Whenever I write on the Holocaust – the Shoah – I do so with a certain degree of humility, and not without a deep sense of pain.
For I am reminded of what my parents taught me while still a young boy — the profundity and pain of which I realized only years later — that there are things in Jewish history that are too terrible to be believed, but not too terrible to have happened; that Oswiencim, Majdanek, Dachau, Treblinka — these are beyond vocabulary. Words may ease the pain, but they may also dwarf the tragedy. For the Holocaust was uniquely evil in its genocidal singularity, where biology was inescapably destiny, a war against the Jews in which, as Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel put it, “not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims.”
But while the Holocaust was “uniquely unique” as Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer put it, there are important universal lessons to be acted upon.