The following was written as part of a blog assignment for the author’s 8th grade class at the Key School.
Both the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide were traumatic experiences for everyone who went through each of them, and I can’t compare any of my life with that experience. But, I can and do feel sympathy for the victims of these two instances of genocide, wish them good health, and to have a good life.
Some people comment that the people behind such horrible acts have mental problems, or had a traumatizing childhood that made them kill thousands of people who just wanted to live in a different country with a family. Elie Wiesel said in his Nobel Peace Prize speech:
“It frightens me because I wonder: do I have the right to represent the multitudes who have perished? Do I have the right to accept this great honor on their behalf? … I do not. That would be presumptuous. No one may speak for the dead, no one may interpret their mutilated dreams and visions.”
I appreciate that he recognized that we don’t know what the dead want/wanted, and that he could not speak for them. I always hate it when people make assumptions about what someone else’s wishes are, and I feel bad for the people who have to make medical decisions for their family or friends. The Holocaust was a terrible, horrible, awful event, and I think everyone should know what it was and also know that this can not be allowed to happen again to anyone in the world.
Michaela Whalen is a 8th-grade student at Key School in Annapolis.
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