Holocaust Remembrance Day Reflection
By Dana Stancavage
Barbed wire fencing, guard towers, and barracks are what I saw in July 2016 as I drove into Majdanek concentration camp in Lublin, Poland.
It was lightly raining and painstakingly quiet as I walked through one of the largest concentration camps used in World War II. The camp stands well-preserved, making it surreal to tour the ground where mass extermination and horrors against humanity took place.
From stepping into sleeping and working bunkers, witnessing piles of shoes that hit the ceiling, and standing beside gas chambers, Majdanek exists as a painful reminder of the events that took place not too long ago.
When we reflect on the Holocaust, particularly on days like today, we often speak of it as an awful event that happened many moons ago. The reality is there are Holocaust survivors who live and share their stories this very day.
I was fortunate to spend time with one, Irving Roth, who survived both Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps in the early 1940s. Roth passed away in February 2021 and dedicated countless hours educating and sharing his families’ story.
As a society, it’s important to take time to commemorate the millions of lives taken each with a dream and purpose that ended too soon. It is duly important to never allow a similar event to unfold by standing up to anti-Semitism and promoting religious freedom.
In Poland, a neighboring community of Lublin can be seen from the hilltop of the crematorium in Majdanek, the same place where a massive dome covers ashes that still remain.
A leader in my group offered a powerful sentiment as we took in the reality of a city so near to a place of great atrocity: What if standing on the right side of history meant standing on the wrong side of that fence?
To think a concentration camp sits within eyesight of a populated, modern town makes the words of “never forget” and “never again” all too important. This Holocaust Remembrance Day, let us never forget the lives lost and never allow an event as this happen again.
Dana Stancavage currently works in campaign finance after serving as a congressional staffer in the House of Representatives for two years. She graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University where she majored in communications and media and minored in journalism. She continues to stay engaged with groups such as Young Professionals in Foreign Policy to further her education and advocacy on religious liberty.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of International Christian Concern or any of its affiliates.