Why is it important to remember Holocaust victims and survivors? What does planting an olive tree do to honor and remember them? Why plant in Israel to remember them?
Join us below as we uncover the importance of remembrance, honor, and why we plant in Israel as a means to this end?
The Need to Remember:
If you are here, you likely know something about the Holocaust. About the 6 million Jews who were slaughtered, along with smaller numbers of Gypsies, disabled, and well, anyone who Nazi and Nazi sympathizers believed to be ‘undesirable.’
11 million people. That is the minimum number who died during the years of WWII—1939-45—yet, why were over half that number Jewish? How could any person or political party hate one group of people so much, that one of their primary goals is to eradicate them? Not just enslave them—though that occurred in many ways—but to ultimately and completely remove them from the narrative, except as an ‘evil’ people they ‘overcame’.
In the years prior to the Holocaust the lives of Jewish people in particular began to suffer…
Slowly political propaganda and media manipulation set the Jewish people apart. They became ‘the other’ through cartoons. They became ‘troublemakers’ and ‘destroyers’ of everyone’s way of life through the news. They became a ‘problem’ through the political mountain. Their artwork, etc. even became labeled as ‘degenerate’ through museums.
Somehow, in less than a decade, the Jewish people were turned from being just that, people, to being as animals. Or less than.
While Hitler was a big part of the problem, and his being allowed to climb the political ladder the fault of many… that was just one piece. Would Hitler have been able to do what he did without the cartoons depicting Jews as, greedy, murdering, selfish, less than human, caricatures? Would he have been able to do so without other likeminded people in the political mountain spewing all sorts of accusations and falsehoods? Would he have been able to do what he did if the Church had stepped up in defense of Jews?
It would have been infinitely harder to misdirect nations into believing that Jews were a problem if those in various mountains of influence had acted with and in truth!
Can you imagine if the Church had risen up to defend the Jews? Can you imagine if at least HALF of those in the entertainment, media, and political mountains had been honest and even remotely kind?
Yes, God brought amazing beauty out of the ashes of the Holocaust by using it as a catalyst to restore the nation and children of Israel—His chosen—in the Promised Land… but does that mean the murder and suffering of millions somehow fails to touch the heart of God? Does it mean He would have us forget those who died? No. God’s heart moves for His people. He desires that all should come to know Him, and suffering and murder are abhorrent to God. Our remembrance of this fact and those who suffered is vital!
It is like all throughout the Bible… whenever innocent blood is spilled, something happens. We all remember what happened with Cain and Abel. When Cain murdered his brother, the blood of Abel CRIED OUT from the ground. When sin occurred, it could only be cleansed through innocent blood. When Jesus, wholly innocent, died and shed His Blood… everything shifted for us. We were redeemed, the ground shook, the veil of the Temple was torn, the dead were raised…
Innocent blood speaks long after it is shed, and God keeps records of it all. Not one drop of blood falls without His notice.
If God remembers, why do we not? If God, such as in the case of the slain Abel, cares enough to hear the blood cry out from the ground, then why do we not care? Why do we fail to remember, and honor, and in many cases repent for those in our bloodline who were responsible?
Remember and Honor:
One of the reasons we need to remember is so that we can know the signs of not only what happened during the atrocities, but in the years leading up to them. By knowing what happened prior to the Holocaust, seeing and hearing the echoes of propaganda, media manipulation, and out and out lies… we can better understand how to avoid those and similar outcomes.
Yet, how do we remember all of this? How do we make a difference and honor those who suffered?
Well, ideally it needs to start in the home. With parents telling and teaching their children about the Holocaust: the things that helped cause it, what we can do to stop the spread of untruths, etc.
Yet, from there it needs to spread. Many adults hardly know of the Holocaust, so within our community of family and friends, we need to begin conversations. We need to make videos, write stories, create art, teach about it, and even work to fund Holocaust museums, programs, etc.
It needs to be brought into schools as an IMPORTANT part of history. Just as the history of whatever nation you live in needs to be taught in schools to know who we are as nations, we need to have topics like the Holocaust so we can avoid and learn from the horrors that occurred.
We need to bring awareness in these ways, but we also need to bring awareness in Churches. Because studies show that atheists and agnostics tend to have a higher knowledge of the Holocaust and events surrounding it. Jews need to stop being labeled as, “Jesus killers” and brought back into remembrance of who they are to God—His children, just as you and I are. The truth of Romans 11, of our being grafted into the Jewish body, needs to be recognized. And beyond the Scriptures and issues of the heart which require tending in the Church, there needs to be action…
There needs to be at minimum a discussion inside the Church about events like the Holocaust—perhaps even the seemingly endless Programs in history against the Jewish people. Of the unity the Jewish and Gentile Believers in the first centuries had. And, with these discussions, it is time the Church took action. In their community, and around the world…
It is time the Church banded together in unity and remembered those whose innocent blood was shed during the Holocaust, or even those who suffered untold loss and emotional trauma—surviving the Holocaust through hardships, torture, and even the loss of entire families.
It is time that families gathered together to remember the loss of the Holocaust and honor those who suffered. Perhaps by planting an olive tree in Israel—bringing their remembrance to the land that they would have longed to see.
It is time that communities found a common goal instead of being divided and wallowing in hate. It is time that they helped, remembered, and honored those whose suffering is a lesson for us here today. That truth, love, honor, and unity—particularly in the Body—is not only necessary, it is beyond price.
Let us band together as families, as communities, as the Church, and let us remember the lessons of the past and those whose innocent blood cries out. Let us honor those who suffered, and bring to those who survived and the Jewish people of their blood a bit of hope, of joy, and, of course, of honor…
If YOU would like to learn more about the importance of being a voice for Holocaust victims and survivors, then click HERE!
If YOU would like to learn how your church can partner with us to sponsor olive trees in Israel, then click HERE!
If YOU would like to learn how you and your family can sponsor an olive tree in remembrance of a Holocaust victim or survivor, then click HERE!
If YOU would like to learn how your community or church can come together to remember Holocaust victims or survivors, then click HERE!