Category Archives: Holocaust

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) 2015

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Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah (“Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day”), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah (“The Catastrophe,” or “Utter Destruction”) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel’s day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany with its systematic genocide of the European Jews, and for the Jewish resistance in that period, including the resistance of partisans, the members of the Underground, and the Ghetto occupants. It is held on the 27th of Nisan (April/May).

In 2015, Yom HaShoah begins at sundown on Wednesday 15 April and continues through sunset Thursday 16 April. On Thursday, in Israel, a siren stops all traffic and pedestrians for two minutes of silent meditation, reflection, and devotion at 10:00 a.m.

We must never forget what happened during the Holocaust, not only because of the large-scale persecution and execution of the European Jews, but because such hatred, intolerance, and genocide still exist today, against Jews as well as against many other groups of people. Soon, there will be no Holocaust survivors remaining to tell their own stories, so we must prevent this horrific event from becoming “distant history” by telling their stories for them, and by creating, reading, and viewing art which reminds us that “the only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing” (Edmund Burke).

200px-Yom_Hashoah_candle

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Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) 2015

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Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) 2014

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Photographic Introduction to the Holocaust

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or to fill out Pages of Testimony, visit
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Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Urbach & Schindler, Goodkin & Wallenberg, 2014

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Yom HaShoah 2014
Holocaust Remembrance

During the Holocaust, with its Nazi-sponsored, systematic persecution and genocide of the Jews, there were some people who risked their own lives to protect Jews and to save them. Sometimes, as in the case of Oskar Schindler, the subject of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List (from Australian author Thomas Keneally’s award-winning novel Schindler’s Ark), the person is relatively well known to many of us. In other instances, such as that of Raoul Wallenberg, who disappeared during the War, most probably taken by the Nazis and executed, the people who saved Jews are not as familiar. It is then that we must rely on Survivor Testimony to learn about some of those who did risk everything to help save the European Jews.

Sol Urbach
saved by
Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

 

Sol Urbach was born in Poland in 1925. He was one of the Jews that were protected and rescued by Oskar Schindler in Cracow and then in Plaszow (from Yad Vashem Holocaust Testimonies).

Based on a true story, Schindler’s List is Steven Spielberg’s epic drama of World War II Holocaust survivors and the man who unexpectedly came to be their savior. Unrepentant womanizer and war profiteer Oskar Schindler uses Polish Jews as cheap labor to produce cookware for the Third Reich. But after witnessing the violent liquidation of the walled ghetto where the Krakow Jews have been forced to live, Schindler (Liam Neeson) slowly begins to realize the immense evil of Nazism. When his employees are sent to a work camp, they come under the terrorizing reign of sadistic Nazi Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes). With the help of his accountant, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), Schindler creates a list of “essential” Jews. Bribing Goeth, Schindler manages to get 1,100 people released from the camp and brought to the safety of his munitions factory in Czechoslovakia. Spielberg’s glorious film is wondrously evocative, visually stunning, and emotionally stirring (from Schindler’s List website).

If you haven’t seen the film, I urge you to do so.

Vera Goodkin
saved by
Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg

 

Vera Goodkin was born in Hradec Kralove, Czechoslovakia in 1930. Her family fled to Hungary, where after the German occupation they were protected by Raoul Wallenberg. Vera Goodkin remembers her father’s meeting with Wallenberg. (from Yad Vashem Holocaust Histories)

You can read about others who saved Jews during the Holocaust at Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations, sometimes referred to as “Righteous Gentiles,” and at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) sites, among those featured are Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg.

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Yom HaShoah
International Holocaust Memorial Day
Monday 28 April 2014

When young Israelis first began learning about the Holocaust, many of them couldn’t relate to the victims. The young generation, raised in the newly established state of Israel, among survivors, who swore “Never Again,” felt that the European Jews had been “led to the [Nazi] slaughter like lambs.” It was then that the activities of the partisans, the members of the Underground, the Resistance, and the Ghetto Uprisings were included in the teaching and remembrance of the Holocaust. Also, Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust History Museum, began collecting oral histories from the survivors, which seemed to resonate more intimately with younger people. Many of them learned, for the first time, that people their own ages had been sent to concentration camps and extermination camps like Auschwitz. Here are two of the stories.

