This is my grandfather, he didn’t survive the Holocaust and this is the only picture I have of all the family members who were murdered during the Holocaust. My mother was the only survivor of her family, my father lost all family from his father’s side. Generations of families, wiped out completely
After high school, my father started to search for his папа and family, hoping that there might by any survivors. During his research and efforts to find his own family, he decided to start helping others and specialized in searching for survivors in the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries. That is how he met my mother who was also trying to find out if there were any survivors under the family members who were deported to Sobibór and beyond.
Both found only the sad confirmation that their entire families have been exterminated. My mother’s family in the concentration and extermination camps, my father’s family at the hands butchers who raided the villages they lived in. People they have considered their brothers turned into monsters.
After the war, the World said “nie wieder”, never again. This would never happen again, the World promised that! The World lied… There is a slow Holocaust ongoing for many years, in the form of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Palestine and Yemen. The death toll is millions, many millions more are displaced, refugees. Extremism at all sides abuse the fate of the innocent. Should these wars ever end, the survivors will have to cope with completely destroyed countries. What was once called Holocaust is now called collateral damage but the result is the same.
There was a sweet innocent little girl. Her name was Darina. She died on Flight 7K9268 while returning from vacation with her parents. There was a sweet innocent little boy. His name was Aylan. He died while trying to escape from the war in Syria with his parents. These innocent children and all the innocent victims of this new slow Holocaust they represent, should be remembered as well on this day. “Nie wieder” was an empty promise and unless we all assume our responsibility towards Darina and Aylan and all the others to finally end these wars, this new slow Holocaust will continue and might end up to be even worse than the Holocaust of World War II!
Only 2 members of my family died fighting during World War II and the Holocaust. My mother’s oldest nephew died in Rotterdam, fighting the invading Nazi Germans as a proud young Corporal in the Royal Dutch Marines. My прадед died while defending his family with a kitchen knife, taking 2 scumbags with him before he was executed by the rest of the Nazi death squad.
My days in uniform are over now and my body has started to tell me that I am too old for doing what I was once capable of. But I will defend my beloved ones until my last breath against whomever might intend to harm them. No matter where, no matter when, come what may. Nunc aut Nunquam!