Recently, Jones PR provided public relations services for “A Historic Evening with Eva Schloss, Stepsister of Anne Frank.” The event was a wonderful success, but the message conveyed by Eva, a Holocaust survivor, will stick with me longer than any acclaim garnered for a job well done. Here is a woman who transcended all the odds and lived through one of the darkest periods in our world’s history. She deserves the peace and quiet of an uneventful second act to her life after all she has gone through, but instead, she is using her story, and that of her stepsister, to educate and encourage audiences worldwide to never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust and to always seek peace as the first answer to any conflict.
This should be a message that stands the test of time, but sadly humanity can have a short memory. A 2019 study from the Azrieli Foundation found that 49 percent of U.S. millennials were unable to name even one concentration camp. Six million Jews were killed in these camps during the Holocaust, and yet 75 years after the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, many are forgetting that these places existed.
The old saying goes, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it,” and without historical education this will be the case. It is vitally important that our children continue to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust, and it is equally important that adults value the lessons learned during this terrible period.
In the words of Eva’s father, Erich Geiringer, “Everything you do leaves something behind; nothing gets lost. All the good you have accomplished will continue in the lives of the people you have touched. It will make a difference to someone, somewhere, sometime and your achievements will be carried on. Everything is connected like a chain that cannot be broken.”
This Holocaust Remembrance Day, and every day, we must remember not only those who lost their lives, but those who survived to tell us their stories. I encourage you to learn from these stories so that history does not repeat itself. Be the change you want to see in the world, and make sure that those who came before us are gone but not forgotten.