Zanne Farbstein

Zanne Farbstein was 16 years old when she was deported with her two younger sisters to Auschwitz. While working as a slave laborer, Zanne found her father’s prayer shawl while sorting through the clothing of the prisoners who had been murdered in the camp. Zanne survived Auschwitz , and moved to Israel with her few surviving family members, where she began a new life. (from Yad Vashem)

Twin Survivors,
Iudit and Lia

Identical twin sisters Iudit Barnea and Lia Huber (nées Tchengar) were born in 1937 in the town of Şimleul Silvaniei (Szilagysomlyo), Transylvania. In 1940, Transylvania was annexed to Hungary, and in June 1942 their father Zvi was taken to a forced labor unit on the Russian front.  Miraculously, both twins survived. (from Yad Vashem)

Please join me and millions of others this Yom HaShoah, as well as the days before and after, remembering the victims, the activists, and the survivors of the Holocaust. Share their stories so that the past does not die with them. Remind others of the atrocities and the genocide of The Holocaust so that it can never happen again, anywhere. At 11:00 a.m. Monday 28 April, stand and observe the two minutes of silence in reflection and devotion.

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Learn about The Holocaust on USHMM
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For more information on the database or
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Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Yad Vashem & Elie Wiesel, 2014

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Yom HaShoah
International Holocaust Memorial Day

Yad Vashem Yom HaShoah, 2012

Once again, the world prepares for Yom HaShoah (The Catastrophe, or The Utter Destruction) in memory of all the Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, of all the survivors, as well as those who fought against the Nazis: the partisans, the Members of the Underground, those in the Ghettos who fought, and the Righteous Gentiles who saved Jews. At 11:00 a.m. in Israel, sirens will sound for two minutes, and around the world, Jews and others will stand in silence for reflection, meditation, and devotion.

We must never let The Holocaust happen again. Not to the Jews. Not to any group of people based on their ethnicity, their religious beliefs, or the color of their skin. We must actively fight against intolerance and bigotry. We must prevent genocide. How can we do that if we do not actively remember what the Nazis did to the bulk of the European Jews between 1932 and 1945?

Jewish women and children from the Ukraine, just before they entered the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Photographer unknown.

Some people do not know that the persecution started long before the War. The Nazis were not peaceful and friendly with the Jews one day, then gassing them and putting them in crematorium ovens the next. It was a gradual process: identification, segregation, loss of property, loss of employment, deportation, isolation, death from starvation and work, then systematic extermination. At each step, others had to stand by, silently, passively, and permit such persecution. At each stage, whole groups of people and entire countries gave the Nazis permission by not actively opposing them.

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It has now been 71 years since the end of the War and the Liberation of the Concentration Camps, 84 years since Hitler was elected to power and began to slowly implement his anti-Semitic policies against the Jews. Soon, there will be no survivors left to remind the living that The Holocaust was real; it did happen; it is not a fairy tale created by anyone.

Yad Vashem, The History of the Holocaust Museum in Israel, has gathered many stories of survivors, taping them so that we may remember. So that The Holocaust may never happen again. In preparation for Yom HaShoah, I watched some of the survivors’ stories. I want to share some with you.

yomhashoah-257x300

Yad Vashem
Holocaust History Museum

Yad Vashem’s world famous Holocaust History Museum is a prism-like triangular structure that penetrates the mountain from one side to the other, with both ends dramatically cantilevering into the open air. An experiential dimension was integrated into the museum’s design, giving visitors an overall impression of the time, place and atmosphere. Inside the museum, a series of diagonal channels cut in the floor of the walkway (prism) guides the visitor into each of the eight-meter high underground galleries depicting different chapters of the Shoah. The gently sloping floor and narrowing prism enhances the changing narrative, creating the illusion of descending deep into the mountain. Different aspects of the Holocaust are reflected through the use of original artifacts, documentation, testimonies, film, literature, diaries, letters, and works of art (from Yad Vashem). Virtual Tour

