I'm not saying the holocaust didn't suck ass...
but I don't think it should have been used to terrify me on a daily basis at nine years old. In my house the holocaust was discussed as though it could happen again at any second.
My Mom: Clean your room!
Me: I will later, leave me alone.
My Mom: Clean your room this instant! In the holocaust Jewish children would have loved to clean their rooms instead of having to pick up their brother's and sister's bone shards.
This was not the only time in my youth that I was held hostage by the holocaust. Growing up I was forced to go to Hebrew School three days a week so that I could be unpopular with an entirely different group of children. The school was held in the West Bank region of Phoenix, and all the the upper middle class Juden of Scottsdale were herded on to a giant blue bus with an Isreali flag bullseye painted on it.
Being a group of Jews, our nerves were allready wracked as we were herded onto the bus. It was like, "Uh-oh. Where are you taking us? We've all read the diary!" Worse was that the bus was driven by an actual holocaust survivor. It was like a theme park ride, "Holocaust Sam's Wild Ride." Which would be fine, except that Holocaust Sam had never gotten his driver's liscence. It was like the Rabbi decided that if you could survive that holocaust then you could probably do anything. Naturally all of us kids were terrified because he would run over curbs and drive down wrong lanes, so we screamed bloody murder. Holocaust Sam wasn't having it. He would scream back at us in his heavy German accent, "Quiet! Quiet on zee back of zee bus! I cannot concentrate! Quiet! Augghhhh!" When that wouldn't work he would resort to terror.
"You see ziss?" He would yell as he turned around, back to the road, and shook his fist at us,
"You see ziss?"
He was pointing to his concentration camp numbers. We screamed louder as we hurtled at fifty miles-an-hour down the shoulder of the freeway,
"See ziss?! I can never get rid of ziss! Never!"
It was horrifying. I don't want to say that what happened to him wasn't an abomination, but we were little kids. And besides.... he could get rid of "ziss." It's called tattoo lazer removal. Or at least have it turned into a daisy. C'mon, Holocaust Sam, turn that frown upside-down.