What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

01 April 2011

A is for Atrocity

Yep, we're going to kick this blogfest off on a real happy note. May as well get off on the right foot, yes?

I spent my Wednesday evening volunteering for the White Rose Society at UT, a branch of Texas Hillel. While I'm not a member of either organization, they sent out a call for volunteers to get white roses ready for distribution on Thursday (to coincide with the the Holocaust Day of Remembrance), so I went. We dethorned each rose, then attached a flier explaining...

A sea of flowers. Source.
That each rose represented one of the 10,000 people killed in a single day at Auschwitz. And as I worked, I reflected: Each flower is a life taken. There are 50,000 students at UT: In five days, we'd all be gone. Add in the faculty, staff, maintenance workers, cafeteria staff, etc, and you'd still be looking at a completely empty campus in less than six days' time. And yet somehow there were always more people to take the place of those who had been murdered at Auschwitz.

And these students, the members of Texas Hillel, are just as Jewish as those who were killed. I can't imagine being caught at the beginning of an anti-Semitic frenzy, as a college student in the 30s in Europe, seeing my classmates taken. For my classmates they are: I saw a number of people I know at the event Wednesday. Would I have protested their treatment and (possibly) have died with them? Would I have hidden my friends from the authorities? I know what I want the answers to those questions to be, as I sit here comfortably in my persecution-free land; if put to the test, I hope I would make the right decision. More importantly, I pray that no test like that ever comes up again.

Yes, I went to bed depressed Wednesday at the visual I had just seen. There's a lovely statement on the Texas Hillel website: "Genocide is not just a Jewish issue, but a human issue." And so it is.

I promise to be back to happy topics soon, but I couldn't not share this experience. And I have no particular question to ask you today, so you're on your own with comments.

Grace and peace (Shalom) be with you on this Friday.

43 comments:

Carole Anne Carr said...

A very deep thought provoking post. Thanks for that. Carole.

mybabyjohn said...

A horrific event that I hope the world never forgets...because, if we forget, it could happen again. Lovely start to the A-Z.

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

I am glad the world.. keeps.. it in memory.. although the memory.. is awful... I just read sarah's key... and it really left me having a hard time sleeping.

Bev Hankins said...

Thank you for sharing. This is something that we should never forget and events like that which you participated in and blog posts that share these experiences will make sure we don't.

Stopping by on the A-Z Challenge
Bev@My Reader's Block (#288 on the list)

Ann said...

Thank you for this very poignant reminder of Holocaust Remembrance Day. I too often speculate the questions you raised and like you hope I would have had the strength to do the humane thing and lend assistance to those in need.

Trevor Peck said...

Thanks for the reminder that it is indeed "a human issue". Thank you for helping me think deeply.

Stopped by thanks to A2Z - following!

Love in the Truth

Meika said...

I think this was a necessary somber post in the sea of light and fluffy. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Sherrie said...

Hi!
Wonderful "A" post. It's best to not forget this part of history, so hopefully years later it won't happen again. Have a great day!

Sherrie
Just Books
http://sherriesbooks.blogspot.com/2011/04/to-z-blogging-challenge.html

Ann Best said...

This part of history is never easy for us to recall. But we must always remember, not just for the Jewish people but for all people who have experienced Atrocities.

A good, thoughtful post.

Margaret Hall said...

Your post was quite historic and I was glad that you shared your activity and your emotions and thoughts with us....Great start...
See you tomorrow?
Margaret...
http://timeforabucketlist.blogspot.com/

Seams Inspired said...

Deeply wonderful "A" post. Thanks for sharing your heart. I often wonder how the atrocity began, and all I can come up with is another 'a' word...apathy.

Visiting from the A to Z Challenge. I look forward to reading your posts. Happy Friday! :o)

Elizabeth Twist said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing your experience with the roses. It sounds like a great way to raise awareness.

Jen Daiker said...

I think this post is just as important as the happy one's. Thank you for sharing and stepping outside the box!

I stopped in to welcome you to the A to Z blogging challenge! I'm a co-host, should you need any assistance don't hesitate to ask! I do hope you'll stop by my neck of the woods! We can also be found on twitter (I'm @jenunedited and we're tweeting at #atozchallenge)!

Su said...

