we remember their heroism, along with those who perished, and those who lived, during the darkest of Holocaust horrors.

Which brings us to three quotes, because what may be said about the unthinkable, the unimaginable? What lessons may we learn?  Why remember?  These voices speak:

th“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ~ Elie Wiesel

“Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” yom-hashoah~ Yehuda Bauer

“There’s a long road of suffering ahead of you. But don’t lose courage. You’ve already escaped the gravest danger: selection. So now, muster your strength, and don’t lose heart. We shall all see the day of liberation. Have faith in life. Above all else, have faith. Drive out despair, and you will keep death away from yourselves. Hell is not for eternity. And now, a prayer – or rather, a piece of advice: let there be comradeship among you. We are all brothers, and we are all suffering the same fate. The same smoke floats over all our heads. Help one another. It is the only way to survive.” ~ Elie Wiesel, Night

Today, friends, help one another and have faith in life. You are not alone.

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