Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Commemoration.

Hey everyone,

Seventy years ago today, Ravensbruck and Munchen-Allag concentration camps were liberated. Seventy years ago, yesterday, Dachau concentration camp was liberated. The war weary world of the time had suffered continuous shocks from the terrible events that played out within mainland Europe. On discovering these camps, the world suffered even further shocks as they learned about the  genocidal policies of the Nazis. In short, today, seventy years ago, was a pretty big deal. 

However, for many, anniversaries of these horrendous discoveries goes unacknowledged - even unnoticed. Perhaps today's busy existence negates, for many, the need to mark the liberation of Dachau (where  over 30,000 people were murdered) or Ravensbruck (where an estimated 90,000 people were estimated to have died).  For FYFT, such an attitude is problematic. 

It is vital that we remember important events of the past; a loss of memory of that which has passed certainly results in a lack of appreciation of the lessons our history has to teach us.

However, commemoration is a important yet difficult concept to achieve worthily - it is not enough for us to give a nod of acknowledgement to the anniversary of a historical event. To truly ensure our behaviour avoids the mistakes of the past, we must actively learn, remember and understand the lessons history has to teach us. 

It seems sad and a little frightening that so few people 
seemed to have noticed the anniversaries of the liberation of Hitler's  concentration camps. If we ignore these momentous events in history, then what hope is there for us to learn the lessons?

The women of Ravensbruck concentration camp


Today as we concentrate on our fundraising applications, we do so in the memory of the brave souls who liberated the camps, witnessing first-hand the atrocities and horror they suffered. We remember, too, those who suffered before and after the liberation within the camps and in the aftermath - as many know, the extent of physical harm to the survivors of the camp meant that many died after the liberation from disease, exhaustion or simply because the starvation they experienced damaged their bodies to the extent that they couldn't properly digest the food they were mistakenly given. Please take a moment to remember this yourself; this question and answer session of an American soldier who liberated Dachau is a fascinating and moving way to do so. He conducted the online interview on reddit.com yesterday, as he, more than any of us, understood the importance of remembering. 


Thanks,
Ben

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