Yom Hashoah: This year, remember ‘Choosing to Act’

Photo of a Nazi transport train used in the Holocaust, now in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. This image is among 21 in a PDF set of posters the Museum provides for educators and community leaders planning Days of Remembrance.THURSDAY, APRIL 19: The most dramatic Yom Hashoah observances on the planet are held in israel, where sirens sound this morning for two minutes and the entire nation comes to a standstill. For a complete overview of this observance, established in the early 1950s in Israel under the co-sponsorship of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Wikipedia has historical details.

In the United States, if you are looking for regional Yom Hashoah observances, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has a helpful interactive map of local events. Are you helping to organize a class or event in your area and need help? The D.C.-based museum also has an information-packed webpage of planning resources, ranging from samples of proclamations to Selected Readings, Musical Selections and even a set of 21 printable Posters in a free PDF.

2012 Theme in the U.S.—Choosing to Act: Stories of Rescue

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is encouraging groups to focus on the 2012 theme “Choosing to Act: Stories of Rescue,” as a way of underlining the ongoing importance of courageous action to combat genocide. The Holocaust Museum’s website explains, in part: “Confronted with the persecution and murder of Europe’s Jews, witnesses had a choice of whether or not to intervene. Getting involved meant running the risk of severe punishment, and most people—even those who disagreed with the Nazis’ policies and practices—opted to do nothing.

Among the inspiring examples of people who chose to act are: Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat; the French villagers of Le Chambon sur-Lignon; and Danish resistance fighters.


We do not claim that our Holocaust Educational Resources page is comprehensive—but we do regularly review important new educational films related to the Holocaust. Often, our news coverage and reviews alert educators and community leaders to new media that is helpful for classes and study groups. Yom Hashoah originally was scheduled to recall the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. One of the first films we review on this resources page is a moving historical record of the Warsaw Ghetto only recently released on DVD.


The following 9-minute video was created by the D.C.-based museum to help explain “Why We Remember the Holocaust.” Click the video screen, below to watch it:

Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online magazine covering religion and cultural diversity.

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