We would like you to read this and make a pledge at the end. Thank you.
Earlier on this year both myself and Kate, a friend who also studies History with me, were lucky enough to be part of an amazing project - The Holocaust Educational Trust.
The Trust educates people on this unimaginable event in our history, in a way that nobody else has ever attempted to do so in our own experience.
One message really struck home with us - the re-humanisation of the event. In school, we are taught that the perpetrators involved were simply monsters, and the victims involved were simply a statistic.
That is not the case. And nor should it be treated so. This indescribable act involved humans, and humans alone. There were no monsters with green tongues and bulging eyes; there were men, women, children, uncles, grandparents and siblings - all involved in the mass genocide we know today as the Holocaust.
It is difficult to fathom this - we know. That every one of those millions of people who perished in the hands of Auschwitz, and across the world, were human. They all had lives, dreams, ambitions and people they held close. They were just like us.
It is even more difficult to fathom that the perpetrators were human - we know this more than ever after visiting Auschwitz I, where a villa stands directly opposite the camp. Why was it constructed there? So one of the leading perpetrators could have his wife and family close to him.
How do we comprehend this?
How is a man who is responsible for the murder of millions a 'family man'?
We need to stop providing memorial for a statistic, and start offering our respects to individuals instead. We need to re-humanise the people involved, before it is too late.
We, as people of the modern world, also need to ensure that this does not happen again. There is a famous quote by Georg Hegel that states "We learn from history that we do not learn from history."
We need to dispel this, and ensure that nothing of the sort happens again.
We would both appreciate it if you would make a pledge in the comments, either stating the following or composing your own.
"I pledge to re-humanise the Holocaust, remembering that both the perpetrators and victims were human, just like us. I pledge to educate my peers on the topic, and to play my part to ensure nothing of the sort occurs again."
If you would like any more information on this topic and what we learnt through this amazing organisation, please feel free to contact us.