Wow, the comments are coming thick and fast today. Thanks, everybody, for stopping by! I shall reciprocate later today. I'm glad my post could be thought-provoking.

Kari Marie said...

Sometimes it's hard to put the numbers into perspective. Human issue-most certainly. I shudder at the loss of life.

Myne Whitman said...

That was really an atrocity, I wish more people really though about that quote.

Joanne said...

Very Very sad. It is so hard to wrap my head wround it. thank you for posting. Blessings, Joanne

Mara Nash said...

A beautiful and touching post. It often seems like we think of atrocities only as historic events and forget to feel them in our hearts, but you did a wonderful job of making it hit home.

And I truly wish we lived in a persecution-free land, but I don't think we're quite there yet!

Stephen Tremp said...

Shalom to you too. Auschwitz was indded an atrocity. Can't believe there are people who try to deny what happened. Nice meeting you and have a great weekend!

Crystal Collier said...

Deep thoughts. I was studying about that in depth last semester. I honestly don't know how a society can become so hate-ridden or blind as to let atrocities like this happen. Great A.

nutschell said...

In remembering constantly, we keep their memories alive. WE must never forget the ravages of war, if we are to have true peace.Shalom!

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

Wow.... Such a profound statement with the roses....

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Really sombering.

Arlee Bird said...

It is an important issue and we can be happy knowing that we remember and some of us try to do better for the future.


Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.
Thanks.

Lee
Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Tyrean Martinson said...

The Holocaust is definitely a human issue and one that we should never forget. Thank you for the reminder.
-Tyrean at http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/

The Words Crafter said...

I loved this. What a beautiful idea with the roses, too.

I've often wondered the same things, hoping, like you, I'd make the right choices.....and I hope, too, that we never have to find out!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Strong post, it was definitely a shameful time in history for us humans, and sadly the cultures and people might change but this type of treatment continues as people decide to divide against people. Very good reminder.

Su said...

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone! I know a lot of us are going round for day 1 of the blogfest, but I rarely get this kind of response!

baygirl32 said...

than you for stopping by earlier today. I look forward to seeing what you will do with the remainder of the month

bendedspoon said...

Here's my respect to you for doing your part. No deed is so little that it couldn't make a difference. Blessings to you :)

Sheila said...

Such a sad part of our world's history. Kuddos to you for doing something to make the world a better place.


~~Sheila
Reviewer & Writer
Book reviews and Author Interviews at my blog at http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/

Michelle in a shell said...

How do you find the time to do so many amazing things?

The only good that can come from atrocities is the reminder that we've been there and hopefully won't return. Human nature is so complex :/

Julie Hedlund said...

Since atrocities continue today, it is important to remember them and make promises to ourselves to stand against them. Good for you!

L'Aussie said...

Well Cheeky One we need to be reminded of this artocity, lest we forget.

Thanks for visiting Down Under.

Denise<3

erica and christy said...

The best of non-questions can get the best of answers. (this moment of zen brought by erica)

Su said...

I do appreciate everyone else's blogs being more upbeat today; if we were all serious, the blogosphere might be dismal. Lots of really good points in the comments!

Trisha said...

And i find it very sad that the world just keeps repeating past atrocities in new forms. People can be pretty horrible sometimes!

charlieschurchofchrist said...

I distinctly remember when my mom first told me about the holocaust (4th grade maybe?) I thought it was some event that happened 500 years ago - I couldn't believe that (at the time) it was 50 years ago. It was too close to our age.

Talli Roland said...

Wow - thank you for such an important post. I've been to Auschwitz and it's so tragic - I can't believe human could do such things.

Jeanne said...

Beautiul post. The visual got to me and we need those visuals. Many of my friends are Jewish and I teach elementary school. We make sure to learn about the Holocaust and remember those taken. Loving wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing it.

Ellie said...

A thought provoking post. A sad example from our history.

Su said...

I should also mention (now that everyone has already been & gone-- oops!) that this is also part of a larger human rights symposium running this week, with speakers from the Congo, Rwanda, and other places that I can't immediately think of, all of which have suffered from horrible human rights violations. So the student organization is really holding true to their statement about this being a human issue.

Adina West said...

Good on you for making this post about something real...and for recognizing this as a cross-faith issue. I love the mental image of a sea of white roses.

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