Monday 28 April 2014
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.
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).
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.
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