Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Andres Arias

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May 7, 2019
Community members gather in Palm Desert for an annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, January 28, 2019. (Photo: Zoë Meyers/The Desert Sun)

Community members gather in Palm Desert for an annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, January 28, 2019. (Photo: Zoë Meyers/The Desert Sun)

The Holocaust was a tragic event that happened throughout World War II. International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is dedicated to the millions who died during the Holocaust, is January 27.  It was on January 27, 1945, that Jewish and other concentration camp survivors were liberated from the Auschwitz camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

During World War II, the Nazis regime practiced extreme racism; Jews were considered inferior or subhuman. The Holocaust, slaughter on a massive scale, was a result of Hitler’s and Nazi ideologies and policies of ethnic cleansing–institutional racism directed at the European Jewish population. This genocide was caused by the way people thought about others. Almost 7 out of 10 Jewish people were killed because of their Jewish identity. How were the Nazis able to do this? How did Hitler influence so many Nazis to think that the Jews were inferior?


World War I left the German people impoverished on many levels. The German defeat in WWI led to the loss of land, economic strains, homelessness, and poverty. The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi) formed to coalesce thinking and action to advocate for change from hardships brought about by the German defeat. One of the main reasons people joined the Nazis was to find a job or hope for a new change–relief from the difficulties defeat brought them. Another reality upon which Nazis capitalized is that people look to blame others for hard circumstances. The rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party’s ideals incited the German people to look to their Jewish neighbors as the scapegoats for all their troubles. Jewish people became the other. Between 1933 and 1945 the Nazi government setup up 40,000 camps and within that concentration camp policy more than 11 million lives were lost–6 million were Jews–fully two-thirds of the Jewish people living in Europe. Other populations deemed inferior or subhuman were Jehovah Witnesses, homosexuals, and people with disabilities.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day or Yom Hashoah which is celebrated in Israel has speakers, poems, prayers, and songs to remember the lost lives of the Holocaust. Locally, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony was at the Palm Desert Civic Center. A few speakers came to share what was important to remember. Sacred Heart’s Father Howard Lincoln and the mayor of Palm Desert, Tem Sabby, gave reflections as well. Candles were lit as a memorial for all those killed in the Holocaust. The Holocaust changed humanity forever. 

The inside of a concentration camp







“11 Facts About the Holocaust.” DoSomething.org | Volunteer for Social Change, www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-holocaust.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, encyclopedia.ushmm.org/.

Doron, Daniella. “World Politics Explainer: The Holocaust.” The Conversation, The Conversation, 19 Sept. 2018, theconversation.com/world-politics-explainer-the-holocaust-100657.

SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg. “Topic: The Holocaust.” SPIEGEL ONLINE,  www.spiegel.de/international/topic/the_holocaust/.







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