We can never forget

Posted Wednesday, March 21st 2012 at 1:55pm

By Arley Hoskin
With shows like Doomsday Bunkers and Doomsday Preppers, it’s impossible to deny that many people feel the end is near.
For those of you unfamiliar with these shows, they depict families preparing for some sort of national disaster or some end-of-the-world scenario. These people are taking action for one of the millions of conspiracy theories they may have read online.
I must admit I went through a conspiracy theory phase in high school. I mostly learned about these theories through my debate friends. There is the one about the underground military base beneath the Denver International Airport. And everybody knows about the theory that we didn’t really land on the moon. I have to admit it is pretty suspicious that we have never went back. Hmmm...
While many of these conspiracy theories seem harmless, some cross the line. I feel sad for the people who live in such fear that they dedicate their entire lives to preparing for the end. And I feel annoyed by the people who think every president is THE antichrist. I clearly do not think Obama is the antichrist, but equally don’t think George Bush is the antichrist. We can disagree on politics without demonizing one another. I promise, it’s possible.
But the worst conspiracy theory I’ve ever heard is that the Holocaust does not exist as we have depicted it in history. These deniers, or revisionists as they prefer to be called, dispute the use of gas chambers and believe that the number of Jewish people killed in the Holocaust was significantly less than the 6-million figure that historians accept.
I recently had a conversation about this topic. Before, I only thought crazies like Mel Gibson bought into this. The idea that someone truly believes the Holocaust was fabricated angers me at my core.
I have read recollections of Holocaust survivors, I’ve seen the museum in Washington D.C., I have friends who are Jewish, and I freelance for the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. I’m sure all those facts contribute to my emotions around this topic, but the primary reason I feel so passionately against these crazy Holocaust deniers is because we can never forget.
We can never forget the horrific events that happened in the Holocaust. We can’t water down the evil or teach others that the attempted genocide didn’t occur. We can never forget.
Because when do, we are less likely to acknowledge the tragedies that occur today. We can never forget. Because when we do, we won’t notice the slippery slope that leads to injustice. We can never forget. Because when we do, we might not notice when politicians or those in power ostracize minority groups.
We can never forget. Because 6 million Jewish people died in the Holocaust, about two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. We can never forget because their deaths should not be in vain.
One of my favorite professors in college often said “Ideas have consequences.”
Indeed they do. Denying the past or focusing on the end-of-the-world future scenarios prohibits us for being present, aware, and affective in the here and now.
Never forget the past, but also don’t be too worried about the future to participate in the beauty of today. It’s balance that I strive to achieve.
Follow Arley on Twitter at @ArleysWords


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