If only people had taken a stand, if only the world had not stood by until it was too late. These series of poems share the many feelings and horrors of the Holocaust and why it is so important for us to stand up, "First they came for the Jews/ and I did not speak out/because I was not a Jew" (Neimoller). This stanza alone shares how one reacted to this horrible state of war. What if we were trained to stand up against wrongdoings, instead of follow? Our children must learn to stand up for themselves, and just as importantly for others. If we don't learn from the Holocaust this type of prejudice is not far from our doorsteps.
The Holocaust was one of the largest genocides on record to date with over 6 million of the intended targets being killed, but it is not the only genocide in history. One of the most important things to remember, is that it is our duty to stop future genocides and not let history repeat itself, "When I see media reports and learn about the thousands of families throughout the world struggling for religious freedom, and desperate to find safety because of religious persecution, it brings me back to another time when my family and millions of others were persecuted because of our religion" (Weiss). Genocide is not gone, it isn't in the past, and the world must pay attention to what is going on and stop potential disasters before they can have devastating impacts on people. It's important for the world to keep watch on those leaders that might not have their whole society's best interests at heart. The world can not allow for prejudice to rule.
In this video Holocaust survivors gather to discuss how the memory and the lessons of the Nazi atrocities can be passed on to future generations. Our world can't afford to forget what has happened in the past as one survivor states, "I am a lucky man to be here today and I hope that people will remember the Holocaust" (Bennett). As our society becomes divided it's important to have empathy for those that are different as we all have basic human rights to live in peace. If our youth, our future leaders, have never learned about the horrible actions of past leaders, they will be unable to see future events coming. It is important for everyone to learn and honor those that have survived the Holocaust.
All humans deserve their basic needs met, to live one's life as they see fit, and to live without fear. This is not an unreasonable request, however Jewish inmates of concentration camps did not have these luxuries, "inmates usually worked 12 hours a day with hard physical work, clothed in rags, eating too little and always living under the risk of corporal punishment" ("Holocaust: A Call to Conscience"). It is hard to believe in this day and age that this actually happened, yet prejudice surrounds us on a daily basis. As a global community, we cannot afford to forget what prejudice can lead others to do, and society needs to assure that these horrors will not impact a people ever. Society needs to learn from one mistake to keep future atrocities from happening.
One doesn't survive the Holocaust and return to life as normal. The effects are multifaceted, "the prospect of rebuilding their lives was daunting" (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Often individuals were afraid to go back to their original homes due to fear and continued trauma; many were still treated poorly and there were still hate groups. Emigration to other countries was limited and difficult, leaving many homeless. Survivors of the Holocaust had many battles still to overcome after the war was over.