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BEGIN WITHIN and SPEAK OUT against inhumanities

Updated on March 25, 2014

Begin within

Do we guage every decision on the rippling effect in the lives of those we touch?
Do we guage every decision on the rippling effect in the lives of those we touch?

No matter how prejudices and the suppression of choice are justified – they will inhibit growth, peace and our fundamental human right of freedom. Unless we study and learn from history, we are doomed to repeat the atrocities against humanity. In the East they deny that the Holocaust even existed. Do you have any suggestions as to how we can prevent another?

History shows us how fast an uprising or attack can happen, yet hatred, bigotry, and denial have been filling the airwaves of the East for years. Are our troops winning? Is there more we can do? It has been less than 15 years since the slaughter of nearly one million in the Rwandan genocide (in 91 days). I hope you will read, learn, do the work and speak out. Perhaps through the unity of our minds and souls we can find prevention's path. Not to do anything now, may be to let the horrors of another Holocaust unfold before us.

"Unless man is committed to the belief that all mankind are his brothers, then he labors in vain and hypocritically in the vineyards of equality." (Adam Clayton Powell JR 1967)

Are we all judgmental? Just a little bit perhaps? Alternatively, do we practice the unconditional acceptance of all humankind? Have we all witnessed exploitation’s inevitable destruction? Do we gauge every decision we make daily on the rippling effect it will have in the lives of those we touch?

I wanted to hide from history...

A couple of years ago while I was working in Washington, my daughter came to visit with a prepared and packed itinerary. At 20 she still believed she could get it ALL done – see everything that town had to offer in just a few days.

Her absolute first priority was to visit one museum in particular. As we approached the entrance, I could feel the emotional turmoil welling up inside me. On the one hand, I wanted to be there for her. On the other, I desperately wished she would have preferred to meander through any one of the other glorious museum choices, enjoying artistic masterpieces from bygone years.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum

As we entered, the lobby’s grand 60 foot high ceiling betrayed the darkness of the horrors and truths about to reveal themselves to us inside its chambers. Did she know how intricately intertwined her history was with the atrocities she would see? Why did she want to be here? Why did anyone want to be here?

My mind struggled to understand as it had for decades before this day. Would it change my innocent vibrant child, or did she have enough strength and courage in her DNA as my grandmother had?

The stories I’d heard of my Oma frantically ripping down the swastika they’d put up in her town – attempting to stop the injustices that were beginning to unfold. They didn’t kill her for it though. They wouldn’t be ready for another 42 days to haul her two sons off to the training camps. They deemed every child ready to fight for their cause.

Her sons were 10 and 12 years old.

Nausea enveloped me. As I paused for a moment to gather strength, I could see the anger welling up in my daughter’s eyes. That impatience I knew so well…

Would she become aware that the impatience she displayed was one of the rippling consequences I’d felt thousands of times over?

Memories of my childhood, filled with my father’s impatient anger caused by soul deep frustration repeatedly played in my mind. He had been ripped away from his parents at 10, suffered the death of his brother before war's end and been forced to witness atrocities too few of us were even aware of. Atrocities he refused to speak of or relive for the rest of his life.

Rarely would he say anything about them or the prisoner camp he himself suffered in, captured after the war had been declared over - as the unforgiving English sought avenues to release their revenge. Yet each moment of his young history always bubbled just below the surface – words were unnecessary.

I knew there were times I too was less than patient with others. I made yet another conscious note to replace my impatience with compassion whenever possible.

History will always repeat itself unless we learn and work at changing ourselves for the better.

Uninterupted cycles perpetuate

Doing my best to talk myself into forging ahead, I noted with dismay that there were a full three floors inside. I reminded myself there must be Reasons for Everything so I looked for a silver lining. Perhaps it could help me finally understand my own lifelong questions - or help my determination to rid myself of the negative impatience, guilt, anger...

The very first historical document I read exacerbated rather than alleviated my confusion.

Rounding up the Jews in Poland-Warsaw ghetto uprising

Burning residential buildings to ground, one by one
Burning residential buildings to ground, one by one

1933: It took only 6 months from the time he became Chancellor to turn Germany from a democracy into a police state. It became a state sponsored systematic persecution and annihilation of the European Jews. It wasn’t only the Jews that threatened Hitler’s closed mind though. He believed anyone who was disabled was “less than” and had earned being murdered – so he rallied them up for death too. Then he targeted the Poles for destruction and desecration and anyone else slightly different for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Gypsies were next, then homosexuals; Jehovah’s witnesses; Soviet prisoners of war, political dissidents - all were on the list to suffer grievous oppression and death under this Nazi German regime.

Everywhere I turned, everything I saw brought more questions than answers.

6 million murdered!

How could millions line up quietly, waiting to be incinerated in gas chambers? How could so many not overtake their oppressors? How could the rest of Europe and the world stand by idly and let it happen?

We listened to testimonies of survivors; saw pictures of families and children that had been hidden in the earth as the only hope of a legacy. We passed through tiny train compartments where more than a hundred at a time had been forced into unsolicited mobilization at the whim of a lunatic.

We stood aghast staring at the room sized replica of the gas chambers of Auschwitz and thousands undressing for what they were told would be a shower - no one would come out the other side. I felt the blood draining out of me as I stared at the rudely constructed devices used to strap their prisoners down before yanking out their golden fillings. It was all so real I could almost smell the death and decay of what I was witnessing, and it sickened me beyond words...

