Today (and every day) we mourn, commemorate, and decry antisemitism.
“The day of remembrance is held each year to honor the millions of lives lost during the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis, as well as remembering those who died in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. This year, the UN’s theme for International Holocaust Remembrance Day is “Memory, Dignity and Justice.” –Newsweek
Today marks the 77th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, which Eva Mozes Kor was part of. January 31 would have been Eva’s 88th birthday (Eva passed away peacefully in 2019, at the age of 85). You may also recognize Eva’s name from the viral Buzzfeed video about her experiences. It’s pretty short (around 15 minutes) and a must-watch on any day of the year.
From the publisher (Little Brown Books for Young Readers): I Will Protect You honors Eva Mozes Kor’s legacy of Holocaust education and advocacy and is expertly preserved in her own words by friend and co-author Danica Davidson. Eva, along with her friend Danica Davidson, Eva reveals how two young girls were able to survive the unimaginable cruelty of the Nazi regime, while also eventually finding healing and the capacity to forgive. Her book, I Will Protect You, is coming out in April.
I got the opportunity to read this work early, and it’s beautiful. Eva painstakingly recounts her experiences in Auschwitz, and healing afterward. For those of you who haven’t heard about Eva’s imprisonment, she and her identical twin Miriam were subject to the cruelty of Mengele, who was obsessed with twins. I urge you to preorder this book, and reflect on how deeply antisemitism is still entrenched in our society; as we are not even a century away from the horrors of the Nazi regime.
In closing, “eighty years since the Holocaust began, violent antisemitism remains a threat—as we witnessed at a Texas synagogue this month. The lessons of this history have never been more relevant and will be the focus of this solemn event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day—designated by the United Nations to be January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. We hope you will join us as survivors reflect on and honor the lives of Europe’s Jews—who were targeted for annihilation—other victims of Nazi persecution, and individuals who chose to help.” –USHMM
There are more extremely emotional and necessary commemorations today, including this one in Germany. You can also check out this article from ABC7 Chicago, which gives more information about the events this year; “Due to the pandemic, many International Holocaust Remembrance Day events were being held online this year again. A small ceremony, however, was to take place at the site of the former Auschwitz death camp, where World War II Nazi German forces killed 1.1 million people in occupied Poland. The memorial site was closed earlier in the pandemic but reopened in June.”
The featured image for this post was found in this article.