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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY

 

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January 27th is the date introduced by the United Nations in 2005 for commemorating the  Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. This day was picked as it is the date of the liberation of Auschwitz, one of the most notorious of the Nazi concentration camps.

Nissan 27th  (April -May)  is the date  set  by the Israeli government for  Yom Hashoah veHaGvurah – Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day -  the time of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Tevet 10th  (January)  the Fast commemorating the siege of Jerusalem, is  the day declared by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel as a Memorial Day for victims of the Holocaust and the yahrzeit for those whose real date of death is unknown. It was considered  that a Fast is an appropriate day for commemorating  such a tragedy in our history and nowadays  we don’t have the right to institute new memorials into our calendar.

Are there too many memorial days for the Holocaust?                Should there be one day for everyone?

I don’t think so .

In the UK,an attempt to cancel the commemoration started  soon after the first  International Holocaust Remembrance Day  ( and ironically as a result of the London terrorist bombings by Moslems.) It was argued that commemorating the slaughter of millions of Jews might be offensive to the Moslems.  So far Britain has remained steadfast in keeping International Holocaust and Remembrance Day and in continuing Holocaust  education in British Schools.  

  But how long will it take  until they or  other European  countries bow to Moslem pressure and relegate the Holocaust to just another historical event – if they believe it happened at all.

As long as the date is still recognized, at least some official  commemorations are taking place amongst the non-Jewish population, despite all the  growing Holocaust denial and continuous Israel bashing.

What is important is that the Holocaust should be remembered for what it really was, the systematic slaughter of 6 million Jewish men, women and children in an organized attempt to completely wipe out the Jews of Europe and wherever else the Nazi boot could trample.

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What is important is that It should be discussed, written about , memorialized, taught  and studied all over the world, amongst  Jews and non-Jews – no matter what  date they choose.

Yad Vashem Museum of History Ann Goldberg

1 comment:

Reb Mordechai said...

A small point. Auschwitz wasn't just a concentration camp; it was one of six major mass extermination camps.

Also reading some of the speeches made on Holocaust day in the UK, you don’t think that the central message has been watered down to nothing?

In fact some of the speeches misused the Holocaust to teach that only liberal multi-culturelism was the answer to another Holocaust. That is, we should have equal respect for all cultures and the differences between them. The problem is that not all cultures are equal. This would mean that we would be forced to accept lies as truth and honour, tolerate and respect even evil cultures and religions (such as militant Islam). This would allow evil to strive without opposition. It could be argued that it was torelance of Hitler in the 1930s by other nations that allowed the Holocaust to happen.

Just as the UN ant-racist commission was set up initially as a result of the persecution of Jews and is now a tool of anti-Semites, I am afraid that soon Holocaust day will suffer the same fate.

One more point, I believe Rav Zev Leff said that Holocaust day was in fact the 9th Av because all these tradgedies came upon us because of the Churban.