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    Camp Buehring Soldiers look back at the Holocaust

    Camp Buehring Soldiers look back at the Holocaust

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Ian Kummer | Volunteers gather after a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Camp Buehring,...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Ian Kummer 

    40th Combat Aviation Brigade

    CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Soldiers and civilians solemnly filed into the movie theater, but this was not a typical day at the cinema. Candles flickered in the darkened room.

    Macabre images, quotes and statistics flashed across the screen. Many of the participating Soldiers wore small stars of faded yellow cloth that anyone familiar with modern history will quickly recognize: The Star of David Jewish citizens and residents were forced to wear in Nazi Germany in the years leading up to one of the darkest chapters in Western history, the Holocaust.

    Soldiers from the California Army National Guard’s 40th Combat Aviation Brigade and the U.S. Army 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team gathered inside the main post theater at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, to recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day on May 6.

    Men and women from many different creeds and backgrounds came together to honor the more than six million Jews killed in the years leading up to and during World War II in a systematic effort by the Nazi regime to eliminate an entire race of people.

    Memorials are conducted every year around the world not just as a way to remember the millions of innocent people who lost their lives in the Holocaust, but to also raise public awareness against bigotry, so that history may hopefully not repeat itself.

    “The words you often hear about the Holocaust are ‘never forget,’ but also ‘never again,’” said Sgt. Stephanie Clark, the partnership noncommissioned officer for the 40th CAB.

    Bronx native Lt. Col. Michael Steinberg, the battalion surgeon in the 10th Brigade Support Battalion, volunteered to be the guest speaker for the day. Steinberg serves as a Jewish lay leader for Camp Buehring.

    In his presentation Steinberg examined the Holocaust as a unique atrocity in more than one way. While crimes against humanity are far from new, the 20th century brought about a perfect storm of technological progress in transportation, communication and bureaucracy allowing unprecedented levels of destruction against vulnerable human population.

    Among genocides committed in the 20th century, the Holocaust stands unique in its own grim way – the Nazi Regime gained no economic advantage from their attempted elimination of the Jewish population. Even the war effort itself took second priority to the Holocaust. The concentration camps and their supporting industrial apparatus continued to operate even into the final days as the Third Reich crumbled under the combined weight of Allied forces invading from East and West.

    “From the Holocaust we begin to understand the dangers of all forms of discrimination, oppression and bigotry,” Steinberg said. “From the Holocaust we can examine human beings as both victims and as executioners.

    Both participants and attendees of the Holocaust remembrance ceremony could leave that dark, candlelit room with an increased knowledge of the six million, but also perhaps with an increased resolve to make a stand against similar strains of hate and malice.

    “I feel like [the Holocaust] could happen again, which breaks my heart,” Clark said. “That’s why I was so happy to participate in this, I’m passionate about it.”



    Date Taken: 05.06.2016
    Date Posted: 05.15.2016 10:52
    Story ID: 198139
    Location: CAMP BUEHRING, KW 

    Web Views: 177
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    Camp Buehring Soldiers look back at the Holocaust