One day recently I was talking to a Jewish friend of mine. She told me how she lost individual family members to the concentration camps. I was so overwhelmed by this that it was all I could do to keep from weeping. I found myself apologizing for what had happened to her family. She looked at me quizzically and asked why I was apologizing. I could only respond by saying that someone needs apologize, we must all take the blame for what happened, otherwise it will happen again.
My thoughts went back to World War II and that of my father who was in the war. His best friend at the time was Jewish. Dad had black curly hair and looked much like his Jewish friend. My father told me of the insults thrown at his friend and just because he was Jewish, my father received the same insults. These were Americans acting this way. I was deeply saddened to here of this.
Later when in college, I concentrated my Master's degree on World War II. I read of many accounts of war criminals at Nuremberg who sat in the docket. When asked why didn't they do anything about what they knew was going on around them, their response to the prosecutor was pretty much uniform with all those convicted, "What could I have done, I was only one person!" 6 million Jewish lives were taken, men, women, and children. I could only imagine what Hitler was thinking when he ordered this to be done, "Civilization will soon forget and at some point, they may even deny that it ever happened. They will forget because they do not want to remember this horror." I began to realize that the first stage in forgetting is to say, "What could I have done, I was only one person!"
Let us not forget! Remember what has transpired so that we will not allow it to ever happen again.