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Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today we commemorate Holocaust Day (Yom HaShoah) here in Israel.

Actually, it began last night, with the television line-up reading like a who’s who of Holocaust movies – Schindler’s List, The Piano, Life is Beautiful and Uprising among the shows on offer. For those lacking the stomach for these types of shows, there was Fox News, Sky News and BBC for some more on the Rantisi killing and its ramifications for Israel. And CNN had a documentary on the security fence, made by none other than Thomas Friedman of the New York Times (the documentary being made by Friedman, not the fence. Friedman would rather the fence never existed).

So basically, you could either be reminded of how innocent Jews have been slaughtered while the world has looked on..or watch a show about the Holocaust.

My father is a Holocaust survivor – well, actually he escaped Germany in 1938, one year before the war. All of his relatives, except for his mother, father and a few cousins, were murdered. As far as we know, my father has only one or two surviving relatives.

The family settled in Australia – as far away from Germany as possible – and built a life there, with both my grandfather and father working as veterinarians. Life continued, but my father has been irreperably damaged by the Holocaust. He is highly sensitive to anti-Semitism, and finds it hard to talk about his past.

I have many interesting stories about my father’s family in Germany, such as the tough great-grandfather who won an Iron Cross First Class in WW1. He encountered much anti-Semitism in the army until the day one anti-Semite took it too far – and my great-grandfather bit his ear off.

There is also the story of how my great grandmother could not get out of Germany before the war. She passed herself off as a German maid, and survived the Holocaust, without being identified as a Jew. She was able to come to Australia and live out her years there.

I cannot even begin to imagine what life must have been like then. And hopefully we will never experience something similar. But the truth is that now we once again find ourselves in danger. The Nazis have been replaced by Islamic terrorists, and the collaborating countries of WW2 have been replaced by the UN, Europe and most other countries in the world. The Jewish people are targeted for elimination, and the majority of the world either do not recognize this threat, or they do, and couldn’t care less.

At 10.00AM this morning, the whole country will stand still to observe two minutes’ silence. It is a truly surreal experience. People driving to work get out of their cars, stand next to them, and bow their heads in remembrance. People in offices, supermarkets, homes and restaurants…we all take time out from our busy schedules and remember those who perished in the Holocaust.

Today, we commemorate those who were murdered because they were Jewish.

And we realize that today, over fifty years later, there are still Jews being murdered for the same reason.

And those Jews are us.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

1 thought on “Holocaust Remembrance Day”

  1. Interestingly, I hadn’t even been thinking about Holocaust Day, but just last week, I happened to rent Escape from Sobibor. Heavens, what a story.

    …by the way, Dave – great story about your great-grandfather in the Great War – LOL. He gave delivered that fellow the ol’ Tyson maneuver, mate. 🙂 I’d love to hear more stories if you have any. (I’m a history major, so I like to hear the old stories, ya know):-)

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