The slogan has been worn on pins at hundreds of Holocaust memorial day observances. It is a rallying cry in the Jewish community to never allow the Holocaust to happen again, never allow the destruction of Israel, never allow genocide to be perpetrated against any other people.

Yesterday I saw the slogan Never-Againâ„¢ printed on a poster about the Armenian Genocide committed by the Turks. (Now we’re in trouble with Turkey)
The website, is dedicated to telling the story of the genocide, and the organization behind the educational campaign is based here in Southern California.

My initial reaction to seeing the words Never-Again™ was “did they get a trademark for real?”

According to Milton Himmelfarb, writing in Commentary Magazine in 1971, “Among Jews the currency of the slogan seems to date from the anxious weeks before the 1967 war, when Israel was threatened with destruction.”

Never Again was the title of a book published in New York in 1971/2 by Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the JDL and Kach. The JDL used to chant this slogan in rallies.

A letter to the editor of the NY Times in 1990 claims that Kahane did not author the phrase, but popularized it. It was “first used in a Swedish documentary, Mein Kampf, directed by Erwin Leiser and produced in 1961,” wrote JOHN F. DAVENPORT to the NY Times, Nov. 8, 1990.

Over a general shot of Auschwitz, he says simply, “It must never happen again — never again.” Meir Kahane popularized a phrase whose original, universal meaning he transformed.

According to the US Patent and Tradmark Office, the phrase was once trademarked by the Seaburg Company of Oregon for “ BANDAGES FOR RELIEVING SKIN FRICTION IN THE NATURE OF A THIN FILM OF ADHESIVE BACKED POLETHYLENE OR POLYURETHANE.” It was first used by the company in September 2004, and is no longer active.

The film Never Again by USA Films Starring Jeffrey Tambor, Jill Clayburgh, and Sandy Duncan is “a romantic comedy [that] takes a ribald yet compassionate look at two lovelorn fifty-something New Yorkers.”

Never Again is the title of an song and album by Nickelback. The song is about a women being beaten by her lover, “I’m terrified, She’ll wind up Dead/In his hands, She’s just a woman/Never Again.”

The Jewish rap artist, Remedy, recorded a song called Never Again as well, about the Holocaust.

To all those races, colors, and creeds, every man bleeds
for the countless victims and all their families
of the murdered, tortured and slaved, raped,
robbed and persecuted – Never Again!
To the men, women, and children
Who died in their struggle to live, never to be forgotten

This weekend there will be rallies across the country to protest the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. Perhaps as a way to observe this Yom Hashoa, we can take a moment a fill out this email-postcard to Mr. President Bush , to help stop the bloodshed in Darfur.

Never Again.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah