The Ghetto and the Merry-Go-Round

by Daniel Gilman

An excerpt from my notes written while in my history class on the Holocaust

In the spring of 1943, right next to the Warsaw ghetto, a merry-go-round was built for the recreation and regeneration of the polish citizens. While professionals slaughtered the Jews of the ghetto, their neighbours laughed and played. They did not laugh about what was happening to the Jews. No, many of them were likely against such things. Most of them simply never thought about it. But right when the Jews most needed neighbours, these individuals continued on with their lives as if everything was normal.

Would I have done any different? Would I have made faith, family, school, and recreation my priorities? Or would I have sacrificed my comfort for the wellbeing of the marginalized and the decimated. I cannot answer that question, for I would have been one of those starving in the ghetto, and even if was a gentile Polish citizen it would only be speculation as to what I would have done. But I can answer the question with regard to how I will respond to the human rights violations of today. My question to myself is not how have I lived thus far, but rather what will I do today?

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