Lest we forget

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Rainne M. Youngs
  • 42nd Medical Group superintendent
As I reflect on the holocaust, one of the most horrific times in the history of mankind, I cannot fathom how Adolph Hitler, a grotesque excuse of a human being, led a nation to systematically murder more than 9 million innocents. Evil is too small of a word to adequately define the atrocities perpetuated by the Nazi Hate Machine.

According to his writings in the book, "Mein Kampf," Hitler fully believed in the inequality of the races as part of the natural order of mankind and he proclaimed Aryan race to be superior to all other races. The phrase "life unworthy of life," referring to the populace who according to the F├╝hrer had no right to live, became the government's ideology when the Nazis came to power.

The segments of the population the Third Reich declared as inferior to them were labeled as either "deviant" or a "source of social turmoil" in Nazi Germany and occupied Europe. The deviant category included the mentally ill, people with disabilities (blind/ hearing impaired), political dissidents, homosexuals, intermarriage partners, and criminals.

Those classified as causing "social turmoil" included the clergy, Communists, Jewish descent, Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, prisoners of war, "non-white" or non-Caucasian peoples, and a variety of other groups as well. However, my review of Hitler's many rants and raves lead me to believe he was most obsessed with the elimination of every, single Jewish person.

Hitler's "final solution" to what he proclaimed as "the Jewish problem" resulted in his pursuit of the most deadly of all methods employed during the Holocaust. He implemented this plan after government-coordinated efforts of severe political, economic, and social discrimination; the confiscation of property; and forced emigration failed to satisfy his goal for racial purity. Let us all shout with joy that the "Final Solution" was never achieved, but let us never forget the millions of "Nazi undesirables" plucked from the face of our Earth by their fellowman.

From April 19-24, services will be held all over the world commemorating the liberation of the hundreds of thousands tortured, ghostly souls who survived the concentration camps. As national leaders gather to "never forget," the few remaining survivors continue to grieve for loved ones lost in the most inhumane of circumstances.

I hope and pray we all are called to kindness, regardless of race, religion, or gender and to commit to do what is within our power to keep history from repeating itself. Consider the words of John W. Gardner, president of the Carnegie Corporation, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare; "History never looks like history when you are living through it." It's our watch now ... what will future generations say of us?

The Maxwell-Gunter Days of Remembrance Observance point of contact is Tech. Sgt. Oluwasina Awolusi (953-7802). Transportation will be provided if you wish to attend the ceremony to be held at the state capitol on April 21 at 10:30 a.m. Pick up is 9:30 a.m. in the Base Exchange parking lot. Also, the observance will close with a ceremony held at Maxwell's Chapel 2 at 10 a.m. on April 24.