Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews by the
Nazis during World War 2. In 1933 approximately nine million Jews lived
in the 21 countries of Europe that would be military occupied by Germany
during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been
Jews were not the only group singled out for persecution by Hitlerís
Nazi regime. As many as one-half million Gypsies, at least 250,000
mentally or physically disabled persons, and more than three million
Soviet prisoners-of-war also fell victim to Nazi genocide.
Jehovahís Witnesses, homosexuals, Social Democrats, Communists,
partisans, trade unionists, Polish intelligentsia and other undesirables
were also victims of the hate and aggression carried out by the Nazis.
The number of children killed during the Holocaust is not fathomable and
full statistics for the tragic fate of children who died will never be
known. Some estimates range as high as 1.5 million murdered children.
This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of
thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of handicapped children.
The words of Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate and Holocaust
survivor (photo 12), stand as a testament to why we must never forget
this dark period of human history:
"For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is
to bear witness for the dead and the living. He has no right to
deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective
memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget
the dead would be akin to killing them a second time. The witness has
forced himself to testify. For the youth of today, for the children who
will be born tomorrow. He does not want his past to become their
future." Elie Wiesel, Night, Preface to the New Translation
(New York: Hill and Wang, c2006), page xv.