Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sept. 11, once again

I actually almost forgot this seventh anniversary. I mean not to denigrate this significant date, but allow me a flight of historical and Jewish perspective:

A few years ago I made a rough calculation of the number of Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Using the approximate start date of June 22, 1941, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, for its beginning — the SS Einsatzgruppen began their mass shootings at this time — I calculated that an average of over 29,000 Jews were murdered each week until the war ended on May 8, 1945. This was over 4,000 per day; in other words, the European Jewish population of 11 million suffered the equivalent of more than one and a third 9/11 size catastrophes everyday for three years and ten months.

Still, there’s no gainsaying that the somewhat smaller number of people murdered on Sept. 11, 2001 has had a singular effect on the world since. This links to my memory of that historic day, after my visiting Israeli cousin and myself experienced the horror from my Manhattan apartment about six and a half miles above the World Trade Center.

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