For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.Simon Wiesenthal
Have you ever considered what you would do if you saw it happen right next to you?
We often look at the events of the Holocaust, the genocide of 6 million people, and say that we would never allow such terrible atrocities to occur again. However, are we really certain that we would have the audacity, the gumption, the courage to do what is necessary in the face of such evil?
When someone is called a derogatory term because of their ethnicity?
When someone spits in another’s face because of the way they were born?
When laws intentionally single out one group of people to be denied rights that should be inherent to every being human?
When we see the police enforcing the law of the time and dragging men, women and children by their hair through the streets for simply being who they are?
When people are rounded up and put into camps because of their descent?
When civilians start taking it into their own hands to ensure that those who do not look like them follow what they see as the “rules”?
Some of these examples are from far back in our history. Some are not.
The point is this: genocide is never the beginning. It starts with small things. Little injuries. Involving the masses in seeing some people as less than others. Teaching that one group is better, more important, meant to lord it over the others.
God has never taught us this. God taught us that we were all made in God’s image. All equal. We are to care for one another. To stand with one another when trouble comes. And yes, to have the courage to face down such evil when it arises. In all of its forms.
So, on this Holocaust Remembrance Day, think not only on all those lives that have been lost. Think also on the living. Think on all the ways we can make a difference for those who still find themselves considered “less than” in the world. And go out and ensure evil loses every foothold.