Avi Abraham Benlolo
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Picture: 26 January 1937 | A Dutch Jewish girl, Esther Polak, was born in Amsterdam. She arrived at Auschwitz in a transport of 1010 Jews deported from Westerbork on 28 July 1942. She was murdered in the gas chamber after selection (Credit: Auschwitz Memorial)
01/27/21: Today the world marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On January 27th, 1945, some 7,000 inmates of which 700 were children were "liberated" from Auschwitz. The gates of hell finally opened. Over 1.1 million mainly Jewish children, women and men were murdered.
Six million Jewish people in total were murdered in the some 40,000 Nazi camps and ghettos across Europe. Having visited Auschwitz over 10 times, the magnitude of this hell on earth is still incomprehensible.
Today, We Remember. We shall never forget. We shall never forgive.
A recent survey conducted just a few months ago, found the level of ignorance about the Holocaust is shocking. Nationally, 48% could not name a single concentration camp; 63% of respondents did not know that six million Jews were murdered; and 49% have seen Holocaust denial or distortion on social media.
According to Katherin Meyer, the Secretary General of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, "It is our duty to act on history's lessons from 1930s Europe, when the world failed to prevent extremist groups from rising to power – with disastrous effect,".
In a statement, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, "Today we honour the memory of the six million Jews & millions of others who were systematically murdered in the Holocaust. Our best tribute to Holocaust victims & survivors is to create a world of equality, justice & dignity for all".
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement: "The atrocities of the Holocaust have left an unfathomable stain on our history, yet antisemitism, discrimination, xenophobia and violence remain a lived reality for Jewish communities, both here at home and around the world".
"Having spent the majority of my life since high school and university writing, studying and researching the Holocaust and including interviewing Holocaust survivors and their families, I continue to learn more and more about this horrific period and study human capacity toward hate and violence. At the same time, I have dedicated myself to finding ways to make the world a better place" - Avi Benlolo
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