All but hardline ideologues accept the Shoa as the 20th century’s paradigm for man’s inhumanity to man. While most sane adults acknowledge this narrative we own it, we paid for it with blood, tears and ashes; it is burned into our cultural DNA.
To paraphrase the Dalai Lama, it is alright to lose a war as long as you don’t lose the lessons. If we view the Holocaust as a war, we lost by any objective measure. What are the lessons we saved? It is probably not wise to trust your life to someone else; a people without a State is a victim. No matter how we hyphenate ourselves someone will despise us because we are not them. What happens in the world eventually happens to us and what happens to us eventually happens to others. We are safer if we keep this form of lunacy from ever again gaining a foothold…anywhere.
As a young man I was honored to twice meet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who — perhaps with Gandhi — personified the greatest moral force of the 20th century. I recall his ringing baritone, his quiet dignity, his many references to our people’s shared history of slavery and the dark night of persecution. I also remember his forthright, outspoken support for The State of Israel.
“Never again” is a prayer and a promise that Reverend King understood. He deservedly rests with our martyrs.
Allen Menkin, MD, MS
Adjunct Professor Medical Humanities