Instead of focusing on the growing burden of refugees, we should be targeting the cause of them – ISIS


Eleven million sufferings; children forced to endure the putrid squalor of disease-infested swamps, mothers forced to abandon their children, fathers forced into brutal, animalistic labour. Beatings, murders; desperate, agonising cries for ‘help’. Unanswered cries.

An apocalyptic scene, a scene that exterminated almost an entire race. A scene that, 70 years later, we see mirrored in the waters of the Mediterranean. Amid those pleas and the wails of mourning mother, Hegel’s words again shamefully affirm that ‘we learn from history that we do not learn from history’.

With ISIS banning women from public appearances, forbidding them free speech and enforcing strict dress codes, there are alarming parallels between occupied Syria and the Nazi Regime which stripped Jews of their human rights.

Oppression of such extremity should not be permissible however, and it is utterly sickening that such activity is occurring unchallenged in the twenty-first century. All German civilians were aware of the severity of Jewish persecution; the extermination of 11 million could not have occurred unnoticed. It could not have succeeded without the aid of everyday citizens. A child spits ‘fat nose’ in the playground, a landlord denies a lease, a teacher moves the tables apart and soon this treatment becomes normal. Then, the train driver stops asking questions and just carries his cattle to the slaughter house. The official stops closing his eyes and just empties the bags. The police stop counting bullets and just fire. The allies find out … and do nothing.

The ‘Final Solution’ was, by no means, a national campaign and is widely perceived as one of mankind’s greatest monstrosities. Despite Jewish oppression being common knowledge, persecution and abuse remained rife; intervention was nominal. Hitler was a man. Germany was a democracy. Had the nation united, had the allies intervened, children would not have had to grow up as orphans — 11 million lives would have been spared.

As an Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust it is our mission to ensure that the mass murders and persecution whch characterised the Holocaust do not reoccur. Yet even I, as a common 18-year-old, have access to information about the horrors in Syria which I cannot ignore and cannot comprehend how such actions could have been appeased. I saw the pictures of Alan Kurdi, I have heard the testimonies and read the stories. We are all aware of what is occurring. Thousands of complaints circulate on social media regarding this Government’s inaction, while the critics remain inactive themselves. Mere observance is unforgivable; by appeasing the monsters of the Islamic State we are accepting their hostility and fuelling their power. The position of the bystander is equally as disgraceful as that of the persecutor’s.

Governments have been demonised for their refusal to admit refugees, yet ISIS, the inhumane monsters that have robbed Syrians of their homes and families, largely escape media and public persecution. Not only does this convey sheer ignorance, but again reiterates the eerie sense of normality that has been imposed on Middle Eastern conflicts. It appears that the greatest concern to the British public is not ending this conflict or the stark oppression of Syrians, but merely relocating refugees. This attitude facilitates ISIS to continue in their path of terror. It is imperative to quell the Islamic State in order to resolve the issue. ISIS has displaced their pests, as Hitler displaced his; they are working for a pure Islam, as Hitler was working for his pure Aryan race. There are no camps, no gas rooms — nature is ISIS’ weapon. They won’t waste their time or money on ‘vermin’, instead, they’ll engulf them in their seas and starve them for their entitled liberty. The refugees of Syria are fallen leaves, but the way to uplift a whole tree is to grab it by its roots — something ISIS is successfully doing.

I stood on the tracks of Auschwitz-Birkenau holding a candle in remembrance. I do not want to be stood on the ports of Syria in 70 years’ time. I can only urge everyone to follow the words of Yehuda Bauer; ‘thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander’.

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