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Remembering the Holocaust

Jan. 27 marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz death camp. DW-WORLD readers comment on what needs to be done to keep the memory alive.

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Few survivors remain

Perhaps one of the best ways to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive is to remember the story of Anne Frank. Your piece ("Anne Frank: The Face of the Holocaust") was beautifully poetic in its simplicity and its honesty. The story of Anne Frank will, I trust, be remembered for as long as we have hearts to love and sorrows to grieve. Thanks again for the article. -- Laurence Hicks

I think that those of us who live in the United States should pay more attention to what happened in Nazi Germany. We have people in this country who believe that George Bush was sent to us by God and for that reason can do no wrong. This is the same way many Germans thought of Adolf Hitler during World War II. -- Lee Davis

Das ehemalige Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau in Polen während der Gedenkfeier zum 60. Jahrestag der Befreiung durch die Sowjetarmee

The sky is lit over the collapsed crematorium in the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Jan. 27, 2005 during the commemoration for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp

I think that the discussion of the Holocaust is very limited because of non-Jewish people being so fearful of being accused of anti-Semitism. Truly, the Holocuast is a lesson about anti-Semitism in a closed view but in an open mind it is really a lesson about racism and ultra-nationalism. Constantly linking the Holocaust to anti-Semitism undermines the abilities of all people to point out and deal with injustices of race and ultra-nationalism. It is a voice that needs a balance. It is important not to confuse critics of Israel's political policies and government, with anti-Semites. In many cases, the harshness of Israeli policy, and the injustices caused by it, are ignored because of this. Rational people cannot hold Israel accountable for its actions. The result is that supporters of the Israeli policy in the Middle-East simply have a louder voice that leaves many others, those affected by racism and similar injustices, crying in the dark. Who can speak up for the millions upon millions of genocide and racism victims in the current world? We have a collective responsibility to take care of all people and protect their human rights. We should never use the injustices of the past as an excuse to isolate and empower ourselves in a manner that allows us to seek revenge and perpetrate similar acts against other groups of people. Reflect as one people, not as Jews, Germans, Palestinians, Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hutus, Tutsis and so on. Holocaust aniversary and reflection offers a valuable voice on the world stage. Give others respect for their struggles and losses of the past as well. Please use the voice to demonstrate the need for compassion and justice for all people in the world. -- Chris Battochio, Canada

The Holocaust is not relevant as long as the killing fields of Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq exist. When the US and its allies and the Israeli forces cease their onslaught of the innocent men, women and children of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, then someone can say that they have heeeded the lessons of the Nazi Holocaust. Otherwise nothing has changed. -- Kenneth T. Tellis, Canada

No I don't think enough is being done to remember the Holocaust or its survivors. The main fault lies with the school systems, because most people have entrusted the schools to teach our children what is important. When I was going to school, I learned nothing of the world wars nor the Holocaust. Most of the history we studied involved memorizing meaningles dates, battles and names. There was no "human connection." It has only been through homeschooling my own child that I have developed any understanding of, interest in or compassion for the plight of the persecuted Jews in that ugly part of history. There are still survivors, and children and grandchildren of survivors. Many of them yearn to share their history. The Jews are a proud lot with a long history, and those that wish to share it with the world should be encouraged to teach our children well. -- Hellen

Gedenken an Befreiung von Auschwitz vor 60 Jahren

German President Horst Köhler bows in front of a memorial for the victims of the Auschwitz death camp

The tragedy of Auschwitz should be a lesson for all peoples, not only for Europeans. Unfortunately in anti-Semitic, totalitarian countries, where knowledge of the horrors of the Holocaust is needed the most, Auschwitz can only be a lesson if it is allowed to be "a lesson" in schools. As an American teacher teaching in an Egyptian English-speaking school, I witnessed one of the grossest atrocities of my teaching career. The school had disected the American-published highschool history textbooks so that all the pages referring to the Holocaust were removed and their page numbers blackened out in the index. In the Middle East, teaching the Holocaust is not allowed, as they feel it validates the creation of Israel. Having lived in the region for many years, I can tell you this is the norm in schools here, not a gross unique case. The responsibility to teach the lessons of Auschwitz lies not only on the shoulders of the Europeans but on the shoulders of all those priviledged enough to come from countries where the unedited version of history is made public knowledge. -- Monique


Slave labor compensation

The amount that is being given as compensation for Germany's forced slave labor is not enough . . . the health issues arising with age due to immense negligent health and welfare inflicted, the emotional scars that have been set deep into the soul, and the precious loss of life's years seem to have little value with the way the compensation has awarded. My mother receives less than $40 (€30.6) a month, and my dad is still awaiting some sort of payment -- although both have physical paper proof of their confinement and labor abuse. The media gives more words than there is strength to recognize the humans that have suffered and now must wait for menial restitution. -- Mary Jane Kymer







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