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27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day


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Today is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Today we should remember the Jews, homosexuals and others murdered in the Nazi ‘Final Solution. We are also asked to remember those killed in subsequent genocides including Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, and be ever mindful that it can happen again and probably is already somewhere in the world.

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This is something I make a point of listening to every Holocaust Memorial Day, just to remind me how evil man can be:


When you have listened to that, just remember it was not only the Jew who were sent to the camps. My friend Henk was in Belsen among others, because he was homosexual. Prejudice may start with one identified group but it can quickly spread to include others:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

From Confessions by Martin Niemöller

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Prisoners in the Nazi SS concentration camp at Terezín, Czechoslovakia,
were allowed to delay their deaths by performing music.

Did the sound of the songs mute the weeping?
Could the swell of the orchestra mask the anguish?
Would the guards ever pause to listen?
Did they halt the trains for the music?
Does barbed wire vibrate like violin strings?

There can be no encore.



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