“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ” – Mahatma Ghandi
Throughout my life I have spent an unusual amount of time in Holocaust memorial museums.
In 2007, a decade ago now, I stood in the DC Holocaust museum when I was visiting the States for a few months. My eyes caught a label that read ‘Hannah’ in Hebrew on one of the suitcases.
My name is Hannah. I felt my heart break and my eyes fill.
I knew then that it could have been me, or a person I loved. Then, even worse, I realized that for someone, somewhere, this kind of abomination was their reality now, today.
That someone somewhere was running from a threat so great that they may not make it. That surviving was all they could do and even that is unlikely.
As I left the museum, I said a prayer and bought a pin that read ‘Never Again’. I made a private promise to myself and to God that I would do everything I could to make that come true.
With this in mind, I can now feel the conviction of this promise tugging through my being.
As a child I was moved by ‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit‘ written by Judith Kerr. Kerr takes us through her memories as a young child when her family was forced to flee, then through developing Nazi Germany. She narrates with a humor and grace that allows a small child to read without abject horror and allows an adult to be unable to deny that same horror.
I myself had a ‘lambie’, not a pink rabbit. I none-the-less understood the concept of someone stripping you of all that you love and hold dear and the pain that causes. I personally sobbed through much of the book.
It’s with a heavy heart that I begin to see a similar trend as the pre-WWII years take place on the world stage in front of us. The political elite have dutifully, and often selfishly, gone about the business of politics while the people they serve become disengaged, disenfranchised and afraid.
The game for power, while won by individuals and in many cases individuals who are good people, was being played far away from the truths of people’s lives. Out of touch and out of care.
The election of Donald Trump as US President, Brexit, the non-election of Theresa May as Prime Minister in the UK, a movement towards the right for Marine Le Pen in France and the disturbing, alleged interference of Russia in elections throughout the world are just a few indications that a shift is taking place.
A shift that should grab our attention and our prayers.
A shift that should be ominous.