Leadership, Innovation, Community
Dear Club Presidents and Yellow Candle Chairmen,
Between 1942-1945, the German Nazi regime and their collaborators systematically persecuted and exterminated six million European Jews: men, women, and children. The majority of the Jewish deaths occurred in the Nazi death camps, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor, Treblinka, and others between 1942-1945. This period of persecution and annihilation of Jews has come to be known as the Holocaust, derived from the Greek word "holokauston," a sacrifice by fire.
Jews were not the only victims of the Holocaust. The Nazi war machine destroyed millions of others because of their ethnicity, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or physical and mental disabilities. But, anti-Semitism was the motive of force of Nazism; as Elie Wiesel observed, "Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims."
The Holocaust stands as one of the greatest crimes against humanity, and, as such, it is a powerful testimonial to the price the world pays for moral indifference in the face of injustice. Nazi doctrine was racism brought to its logical conclusion. We best honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust by steadfast vigilance against racial, ethnic, and religious prejudice.