When Seton Hill University Professor Michael Cary studied at the National Holocaust Center in Israel several years ago, he heard a speech from a Holocaust survivor that he can't forget.
The woman and her infant were in line to board a transport train when her baby began crying. Fearful of the Nazi guards around her, the woman tried to get her baby to stop, even resorting to spanking the child.
"And then it happened," Cary said. "The guard heard the child, took it from her, and she never saw it again."
Their final moments together were marred by fear and anger instead of warmth and comfort. Both mother and child were destroyed by a force that had forgotten morality.
"When we forget where our moral values come from, we are susceptible to the mindset that allows us to stand by and ignore violence when it happens," said Cary, a professor of political science and history.
Cary spoke at the annual Westmoreland County Interfaith Community Memorial Service in observance of Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day.
About 100 people gathered at Congregation Emanu-El Israel in Greensburg for the service, which is sponsored by religious and community organizations, to remember the Holocaust and its victims and to pledge never to let such atrocities happen again.
Participants included members of a variety of churches and synagogues as well as children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. …