While the masses have been waking up their children, packing lunches, and scooting kids out the door to their first day of school 2017, we have been sipping coffee in our p.js (all 5 of us) and hovering in the kitchen. It is nice to homeschool. I must admit, knowing exactly what, when, and how my children are learning is a relief. Also, I just like to sleep in and we never have to worry about missing the school bus.
The past couple of weeks, we have been focused on WWII. The recent buzz about North Korea/US/Russia/Guam has everyone questioning whether we will see another world war. The best question posed: With all of the increased hatred and division in the US, how will we stand together if there is a war? Will we stand together to protect each other or will hate drive us further apart? These are legitimate questions asked by impressionable children who need to know world history, and know it well.
To help answer some of our questions about hatred, division, and remind us of the atrocities of war, we can look at the Bible and sin, but in this instance, for more recent world history, we took a trip down memory lane to WWII. We love history, but we prefer to keep war, hatred, and division just that, history. However, when hatred incites hatred to a point of such violent egregious attacks, how can one sit by and quietly watch?
To start, I recommend watching the “Battle of the Bulge” and listening to survivors of the Holocaust in the movie, “Voices of the Holocaust” They discuss how they survived the outrageous inhumanity afflicted upon them by one of the most despicable group of people to walk this earth; the Nazis. While it is hard for us to fathom the amount of hatred stirring in one person’s heart, it is even more difficult for us to wrap our minds around the fact that this one person, Hitler, was able to stir the masses to such hatred for the Jews, that they felt it was okay to march 6 million men, women, and children to their death. Disgusting.
Quick reference to the term Nazi: this term refers to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. This was the only political party in Germany in the mid 30s.
The tragic and heroic stories are too numerous to recount in a brief blog about history and contain plenty of memorable narratives to jar anyone out of their cozy little blinders to reality. The Russians were the first to come across a concentration camp while the Nazi soldiers fumbled to cover up the dead. Majdenek, Poland became the first liberated concentration camp on July 23, 1944. The last concentration camps, Mauthausen and Stutthof, were liberated in May, 1945 by US and Russian allies.
Most of us who know history, know the Holocaust was witnessed by millions of regular people going about their daily activities while their Jewish friends, neighbors, and co-workers were being branded and separated out of society. Friends who played side-by-side for years, betrayed their Jewish friends. Business men who worked closely with each other and created strong commerce together, were suddenly divided. Those who were not Jewish were turning over their fellow Jewish business men to the hands of the Nazi soldiers enforcing the “Final Solution.” Why? Social pressure from authorities in schools, work, the community in general (driven by an underlying fear of the current political party as well as a long history of prejudice for the Jewish minority) hammered a stake between friends and family even though some knew it was not morally right.
They all had a choice to make. While many chose to turn a blind eye and allow their neighbors to be torn from their lives, tortured and ultimately murdered, some chose to love their neighbors as themselves. Some risked their lives to save them. “At crucial junctures, every individual makes decisions, and….every decision is individual.” – Raul Hilberg.
The US, Russia, France, Britain, China, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand fought bravely together as allies in WWII. Setting aside many differences, they chose to work together to free Poland and other parts of Europe from Hitler’s Regime. Do I think, in the US, we could do it again? Yes. I think the US is a strong nation together, despite our many differences and backgrounds, I believe we could and would set our differences aside and unite again to defend our country, our children.
So what is the point of this brief history lesson? Hatred for those that are different in color or religion is time consuming, wasted, worthless in the grand scheme of things. We do not have to agree on many things, but we are human beings. I am not saying to be complicit with unethical or immoral behavior either but we are not Nazis, we are not animals. We have a choice. We have children who we love and as we show love and a helping hand to others, our children will too.
Let’s not allow our nation to be divided from the inside out. Let’s keep history from repeating itself time and time again. Slavery, Holocaust, Armenian genocide, Assyrian genocide, Christian genocide…..time, after time, after time. Hatred inspires hatred. It is a sickness that is nearly incurable when it catches an impassioned person who has been fueled by social pressures and propaganda. What is the purpose of hate anyway? Understand yourself, forgive yourself and forgive others of their trespasses.
This blog has nothing to do with healthcare, I know, but everything to do with healing. WWII is a very fascinating part of our history and a part we should never forget. We stood united to eradicate hate at that time and free those in the Holocaust. We also aided in the healing process thereafter. Please, chose not to hate, Please chose not to have a “knee-jerk” reaction and join the violence. Please. There are so many hate groups in this world, let’s not add one more person. Matthew 22:37-39 “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
I am no history expert. Most of this can be found at https://www.ushmm.org/learn This is what we are teaching our kids in our coffee drinking pajama wearing home-school. History is very important and when it comes to hate in our household…Paul McCartney said it best when he said, “Let it be” – Abraham, I found another song for you to learn on the piano (Love MOM).