Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day, the day set aside to remember the liberation of Auschwitz -Birkenau concentration camp - a solemn day for all people especially for the Jews. Many of us have relatives or neighbors who survived those awful years in concentration camps, having their families wiped out.
What is most interesting are these photographs that put the enormity of the Holocaust into a more individual perspective.
20 Photos That Change the Holocaust Narrative
To be honest, I have always had trouble learning about the Holocaust, the evil of mankind, the depravity, the depths that people are able to sink to - but these pictures also remind us of the amazing people who were in these camps, those who survived and those who did not. We are reminded of their individuality. They were not just the numbers tattooed into their arms designed to take away their humanity, but real people, real individuals.
These were amazing people who did amazing things while in the camps, the self-sacrifice to stay alive, the self-sacrifice to to help each other, extraordinary things to keep their faith in G-d, to do mitzvot under incredibly hellish circumstances that we can't even imagine. The amazing people who were tortured and murdered simply for being Jews… were individuals.
For those surviving, the ability to put on plays and shows in the DP camps, needed a strength that is unimaginable. To move on with their lives and build new families even when they already had a family that was wiped out needed a strength that is beyond incredible.
When we think about the Holocaust we are overwhelmed by the scale of the destruction, a third of the Jewish People wiped off the face of the earth. Over 6 million people gone - along with their descendants. But these pictures are an opportunity to break down that number into faces, friends and relatives… individuals. Special individuals - our Jewish superheroes.
We honor them.