Days of Remembrance: Thinking back to the Holocaust
April 17, 2013
FORT BLISS, Texas -- Never again. Never again allow hatred to roam free. Never again allow the lives and property of people to be destroyed at the whim of others. Never again allow people to be stripped of their rights and imprisoned. Never again allow people to be targets of persecution, humiliation and violence. Never again be intolerant of other people.
"Never again: heeding the warning signs" is the message set by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for this year's Days of Remembrance, the annual commemoration of the Holocaust and its survivors.
Guy Hauptman, a survivor of the Holocaust, spoke at a Days of Remembrance event hosted by the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, at the Centennial Conference and Banquet Center, here, April 10. He wants this part of history to be told and remembered so no one can claim it never happened.
People shouldn't remember it for just one day, a week or a year; they should remember it for as long as they live, he said.
Hauptman, who was just a child during WWII, now 74, lived in a series of orphanages when his mother was taken by Nazis and confined in concentration camps. He said it is important for the Holocaust survivors, including his 95-year-old mother, Sara, to tell their stories so it never happens again.
"You will end up where you don't have any eyewitness of what happened, but my mother was there," Hauptman said. "She has the number tattooed on her arm. We won't be around for much longer, but people should still remember what happened and what we went through."
In addition to remembering, he also wants to spread the message of tolerance for others. Tolerance is also a message of the Army's Equal Opportunity program, which is committed to ensuring everyone is treated with dignity and respect regardless of their background or religion.
"Be good with any religion that comes," said Hauptman, talking about acceptance of others. "Just because you don't believe the same, doesn't mean you have to dislike the people for it -- you don't kill them for it."
Hauptman served in the Marine Corps and wants service members to know the importance of the role they play in protecting the freedom of people all over the world.
"Remember, the job you are doing will hopefully help prevent some of the things that happened during [WWII]," he said.