Why we remember

On Holocaust Memorial Day, we remember all those who were murdered or affected under Nazi occupation, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Holocaust Memorial Day is celebrated on 27th January each year as this was the day Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945. This year the theme is ‘One Day’. One day in history, one day when life changed, one day at a time, one day in the future, one day is just a snapshot as we look at it now.

“You didn’t think about yesterday, and tomorrow may not happen, it was only today that you had to cope with and you got through it as best you could.” – Iby Knill, survivor of the Holocaust

What was the Holocaust? It illustrates the dangers of prejudice, discrimination, antisemitism and dehumanisation. Holocaust did not just happen in one day; it was carefully planned. Between 1933 to 1945, the Nazis persecuted all those who did not fit their idea of pure Aryan race: Jews, Roma, black people, homosexuals, mentally and physically disabled people, Jehovah’s Witnesses and many others. By the end of the war, it was estimated that 11 million people had been killed. 6 million of those were Jews.

Often, we think of the Holocaust as numbers, and events of the past, but each one of them had individual stories and experiences to tell. It is crucial for us to learn from the past and educate others as we are the last generation to witness the survivors’ testimonies.

Even in recent years, genocides are still taking place across the world, it is unimaginable what the victims are going through and why in this day and age us Humans have not learnt to respect each other’s race, beliefs and differences.

The most important thing we can do is to share our knowledge to those around us, as the more we know, the more we become aware.

Take ‘One Day’ at a time and live it to the best you can make it, because everyday is a new day and every 24 hours is a new chapter.

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