What is Holocaust Remembrance Day / Yom HaShoah/ (יום השואה) ?
Every January, the day is reserved as a commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. It also honors the Jewish Resistance and people who fought for them at that time (and after).
The United Nations honors this day every year on or close to January 27th- the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
During their commemoration, The UN has exhibits and seminars that one can see or attend before or after. The highlight, is the ceremony held in the General assembly. Several years I attended, and often sat next to survivors, ambassadors, activists. I've even had the opportunity to hear speakers such as Dr. Ruth, Steven Spielberg, and the Defense Minister of Israel! Each year I live tweet form the activities with my class, and then bring back countless resources to share in our classroom. This year I was excited to attend becaue the topic was "Education and the Holocaust: Our Shared Responsibility," to learn more about what we can do in our schools to make sure that our students learn about the Holocaust and ensure that it does not happen again.
Although I received my invitation from the United Nations, I was not permitted to go this year for various reasons. Although this upset me, because I feel that the objective of the day is so significant, I am going to ensure that we still learn about this event, even without first-hand experience. Sadly, we may never again have the opportunity to hear from the Survivors that spoke that day, so we should do our best to hear what they had to say.
Thankful for modern technology and social media, I spent my evening in the dancing school lobby following the "HolocaustRemembrance" hashtag from the United Nations and tried to observe the day as a second-hand experience. I have compiled the tweets into a Storify below.
I ask you to read through the Storify, but do not stop there. Research about the people who spoke, about the people they spoke about, about the events they mentioned. Notice who was there: what countries were tweeting? What charitable organizations? What citizens? How do they all play a role in remembering the Holocaust?
Without a specific question, I would like this post to be an open discussion. Show that you read through the tweets,the articles, thought critically about the day's significance, and did some additional research on your own. Please do not just make your comment, but respond to the comments of others, in order for it to be more of a conversation, and not just a reflection.