Dedicated schoolteachers and prominent thought leaders are forgiven for a bit of repetitiveness. One of the most oft-repeated utterances is that history has a nasty, very unpleasant and somewhat tragic habit of repeating itself. The good teachers and morally inspired leaders often lament that this is because there were people, sadly, usually only in the minority that chose to ignore the history lessons. Even in our daily lives, we are guilty of not learning lessons from history.
Good junior and high school history teachers will, at some stage or another, be taking their students to visit the Auschwitz museum. If there are any Jewish students among these groups, they are already forgiven for recoiling in horror. But in actual fact, why should they be forgiven. Let them mourn, by any means necessary. Because this visit memorializes one of the most tragic and horrific events in their religion and culture over the last hundred years or so.
We will not be repeating here what happened at the camps in Auschwitz. It would be far more appropriate at this time to light a candle in memory of those innocent lives lost at the behest of the most cruel and inhumane atrocities known to mankind. And it is sadly ironic that throughout nations’ histories many more atrocities were committed before this event. Even sadder today is the atrocities that followed Auschwitz.
Vietnam, Rwanda, Myanmar, the list is endless in recounting just how many people, those in power, the power to make a positive difference, refused to learn from history. Another saying suggests that ignorance is bliss. Let it be said today that it is not. It’s true, because just look around you and see the hate and intolerance still being practiced.