Interesting Facts About Holocaust Memorial Day: Honoring The Holocaust Victims

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day

Remembering those murdered for their beliefs is not only about honoring them, their families and making sure the victims are never forgotten, but also to fight those who deny such atrocities ever happened.
Holocaust Memorial Day or Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international day meant to commemorate those who were victims of the Holocaust during World War II. It falls on January 27th each year, in honor of the approximately six million Jews, one million Roma, 9,000 homosexuals, and 250,000 mentally or physically disabled individuals murdered by the Nazis and those who collaborated with them.
The United Nations General Assembly designed Holocaust Remembrance Day on November 1st, 2005. The date of January 27th commemorates the same day in 1945 when Soviet troops liberated the largest Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
On Holocaust Memorial Day, we can honor the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today. 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognize that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process, which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.
We are fortunate here in the US; we aren’t at risk of genocide. However, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. There is still much to do to create a safer future and HMD is an opportunity to start this process.
The aims of Holocaust Memorial Day are laid out in the statement of commitment. HMD activity organizers bring together the diverse strands of their communities to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in their neighborhoods. This is a real demonstration of how the lessons of the past can inform our lives today and ensure that everyone works together to create a safer, better future.
Here are interesting Holocaust Memorial Day facts:
1. Commemorations are held at the USHMM (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) in Washington, DC and at Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem. In Austria, commemorations of the Holocaust Memorial Day are held at the Heldenplatz in Vienna since 2012.
The broad platform Jetzt Zeichen setzen! calls for participation of the civil society. Speakers include survivors of the Holocaust, antifascist activists and politicians hailing from parties throughout the political spectrum.
2. Holocaust Remembrance Day was established as part of the General Assembly Resolution 60/7, which urges every United Nations member state to honor the Holocaust victims. It also encourages developing educational programs to prevent future genocides, and rejects any denial that the Holocaust occurred.
3. In 1959, Knesset established the first Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. It was known as Yom Hashoah, and is celebrated with prayer, candlelight memorials, songs, and with speeches, sometimes by survivors of the Holocaust themselves.
4. In Israel, there is a national memorial day in remembrance of the Holocaust, also known as Yom HaShoah, which is held on the 27th of Nisan. However, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is also held in Israel. Government officials, diplomats and ambassadors visit Yad Vashem and there are ceremonies held throughout the country.
5. Various ways that people around the world commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day include attending a memorial service for the victims, donating to a charity that supports survivors, or donating to a charity that helps provide education about the Holocaust.
In some communities a list of names of people who died in the Nazi camps or in the ghettos is read aloud, in remembrance of the Holocaust victims.

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