Holocaust, also known as the “Shoah”, that is “destruction”, is one of the greatest tragedies of our history: about 11 million people, including 6 million Jews, were victims of genocide by The Nazi regime and its allies. On January 27, 1945, the largest Nazi concentration camp was freed by Soviet troops.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, on January 27, is an international memorial day to remember and honor all the victims of the Holocaust, people that lost their life between 1933 and 1945, killed only because they were Jews, gypsies, homosexual or disabled. This memorial day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 to give everyone the opportunity to remember and reflect on this mass murder and work for a better future.
In 1933 the Nazis introduced laws and legislations to deny Jews the freedom of movement, work and other basic human rights. Between 1933 and 1939, the Nazi regime brought radical changes to the German Jewish community: they were expelled from the professions, from the commercial life and from public school. But the most drastic changes for them came with World War 2 in Europe. German authorities began to deport Jews to concentration camps, also known as extermination camps. Once there, men were separated from women and children. Nazi physicians decided who was healthy enough to survive forced labour. Obviously, disabled, pregnant women, babies, young children and sick elderly people had little chance to survive. So they were led to the gas chambers and their bodies were burned in crematory ovens or buried in mass graves.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day teaches us that we must not forget what happened in the past so to prevent it from happening again.