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Bethlehem, PA – Unimaginable as it may seem, approximately six million Jews were methodically murdered by Nazi Germans, under the direction of Adolf Hitler during World War II, either in gas chambers or mass shootings. Many died from starvation and terrible illnesses. The carnage and brutality is absolutely horrifying to recall so why is it vital that we always remember that it happened? Why is it absolutely critical to continue to educate young people of these deeply disturbing historical events and ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten?
Alice L. Eckardt is Professor Emerita, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, where she taught in the Religion Studies Department and the co-author of three books with her husband, Roy Eckardt, Long Night’s Journey Into Day: Life And Faith After the Holocaust (1982), Long Night’s Journey Into Day: A Revised Retrospective on the Holocaust (1988),and Encounter with Israel: A Challenge to Conscience (1970) She also edited and contributed to Jerusalem: City of the Ages (1978) and Burning Memory: Times of Testing and Reconciliation (1993). More than 200 published articles focused on these same topics and their related issues.
“We must honor and commemorate all the innocent lives lost and we must remember it to remind each other of what hatred does to our world,” says Alice. “So it doesn’t happen again, so we learn from the terrible things we did in the past when such violence and oppression was perpetrated and suffered, and it’s frightening how hatred is still widespread and still proliferating today.” Until mid-1987 when she retired as professor emerita.
“Strive to be understanding of people who don’t think the way you do but never tolerate hatred or prejudice,” says Alice.