Six million Jewish men, women, and children perished in the Holocaust. Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, a somber day of remembrance. In Hebrew it is Yom HaShoah, which means Day of Catastrophe. The Hebrew name better expresses the scale of this tragedy that decimated one third of the world’s Jewish population.
Facing the truth of the Shoah is a difficult emotional task. It is hard to understand how human beings could be capable of such immense evil. Understandably, there are many people who would rather look away and avoid the painful reality of what happened. But there are two extremely important reasons to open our eyes and remember.
First, we remember in order to honor the lives that were taken. Six million is a huge number, but that number is comprised of individual faces, names, and stories that deserve more than a footnote in the history books.
Second, we remember so that we do not grow complacent and blind to the evil that still exists in the world. There is danger in forgetting. Only seven decades have passed, and already there are world leaders who publicly deny that the Holocaust ever happened. Each generation must be taught the truth so that history does not repeat itself.
If you would like to learn more about the Holocaust, the best place to begin is here.