“We wish to remember. But we wish to remember for a purpose, namely to ensure that never again will evil prevail. The world must heed the warning that comes from the victims of the Holocaust and from the testimony of the survivors.”
—Pope John Paul II
Yom Hashoah—the day of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust—begins at sunset on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nisan—a week after the seventh day of Passover and during the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (see Lesson 6: Jewish Resistance in Echoes and Reflections for information about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising). Established by the Israeli government, Yom Hashoah has become a day commemorated by both Jewish and non-Jewish communities and individuals worldwide.
In the United States, Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day that has been set aside for remembering the victims of the Holocaust and for reminding Americans what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred, and indifference go unchecked. The United States Holocaust Memorial Council, created by an act of Congress in 1980, was mandated to lead the nation in civic commemorations and to encourage appropriate Remembrance observances throughout the country. This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day is on April 8, 2013.
- Teach about preserving the memory of the Holocaust through the lessons in Echoes and Reflections.
- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum provides guidelines, materials, and other information for organizing Holocaust Remembrance Day programs in schools and communities.
- Guidelines on planning Holocaust commemoration activities connected with annual Holocaust Remembrance are available from Yad Vashem.
- Additional resources and classroom activities appropriate for Holocaust Remembrance are available from the Anti-Defamation League.