As most of you know by now, in the Jewish year, the day starts in the evening. Hence, this evening is the beginning of Holocaust Memorial Day. The newspapers have been running stories about the Holocaust—those who died and those survived—daily, ever since Passover ended.
In Israel, the focus is primarily on the 6 million Jews slaughtered in the war. But we do ourselves no favor to focus only ourselves… Holocaust Memorial Day should be remembered by every citizen of the world. Even I did not know the actual statistics until I started to write this post. The actual number of “deaths sustained” in total in WW II was 72 million.
I cannot wrap my mind around that number. It includes soldiers on both sides, injured, and those murdered by the Nazis, Japanese, and others. I don’t know if that includes those turned away from the shores of America when they came seeking refuge. I don’t know if it includes those who died of starvation and disease. According to one website, that is 2.5% of the world’s population at the time. Something else I didn’t know—61 countries were involved in WWII.
No one can say “I didn’t know” with those kind of numbers floating around—no one.
In Israel, the TV and radio stations go off the air, restaurants and stores close; there is no entertainment. This is a day of mourning—remembering the people lost in the atrocities.
When I think of 72 million, all I can think is, ‘O Lord, have mercy upon us… what we humans are capable of is terrible.’
There are no words.
I do know one thing… it never would have happened if ALL those who took the label of Christian to themselves had lived what they claimed to believe. And I wonder, would the world be a different place if just once a year, we all bowed our heads in shame and remembered the 72 million lives lost to violence, deception, murder, and destruction?
In this world where violence, deception, murder, and destruction are a core of the entertainment industry what hope is there for mankind? I only know of one hope—that day—when God’s just and righteous reign brings light and seals the heart of every man, woman, and child. But today, we mourn…