Commemorating Holocaust Victims’ Anniversary

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Holocaust
Courtesy of Ted Eytan (Flickr CC0)

International Holocaust Remembrance Day was designated to be held on January 27 by The United Nations General Assembly in 2005. On this day in 1945 Jewish victims were liberated from Auschwitz-Birkenau. Today is the 77th anniversary of that fateful day.

Every year the world remembers the pain and agony the six million Jewish victims and millions of other victims endured under the hands of Nazism. Remembering this horrific time helps develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

Today Holocaust survivors and politicians honor the lives of Europe’s Jewish community who were targeted for annihilation. During this time others who fell victim to Nazi persecution and those who chose to help are also remembered.

Politician and survivors shared their concerns about a resurgence of antisemitism and Holocaust denial as everyone commemorates the liberation anniversary.

Holocaust
Courtesy of Flavio Spugna (Flickr CC0)

One survivor, 87-year-old Inge Aubacher, told the German parliament, “I have lived in New York for 75 years, but I still remember well the terrible time of horror and hatred. Unfortunately, this cancer has reawakened and hatred of Jews is commonplace again in many countries in the world, including Germany.”

The COVID pandemic caused a rise in antisemitism because the lockdowns exacerbated hatred online. Auerbacher stated, “This sickness must be healed as quickly as possible.”

German parliament speaker Baerbel Bas concurred that the pandemic has acted “like an accelerant” to already increasing antisemitism. “Antisemitism is here — it isn’t just on the extreme fringe, not just among the eternally incorrigible and a few antisemitic trolls on the net,” she explained.

Bas added, “It is a problem of our society — all of society.”

The severity of COVID has caused many events to be canceled or changed to virtual venues. This year the pandemic has caused the International Holocaust Remembrance Day to be held virtually — once again. However, a small ceremony was set to take place at the site of the former Auschwitz death camp.

The holocaust memorial site has been closed due to COVID but it will reopen in June. Many survivors have shared their terrifying experiences while they were imprisoned inside the Auschwitz death camp. Just another way to remind people why remembering this day is important.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

Yahoo! News: World remembers Holocaust as antisemitism rises in pandemic; by Samuel Petrequin
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Ted Eytan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inline Image Courtesy of Flavio Spugna’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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