Each year, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I post a photo that illustrates the horror of what the Holocaust was. It is difficult to view. But it is far more difficult to comprehend. How can human beings do this to one another?
This photo was taken on a beach at Liepaja, Latvia on either December 15, 16, or 17th, 1941. Nazis, with the help of some locals, murdered 2,749 people, mostly Jews and mostly women and children, by forcing them to strip and stand before a ditch already filled with bodies. Each victim had two murderers: one aimed at the head, the other the heart. If a mother had a baby, she was ordered to hold it above her head, and it, too was shot.
Many people associate the Holocaust with the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka and other death camps. But the Holocaust actually began with the far more brutal murders, one-by-one, of an estimated 1.5 million men, women and children in the Nazi-occupied Soviet Union. Many were forced into pits, sometimes made to lie down on the bodies of those who had just been shot, and shot themselves.
It is this barbarism that must never be forgotten.