Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Holocaust of Souls

Since 2005, the UN has designated January 27th as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This date was chosen because it was January 27, 1945, when the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that today I've decided to write a little about Schindler's List - a film based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, who helped to save 1,200 Jews from concentration camps around Poland and Germany.

I know some people complain about Schindler's List because of its well-deserved R-rating. It's a movie that may very well shock the senses with its course language, full-frontal nudity, and harsh violence, and yet, this is one of those few films where these elements really are essential to the story, and it's a story that truly needs to be told. It's important, I think, that we at least try to understand the terrors that Hitler and his Nazis wrought.

It's important for us to remember the horror of the Holocaust because it shows us something of the depth of the depravity of man's sinful heart. Left unchecked, we are prone to all manner of temptations that can quickly take us down a slippery slope to a dark, dark place if we're not careful! Remembering the millions upon millions of people who were displaced, imprisoned and slaughtered by the Nazis should encourage us, too, to learn from the mistakes of the past and see to it that something like this never happens again! (Otherwise, things might very well end up like an episode of The Twilight Zone I wrote about last year!)

Meanwhile, sharing the stories of heroes like Oskar Schindler and so many others who tried to do what was right in the face of extreme danger ought to also inspire us all the more - as our baptismal vows call us - to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves!

I am so thankful for the many brave men and women of that greatest generation who sacrificed of themselves in order to put an end to Hitler's Holocaust!

But what if I were to tell you that the holocaust isn't over?!