Holocaust remembered: "Do Not Stand Silent"

  • Published
  • By Meredith March
  • 66th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
At a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony held at the Base Chapel nearly seventy years after the Nazi regime's first major, publicly violent anti-Jewish riot, members of the Hanscom community were urged to remember the lessons learned from the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Rabbi Abraham Morhaim, who serves as the civilian rabbi chaplain on Hanscom, and Janet Applefield, a Holocaust survivor and the ceremony's keynote speaker, spoke regarding the dangers of racial and cultural segregation, which can lead to dehumanization of those considered outsiders.

"The Holocaust, or any other genocide, wouldn't be possible without whole societies being told that there are certain groups of people who are alien, who are dangerous, who are contemptible and are not fully human," Rabbi Morhaim said.

The Holocaust serves as a reminder that regardless of race or creed, all human life and dignity is valuable and all are responsible for fighting against oppression to make the phrase "never again" a reality, Rabbi Morhaim said. "We are called upon to not stand by idly, to raise our voices against injustice, to cry out and to protest the genocides of our day."

Although the Third Reich silenced six million voices forever, survivor Janet Applefield uses hers to share her story and encourage others to root out discrimination and judgment from their lives. Mrs. Applefield, who was a child when her family was moved into the Krakow ghetto in Poland, miraculously survived the Holocaust by obtaining a Catholic birth certificate and posing as a member of non-Jewish families.

"We really cannot forget about the Holocaust because it was one of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind," she said. "I speak because I hope it will bring more awareness and understanding of the prejudice and hatred that exists today. I also hope that all of us will become more aware of our own prejudices against people who are different from us."