I often write about the uniqueness of the Holocaust and state that the Holocaust is completely different from other genocides. This position is controversial to some people. There are those who believe that the only way to preserve the memory of the Holocaust is by making it a universal lesson regarding tribulations throughout the world. Whether I am right or wrong, only our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will know. Seventy-five years after the last of the survivors are gone, I predict that, regardless of Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and all the other museums and books, the memory of the Holocaust will not be preserved. It will be regarded as just another genocide in the history of genocides.
Unless we preserve the memory of the Holocaust and tie it to Jewish observance and ritual by including it in prayer service or, as I have done, creating a Holocaust Siddur and Haggada (holocausthaggadah.com), the Holocaust will become a mere date in history. It has to be tied into a revitalized Judaism to keep it alive.
At this point in my life, I no longer emphasize the pain, suffering, and horrors of the Shoa. Today I speak of the importance of learning about the heroic individuals who survived the Holocaust to make better lives for themselves and their families. Many Holocaust survivors have created synagogues, yeshivot, and day schools and still support them financially. We need to learn about those who resisted the Nazis, not only about the crematoriums.The memory of the Holocaust will be kept alive by future generations if we have pride in the accomplishments of the survivors and preserve Judaism.
Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg