I still remember the exact moment I learned the Holocaust was real. I was in seventh grade, around twelve or thirteen years old, when my homeroom and Social Studies teacher Ms. S had us watch a movie titled Escape from Sobibor.
At the time, I didn’t know what a death camp was; I just knew that Hitler was the egotistical megalomaniac who started World War 2 and many people died because of him. I had no idea of the depth of his atrocities until after the credits began to roll and Ms. S asked us to discuss what we had seen. I can’t remember if I actually said anything or not. Knowing me, I probably did. I was a little chatterbox when I was young. But what I remember to this day was the enraptured feeling I got watching the characters in the movie plotting and planning their escape from Sobibor. The movie took me from the main characters’ arrival in Sobibor by train to the gas chambers and beyond. It showed how the prisoners’ belongings were sorted, the piles of hair from the prisoners’ shaved heads and the gold that was pried out of dental fillings. It gave a twelve year old like me the complete picture of something that should never be forgotten.
To this day, I thank Ms. S for giving me an invaluable education.
She educated me at a young age about one of the greatest atrocities in World History.
So, this week, on the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz’ liberation, I feel it’s not only important but also morally necessary to repeat a quote Winston Churchill is famous for repeating: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
I would like to go further and recommend everyone read Martin Greenfield’s fantastic article on Fox News .com: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/01/27/auschwitz-anniversary-my-mother-grandmother-were-sent-to-left-my-father-and/.
I will join the many this week in saying never forget.