Could anti-semitic leafleats lead to repeated history?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 26, 2014

USA Today published a startling headline last week that read, “Leaflets tell Jews to register in East Ukraine.”

The article stated that as Jews were leaving their synagogue in the city of Donetsk, they were handed leaflets ordering all people of Jewish descent over 16 years old to register with pro-Russian militants.

Jews were told to provide a list of property they owned and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was quoted as saying, “In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable – it’s grotesque.”

This shocking news report comes as Holocaust Remembrance Day will be observed next week.

April 28 marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising – a clash between Jewish self-defense organizations and the German soldiers in 1942. The uprising was in response to German authorities deporting over 265,000 Jews to concentration camps and murdering more than 10,000 Jews in the Warsaw ghetto during the deportation operations.

The headline and article brought to mind the United States National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.  It’s a tour unlike any other I’ve ever seen in any museum, for the tour shows the horrifying brutality of the Nazis. An actual boxcar that transported Jews to the concentration camps, as well as their prison clothing, makes you an eye-witness to evil at its worst.

One of many rooms of the tour that brought tears to my eyes was a room with piles of shoes.  As you enter the museum, you are given the name of a person who was imprisoned and later you find out if that person survived.

The museum posted on their website, “The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum expressed grave concern about the anti-Semitic flyer circulating in Donetsk, Ukraine, that states that all Jewish citizens need to register with local authorities.  While the flyer’s author and motives remain unclear, the history of violence against Jews in the region makes the notice deeply troubling.”

Edmund Burke once said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”  George Santayana put it this way: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  King Solomon once wrote, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Could history repeat itself?  Another shocking story was recently published in the London Telegraph reporting on an investigation that more than 15,000 aborted or miscarried babies were “incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat the hospitals.”  The British Department of Health “issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr. Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’”

How Do You Kill 11 Million People? by Andy Andrews tells about German citizens in one town who heard the screams coming from the boxcars passing while they attended their churches.  They said they sang hymns louder to drown out the screams.  We must speak up for those who have no voice or history will repeat itself.