Reflecting Together on our Historical Legacy: the Holocaust and Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi
Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people. —Peter Strople
Human memory is a very strange phenomenon. For many of us, memories fade with time, whether we desire it or not- it is not in our control. Some memories penetrate deep within our psyche, etching themselves deep into our hearts and mind. And they may not even be our own memories. Such it is with "legacy", something that we are "handed down" in one way or another, coming from a time and a place very different than our own. These legacies, as difficult as they may be to fathom and accept, can imbue our lives with the deepest of meaning, love and longing.
On January 25, 2022, I was proud and moved to create, along with my colleague in Rwanda Joseph Kalisa, a unique and inspiring cross-cultural event comprising 65 participants from Rwanda, Israel, the US, Canada, Germany and perhaps even other places. We chose the name of the event carefully: "Reflecting Together on our Historical Legacy: the Holocaust and Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi." We chose the date carefully as well, 2 days before the International Holocaust Remembrance event. For us it was important not to blur the unique memory of the Holocaust, which was a tragic period and genocide unlike any other in so many ways. In my mind, each tragic event in history lives on without connection to the other. The devastating events of the Holocaust and those of the Genocide, are separate, different, with no need and reason to compare, analyze and disrespectfully lump together.