Make a Difference . . .
I have certainly always been aware of it (I think we read The Diary of Anne Frank in 8th Grade and Wiesel's Night in 10th or 11th) and I have an idea of just how horrible it was (I would not presume to know the full scope of it).
I know approximate numbers of those killed and the monstrous ways they were killed. I was obsessed with the Wannsee Conference (for the complete horror it will put in you - I suggest you watch it if you're not familiar, link above is to the entire film (which HBO remade to even better effect in 2001)) for most of high school and college. I even took a class on the Shoah ("calamity"), as it is frequently labeled in my readings/learnings.
I'm not reading up from some morbid curiosity or because of my conversion. I am, instead, looking for the beauty of the way survivors talk about the happenings in the context of their life before, during, and after. Puts things in perspective, right?
One of the things that I am most touched by is the way survivors honor those who did what you and I would presume to be common sense . . . simply helped. Keep in mind they were working with a mad man. Their own lives were on the line. This was not helping an old lady cross the street with a cross walk, a red light, and a foot cop all on your side. This was serious heroics in the face of something that was obviously wrong.
I just stumbled on this video clip. Cried. A lot. Felt compelled to share . . .
Think you are making a difference in the world? Do what common sense tells you to do - help. People, years from now, might just surprise you with a silent standing ovation for saving their lives. Or something less drastic but equally appreciated.