“For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.”— Simon Wiesenthal
January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest concentration camp in World War II. The United Nations designated this day as a time to remember the six million Holocaust victim and to listen to the survivors’ stories.
Organizations around the world have developed programs to help educate the public on Nazism and prejudice. So, here are a few ways you can observe this international holiday:
Buy Novels from Jewish Bookstores
It may be tempting to buy autobiographies and history books from large companies, but helping out a smaller business is much more impactful. Judaica Gallery and the Israel Book Shop are bookstores that house religious gifts, toys, and books that relate to Judaism. Their collections range from traditional Judaic literature to Hebrew young adult novels. Even if you’re not Jewish, you can still find fantastic memoirs and Hebrew textbooks that help you understand Jewish practices.
Visit the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is a monument signifying the persecution of Jewish victims. It opened 60 years after World War II and is located at the former Berlin Wall site. The memorial showcases over 27 thousand concrete slabs, which many believe represents a symbolic cemetery.
Sponsor A Holocaust Survivor
The Blue Card is an incredible organization that financially supports Holocaust survivors whose ages range from 75-105. “…More than half of them fall 200% below the federal poverty line, meaning their income is less than $24,980 annually” (The Blue Card). These Holocaust survivors also have higher rates of kidney disease and other chronic illnesses. So, their low income prevents them from receiving proper medical attention.
The Blue Card has many ways to donate and volunteer, ranging from sponsoring a survivor to creating care packages. All of the money donated goes directly to the survivors.
Attend the USHMM Virtual Commemoration
Sometimes, finding a museum in your area can be difficult. And during the pandemic, some of them might be temporarily closed. Luckily, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is hosting an online program on January 26, where survivors reflect on their experiences during the Holocaust.
However, if you miss that opportunity, there are other options to consider. The USHMM also has free online and public exhibitions, workshops, and outreach programs.
“International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time to mourn the loss of lives, celebrate those who saved them, honor those who survived, and contemplate the obligations of the living.”— Former President Barack Obama
Since 2005, the UN has held commemoration ceremonies to mourn the victims of Nazi genocide. With the tremendous work from nationwide organizations and businesses, we can educate ourselves on prejudice and discrimination and honor the ones who lived through it.
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