'Mara, daughter of Yitzhak and Bracha Coblic, was born in 1936 in Chisinau, Romania (today Moldova). Mara and her family were incarcerated in the Chisinua ghetto, where she and her mother perished.'
(Testimony taken from The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names)
When we know their names, they become individuals, don't they? Not just one of an unimaginable '6 million' (and many, many more), but one individual human being - human, just like you and me. Today, I weep for these sacrificed lambs and their families, whether they perished in the ghettos or the concentration camps:
ODETY KOUNYO 3 years old
EWA KOENIGSTEIN 8 years old
FRANYA WALDLIFERANT 7 years old
MOSCHE BONYHADI 4 years old
BUSJA BUCHBINDER 2 years old
IZIA BERI 6 years old
ELISABETH PAKKEDRAGER 4 years old
LOUIS KOOPMAN 2 years old
LIZA BARON SHAROVKA SHAROVKA 9 years old
CHAIM AUSLANDER 8 years old
BERL BANKIER 9 years old
LUNEK MILCH 3 years old
JAKOB FISCH 10 years old
ETI AROESTI 6 years old
YTZKHAK AJZENMAN 1 years old
RAHEL AJZENSTAJN 4 years old
RAHEL GANTS 7 years old
IZYA BUDMAN 3 years old
ISRAEL ANGELTCHIK 8 years old
YAKOV BAKUN 5 years old
(Page 1 of the Children's list of Names of those who perished in the Holocaust)
For Holocaust Memorial Day today, I invite you to choose just one name - from those above, or from the Database - and give a few minutes to acknowledging that person as a unique and precious individual. Then give a minute to acknowledging and honouring your own unique and precious self - for until we can respect and honour the self, our capacity to respect and honour others is, I believe, diminished.
Remember they were, and are, all individuals, remember the crimes, remember the courageous ones who tried to help, and remember that persecution does not end, but goes on..and on...and on. Never forget.
Today I remember the individual Maria Amici, born in Vienna, 15 March 1903, transported from Verona to Auschwitz 02 August 1944, where she perished.
Maria Amici, you are not forgotten.