The words of an anti Nazi German pastor will live forever in my mind,

First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the Trade Unionist, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me”

I had to leave. Outside I leaned against the building hoping it’s cold concrete could somehow revive me. I had just relived what I knew was a disgrace against humanity itself. My mind grappled with why I still felt so nauseous. It was in the past after all, wasn’t it?

Yet I knew, to some degree, that same judgment still exists in our lives daily.

So many times, we fail to consider the consequences of our actions and the effect our words have on others. How often do we feel helpless and thus, do nothing in the grander scheme of things?

When I looked up, I saw an answer deeply engraved in the wall for eternity. Those words helped me understand why

- why I had to relive this legacy of horror

- why we must learn from the suffering of our ancestors and history

- why my soul will never forget…

Why we have to remember…

And accept the burden of conscious awareness for each other.

Jimmy Carter’s words: “Out of our memory of the Holocaust we must forge an unshakable oath with all civilized people.

That never again will the world stand silent. Never again will the world fail to act.”

A moving, positive and insightful journey...


It only took 19 to perpetrate 9/11
It only took 19 to perpetrate 9/11

I thought to myself, "No one in Rwanda must have visited this Holocaust Museum".

Retired General Richard Myers reminds us that when we were caught offguard with the U.S. terrorist attacks, "it only took 19 to perpetrate 9/11".

Are we paying attention?

I beg you to remember with me - it can happen so fast: 6 months to a police state; 3 months to slaughter close to a million; a morning to catch us unaware and kill 3,000 unsuspecting neighbors...

The only way to change the world is to change our own.

I no longer believe we can just ignore history.

We must – - - BEGIN WITHIN and SPEAK OUT against inhumanities

What is being taught to millions in Pakistan is more blatant and worse than Hitler could have imagined. When it becomes an inspiration to not only commit suicide but to take as many with you as possible, the world cannot ignore the consequences. Yet waging war on them is only making it worse. I don't believe we can stoop to their level and medieval ways to overcome this challenge.

(per news link no longer available: "Taliban win Swat Valley with public beheadings and destruction - 200 schools destroyed. Now 1.5 million children (considered tools to use) being taught death is a blessing. Live child bombs idolized as inspirational.)

Do you have any suggestions as to how we can put soul force to work?

We all deserve liberty and justice

Now they have thousands believing in their cause...
Now they have thousands believing in their cause...

It's About Time

Isn't it about time

for all of us to speak up?

"An error does not become truth

by reason of multiplied propagation,

nor does truth become error

because nobody will see it."

- Gandhi


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    • SEM Pro profile imageAUTHOR

      SEM Pro 

      7 years ago from North America

      As an incredible testimony to the feelings and "reality" of our troops in the East, please read: - a soldier's tale... And, how it is inevitably spreading within our own borders:

      Again: "An error does not become truth

      by reason of multiplied propagation,

      nor does truth become error

      because nobody will see it."

      - Gandhi

    • SEM Pro profile imageAUTHOR

      SEM Pro 

      8 years ago from North America

      Thank you lxxy... very much hope you find it in your heart to join our crusade with energy healing. The tools now available make it easy to help others re-connect to source - the fundamental first step to being able to focus on the positive. Zero Point Field - here we come world! "No more pain, no more hunger, no more wasting life away..." We're heading to Wand the Gulf Sept. 19 - its a start :)

      Love you Buddy

    • lxxy profile image


      8 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      "1933: It took only 6 months from the time he became Chancellor to turn Germany from a democracy into a police state."

      So many people forget how quickly it all happened.

      I remember going to DC and visiting many things. You're right, the wall of the fallen during the holocaust is disturbing and full of emotional charge.

      Reminds me of stepping foot on some parts of the Gettysburg battle field.

      This is a great article Syl, speak up and stand out!

    • SEM Pro profile imageAUTHOR

      SEM Pro 

      9 years ago from North America

      Return hugs dear Sir :) I look forward to hearing back from you - providence indeed!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Well I have been thinking along those lines myself. Luckily for Mom she passed before my brother so did not go through that anguish. I have many Vet friends to talk with and mothers of them also. Will keep in touch. hugs, CC

    • SEM Pro profile imageAUTHOR

      SEM Pro 

      9 years ago from North America

      My dear ralwus - thank you, thank you, and thank you. A remarkable pen you have dear Sir. A thought just occurred to me: might there be a way to contact vets and interview them in order to create a book of their testimonies? War has many long term affects and consequences for all concerned. We may not have answers, but that we both serve God and have been brought together; perhaps our light can shine brighter not only with our union, but also by offering an outlet for those who have suffered first hand - including your mom for example. Your thoughts?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Well providence has led me here I do believe, or is it that providence led you to me which brought me here. I don't know but am so glad we have hooked up dear SEM. I can understand why you didn't relish the idea of entering that museum. History has many brutal lessons for us to ponder. I am amazed at all the survivors of the Nazi killing machine. Days before we ever knew about post traumatic stress syndrome, My God talk about stress. Your father was part of this history and it burns my soul to hear of anyone who denies it had ever happened.

      I don't have any answers, but I have my pen in the form of a PC and I have lately voiced my own concerns of war and what causes them. I am proud to join you in the fight for peace and Human Rights for all mankind. Thank you dear SEM for a remarkable hub and personal testimony of terror.

    • SEM Pro profile imageAUTHOR

      SEM Pro 

      9 years ago from North America

      Not a single word from anyone in almost 5 months since this post - my heart aches, my tears flow...

      I will find a way to contribute to or inspire peace - I will not give up!


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