Tuesday 24th January: Persecution Today

The theme of this school week is: Holocaust.

Holocaust Memorial Day is Friday 27th January. More information at: http://hmd.org.uk

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reflection

The word ‘Holocaust’ is normally reserved for the murder of 6 million Jews under the Nazi’s. In addition, it is important to remember the other innocent people who were also picked out and brutally murdered under the same regime: 6 million Soviet prisoners of war, 3 million Poles, 1.5 million Gypsies (Romani), 250,000 disabled people, 80,000 Free Masons, 25,000 Slovenes, 10,000 homosexuals, 4000 Jehovah’s Witnesses, the list goes on… (figures approximate, sourced from Wikipedia). The total, of around 11 million is roughly equivalent to the whole population of Portugal. There have been terrible genocides since – Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia… but nothing on such a scale.

How could such a thing happen? Ian Kershaw, an author who has investigated the causes of the Holocaust in great detail, said this, ‘The road to Auschwitz was built by hatred but paved with indifference’. In other words a minority were determined upon this evil while the majority turned away and did nothing to prevent it. His analysis reinforces the much quoted saying that, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.’

Prayer

Father, may the anger and sadness I feel about the cruelty of the holocaust give me courage and determination not to be a fearful spectator when others are belittled. Help me to step out of the crowd and speak out against hatred and injustice. Amen.    

Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

Our Lady Queen of Peace pray for us.
St Joseph pray for us

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.