Never Forget


A Special Remembrance of a Horrible Atrocity

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Martin Niemöller, a Lutheran pastor from Germany

I was just about to post today’s Catch when the following came by way of our good friend Bob from Seattle. With a new wave of racism raising its ugly head in this country, let us remind ourselves where the road of supremacist thinking ends.

We remember.

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.

But while this solemn day is observed on the anniversary of their deliverance, it is meant to remember one of the most horrible moments in the history of God’s people.

We remember the Holocaust.

We remember six million of God’s children who were murdered, simply because of their faith.

As we remember these six million lives, it is no coincidence that the Jewish people will also begin the celebration of Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of the Trees.

On Tu B’Shvat, Israelis plant trees as a way of sowing good for those who come after us, and as a symbol of hope. We celebrate the new growth starting deep down in the roots of the trees.

We celebrate that spring will soon overcome the darkness of winter.

We celebrate new life and new beginnings. Because even in the dead of winter, even in the coldest and darkest of seasons, there is hope.

Isn’t that what happened during the Holocaust? Even during a time of utter despair, God was still there. Even when His children faced their darkest moment, there was still hope.

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it’s customary to light a candle for those who died. But this year let’s do something just a little bit different: plant a tree.

By “planting a tree,” we’ll not only honor the memory of the victims of our past, but remind those who survived that hope is not lost… that hope is never lost.

Our loving God never abandons His people. He proves that every day by working through holy friends like you to bless those that are forlorn and in need of His provisions.

Yael Eckstein

President and CEO, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews


“The things I saw beggar description. … The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where [there] were piled up 20 or 30 naked men, killed by starvation, [General] George Patton would not even enter. He said he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.'” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower

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6 Responses to Never Forget

  1. kellief4 says:

    And it’s stunning how many times this has been repeated all over the world in the years since. Even in our remembrance we seem to repeat the same things over and over. Genocide on a smaller scale has become almost the normal way to “deal with” a group of people you disagree with. God forgive us for the big and small ways we contribute to the attitudes that grow this cancer. And God, please cure us, heal us, give us strength to stop this at every level.

  2. Thank you, John, for passing along Yael Eckstein’s message.

    As a follow-up Yael, today, writes:

    During this holiday (Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of Trees), we celebrate the beginning of new growth in the trees as the sap begins to rise from the roots to the branches. It’s a powerful reminder that the process of bearing fruit begins long before the first blossoms appear on the tree.

    Isn’t that a beautiful image? It teaches us that even in the darkness of winter, there is always hope — we just might not be able to see it right now.

    Two days ago, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we bowed our heads and wept for those who did not survive the genocide. It is vitally important to honor and remember them.

    But it is just as important to remember all who survived.
    So many survivors still suffer enormous pain, as though the Holocaust never ended in their own lives. They can never forget their trauma… and yet the world has largely forgotten them.

    On International Holocaust Remembrance Day and every day, it is not enough to say, “Never Forget. Never Again.” God calls us to ACT in faith. To BLESS His people. To FEED the hungry and bring HOPE to the hopeless.

    Tu B’Shvat reminds us that God continues to work even when we can’t see Him, just as the sap rises in the trees in preparation for spring. It is my prayer that you will let Him work through you today… and every day.

    Shalom, Peace my friends…

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