Eighty years ago, newly empowered Adolf Hitler and his Nazis began their systematic persecution of Jews and other people viewed as undesirable. In less than a decade, it would lead to the most horrific and efficient, government-sponsored genocide the world has ever seen.
Some 6 million Jews and hundreds of thousands of others were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
This week marks the “Days of Remembrance,” as declared by Congress. Monday was the official Holocaust Awareness Day, recognized by proclamations around the country and remembrance services such as those held Monday evening by the Congregation Ohr Shalom in Grand Junction.
This year’s Days of Remembrance theme is “Never Again: Heeding the Warning Signs.” We can only hope that the theme proves true. But, in a world where Iran, al-Qaida and others talk of wiping Israel from the Earth, where North Korea threatens to annihilate its southern neighbor and various tyrants seek to eliminate any groups they deem enemies, it’s clear that vigilance is needed as much as remembrance.