How can we ever apologise for the Holocaust?


#1

Given the immense human misery of the poor souls who lived in the terrible events leading up to it, not to mention the heinious evil of the event itself, an act of mass murder, which we were apathetic to; how can we ever apologise enough for our role in the Holocaust?

Before anyone says ‘ah but I had no part in it’, I believe all Europe had a role in it by being apathetic to the plight of suffering Jews. How can we ever espect forgivness or repay the debt?


#2

Thank you for a good topic.

I believe the best way we can make reparation is, in the words of Elie Wiesel in Night is to “Never forget.”

When Jesus established the Eucharist, he told his disciples, “Anamnesis,” which means more than just “remember.” It means “make present again.”

I think we should seek “anamnesis” toward the Jews and others who perished in the Holocaust.

Each of us must do whatever we can to assure that we and others will never forget. Read books and articles, paint a picture, watch a movie, write an article, attend a memorial ceremony, be friends to Jewish people, listen to music, visit the Holocaust Museum, say a prayer–whatever you can do to do “anamnesis.”

Pray to St. Edith Stein, a brilliant Jewish woman who converted to Christianity, then Catholicism, and became a Carmelite nun. She and the sisters in her convent were gassed in Auschwitz. There is a play called “Edith Stein”–if you can, go see it, or if you can, produce the play in your city.

As my contribution to help people “never forget,” I’ve written a teen novel called The White Rose Affair. It will hopefully (?) be published this summer.


#3

OP’s comment to the contrary, one cannot really “apologize” for something he didn’t do.

The vast majority of us forum denizens couldn’t have had anything to do with it, because we were not alive then.

Furthermore, even if our parents had been directly responsible for the immigration policies that kept Jewish refugees from entering the U.S., the teaching of the Bible is that the sons are not responsible for the deeds of the fathers, and we would not be responsible. In fact (speaking for my and my wife’s ancestors), no one in our families was in the position to influence those policy decisions.

(In fact, my father, as a soldier in Patton’s 3rd Army, was directly involved in liberating one of the concentration camps. He wouldn’t talk about it, except to say that until then he’d never seen GIs really hate Germans.)

Rather than “apologize” (which would be meaningless), we should, as Cat says, “not forget.” This includes not forgetting that Jews made up only about half of those who died or were killed in the camps. Recognize the conditions that engender genocides. Speak out against the Ugandas, the Darfurs, the Cambodias, and the other holocausts that are happening in the world. Above all, speak out against the worldwide Holocaust of abortion, which has come to make the WWII Holocaust look like a day in the park.

(Interesting that while I was reading this thread and composing this reply, I was also re-running my vid of The Winds of War, which, along with its sequel War and Remembrance, provided a detailed fictional history of WWII, with special emphasis on the Holocaust.

DaveBj


#4

Who is going to apologize for the murder of the 44 milion non-Jewish people who died in WW2 ?


#5

If I lived in England during the holocost and I wanted it to end … what could I do to stop it? It took the destruction of Nazi Germany to stop it. Any lesser attempt would have been a suicide run and a waste of life.

Right now I know full well that a larger holocost is happening in the abortion clinics. I could go and take down a few abortionist tommorow before I get shot by the Police. Is this a good or holy act? How can I be forgiven for not stopping abortion… how can I ever appologise?

The entire infrastructure of abortion needs to be defeated just like Nazi Germany was.

-D


#6

We can now ask the same question about our silence in the face of Darfur.


#7

Congratulations on your book. And your beautiful post.


#8

[We can now ask the same question about our silence in the face of Darfur.

Has the US and the world been silent in the face of Darfur? It seems that I read much about it, that the UN has tried to do something about it. But I think they’ve pulled their refugee workers out. And wasn’t there some talk of having the Arab League send troops? But it seems that was a no go. So how is it supposed to stop? Who is willing to go there that actually can stop the genocide, and how can they do it?

For those of us who feel we cannot do anything about stopping it, we can and do pray.
[/quote]


#9

Most people at the time were busy scaping by and trying to survive. Why should I apologise anyways? The people with blood on their hands are the ones who directly participated. Trying to make the rest of the world guilty for all of eternity is manipulative and nonsensical.


#10

The Holocaust occurred at a time when Britain was at war with Germany. We have no cause to apologise for not taking vigorous action against that regime.


#11

pedja

Re: How can we ever apologise for the Holocaust?
Who is going to apologize for the murder of the 44 milion non-Jewish people who died in WW2 ?

While any loss of life is tragic, civilian loss of life was not planned. The death of the Jews was an orchestrated attempt to rid the world of Jewdaism.

I was not alive during the war. I am European [British] so must take my share of European collective cultural responsibility.


#12

I think that the various free countries of the world should face the fact that they bear some guilt for the Holocaust and indeed, for Hitler’s European War.

Hitler’s first act of aggression was the invasion of the Rheinland. He was breaking the treaties that his country had signed at the end for WWI. He was clearly committing an extremely illegal act of war.

Why didn’t the rest of the world STOP HIM!!!

Although he had secretly built up the German army, he did not have a huge force at this point. The countries of the world could have said, “NO!” and hauled his puny little armies back across the border into Germany with a stern, “Nein, don’t you EVER try that again!”

I’ve read that if this had happened, there is a good chance that Hitler would have committed suicide because of the disgrace.

