Minute Meditation: Why Remember the Shoah, the Holocaust?

A New Translation

As often as the opportunity presents itself in my university courses, I shall remind my students of the Shoah, the Holocaust, the mass insanity of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the Nazis), leading to the senseless murders of the Jewish people. I feel a duty, a responsibility, to teach university students, because of my studies of Elie Wiesel and Viktor Frankl. As Wiesel wrote, when he first arrived at the concentration camps at the age of 15, observing the crematoria and remembering it until his death at the age of 87,

“NEVER AGAIN SHALL I FORGET that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
“Never shall I forget that smoke.
“Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under the night sky….”

Frankl also experienced the “living hell” of the concentration camps. For example, remembering Auschwitz, he wrote about the dual capacity of human beings for good and evil, observing,

“Our generation has come to know man as he really is: the being that has invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz, and also the being who entered those gas chambers upright, the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”
Psychotherapy and Existentialism.

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