Megan Lynch @MLynchOnAir

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – If there’s one main message on this Holocaust Remembrance Day it’s that the kind of hatred that sparked the Holocaust isn’t gone, and even exists in our own community.

“These kinds of things are still happening in today’s world and it’s important that we pay attention,” explains Jean Cavender, Director of the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center in St. Louis.

That’s why in its recently opened exhibition “Change Begins with Me: Confronting Hate, Discrimination and Ethnic Conflict” the museum has drawn a link between history and more modern events such as the killing of James Bird, “who was dragged through a Texas town,” points out Cavender. “An African-American man who was killed by white supremacists.”

The exhibition also highlights genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia, and even points to the “Knockout Game” killing in St. Louis in 2011.  “[So] that [visitors] will somehow make connections with some of the things that were perpetrated during the Holocaust happening in today’s world and these modern day examples.”

Cavender says the hope is that current and future generations will speak out against bias and stereotypes that can lead to violence and even genocide. “At some point if we pay attention to it and stand up when we see these kind of things happening, it can be hopefully cut off and stopped.”

More information can be found at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center.


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