It’s unlikely that any other man in the National Socialist Party would have had the smarts to take over the party and run the country, and it’s very possible that Germany would have plunged into anarchy, or perhaps the ill-fated Weimar Republic would have been restored. (Probably not).

It’s possible that the country would have fallen to Communism, which isn’t pleasant and perhaps there would have been almost as many deaths at the hands of the KGB.

But I don’t think any alternative would have been as bad as Hitler’s Third Reich and Final Solution.Twelve million people dead in the camps, and many tens of millions of the world’s soldiers and civilians dead in the war.

I’ve read that the main reason the world did nothing about the Rheinland is that we were all (especially the U.S.) sick of war and wanted “peace.” Some peace.

The question will haunt me forever. Why didn’t we stop them? Why did we wait until Hitler got strong? Why didn’t we slap his hand the instant he broke the rules? Why did we sacrifice so many millions of people for the sake of “peace?”

If only…if only…if only…God have mercy on the ones who made the decision to let Hitler get away with it.


#13

Cat wrote:
Thank you for a good topic.

I believe the best way we can make reparation is, in the words of Elie Wiesel in Night is to “Never forget.”

When Jesus established the Eucharist, he told his disciples, “Anamnesis,” which means more than just “remember.” It means “make present again.”

I think we should seek “anamnesis” toward the Jews and others who perished in the Holocaust.

Each of us must do whatever we can to assure that we and others will never forget. Read books and articles, paint a picture, watch a movie, write an article, attend a memorial ceremony, be friends to Jewish people, listen to music, visit the Holocaust Museum, say a prayer–whatever you can do to do “anamnesis.”

Pray to St. Edith Stein, a brilliant Jewish woman who converted to Christianity, then Catholicism, and became a Carmelite nun. She and the sisters in her convent were gassed in Auschwitz. There is a play called “Edith Stein”–if you can, go see it, or if you can, produce the play in your city.

As my contribution to help people “never forget,” I’ve written a teen novel called The White Rose Affair. It will hopefully (?) be published this summer.

Excellent. Please keep me informed when the book comes out!


#14

Are we talking about just the Jews in the holocaust, or ALL of the people who were killed in the holocaust. I often find it interesting people leave out the fact that millions of Polish people, Christians, homosexuals, and other ethnicities were also deliberately targeted and killed in death camps in WWII. Yet all we hear about is not forgetting the Jews that were killed. As someone of Polish descent, and a Polish catholic/christian, I am offended that people never talk about that.

As far as apologizing, I did nothing for which to apologize.


#15

The only people that need to apologize are the ones that served in the german army at the time (mainly the SS and the gestapo).
I watched a documentary on the history channel about auschwitz not long ago and they interviewed an man who was an SS guard, and till this day, his excuse is ‘i was just following orders’. And to top it off, he has no love for the Jews either, in a round about way, he said they pretty much deserved what they got… and this was an interview THIS
century.
Of course I felt sick to the stomach after listening to this man. But at the same time, i am now inspired to go to auschwitz one day to see this horror first hand, to see the conditions these poor souls lived in and to express my deepest sympathies to the poor lost souls.
So the best thing we can do in this day and age, is to make sure this never happens again. And stop the current genocide that is happening in this world NOW.
God Bless


#16

Exactly!
My own family suffered heavily under the Nazis, being of Catholic Ukrainian and Polish descent. Yet somehow, my culture is responsible?

Both my Ukrainian grandparents were taken as slave-labour for the Nazi war machine, while several of my great-aunts and uncles on both my Polish and Ukrainian side were sent to concentration camps. Yet, somehow by belonging to European culture, we bare a responsibillity?

So how should I word this apology? “Sorry for somehow supporting a German nationalism that eventualy grew into a racial hatred of many races including my own Slavic ancestors”:rolleyes:


#17

who will apologize for the murder of 50 million Chinese and 100 million Russians at the hands of atheist Reds?


#18

Here’s the thing. The Holocaust was Horrible. there are other *horrible *things that have happened too. I could probably list thousands of really horrible things that happened to thousands of different groups of people. At what point do we stop apologizing for stuff we had nothing to do with? At what point do we stop feeling personally slighted for what happened to our ancestors?

I have ancestors who were slaves. I also have ancestors who were slave owners. I have other ancestors who were new to this country and had nothing to do with slavery. Shall I apologize to myself? Shall I feel slighted by my own presence on the earth? When does it stop making any sense?

So what should we do? We should tell our children the horrible things have happened in the past to others. We should teach them to always take responsibility for everything they do, to help those who are in need, and to use knowledge of history to help prevent future atrocities. Teaching them to take responsibility for past crimes or that they are entitled to anything because someone related to them in the past suffered only fosters hate and more problems.


#19

Within Jewish thought as I’ve been given to understand it, if you’re not responsible, you can’t really apologize, and if you’re not the injured party, you can’t forgive. Having said that, without the Holocaust I seriously doubt the state of Israel would exist today…so that was a very begruding recompense.


#20

May I add St. Teresa of Avila and St. Max Kolbe to that?

Recognize that people in power (or seeking power) will exploit religion to their own advantage, such as the recent Balkan wars.

Yes! I wholly agree! :clapping:

Its not all about asking forgiveness from another group, but in forgiving ourselves as a part of mankind. Let’s do all we can to make sure these things don’t happen again – by raising awareness of issues both global and local, from Darfur to the neighborhood bully.

Like John Donne wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind…”


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