Whatever small hesitations we may have had about a new initiative taken by the IDF’s Social Media Unit, in the end we are deeply disturbed by the many ways in which the experience of the Jewish people just a handful of decades ago – within the lifetimes of the parents of us bloggers here at ThisOngoingWar - is increasingly diminished, degraded and denied.
Measures that restore dignity and respect to the victims of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazi Germans and their many willing helpers are in our view measures worth taking.
In a few days, we will commemorate the memory of the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and the bravery of all those who stood up against Nazi barbarism. This year, the IDF is putting together a special social media project. With your help, we will pay tribute to Holocaust survivors across various social networks. With three simple steps, you will be able to contribute to Holocaust remembrance. Post a photo of yourself together with a Holocaust survivor on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #WeAreHere. Also be sure to include his or her name, age, and place of residence. We will then create an index of all of the photos you tagged, and build an interactive map according to location. This will contribute to commemorating those who were lost, and produce a dynamic memorial to those who remain across the globe. Start publishing your images now and on April 27 the IDF will publish the interactive map to show the world that #WeAreHere.
We’re fully supportive. We posted this Tweet yesterday – and we’re grateful to the many who have retweeted it:
Malki Roth, murdered by Hamas 2001, with beloved grandmother Genia Roth, Auschwitz survivor #WeAreHere and remember
We recently published on this blog a short article ["16-Mar-14: Fifteen: A festival time reflection"] about our family’s history and the burden and privilege of memory.
Genia Szmulewicz Roth was just fifteen when her family became captives of the Nazi German forces that rolled into Poland in September 1939. She was sent from her home town to the Lodz Ghetto, then to Auschwitz and then to several forced-labour camps from where eventually she was liberated along with her three sisters. All her brothers, with their parents and virtually everyone else in the extended family, did not survive. We will pause to remember them this coming Sunday.
Living initially in a Displaced Persons’ Camp, she and her sisters began rebuilding their lives following the trauma of six years under the Nazis. She married another survivor, Abraham Roth, in Munich in 1947, and on being granted immigration papers to Australia, settled in Melbourne in 1950. She lives there today, and is blessed with children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren who cherish and love her.
Her grandaughter, Malki - the eldest of our daughters – was murdered in a terrorist massacre carried out in central Jerusalem on August 9, 2001. For those unfamiliar with what we have written here in past posts, almost all the planners and executors of that attack on a pizza shop in the heart of Israel’s capital city, unrepentant and unbowed, are free today.
We have much to remember.
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About the Author: Frimet and Arnold Roth began writing and speaking publicly soon after the murder of their fifteen year-old daughter Malki Z"L in the Jerusalem Sbarro massacre, August 9, 2001 (Chaf Av, 5761). They have both been, and are, frequently interviewed for radio, television and the print media, including CNN, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Al-Jazeera, and others. Their blog This Ongoing War deals with the under-appreciated price of living in a society afflicted by terrorism which, they contend, means the entire world. Frimet is a native of Queens, NY while her husband was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. They brought their family to settle in Jerusalem in 1988. They co-founded the Malki Foundation in 2001 and are deeply involved in its work as volunteers. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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