Because Remembering is resistance.
By Amy Zewe & Shelley Neese
Two Days ago on April 17, we commemorated Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Holocaust education is one of the core outreaches we at the Jerusalem Connection have in our effort to inform, educate, and activate Christians to support and provide comfort to The Jews, God’s Chosen people. We are Biblically commanded to do this in both the Old and New Testament and provide avenues for Holocaust remembrance. Educating each generation about the events in Central Europe only 80 years ago is a vital component of combating antisemitism—also one of our core missions.
Today, there are those who brazenly claim, despite hordes of historical, irrefutable evidence, that the Holocaust is a myth, a lie. Those of us who are still alive must speak for the ones who cannot. Antisemitism is again rearing its ugly head worldwide. Once more, Jews are the target of choice to blame for the world’s problems, whether it is the global pandemic or the racial protests. The chapter of evil in the world is not over. It must be actively fought against still. And one way of continuing that fight is remembering. Remembering is resistance.
Indeed, those who do not know history are destined to repeat it. Studies published in 2020 noted that of American Millennials and Gen Z, almost 2/3, about 66%, did not know that Six Million Jews died during the Holocaust, nor could they identify what Auschwitz was.
Holocaust denial is also still alarmingly prevalent, even when this evidence of the Holocaust is provided by paperwork, photographs, film, eyewitnesses, and personal experiences documented on video and in print. Downplaying the Holocaust is also a part of the denial. Minimizing the number of those killed, minimizing the targeting of Jews, and calling the entire event exaggerated. Unfortunately, these notions have trickled into the public school curriculum and college campus faculties.
Thus, antisemitism is at an all-time high according to the ADL, the FBI, and other watchdog agencies.
We want to remind our network of our commitment and our resources for education about the Holocaust so that we can continue to foster an environment that rejects any and all forms of antisemitism.
Our late cofounder, Pat Huchens’ was captivated by a collection of photographs recovered by a Holocaust victim and after a divine pathway of open doors and connections, she began to paint the images of the photos. The result was 40 paintings over which Pat agonized and wept, despite her own advanced battle with cancer. She brought these photos to life to provide a new avenue to share individuals’ stories. The collection is known as The Auschwitz Album Revisited.
In January 2011, Regent University Library hosted the world premiere of The Auschwitz Album Revisited. Later the same year, through the efforts of Pat’s close friends and fellow artists Michael and Inna Rogatchi, the paintings were brought to the Krakow Jewish Cultural Festival in Poland. Giclées from The Auschwitz Album Revisited are now part of the permanent collection at the Jewish Community Center at Auschwitz. In 2014, the Rogatchis also curated the giclées to become part of the permanent exhibition at the Holocaust Museum in Ukraine. Pat donated the original paintings of The Auschwitz Album Revisited to the art department at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. They are now a permanent part of Liberty University’s art collection and went on display in March 2020.
The Auschwitz Album Revisited booklet compiles the artwork of Pat Hutchens and catalogs the photos and the paintings with explanations of Pat’s emotional journey through each one as well as a recap of the history of the photographs now housed at Yad Vashem in Israel. This artwork has miraculous origins, and the booklet documents the journey. I encourage you all to visit our website to learn more and learn how you can get copies of the booklet for educational purposes in your community. You can share your emotional response to any image by obtaining a print –make it a conversation starter in your home, office, or school. Also, we can work with you or your organization to plan an art exhibition as an educational and commemorative event—this could be in your home, your church, your school—anywhere in your community to engage the next generation through the visual arts and keep history relevant.
Together We can reach the next generation with the information and evidence of the greatest expression of antisemitism ever. We can refute the denials and ensure each lost life was not in vain. Remembering is resistance.