The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of 6 million Jewish people and 5 million others by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933 believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jewish people, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community (https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143).
Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day of memorial for those who perished as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany, and for the Jewish resistance during that period. The full name of the day is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah,” whuch means “Day of (Remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism” (http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/yom-hashoah-holocaust-memorial-day/). Usually observed in April or May, it is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan—a week after the seventh day of Passover, and a week before Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers). The U.S. Congress established the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of Holocaust victims and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in memory of them. (https://www.hebcal.com/holidays/yom-hashoah)
One of the reasons America continues to remember the Holocaust is that throughout history, hatred against particular groups of people has led to genocide. It is something that has followed us into modern times, all over the world. There are societies whose lives are in danger by circumstances of their birth. This is why we continue to strive for equal rights and liberty for all, anywhere in the world. As the great parliamentarian Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
This year, Team Hill will recognize Holocaust Remembrance Month by hosting a Remembrance Day Service on Tuesday, April 25, from 9:30-11 a.m., at the Hill Aerospace Museum, Nate Mazer Chapel. This year’s theme is “Learning from the Holocaust: The Strength of the Human Spirit,” with special keynote speakers: Holocaust survivor decedent and Jewish educator, Dr. Karen Hirsch; Holocaust survivor and friend of Ann Frank, Ms. Liesel Shineberg; and Holocaust survivor, Israeli Army and U.S. Special Forces veteran, Mr. Jerry Meents. Come join us in listening to their accounts and giving honor to the victims lost and those still with us today.