Remembering the Holocaust

February 3, 2023

RFI President Eric Patterson wrote a piece published in WORLD Magazine this week reflecting on the Holocaust and the urgent need to fight against ethno-religious violence that continues to afflict our world today. Patterson writes:

Jan. 27 was set by the United Nations as International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. It was on this date in 1945 that Allied troops liberated the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Over 1,000,000 Jews were murdered at Auschwitz, part of the six million slaughtered in the Holocaust. We remember the past, in part, so that our eyes and the eyes of our own children will be open to the cruelties in the world around us.

In order to be vigilant, we must be clear about what the Holocaust was. At its heart it was the manifestation of a radical theory of Aryan supremacy that sought to subjugate other races viewed by the Nazis as intellectually, physically, and morally inferior. Nazi theory also targeted other groups that were seen as weak or deviant, such as the elderly, disabled, as well as homosexuals. But the Holocaust itself is rooted in the Nazi obsession with the Jewish people in particular. At the center of the Holocaust was hatred of the Jews.

At its heart, and this must not be forgotten, was a diabolical hatred of the Jews, just for being Jewish. Their ethno-religious identity rooted in millennia of unique, historical faith, culture, and family made them a target for torture and pillaging with a long-term eye towards the total annihilation of the Jews as a people. That is what the Holocaust was: the “systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews.” We cannot turn our eyes away from the hideous motivations and horrifying depravity of the Holocaust.

We look back with remembrance, but it must galvanize us to awareness. The targeting of minority groups for their ethno-religious identity is still part of our world today

Real the full article: “Remembering the Holocaust.”