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Remember

There are many days in the calendar that history won't forget. But does history remember January 27, 1945? Auschwitz, the concentration camp in which over one million Jews perished during the Holocaust, was liberated that day.

The Shoah, or Holocaust, has always had special meaning to me. I don't know if its because I'm a Jew, or if its because my son's paternal family was so directly affected, or because such unthinkable history is too horrific to absorb. Whatever the reason, it is no easier to page through pictures, or read narratives or watch documentaries than it was the first time I did so.

Auschwitz is, for me, the heartbeat of the horror. More Jews were brought here. More lives were taken here. Joseph Mengele conducted his medical experiments here. All that was the Holocaust was here.

I have often wondered what it would have been like to have been on a train that led to the gates of Auschwitz. What would I have heard? What would I have seen? What would I have smelled? How would I have felt if I was selected for the gas chamber-or worse yet, to work and live amidst the most unimaginable, the most unspeakable terror?

There simply is nothing to say, and even silence is inadequate. I continue to force myself to read, to listen, to review the stories and pictures and accounts of the Shoah. Perhaps, somewhere deep down, I'm waiting to wake up from what must be a nightmare and realize that this never did happen. In reality, though, I know that, as George Santayana remarked, "The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again."

May we all honor those whom were lost in Auschwitz, and those who were liberated on January 27, 1945. May we never forget.


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