COLUMN: Could history repeat itself?

Published 7:30 am Sunday, May 5, 2024

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Watching the anti-Semitic protests on college campuses across the nation brought back memories of touring the United States National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. many years ago.

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 piled high with thousands 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.

Regarding the protests, the museum posted on their website, “The shocking eruption of anti-Semitism on many American college and university campuses is unacceptable and university and all other appropriate authorities must take greater action to protect Jewish students.

“Demonstrators at Columbia University calling for Jews to return to Poland — where three million Jewish men, women, and children were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators — is an outrageous insult to Holocaust memory, a failure to appreciate its lessons, and an act of dangerous anti-Semitism.”

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? A shocking story published several years ago in the “London Telegraph” reported on an investigation that discovered that over 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.’”

Several years ago, I learned the shocking history of RU-486, the abortion pill. Roussell-Uclaf, the developer of the drug RU-486, is controlled by the giant international firm, Hoechst, that was formerly part of the German company that produced cyanide for the Nazi death camps.

The Andy Andrews book “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?” tells about German citizens in one town who heard the screams coming from the boxcars passing by as they attended their church services. They said they sang their hymns louder to drown out the screams.

Monday, May 6, has been designated Holocaust Day of Remembrance. According to the Museum website, “Through the power of Holocaust history, the Museum challenges leaders and individuals worldwide to think critically about their role in society and to confront anti-Semitism and other forms of hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.”

We must speak up for those who have no voice, or history could repeat itself.

— Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”