April is Holocaust Remembrance month, and Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is Yom HaShoa in Hebrew, began in the evening of April 18 and ended the following evening on April 19.
This day, which marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, is meant to preserve the memories of the Holocaust,and honor the six million Jews that were killed by the German Nazis.
An article in Huffington Post written by Nick Bravin states, “Today is the day designated by Congress for the rest of us to remember the grisly fate that befell the Jewish people of Europe under Hitler and his willing accomplices — Holocaust Remembrance Day. But how can we in 2012 America begin to comprehend the events of that far off place and time?”
When I studied abroad in Prague during the spring 2011 semester, my program took us on a trip to Poland. Being Jewish, and having ancestors that were part of the Holocaust made this trip of importance to me. We visited Auschwitz, the largest and most complex concentration camp established by the Nazi regime, and Birkenau, the largest killing center in the entire Nazi universe.
Being there, stepping on the same grounds that millions of Jews once worked, were tortured, and died, was an experience unlike any other.
The sign over the gates of Auschwitz is a Polish slogan, “arbeit macht frei” meaning “Work Brings Freedom.”
I truly can’t believe that there are people out there so naive to say that the Holocaust never happened.
According to the Guardian, there are 19,800 Holocaust survivors alive in Israel today. In Tucson, there are 112 Holocaust survivors left.
Click here to view the Remembrance Day Calendar to see when the day will fall in the coming years.