The Holocaust is being forgotten by the youngest among us. A survey conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, testing Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z in the US, shows just how dire the situation truly is. The survey shows that 63% of young Americans had no idea that over six million Jewish people were murdered in a mass genocide during World War II.That fact is not surprising. There is an insidious surge in Holocaust remembrance-shaming, hidden under the veil of “Holocaust exploitation,” and perpetuated by the delicate yet ironically despotic sensibilities of those who want to shame World War II collective consciousness into historical oblivion. In 2021, this collective amnesia has reached a frustrating and terrible level. Since Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (London: Verso Books, 2000), the notion of “suffering exploitation” has been weaponized into a form of collective thought control and anti-remembrance. Analogies calling out and comparing present-day abuse of power to the abuses of 20th- and 21st-century totalitarian regimes are too quickly relegated to the diatribes of the politically correct and forever scandalized.As the past few years have shown the world, authoritarianism is a constant threat to democracy, and democracy is fragile even in the most stable of republics. The past must be evoked as a measure of comparison and as a constant reminder of what can be lost in the blink of an eye. In what concerns the sociopolitical events of the past few years, the comparisons to the past have been endless, and essential. Former president Donald Trump’s 2017 “zero tolerance” policy under which migrant, refugee infants and children were separated from their parents is comparable to the internment camps used by authoritarian regimes – from Nazi Germany to modern-day North Korea – to keep populations in a state of fear and submission.Trump’s “Muslim ban” enacted in the name of national security (the travel ban did not include any of the countries from which the 9/11 terrorists originated) was a human rights violation akin to the fear and oppressive tactics of those same regimes. After three years of political extremism plaguing America’s democracy, the year 2020 was no exception to reactionary extremism on a global level. A world under lockdown and sanitary surveillance is a Hitlerian dream come true. Contact tracing, border closures, citizens reporting their neighbors to the police, permission papers needed to access the public space, vaccination passports, are all reminiscent of the most extreme measures taken by totalitarian governments to control the minutiae of people’s lives. They lay the foundation and potential for much worse in the long run. In the 1930s, eugenics theories and practices played a major role in the rise of the Third Reich, Aryanism, the notion of “purity of race” and white supremacy. They are of the same moral equivalent as modern-day measures imposed in the name of public health – the incessant sanitizing and cleansing of people’s bodies and environments in an effort to cleanse the world of its “impurities.’’The insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6 was the climactic act born of extremism on both sides of the sociopolitical spectrum, culminating in an attempted coup on this country’s democratically elected leaders and government. Here, Kristallnacht comes to mind. To the proponents of “Holocaust exploitation,” these comparisons – any comparison of modern-day authoritarianism to the Holocaust – elicit a sense of offense, shock, denial or outrage.The key element of remembrance is lost in their outrage. Holocaust remembrance-shaming propelled by the notion of “Holocaust exploitation” has pushed its memorialization almost to the point of no return: a point where Holocaust denial has become the social norm rather than the rare exception; where entire generations cannot remember the Holocaust, since its existence has been obliterated from their stream of consciousness through humiliation and thought control. The worst possible enemy of Shoah memorialization is no mention of it at all. It is an entire generation having no idea that the Holocaust, its victims and its survivors ever even existed.With the G.I. generation, the Greatest Generation, and Shoah survivors all almost gone, the brutal history of that dark time must be kept alive through any and every means possible. That horrifying history must shock completely and entirely. It must be soul-shattering.With the beginning of a new American presidency and the sense of a new prosperous age upon us, International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27) comes at a time where it is needed more than ever. In honor of the innocents who died horrific deaths in gas chambers, concentration camps, death camps, ravines and trenches during World War II: speak up, compare, reminisce, memorialize, analyze, be horrified, shock and be shocked. Be shattered.Make outrageous analogies and comparisons where they would never be made and ask yourselves: how could the Shoah have happened? Why did people not stop it when they had the chance? What could have been done to stop it?Say the names out loud: Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Speak of Odessa, Babi Yar, Janowska.Tell the story of those six million Jewish martyrs to your children and children’s children.And in the name of the past four years of turmoil, of our strong yet fragile democracies, and of this new beginning: always, always, always remember.The author is a published writer, historian, pianist and doctoral candidate in music and musicology at the Sorbonne.