Holocaust: An End to Innocence
*How did it happen?* Why did we allow it to happen? *Could it happen again?*
These are the three questions most often asked about the Holocaust, the whirlwind of murder that resulted in the slaughter of 6 million Jews along with millions of victims from other targeted populations—Gypsies, Slavs, the mentally retarded, the insane, homosexuals, and the physically deformed.
What separates The Holocaust: An End to Innocence from many other books on the same subject is the emphasis I place on the issues that the murder of six million Jews raises for all humankind. As an event, the Holocaust may be uniquely identified with the Jewish people, as some historians have maintained. But as a historical fact--and one of the best documented attempts at genocide in human history--the Holocaust continues to inform, to challenge, and to warn all intelligent beings of an evil that is not beyond human behavior. Echoes of the Holocaust are all around us, threatening us, even while offering us the opportunity to rise above the worst that is in us and to exercise the best that is in us. This is not a lesson that should be the possession of any one people on the earth.
If we are to survive on this planet hurtling through a vast, cold, and uncaring universe, at a minimum we must learn to care for one another, to value every single life as precious.
My motive in bringing this book back to the internet is just to deliver this message. It is not a unique message, certainly, for it already appears in one form or another in almost every religious classic-- it has been spoken more eloquently by sages such as Moses, Jesus, Hillel, and Lao Tzu--but it is a message that often seems to be given lip service in the abstract and to be better understood when encountered in specific events.
I have attempted to bring the book "up-to-date" and mention newer echoes of the Holocaust where appropriate. For the most part, however, the book remains unchanged. Only the media is different. It is a vast web and I am pleased that you found me on it. I hope this book holds meaning for you as it does for me. You can buy the latest edition of this book at Amazon.
Dedicated to those of my family I never had the opportunity of knowing, whose unknown graves I will never have the privilege of visiting, whose lives would have made mine richer; and to my uncle who perished in the struggle to end the senseless slaughter. -- SR
No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main;
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friend’s
or of thine own were;
any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know
for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.
- John Donne, Devotions XVII, 1623
“Seymour Rossel, a long-experienced and gifted educator, here gives yet another important contribution for readers of every age and background. This book is a rare and valuable overview of an enormously challenging subject. Every chapter is accessible, intelligent, and compelling.” — David Altshuler, PhD, Founding Director, Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York
Contact Info: Rabbi Seymour Rossel, 11711 Smoketree Rd., Potomac, MD 20854, (713) 726-9520