As the daughter of Eastern European-born parents who escaped anti-Semitism by migrating to Australia in the late 1920s, the Holocaust was also part of my heritage. (“Selling tickets to one of the greatest tragedies on earth”, Extra 13/7).
Many members of my Polish mother’s extended family perished in Auschwitz. In 1975, I visited Dachau concentration camp in Germany on my own to try and come to grips with the atrocity. On entering the gates, I was immediately confronted by a large information board dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of human beings murdered there. To my horror (how ignorant was I at 25?), I discovered there were also hundreds of thousands of non-Jews; the mentally and physically disabled, blacks, homosexuals, intellectuals and communists; people who had defied the Nazi regime.
It is critical that we remember those people as much as the 6 million Jews, so we do not emulate the past when we discriminate and discard those who demand a different, albeit non-conformist, lifestyle.