On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we echoed the sentiments of our colleague Izzy Arbeiter:
To me the most important date in history is January 27, 1945, the liberation of Auschwitz. That is the day the slaughterhouses of the Jewish people were shut down, and hopefully forever ceased the killing of the Jewish people. If it weren’t for that day, it could still be going on, and the families we brought into this world wouldn’t have been made and be able to accomplish what they have accomplished, in this country, and in Israel.
For most survivors, the war did not end until all of Europe was liberated in May 1945.
This year, the commemoration occurs at a time of political upheaval in our country, and an unfortunate trend of people analogizing political events and disagreements to the Holocaust, Hitler, or Nazism. Analogies to Kristallnacht, the Warsaw Ghetto, Auschwitz or other death camps, or any of the unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, reflect a very serious misunderstanding of the vast scope of Nazi Germany’s crimes, and the crimes of its collaborators. They also denigrate the memory of 6 million Jews, including one and a half million Jewish children, who were murdered in the Holocaust.
We all have a responsibility to speak out against hate, bigotry, and violence, which have the potential for ever-greater abuses. At the same time, we must do everything in our power to remember, and to educate every living soul about the unprecedented crimes against the Jewish people for which we commemorate the anniversary of January 27, 1945.