As the years press on and survivors of the Holocaust become fewer, anti-Semitism is still increasing. Therefore HOWEVER we do it, the Holocaust (Shoah) must be remembered.
Organisations such as The Holocaust Educational Trust (http://www.het.org.uk/), Yad Vashem (http://www.yadvashem.org/), Christian Friends of Yad Vashem (http://www.yadvashem.org/YV/en/about/friends/christian/index.asp) and other groups such as Christian Friends of Israel (https://www.cfi.org.uk/) (https://cfijerusalem.org/web/) are vital to keep the message alive, and enable the next generation to know what happened during those dark years in Nazi Europe.
Yom Ha’Shoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה
The full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah”— in Hebrew literally translated as the “Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.” It is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan — a week after the end of the Passover holiday and a week before Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers). It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
The date was selected in a resolution passed by Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, on April 12, 1951. Although the date was established by the Israeli government, it has become a day commemorated by Jewish communities and individuals worldwide. The day’s official name – Holocaust and Heorism Remembrance Day – was made formal in a law enacted by the Knesset on August 19, 1953; on March 4, 1959, the Knesset passed another law which determined that tribute to victims of the Holocaust and ghetto uprisings be paid in public observances.
Yom HaShoah in Israel: Since the early 1960’s, the sound of a siren on Yom Hashoah stops traffic and pedestrians throughout the State of Israel for two minutes of silent devotion. The siren blows at sundown and once again at 11:00 A.M. on this date. All radio and television programs during this day are connected in one way or another with the Jewish destiny in World War II, including personal interviews with survivors. Even the musical programs are adapted to the atmosphere of Yom Hashoah. There is no public entertainment on Yom Hashoah, as theaters, cinemas, pubs, and other public venues are closed throughout Israel.
Britain brought in the National Holocaust Memorial Day in 2000 (a government initiative) on January 27. It marks the anniversary of the liberation – by the Soviet Union – of the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in 1945.
The Holocaust remains the largest systematic persecution of any single race on earth. The Holocaust claimed the lives of six million Jewish men, women and children between 1933, when Hitler came to power in Germany, and 1945, when the Nazis were finally defeated.
Through a ministry I work with in Jerusalem (Christian Friends of Israel) we minister to thousands of Holocaust Survivors in Israel. When any of these survivors come to Distribution Centre in Jerusalem, we take the time to visit them, recording their stories and helping financially and with counselling.
Here in the UK, I have also been involved in raising awareness in schools and churches, organizing various events including Holocaust Memorial Services. I desire to arouse sensibility and understanding of the events of the Holocaust as a continuing issue of fundamental importance for all humanity. The aim to ensure that the horrendous crimes, the racism and the victimization committed during the Holocaust are neither forgotten nor repeated, whether in Europe or elsewhere in the world. Although I’m are happy to work with other groups, the exhibitions in photographs here are independent of any other organisation however to book any future exhibition would need to come under the auspice of Christian Friends of Israel. Do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org should you want further information.
Though Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on January 27 each year, the Holocaust Exhibition has toured throughout the year and can be used anytime.
In 2014 the tour started on 6th January 2014 and ran through until 18th October 2014 – featuring in many North of England towns and Cities from Newcastle to Scarborough, and has also been featured in the Victoria Baptist Church in Eastbourne for CFI’s Annual National Conference on 20th September 2014.
The Holocaust exhibition was provided for us by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and other Jewish Trusts. The series of photos are an insight of the journey of Holocaust Survivors- from liberation to rehabilitation. The quality of the photos is exceptional, and the clarity and connection is incredible. It has been featured in many schools, Churches and Libraries. Due to the success of the exhibition, I have also worked with many school children and had excellent feedback from the teachers and Heads of year within the schools.
Ther Exhibition is also linked very closely to the work done with many survivors of the Holocaust from the International Head Office in Jerusalem. Through the work in Israel we minister to thousands of Holocaust Survivors. When any of these survivors come to our centre in Jerusalem, we take the time to visit and record their stories and help financially and with counselling.
(Below) The exhibition in Birtley near Gateshead
(Below) The exhibition in Middlesbrough
Below: Our exhibition goes to Stockton Baptist Tabernacle Church and also The Central Library, Stockton on Tees.
The Holocaust Exhibition goes to schools, Churches and Libraries
Below are a few of the photos taken of the visit to the South Bank Library of students from St. Peter’s Catholic School.
Below: The exhibition in Eastbourne
Holocaust Educational Trust Appeal Film:
This short film by HET is truly worth watching:
Crimes Against Humanity
Crimes Against Humanity is a compilation of songs and poems that David Soakell originally set to music, which try to reflect something of the horror of The Holocaust and beyond. A royalty from the sale of this publication will aid survivors as through CFI Jerusalem’s “Forsake Them Not” Project.
This gathering of written works was first written to coincide with the “Anne Frank In The World Exhibition”, which was brought to the UK’s North East some time ago.
David Soakell writes in the introduction:
“I have tried to probe the minds of victims who experienced this and to look through their eyes at a time of history which should never be forgotten – yet which continues even today. I realise that no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to bring to life the real horrors that those people experienced physically, mentally and spiritually, but hope this work is at least thought-provoking.
My heart’s desire is that, from any aspect of this work, even one person’s conscience might be awakened to the evils that continue to face mankind today, and that that reality would show itself in a more compassionate and tolerant society, bringing peace and God’s love into our world of much need.”
Yesterday, Today, The Same
Can I close my eyes, hide inside my home
Can I turn my face away?
What will the world see, in this lonely old man
Will they believe the words I say?
Is fifty years too long a time
Should I simply just forget?
As I stand besides the cenotaph
What of my love, my debt?
At night I try to sleep in peace
But nightmares stalk my mind
I awake to see my world today
In war and hate, a familiar kind.
A child will ask – “What holocaust?”
Another states “It’s lies”
“Just sympathy for the Jewish world”
While burning tears run from fading eyes.
Is it right that the world should just forget
Or say it’s all untrue?
Yet I see today – it happens again
To stop it – what can we do?
Is it just me, is it just you
That causes men to fight?
For black, for white, for me a Jew
Don’t I have a say, a right?
(Yesterday, Today, The Same – taken from Crimes Against Humanity by David Soakell)
Sales from the above book “Crimes Against Humanity” go to help Holocaust Survivors in Israel.
To purchase the book, go to the Christian Friends of Israel website here: http://www.cfi.org.uk/shop.php?author=340
Past Holocaust Memorial Services…
Also, check out Vad Vashem: http://www.yadvashem.org/