Holocaust Memorial Day 2017

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place every year on the 27th of January, which is the day the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz, was liberated.   It is a day to reflect on the damage that the holocaust and other genocides can cause, and fight against other forms of discrimination towards other faiths and groups. By commemorating the holocaust and remembering the effects that it had on humanity, the people taking part hope that it will stop any other genocides from taking place.

It is estimated that approximately 11 million people were murdered, and 6 million of these were Jews. The other 5 million were gypsies, Jehovah’s witnesses, and other groups which were targeted by the Nazis. People who spoke out against the Nazis actions were also targeted. For years, they were faced with new challenges and difficulties, just because they were different to other people.   Even today, people’s lives are still affected by forms of discrimination. The holocaust Memorial Day trust wants to change this.

Every year, events and memorials are held, not just to remember those who lost their lives during this tragic time, but to show support for those who are facing these problems themselves. Millions of schools hold special assemblies and take part in activities in order to educate the new generation about the atrocities of the holocaust, and how the aftermath affected the whole of society.   And that’s what we were lucky enough to experience.

Living survivors of the holocaust also take part, and volunteer to share their stories and experiences.

The focus for this year is, “how can life go on.”

How can life go on when people are continuing to become victims of discrimination? How can life go on when innocent lives are taken due to the hatred of others?   The survivors of the holocaust are a living, breathing example that life can and will go on.   The fact remains that even after the holocaust, genocides continued to take place, for example the Rwanda genocide in 1994.   But, by commemorating the holocaust and other genocides every year, it reminds people of the terrible consequences of prejudice and hatred.   It reminds them to strive to create equality and harmony.  Every ceremony or school activity, however big or small, helps spread the message of peace, and gives hope for a brighter and happier future for all.

By Yasira Salim

Year 9 Reporter

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