Life Histories…Will We LEARN?
“THOSE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT.”
Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, 1948
This famous quote is one to strongly consider as we think about our nation and the world today. We thought we had conquered most of the world’s diseases, then the Coronavirus moved around the world.
We thought we had crossed through the problems of discrimination after the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther, Jr…then came more deaths for many people of all colors. We are faced with problems today that could be disastrous for us all. There are those who simply want their voices heard, justice done and then there are the anarchists among us who want to destroy peace and accomplishments of many. What we thought had been attained through new laws of the land against racism and civil rights for all can be destroyed within an instance if lawlessness is allowed to continue. We ask ourselves, “What is next and what has happened to the democratic way of life? Where is law and order?”
There are forces at work to disrupt anything peaceful. Some are outsiders, who mean no good will. These forces will take advantage of every tragic event to move our civilization toward something even more tragic. What would that be is not fully known, but the loss of lawfulness, the democratic way and the sanctity of all men and women could be only a starter.
What exactly is “sanctity?” It has to do with being sacred or morally upright and correct.” Is nothing sacred anymore? Does the hard work of people building businesses, which support our communities…for all races…make it right to “smash…grab…and run”… while laughing about it?!
The values that were taught in most families…about stealing or destroying seems to mean nothing to many who have been given so much by the previous generation? There were marches in Selma; men and women of all colors who went off to war to fight for world freedom. Do they understand the sacrifices of history? If not, do we blame ourselves for not teaching it more in schools or in the home? Will these young adults who believe they are changing the world teach their own children the meaning of sacrifice and sanctity? Do they “care less” when it comes to destroying and looting?
Yes, there are voices that need to be heard, but all people, through our Constitution and laws, have been given a right to freedom of speech when voicing complaints…and should and can be heard without destroying the center of their own universe. (“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress…”) There is no right given to plunder, steal or take the property of another.
We have also seen how situations can turn from bad to worse when people are singled out because of who they are…minorities…police…the calling of disparaging names because of one’s belief on a particular subject. The victims of violence should be able to mourn their dead. The victim’s memories should be honored, not exploited.
While government officials argue about what to do in this crisis, the “rape” of hard-working American men and women’s businesses goes on…destroying the lives of many.
Do not forget history. It teaches us everything…to do and not to do. It tells us how fragile governments can be when those who believe their ideas are the only ideas, regardless of who they hurt, begs the possibility of raising up leaders to push the world into a brink of despair and even war. We have seen it in our best teacher…HISTORY.
Let’s take a look back.
There were good people in Germany before World War II who saw that the path on which their country was heading would lead Germany and other countries into chaos. Even within the high-ranking military and Christian churches, there were dissidents who stood against Hitler. There were actually six attempts to do away with Hitler, but each failed.
1944 Plot: …”At the center of this plot was Claus von Stauffenberg, a dashing colonel who had lost an eye and one of his hands during combat in North Africa. He and his co-conspirators—who included Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht and Ludwig Beck—planned to kill the Führer with a hidden bomb concealed in a briefcase and then use the German Reserve Army to topple the Nazi high command. If their coup was successful, the rebels would then immediately seek a negotiated peace with the Allies. ( Full story of 6 plots History.com)
When the bomb exploded, more than 20 people were injured and three officers were killed, but Hitler escaped one more time. Because of this attempt, more than 7,000 people were arrested and 4,980 people were executed by the Gestapo.” (History Collection)
Anarchy is raising an ugly head in today’s modern world. The very word, from the Latin word, anarchia, and the Greek, anarchos, has the meaning of “no rule.” (Wikipedia)
We, as a nation of people, have a choice to stand for what is right and honorable…or loss control. Don’t forget “Kristallnacht” (The Night of Broken Glass) when storefronts belonging to the Jews were shattered. Glass littered the streets and vandalism occurred. Sound familiar?
I leave you with a compelling life of a survivor of one of history’s darkest hours. At first it began slowly and then the blaming of an entire group of people began. The innocent were accused…and the rest is “history.” We pray that this part of our present day history will not be another dark hour.
- Born in 1928 in Berlin. Hannah’s father was Head of the Prussian Press Bureau and adviser to the Minister of Interior of Brandenburg, Germany. In 1933, with the rise of the Nazis to power, Hannah’s family fled to Amsterdam.
- There, at school, Hannah met Anna Frank, also a refugee from Germany.
- In October 1942, while giving birth, both the baby and Hannah’s mother died.
- On June 20, 1943, Hannah, her younger sister, Gabi, her father and grandparents were sent to the Westerbork transit camp.
- Hannah and Gabi were separated from their father and sent to the orphanage in the camp. There, she worked cleaning the toilets
- In 1944, Hannah, her father and sister were transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she had to do forced labor.
- When she was told that Anna Frank was also imprisoned there she managed to establish contact with her and even tried to give her a package of food and clothing, which someone else stole.
- Hanna’s Father and Grandparents were murdered in Bergen-Belsen.
- On April 11, 1945, the camp inmates were evacuated. Hannah had contracted typhus.
- In June, the Soviets handed Hannah and her sister to the Americans and they were returned to Amsterdam.
- Hannah went to Israel in 1947 and lived in Kfar Hasidim. She worked as a nurse in a pediatric ward at the ‘Bikkur Holim’ Hospital in Jerusalem. (from Yad Vashem)
In Hannah’s own words:
Video Turn up your sound.