When we ask people why we study the Holocaust, the first answer, 100 percent of the time, is, “So we learn from it and not repeat what happened.”
We read about the Holocaust, watch films about the Holocaust and often times we are left with more questions than answers, asking ourselves why something like the Holocaust happens.
We question why people did not do more to help the Jews and other victims of the Nazis. The Holocaust did not begin with mass murder, it began with words, and with slow, systematic and legal discrimination.
Antisemitism existed before Nazism and it was through fear mongering, open discrimination, rhetoric and normalization of racial and religious hatred and violence that it escalated to murder.
With the ending of the Holocaust in 1945 and the liberation of the death camps, the world became a witness to the horrors inflicted by humans to humans. There were trials to hold a small number of perpetrators accountable for their crimes, achieving some form of legal justice. But that didn’t make antisemitism or hatred disappear; and the decades since the Holocaust we can still be seen repeating history.