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Remember? (or Why the Holocaust is like sex)

Date: 2018-Sep-12           Author: Barry Shatzman

So... did y'all remember 9-11 the other day?

I'd like to believe you, considering you said you'd never forget. But if i sound skeptical, it might be because i've heard those words before involving another September 11.

You see, it was 79 September 11s ago that my friend Alter Wiener's father was murdered by the original Nazis. Soon after that would come the Holocaust.

I think you know what that was. But let me give you a perspective. About 5,000 people are known to have died as a result of the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks - either from the attacks themselves or from illnesses related to the attack and subsequent cleanup.

Nobody's sure how many people were murdered in the Holocaust. Conservative estimates are 10 million. But there's evidence it might be twice that many.

Remember? That was the original thing we weren't supposed to ever forget. We even have museums all over the country (and the world) to remind us.

So why did i say i think you know what the Holocaust was?

Remember Charlottesville, where white supremecists proudly marched and the president of the United States defended them as "some very fine people"?

Those very fine people must've forgotten, because they idolize the other very fine people who murdered those millions.

Not influential enough? Someone who denies that the Holocaust even took place actually ran for Congress this year. And got votes from more than just himself.

The important question here isn't how much Donald Trump and those very fine people forgot about the Holocaust. Yes, people are forgetting. But more important is what they knew in the first place.

I mentioned Alter because one of his lifelong goals has been to convince states to require education about the Holocaust and genocide. And while many students are taught something about the Holocaust, many are not. As of the past year fewer than a dozen states required Holocaust education.

So here's something else to remember. The Holocaust is like sex. If your children don't learn about it in school from knowledgable teachers, they just might learn about it from other very fine people. Or the current U.S. president.

Alter Wiener discusses Holocaust education with Sen. Ron Wyden at a town hall meeting in which Wiener's contributions to Holocaust education were commemorated. (Photo: Barry Shatzman)

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