Now is the Time
Imagine a forceful hand shoving you into a cattle cart with hundreds of other people. You are not given any food or water for two days. This is the least of your worries, however, for you are on your way to Auschwitz, the Jewish Death Camp in Poland. There, you'll be exposed to death and the cruelty of human nature. Solomon Radasky, an Aushwitz survivor, recounts his experience with death, "I can feel it now . . . I can even see the other people . . . the other people was crying the . . . the children was hollering, 'Mama, Daddy help me! Mama, Daddy help me!' You know, was terrible"(Menszer). Six million men, women and children were brutally killed in the Holocaust, while countless others were forced to meet the Cruelty of Man head on. To give this number perspective, think of the country Lithuania: nine out of every ten people were killed. The worst aspect of this scenario is that it still occurs. The importance of studying the Holocaust is to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future. Today is the future. Every educated, world citizen is aware of what occurred in the Holocaust, but few know about current genocides like; Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, or North Korea?
In Darfur, the Sudan government, rebels, and the Janiaweed Arabs have killed more than three million people (Heapon). In Darfur, however, there is help. There are havens in Dafur such as the Al Salam Camp. This camp is a haven for mostly women and children that have been affected by violence. Even here, though, many are not safe. The women have to leave the premises of the camp to fetch wood on a regular basis. When the women are out doing this many have been raped (Dolan). Rapes and killings have become a daily fixture in Darfur. After visiting Darfur, John Prendergast and Don Cheadle said the following, "As American citizens increasingly raise their voices and write their letters about Darfur, the temperature has indeed risen. But not enough. We need to make it a little warmer, a little more uncomfortable for those politicians who would look away. Just a few more degrees. Just a few more thousand letters. It is, frankly, that simple"(Learn).
In the Democratic Republic of Congo more than three million people have been killed and the numbers are climbing (Pike). There have been several peace attempts in the country, but all have failed. There are more than thirty different tribes in Congo and none of them will step down. One tribe alone, the Hutus, are responsible for hundreds of executions, rapes and beatings (Pike).
The current atrocities in North Korea are eerily similar to those of the Holocaust. Hundreds of thousands of people are held captive in prison camps because of their heritage. Just like the Holocaust, "experiments" are carried out on the prisoners of these camps, which include the use of gas chambers (Eittreim).The camps are occupied by weeping mothers who are not allowed to comfort their starving children. People who are deformed as a result of torture, and the dying, are forced to work. Witnesses have reported seeing mothers give birth, only to have the child suffocated by a towel (Eittreim).
The citizens of North Korea not in prison camps are executed publicly. Fox News recently reported a story on a public execution of a business owner whose crime was making international calls. He was executed by a firing squad in front of a stadium of 150,000 citizens. Four other public executions have taken place in North Korea in recent months.
The cruelties in North Korea are mirror images of the bloodshed that occurred in Europe during World War Two. We must use the knowledge that we have of the Holocaust to prevent it from happening again. People know about the constant horror that the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally ill faced during the Holocaust. Most people shudder at the thought of humans doing this to one another. Nearly all humans wish that the Holocaust could have been prevented. It is happening again. If the citizens of the world do not do anything about this injustice we are at fault for whatever may happen to these innocent citizens.
The survivors and the victims of the Holocaust have taught us to prevent genocide from happening in the future. Now is the time to take action. Now is the time to prevent this injustice from happening again. Now is the time to prevent the future from repeating the past.
"150,000 Witness North Korean Execution Of Factory Boss Whose Crime Was Making Internaional Phone Calls". Fox News. Feb 3, 2008 /story/0,2933,313226,00.html.
Dolan, Sabine. "Crisis In Darfur". Unicef. Feb 3, 2008 /.
Eittreim, Candida. "North Korea:Genocide". Feb 3rd 2008 /editorials/10-1-2005-77923.asp.
Heapon, Morgan. "Current Stage 7 Genocides in the World"". The World Times News Report. Feb 3, 2008 news./story.php?story13 .
"Learn/Stop Genocide Now". SGN. February 3rd 2008
Menszer, John. "Holocaust Survivors". Feb 3rd, 2008 /.
Pike, John. "Congo War". Feb 3rd, 2008 /military/world/war/congo.htm.