By Rachel Bradle
Amidst the world’s population, there is a general consensus portraying the Holocaust as a horrific and unacceptable event in history. The United Nations, envisioned by President Franklin Roosevelt, was created on the basic principle “Never Again.” This key phrase referred to the tragic Holocaust, and the world’s desire to prevent a similar situation from reoccurring. However, as seen throughout the decades, the United Nation’s mission has fallen short.
The Rwandan and Darfur genocides (including various others) have all occurred after the Holocaust, and the United Nations’ promise to prevent these types of atrocities. Despite previously made promises, genocides keep happening, and nothing substantial is being done to stop them from continuing.
During my junior year of high school, I took an International Relations course, where I learned about the genocide in Darfur. As I visited the Holocaust museum today, I kept asking myself why the world has not done more to prevent theses situations. In Rwanda, the world turned a blind eye. It wasn’t til afterwards that the United States recognized the genocide in Rwanda and publicly apologized for the country’s lack of response.
Yet today, a genocide wages on in the region of Darfur (located in the country of Sudan). Unfortunately, significant global response has not stopped the Sudanese government from mass murdering innocent human beings. Why? Are they not important enough? Why has/have the United Nations or nations independently not taken action?
After the Holocaust, the United Nations promised to prevent genocides with the notion of “Never Again.” However, genocides have continued again and again. Personally, I cannot justify the lack of response upheld by nations of the world.
As I walked through the museum and saw the images of children being tortured and killed, I kept thinking about my two nieces and how I would feel if my nieces, two of the most important people in my life, were subjected to such horrors. I would be livid and sick to my stomach. The children of Darfur, who are currently facing a genocide, are nieces, nephews, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. They deserve better. They deserve action.
If there is any lesson to be learned from the Holocaust and the museum visited today, it is to fight for the rights of all people. As stated by Martin Niemöller, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Even if you have never visited the Holocaust Museum or you do not believe in the United Nations, uphold the principle of “Never Again.” Speak out. Don’t be afraid to fight for the rights of humanity. I know I won’t. I hope you do not either.
Be sure to read “Through the Eyes that Witnessed it All.”