Today is Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January). ‘Don’t stand by’ is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016.
The Holocaust and subsequent genocides (for example, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur) took place because the local populations allowed persecution to take root. Whilst some actively supported or facilitated state policies of persecution, the vast majority stood by silently – at best, afraid to speak out; at worst, indifferent. Bystanders enabled the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has written powerfully about the impact of bystanders:
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
For more information on Holocaust Memorial Day, please click here.