A Day in the Life of the Holocaust

n our transitional location on Record Street, the museum focuses on the behaviors of the bystanders in the Holocaust. By presenting just three events that occurred on one single day (April 19, 1943) we are able to contrast some of the different responses to the Holocaust. These three events highlight the bravery and courage of the powerless who heroically defended life and saved others at the very same time that the powerful decision-makers in the Allied governments remained indifferent.

On the very day that 3 young men risked their lives to rescue Jews from a deportation train bound for Auschwitz from Belgium (the only time in the Holocaust that a train was attacked on its way to one of these notorious camps) and on the very day that the persecuted and starved residents of the Warsaw Ghetto rose up in revolt to assert their human dignity and to fight back against their oppressors with every last ounce of determination and every last drop of their blood, a group of officials representing the British and American governments met in a plush hotel in the resort island of Bermuda. Historians recognize that the Bermuda Conference was meant only to stonewall protest, to hide inaction and to deflect the growing calls to help these poor, threatened and suffering victims.

The indifference of these powerful leaders clashes sharply and strikingly with the brave actions taken by the powerless in Belgium and in Warsaw, and it illustrates Albert Einstein’s comment that is displayed at the entrance of the Dallas Holocaust Museum: “The World is too dangerous to live in - not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who sit and let it happen.”

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