More than 72 years have passed since the end of World War II and the Holocaust.
No. We can't. We shouldn't. We have a profound moral obligation to the six million Jewish victims and millions of other victims to continue to pursue justice.
Which is why I'm glad 88-year-old Holocaust survivor Judith Meisel of suburban Minneapolis hasn't forgotten the face of a guard at a Polish concentration camp at which she once was a prisoner. Her story is told in this Minneapolis Star-Tribune piece.
This quote is included in the story: "'I think it's important to send the message that no matter how long ago these crimes were committed that humanity will seek justice until it can no longer do so,' said Gregory Gordon, a former federal prosecutor who worked on cases involving Nazi war criminals."
The passage of time does nothing to mitigate the evil committed in the name of Germany's National Socialist German Workers' Party and its leader, Adolf Hitler. But the danger of the passage of time is that we may forget the lessons of that malevolent era and somehow acquiesce in new horrors unplugged from redemptive memory.
Judith Meisel's story is heartbreaking, like almost all stories of Holocaust survivors. It is redeemed only by the knowledge that she didn't become one of the six million and that she retains her memory.
That's the way I felt about the survivors whom Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn and I wrote about in our book They Were Just People: Stories of Rescue in Poland During the Holocaust. That they survived at all often seemed like a miracle, but being in awe of that miracle did nothing to remove any of the guilt from the Germans trying to kill them.
So may we not lose focus until the very last Nazi -- and the last vestiges of Nazism -- are gone. (The latter will, of course, outlast the former.)
(The photo here today is one I took in 2007 at Auschwitz-Birkenau of the tracks that brought Jews into that double death camp that the Germans used in Poland.)
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WHEN JEWS MARRY NON-JEWS
The issue of intermarriage -- Jews marrying non-Jews -- is deeply dividing American Jewry, this Atlantic piece notes. ". . .the chasm between liberal American Judaism and Orthodox Judaism in the U.S. and Israel is growing; wider affirmation of intermarriage would expand that chasm even further." Judaism usually has found a way to bridge its internal differences, and I suspect that will happen in this matter, though not without some pain and disruption.