Honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Holocaust

Holocaust remembrance day is recognized internationally to commemorate the millions of Nazi victims. The United Nations designated January 27 as the day for remembrance in 2005. From 1941 to 1945 the Nazi Germany genocide took place — also known as Shoah the World War II genocide of the European Jews.

The Holocaust is remembered on different days around the world. In the U.S.  flags have been designated to fly at half-mast on Jan. 27, 2021. This day concentrates on contemporary efforts to battle anti-Semitism and hatred.

Jewish people fought hard to seek a fitting commemoration of the horrific events that transpired by the  Nazi’s. However, they have been reluctant to add it to their own religious calendar. The Jews have grafted events worthy of commemoration onto existing holy days since the first century CE.

Holocaust remembrance day was first attempted in 1948 by the Israeli chief rabbinate. The rabbinate wanted the 10th of Tevet to be the day to recite the memorial Kaddish.

HolocaustThis day is an early winter fast day that commemorates the beginning of the siege that led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.  However, the Israeli chief rabbinate’s plan failed due to the day having no intrinsic connection to the Holocaust.

The U.S. will fly their flags at half staff from sunrise to sunset to honor Holocaust remembrance day. Seventy-six years ago the Jews were liberated from Auschwitz-Birkenau — Nazi Germany’s largest concentration camp. More than 1.1 million people lost their lives in that dreadful concentration camp.

One survivor, Tova Friedman, described the terrifying scene she witnessed at just six-years-old. Her mother instructed her to lie next to a dead woman in a camp hospital bed. Friedman laid still, breathless, as German soldiers exterminated Jewish hostages.

Luckily, Friedman went unnoticed as those who were living were shot and murdered. On Jan. 27, 1945, she and thousands of other prisoners were rescued by Soviet troops.

Friedman had hoped to celebrate the anniversary by taking her wight grandchildren to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site.  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this trip to the Holocaust memorial had to be changed.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

Fox: Auschwitz survivors mark Holocaust Remembrance Day online amid pandemic

ABC: Flags to fly at half-mast throughout the state to honor Holocaust Remembrance day

Britannica: Holocaust remembrance days; by Michael Berenbaum

Featured Image Courtesy of slgckgc’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inline Image Courtesy of Ted Eytan’s flicker Page – Creative Commons License

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