It is 2017. Can we please stop making jokes about one of the most inhumane genocides within the past century? Because if it never was funny, it never will be funny.
There is nothing more insensitive to me than overhearing people "joke" about Hitler's treatment of Jews or any hardships experienced in a concentration camp. Even though my ancestors do not formally trace back to Holocaust victims or survivors, the thought of laughing about starvation or suicide attempts within a Nazi concentration camp is utterly perverse.
In July 2016, I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. I walked the same path that millions of victims did before facing their brutal fate; whenever I tripped because of the uneven layout of the ground, I felt a glooming sense of despair. I saw the toppled remains of the gas chambers, and I walked alongside the barbed wires which imprisoned those who failed to meet the standards of Adolf Hitler's "Aryan World".
(Please note, not everyone needs to visit a concentration camp to know its seriousness and damage to the oppressed, especially in the Jewish community. Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, along with many other Holocaust museums, is simply a part of my story and why I feel so deeply about the Holocaust's effects on society.)
Towards the back of the camp stands a memorial that attempts to pay homage to those who suffered on that dreary plot of empty land. The phrasing sounded very familiar.
"Never again." The global community cries in despair after any tragedy, "Never again will such an awful event occur." They are the same words said to me after hijackers crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. For months, the same blue skies I had enjoyed looking up at were clouded with smoke, and they reeked of ash.
"Never again", echoed my history teacher, as we concluded a graphic video depicting live-footage after American soldiers liberated the concentration camps in Europe in 1945. And while I'd love to believe these sorts of injustices will never occur, I'm afraid they are still occurring, and we are too ignorant to admit it.
It is 2017. Can we please stop making Holocaust jokes? There is nothing insensitive to me than overhearing people "joke" about Hitler's treatment of Jews or any hardships experienced in a concentration camp. Even though my ancestors do not trace back to Holocaust victims or survivors, the thought of laughing about starvation or suicide attempts within a concentration camp is not only immature but also really perverse. If you actually think anti-Semitism is funny, or if you are one of the few uneducated people who doubt if the Holocaust actually happened, I seriously recommend seeing a therapist of some sort.
Like I said, this is 2017. World War II may have been fought and won, but this is still a major concern. For one, Neo-Nazis do exist. Americans have proof of this based on their presence in the attacks most recently in Charlottesville, Virginia. So, why are we helping Neo-Nazis by adding cynical humor to their repulsive ideologies?
The next time you hear someone make a Hitler joke about anything other than his choice in facial hair, remember to speak up so that these injustices to the Jewish community and all those who were affected by the Holocaust can truly "Never [happen] again."