Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Prayer for International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  A day set aside so that we maintain a collective memory around the events of the Holocaust.

I hadn't known of this day before.  It was brought to my attention reading an article in a local magazine.  I was reading that article because I needed a break from the project I was working on.  The project from hell.  It keeps coming back and just won't seem to move into the "completed" part of my checklist for all my efforts and for all the efforts of my team.

As read the article, I considered just how much effort would have been required to plan and implement something as massive as was the Holocaust.  How many individuals must have been involved?  The number must have been massive.  The details, the minor details must have been awe-inspiringly many.

Through all that, nobody said "Guys, I'm not so sure this is a good idea."  If anyone had said that, they didn't matter because any conscientious objectors were easily replaced by one of a throng of willing participants.

The leaders of the movement that planned and implemented the project we now call "The Holocaust" are renowned for their ability to control the population - to motivate the fulfillment of such a massive undertaking.  That manner of thinking wrongly puts the responsibility for the Holocaust solely on the leaders.  For the leaders to have this control, a mass dissolution of critical thought has to have occurred.

I wonder what that felt like.  I wonder what life looked like to ordinary people when the groundwork for the Holocaust was being laid.  I wonder what it felt like to be surrounded by people who simply repeat every thought a leader put into their heads without first letting it slosh around in there a bit.

I wonder these things because I want to know what they felt like so I can recognize them and stop them from ever happening again.

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