Elie Wiesel

78f8522d9276c237093ad30280153a8c

Elie Wiesel — recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace,  Human Rights Activist, and renowned author — was 15 when the Nazis deported him, along with his family, from their home in Transylvania to Auschwitz. Losing both his parents and younger sister in the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel has made it his lifelong goal to teach the world about the Holocaust. In the video he commemorates his father by filling out a Page of Testimony for Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names. By filling out a Page for his father, who perished in Buchenwald concentration camp shortly before liberation, Elie Wiesel added his father to the millions of Holocaust victims commemorated by family and friends. Through the Pages of Testimony the victims names and identities are restored, that which the Nazis and their collaborators had tried to erase forever (from Yad Vashem Holocaust Histories). Elie Wiesel commemorates his father.

Please join me and millions of others this Yom HaShoah, as well as the days before and after, remembering the victims, the activists, and the survivors of the Holocaust.

c

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For a Photographic Introduction to the Holocaust, visit my Pinterest Board

Learn about The Holocaust on USHMM
(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

For more information on the database or
to fill out Pages of Testimony, visit
Yad Vashem‘s Central Database of Shoah Victims

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under History, Holocaust

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) 2014

Share

Monday 28 April 2014
Yom HaShoah

images-2

Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah (“Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day”), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah (“The Catastrophe,” or “Utter Destruction”) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel’s day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany with its systematic genocide of the European Jews, and for the Jewish resistance in that period, including the resistance of partisans, the members of the Underground, and the Ghetto occupants. It is held on the 27th of Nisan (April/May), unless the 27th would be adjacent to Shabbas, in which case the date is shifted by a day.

In 2014, Yom HaShoah technically begins at sundown on Sunday 27 April, but because  27th Nisan falls on a Sunday, Yom HaShoah is observed on Monday 28 April. In Israel, a siren stops all traffic and pedestrians for two minutes of silent meditation, reflection, and devotion at 11:00 a.m.

yomhashoah-257x300

We must never forget what happened during the Holocaust, not only because of the large-scale persecution and execution of the European Jews, but because such hatred, intolerance, and genocide still exist today, against Jews as well as against many other groups of people. Soon, there will be no Holocaust survivors remaining to tell their own stories, so we must prevent this horrific event from becoming “distant history” by telling their stories for them, and by creating, reading, and viewing art which reminds us that “the only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing” (Edmund Burke).

200px-Yom_Hashoah_candle

In honor of Yom HaShoah, in memory of my great-grandparents’ family members and all the other Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, in honor of my friend who survived Auschwitz at age 16 – Anna Brunn Ornstein – and all the other survivors of the camps, I will, as always be observing the official two minutes of silence and reflection, as well as spending the day in meditation.

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Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Zanne & The Twins, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Zanne & The Twins, 2014

Yom HaShoah International Holocaust Memorial Day Monday 28 April 2014 When young Israelis first began learning about the Holocaust, many of them couldn't relate to ...
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Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Yad Vashem & Elie Wiesel, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Yad Vashem & Elie Wiesel, 2014

Yom HaShoah International Holocaust Memorial Day Once again, the world prepares for Yom HaShoah (The Catastrophe, or The Utter Destruction) in memory of all the Jews ...
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The Kommandant's Mistress

The Kommandant’s Mistress

All my ebooks FREE 3-7 April 2020 Get The Kommandant's Mistress now. #Ebook FREE 3-7 April 2020 https://geni.us/TheKommandantsMistress (This is an affiliate link: if you purchase ...
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Where Lightning Strikes: Poems on The Holocaust

Where Lightning Strikes: Poems on The Holocaust

All my ebooks FREE 3-7 April 2020 Get Where Lightning Strikes: Poems on the Holocaust ebook FREE now! https://geni.us/LightningStrikes (This is an affiliate link: if ...
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For a Photographic Introduction to the Holocaust, visit my Pinterest Board

Learn about The Holocaust on USHMM
(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

For more information on the database or
to fill out Pages of Testimony, visit
Yad Vashem‘s Central Database of Shoah Victims

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Filed under History, Holocaust