Acceptance Speech

Dr. Richard L. Benkin

At Village of Mount Prospect, Illinois Meeting

April 18, 2012

On Accepting Village Proclamation Commemorating

Days of Remembrance 2012

 

Thank you, Mayor Wilks, Trustee Matuszak, and the rest of the Mt. Prospect village board.

 

When General Dwight Eisenhower entered the concentration camp at Bergen Belsen, he ordered the military photographers to immediately start documenting what they were witnessing because, as he said, one day someone would come along and try to say that these things did not happen.  By standing together again, as we did last year, we as Mt. Prospect are remembering the Holocaust’s victims and raising our voices for them to overcome those other voices that today are indeed trying to deny that the Holocaust ever happened.

 

While the Holocaust is most closely associated with the Jewish people, its message is universal; as Trustee Matuszak reminded us last year when he shared with us how his family, too, was victimized in the Holocaust.  The promise that we brought out of the ashes was “Never Again; which certainly meant that never again would we allow this to happen to us.  More importantly, it was a promise that never again would we allow this to happen to any people.

 

And that is why I have dedicated myself to stopping the ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Bangladesh; victims of the same sort of hatred that drove the Holocaust.  Forty-nine million Hindus missing!  Fifteen million Hindus still at risk in Bangladesh!  And so I am presenting Mayor Wilks with a copy of my book, A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing: the Murder of Bangladesh’s Hindus, which documents these atrocities and is part of my effort to spread the word about what is happening to these people.  Maybe by remembering one Holocaust, we can stop another.

 

Thank you.  I’m very proud to be part of this community.