© 2015 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
Humanity is capable of great darkness. This column normally focuses on the Good, the Light, and whatever helps us to live in a joyful and fulfilling way. Lasting health, vitality, and great relationships come from this approach to livingness. But occasionally, although it causes great stress for good people, we must name the Dark, or the Evil, to be able to deal with it more ably when we must.
Around 80 years ago, a political party called the Nazi party rose to power in Germany. A Nazi officer’s daughter tells me it began as something like the Republican party is in the USA today. All the fashionistas wanted to belong. It was new. It was fresh. It was anti-church. The Nazis connected with Germany’s military, and soon, they were aggressively taking over countries in Europe. The Nazis were the terrorists of their day, absolute and brutal. And they collected people to hate. Hate helps to galvanize people, to enflame people’s passions, to get them to sign up for your cause.
Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party, hated Jews, the mentally ill, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, the handicapped, Russian prisoners of war, and many others. He had thousands (not a dozen, as many are told) of “concentration camps” for those he thought were undesirables. He wanted to cleanse the bloodline of the “Aryan Race” by killing all others. Actually, that “race” did not exist, Hitler had Jewish forbears, and Hitler had a cousin in a mental institution. Until that very cousin was taken to the camps.
For a short memoir of the detainees’ experience of the camps, read the short version of Elie Wiesel’s Night. There is also a very long version for those who can handle the details. Over 5.8 million Jews, and a million or more others, were exterminated in the camps or died of starvation, exposure or medical experiments. On January 27th, 1945, Russian forces liberated the Auschwitz 1 death camp, the primary extermination facility.
The Nazi extermination experiment is now called simply, “The Holocaust”, or “Shoah”, Hebrew for “catastrophe”. The camp is now a museum, and January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. If you are a person of faith, please pray for those who lost their lives, for their loved ones, and for the memory of the Holocaust to be so strong that it can never happen again.
Following is a statement from the White House, from President Barack Obama, on this Holocaust Remembrance Day 2015.
Statement by the President on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau
On the tenth International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the American people pay tribute to the six million Jews and millions of others murdered by the Nazi regime. We also honor those who survived the Shoah, while recognizing the scars and burdens that many have carried ever since.
Honoring the victims and survivors begins with our renewed recognition of the value and dignity of each person. It demands from us the courage to protect the persecuted and speak out against bigotry and hatred. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris serve as a painful reminder of our obligation to condemn and combat rising anti-Semitism in all its forms, including the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust.
This anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made confronting this terrible chapter in human history and on our continuing efforts to end genocide. I have sent a Presidential delegation to join Polish President Komorowski, the Polish people, official delegations from scores of nations, and many survivors, at today’s official commemoration in Poland.
As a founding member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the United States joins the Alliance’s thirty other member nations and partners in reiterating its solemn responsibility to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration. We commemorate all of the victims of the Holocaust, pledging never to forget, and recalling the cautionary words of the author and survivor of Auschwitz Primo Levi, “It happened, therefore it can happen again. . . . It can happen anywhere.” Today we come together and commit, to the millions of murdered souls and all survivors, that it must never happen again.
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- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition(http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc ). Her newest book is Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com.
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