« Barring the doors | Main | As We Forgive our Enemies »

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27, 2009
By Catherine Larson

In 2005, the UN General Assembly declared January 27th as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day to honor the victims of the Nazi era. This day is the 64th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. And on this day, we honor the millions of Jews and other victims of the Holocaust.

I think it is also a fitting day to examine our own hearts for places where we’ve let resentment, hatred or prejudice take root. When we begin to move in our thinking about a person from specific instances of wrongdoing to absolute statements like “he always” or “she never,” we turn people into caricatures of themselves. And a caricature is the first-step in the process of dehumanization. That caricature enables us to harden our hearts toward someone. And when our hearts become hard, there is no room for empathy, for shared understanding. A world without empathy is a world where Aushwitz is possible.  But a world where we continually remember the shared humanity of our brothers and sisters is a world where the possibility of Aushwitz crumbles. 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

4gb sd card

The Holocaust also reminds us of the crimes of genocide committed since World War II," Assembly President Jan Eliasson said after the resolution was adopted without a vote. "It must, therefore, be a unifying historic warning around which we must rally, not only to recall the grievous crimes committed in human history but also to reaffirm our unfaltering resolve to prevent the recurrence of such crimes.

The comments to this entry are closed.