April-May 2022 Update

Today, April 10, would have been the 100th birthday of my mother, of blessed memory, if she had lived past 1995—which, sadly, she did not. In her memory, and in the memory of all innocent people, I share these thoughts.

I am joining with esteemed colleagues worldwide—Holocaust scholars and Holocaust Museum Directors—to affirm why we continue to teach this difficult history and why we must speak out against these atrocities in Ukraine. As Nobel laureate, Elie Wiesel so powerfully affirmed: “Silence never benefits the victims, only the perpetrators.”

I am quoting from a full page in the NYTimes, Sunday April 10, 2022:

“Museums are bearers of history. By housing artifacts and documents of the past, we ensure that the truth, both noble and horrific, of what humanity has done remains shared and accessible.”

“We at Holocaust Museums around the world have a particular mission. The stories we tell are ones of destruction and pain, and of the nobility of upstanders who risked their lives to do what was right and help others. We not only aim to educate, to honor our Survivors’ wishes that their stories are not forgotten, but to make a better future where the stories we tell are no longer repeated.”

“So it is with sorrow that we see yet another atrocity in Ukraine. 80 years after the ‘Holocaust by Bullets’ in which Jewish men, women, and children were shot and buried in shallow graves”—among those murdered in this way are my mother’s nuclear family and virtually her entire paternal family: her parents, her grandparents, aunts, uncles, their spouses, and their children—in addition to hundreds of thousands of others as well.”

Let us, as Elie exhorted, NOT be silent. Let us speak the truth, and let us continue to educate and do everything humanly possible to help the Ukrainian people, led by their extraordinary President Zelensky, fight for freedom, democracy, and their very lives.

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