Sunday, 29 January 2017

Nerd Church - Never Ever Forget

Human beings can be horrific to each other. That's why we must never forget.

Holocaust Memorial Day last Friday reminded many people of the atrocities committed by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. It's a lesson that we can't afford to forget.




Dachau memorial






We have to be willing to learn the lessons of those past days.

In order to do that, we have to force ourselves to remember how this happened - what led to the murder of so many.






Over the past few years, I've contributed to several projects to preserve historical documents digitally - including Holocaust records.

What's chilling about many of the records is their straightforward nature. This is the bureaucracy of genocide - a well-oiled machine of paperwork and permits.







It hits home, though, just what it is you're looking at, when you see the same date of death recorded for every member of the same family, or when you see record after record marked with the year 1942 as its final date.

Or when you look into the eyes of a Jewish girl your age in the picture on her identity papers - she's working as a secretary, she's dressed smartly, hair neatly curled.

Her smile is sweet but slightly mischievous. 

And you know she probably died soon after.

And she's full of life in her picture. And you realise she deserves to be remembered - not just because of what happened to her, but because of her.

And because no-one should have been able to take that life from her.







The Holocaust did not begin with murder. It began with the gradual erosion of human rights. It began with prejudice and hate.

It began with cataloguing people; registering them, restricting them, seeing them as somehow inferior. That can't happen again.






To educate yourself about the holocaust, there can be no better place to start than the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website.

You can learn more about the project I talked about - the World Memory Project - here.









12 comments:

  1. This is an event in history that I will never, ever forget. I've learnt about through all of my years of studying history at school, and the most harrowing memory I have is in grade 10 when we were learning about it in depth, my history teacher collects historical relics and such, and she actually had a nazi armband to show us. And she told us, that she'd pass it around the class for us to look at, but if any of us dared to put it on, she would break down in front of the class in tears, which she had done before. Idk that moment really showed me the power of how a group of people caused so much shift on our history.

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    1. Glad to hear your teacher understood the importance - she clearly made an impact on you!

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  2. It can be so hard to look back and really reflect on horrific moments in history such as these - but it is so important that we do so as well... thank you for this reminder.

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    1. And thank you for your insightful comment! :)

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  3. This is an amazing post and thank you for writing it. I homeschooled, and we did like an entire year focusing on WWII and it was actually the best reading so much about it and just learning. (And by "best" I don't mean that the STUFF was the best, of course, I meant I really like to be educated and know things and this was so so good for that.) It's heartbreaking. WWII rips me up so much. I seriously hope history isn't on the road repeating itself...

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    1. I really can't add anything to that - 100% agree!

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. spam comment removed (and anyone who would spam a Holocaust memorial post with an ad for testosterone products is the scum of the earth.)

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. spam comment removed (and again, if you want to spam a Holocaust memorial post, you are scum)

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  6. You write "It began with cataloguing people; registering them, restricting them, seeing them as somehow inferior. That can't happen again."
    Which makes my blood run cold because it's EXACTLY what's happening in the US & UK with Muslims. Please God, not again...

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    1. I really can't add more than that. I totally agree.

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