Never again

Never again

Centers and projects that were formed to study the Jewish Holocaust and which have since elected to expand their focus to other “genocides,” past and present, should not be castigated nor negatively riticized. (“Out of focus,” April 18)

Such efforts in no way diminish their respective work efforts relating to the Shoa but rather use it as an educational tool that shows how, in our contemporary world, what happened in 1933-1945 can occur again, as it in fact has and in many places. Such criticisms are absolutely unfounded; perhaps the critics have failed to understand that the lessons of what happened in Germany and Europe in 1933-1945 are applicable to other places, to other peoples, and to any time.

Many regard the Holocaust as a unique historical event, horrific in every aspect and, as Winston Churchill remarked, “a crime without a name.” The words “never again” are used by many as a promise to ourselves as well as to others that the Holocaust should not be forgotten, to ensure that it must not be repeated. But are the words “never again” restricted to holocausts and/or  genocides concerning only Jews? I think not and certainly hope not.

Every genocide — past, present, and future, whether far away or not, whether aimed at Jews or not — affects us all. It is incumbent upon all to do something about them — overtly, covertly, with words, with deeds, with money, with service — anything to fight the hatred and fear which lurks as a source of every holocaust and genocide.

Gerald Gurland
West Orange

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