The Holocaust, which is considered to be one of the most brutal acts committed in the history of mankind, took 6 million human lives for the sole reason that they were Jewish. The Holocaust shows the darkest part of humanity, a part that rarely surfaces but is extremely destructive when it does. It all began when people started relinquishing their own thoughts and eating up every hateful anti-Semitic word that Adolf Hitler spoke, turning their backs on or even encouraging the deaths of their Jewish friends and an estimated six million other Jews killed in the Holocaust. All over Germany and many of its neighboring countries Jews were rounded up and transported in conditions unfit for animals to concentration camps. In these concentration camps the dislocated Jews underwent a brutal selection where Hitler’s S.S. picked out the Jews that they believed were fit to work and sent the rest immediately to the gas chambers or crematoriums.
Those Jews that passed the selection were sent to work camps where the conditions were so horrible that death was often preferable. They lost all of their personal possessions to the Nazis and were forced to work all day often on a stomach filled only with two bowls of soup and a piece of bread that was as hard as brick. The prisoners of the work camps were given only one article of clothing which was never allowed to be washed, and slept in crowded bunks with only one blanket per person. The Holocaust was a disaster of unprecedented scale, one that could have been avoided but was not, one of humanity’s gravest errors. In honor of those who were killed during and survived the Holocaust we must as students of this generation keep the stories of the Holocaust alive in the minds of both ourselves and others as well as fight the evils of racism and discrimination which still exist in our world today.
It is the opinion of many that history is doomed to repeat itself unless we study it and learn from it, a principal that applies perhaps much more to the Holocaust than many other things. We must devote ourselves to learning as much as we can of and from the Holocaust; researching it and talking to those who survived it while we can still learn from those who have firsthand experience of it. We live in a very privileged generation, one who did not have to live through the Holocaust but are still able to hear from those who have. It is vital that we take their knowledge and pass down the story of the Holocaust as an example of how truly horrifying Genocide is. It is our duty to ensure that these stories are passed down because if we don’t, who will? We must pass down the horrible stories like the stories of Josef Mengele’s experiments as well as the inspiring stories of heroes like Oscar Schindler who risked their own lives and fortunes to save Jews from extermination. We must never let the stories of the Holocaust fade from our memories or we will be risking future genocides of the same or even greater magnitude. As well as learning about the Holocaust to prevent it we must learn about it so that we can truly honor the memories of those who were killed by Hitler’s deluded acts. We should show great respect for those who both died from and survived the Holocaust, for they have suffered ten men’s sufferings and their suffering should take great pains to try to ensure that their suffering was not in vain.
Although a great deal of our responsibility to prevent a recurrence Holocaust lies in keeping everyone well-informed about the Holocaust we must also fight to prevent prejudice racism and discrimination today. We must fight against racist groups and force ourselves beyond our racial comfort zone to intermingle with people of other races. The people of the world today hold many prejudices, many of them racial, and some which the person who holds them doesn’t even realize that they have. Much of what we think about someone is based upon their looks which are the first thing that we notice when we meet them. Although we cannot force ourselves to notice other things first we should try to remember to judge them not on what we gather from their looks but rather by what they say and who they are. We are all human beings created equal and deserving of racial equality, and when we see someone being discriminated against we must remember what even the most joking and seemingly harmless discrimination can be become. All of the people of our generation should actively prevent racism and discrimination, telling off those who practice it and helping protect and comfort those who have suffered from it.
In fulfilling these two tasks we will be honoring those who suffered in the Holocaust as well as ensuring a better and brighter future for ourselves and for the future generations to come. By passing down the stories of the Holocaust and taking a stand against racism we will be taking one step closer down the path to a better future, a future where everyone will think before they act, where they will remember the mistakes of the past, the mistakes of the Holocaust. If we strive to achieve these goals we will be able to turn the evils of the Holocaust into a turning point of human history, an event so horrible that is held dearly to many as the event that ended genocide and racism forever. For those who suffered at the ghettos, the concentration camps, the work camps and the death camp whose sufferings echo through the decades that separate us we must strive to do these things to honor, preserve, and protect their stories and sufferings.