Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.
First Born and Little Guy are taking part in a play this afternoon.
FB is the narrator and LG is playing Otto Frank (and Hitler, but we won't talk about that ...)
We've been warned to bring a large supply of tissues.
I think back to when I was their age.
I was part of the first post war generation, born at a time when the world was still reeling from the revelation that evil could exist on such a vast scale.
I played Anne Frank in a presentation at my school.
My geography teacher was leaving the next day.
I knew nothing about this teacher's private life or history.
When I came back to school, my geography book was returned to me.
Inside was a note from the teacher, thanking me for my moving performance and telling me how closely her own life had been related to 'all that' as she called it.
Many years later, I copied and enlarged some old family photos.
As a result, my parents were able to identify some of the sepia images of people standing stiffly against backdrops (sheets hung between wooden houses).
We were able to point to the individuals and say - they didn't make it. Neither did they ... Or them ...
You'd think we'd learn, wouldn't you?
That never again wouldn't just be a slogan ...
You don't have to look far to see what a long way off we still are.
So I'll end with some quotes:
'Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.'
'Each time a man stands up for an idea he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.'
'First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.'I am now almost ninety and my strength is slowly failing. Still, the task I received from Anne continues to restore my energy: to struggle for reconciliation and human rights throughout the world.'
The last words must go to Anne herself.
'And finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and could be, if there weren't any other people living in the world.'
'How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.'
'I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.'
'I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.'
'Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!'
'No one has ever become poor by giving.'
'The final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.'
'Whoever is happy will make others happy too.'