This past Tuesday, the entire world observed the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, on the date of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by a Soviet soldier on January 27, 1945. Most of the people know, or at least have heard, about the terrible atrocities that took place in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Around 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, but also political opponents, prisoners of war, homosexuals and Roma, were psychologically and physically tortured and killed in extermination camp of Auschwitz alone. The camps were constructed in 1939 as part of the “Action T4,” which programmed the extermination of what, according to the Nazi, was “life unworthy of life”.
Today the world is repelled by only the thought of the atrocities and injustice these people had to bear. Most still feel extreme anger or refusal for whoever made this happen or for those who did not try to prevent it. Nobody knows what “could have happened if…”, as well as nobody, except for the few still alive survivors, actually knows how terrible and unbearable life inside the camps was. The modern world is now trying to give the most proper and valuable gift to those who died inside the camps: remembrance. Many words have been spent on how this day should be remembered and observed. I believe men and women should think about Auschwitz and all the other similar concentration camps as one of the worst experiments of human cruelty and inhumanity the world has ever seen. It was a terrible example of what a fierce, heartless, monopolized group of people could do to another group of identical people. We should all remember the extermination as the worst, unreasonable and unjustified attempt of human annihilation.
Primo Levi, a survivor of the camps once stated:
“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.”
This is what we should think about every day, especially on the 27th of January. We should remember that we should always question ourselves about what is happening around us and what is asked us to do. It is very easy to turn into an unconscious and dreadful machine if we don’t reason and consciously control our actions. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is not only a day to remember for those who passed the way in the camps, but also those who are suffering today in terrible conditions and whose rights are still not respected. Every single time we do not speak up about current, unethical actions against mankind, we are forgetting about those in the camps, what happened to them and our own humanity.