You hear lots of people call the Holocaust “a nightmare,” but that’s too easy. A nightmare is too traumatic and too complex for us to think about except while we’re asleep. We wake up and it’s over. It’s gone. Once we’re awake, we can get away from it, forget about it.
We must never, ever, let the Holocaust become that.
I know the Holocaust seems like something beyond our real, day-to-day experience. We can’t really grasp how eleven million people, six million of them Jews, could be systematically murdered by machines and systems that were built by other human beings. But the Holocaust is reality … our reality, part of our world’s history. It is an event of global importance that we cannot, and must never, forget.
For decades, Holocaust survivors have worked to keep this experience real for us. And now we see that, with the passing of time, their ranks are thinning. Someone must take up the duty of keeping their experience alive. In South Florida alone, there are over 12,000 survivors of the Holocaust, victims of unimaginable loss and tragedy. This weekend, I am dedicating our agency to the important duty of telling their story.
Zimmerman Advertising is sponsoring the uninterrupted broadcast of the Holocaust documentary March of the Living this Sunday, May 20 at 6:30 pm on CBS, Channel 4, WFOR-TV here in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. The reason we did this is simple. The Holocaust generation is passing away before our eyes … and their biggest fear is that when they are gone no one will remember them or the event. We can’t let that happen. This history must be recorded and shared, so that younger generations never forget. Zimmerman also supported this program by sending a camera crew to Poland with three survivors of Auschwitz for a firsthand account of the Holocaust through their eyes. It’s striking how almost 70 years later the memories these gentlemen shared are as fresh and heartbreaking as when they were there.
Against the darkest moments of evil, the survivors’ spirit has always illuminated a path of hope and survival for the Jewish people. This broadcast is meant to help keep that light bright and that path clear … to help those of us who came after the Holocaust survivors, both Jew and non-Jew, to keep the promise they need to hear from all of us: the promise that we will never forget.