49 Days – International Holocaust Remembrance Day

When I was a graduate student studying the Holocaust, I came across a story in the archives about someone who escaped the Holocaust by getting permission to leave Germany in the 1930s. The only reason German authorities granted him permission to leave was because he was the receipient of the Iron Cross medal for fighting in World War I. 100,000 Jewish Germans who fought for the German Empire in WWI, but after Kristallnacht in 1938, Nazi authorities deemed all people of Jewish descent enemies of the state – even if they won awards like the Iron Cross.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. It is observed on January 27th, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet forces in 1945. The United Nations General Assembly designated this day in 2005, and it serves as a time for people around the world to remember the millions of Jews, as well as other minority groups, who were killed during the Holocaust. On this day, events and ceremonies are held to honor the victims, and to educate future generations about the Holocaust and its lessons. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of tolerance and understanding, and the need to fight against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate and genocide.

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