For many, probably most Jewish families alive today, there are branches in the family tree that end suddenly in the late 1930's - early 1940's. My family is no exception. Here are two images from the family tree my Uncle Louie did many years ago (it is not up to date).
The red arrow points to the Tevyansky family; all 5 were killed by the Nazis in about 1942. Chaike Fishman, the mother of this family of 5, was my grandfather Isadore's sister.
I'm in this snapshot of the family tree. I never had a chance to meet these relatives; they were murdered before I was born. Find my name in the second image. I know almost everyone in the column that has my name, and I knew everyone in the column to the left, my parent's generation - everyone except my father's cousins: Zloty, Sorreh and Masheh Tevyansky.
Also notice that above my father's name, Morris Fishman, are the names of 6 siblings who all died in about 1942 (ABT1942). These were also my father's cousins: Raisel, Yossel, Yentl, Schloime, Osher and Herschel Pollack.
They were all victims of the Holocaust.
We Jews remember these victims today because we should never forget them.
Everyone should take time today - and every day - to remember all victims of genocide. We should remember them as a way of honoring their lives, and their deaths. We should remember them because this evil was carried out by human beings, and we are all human beings. This dark side of our biology has to be controlled and eventually eradicated if we have any hope of peace and justice for the humans on this tiny planet.
Thanks for reading this.