On Sunday, April 7, the community is invited to participate in the Hilo Holocaust Remembrance Day service from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. at the County Building in Hilo at 25 Aupuni St. Guest speaker Tana Basa will share some of her experiences as a Holocaust survivor.
“We will join others across the nation and around the world in recognizing this time in history,” said spokesman Arman Wiggins. “Holocaust Remembrance Day has been set aside for remembering the victims of the Holocaust and for reminding Americans of what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred and indifference reign.”
Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims.
“In their arrogance, the Nazis kept meticulous records of those who were killed at the camps. Today we use those names to honor those victims. There will be a reading of names at observances worldwide, and likewise in our little town in the midst of the Pacific,” said Wiggins.
On July 1944, the everyday world was shaken with the reality of how close one man’s hate had come to annihilating an entire people. The first concentration camp, Madjdanek, had been liberated; Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen and Mauthausen followed, revealing forced labor, torture, starvation and disease.
The first death camp liberated, Auschwitz-Birkenau, exposed a whole new facet to this hate. Gas chambers, crematoriums and mass graves revealed
the systematic method used to murder millions. Treblinka, Chelmo, Sobibor, Madjdanek, and Belzec were other camps whose sole purpose was to kill.
Adolf Hitler’s implementation of the “Final Solution” in regard to the Jewish people living in Europe became known as the Holocaust, or Yom Hashoa (Day of Calamity/Destruction).
“The German government planned and executed the systematic roundup and extermination of the Jews, resulting in 6 million — or two out of every three Jews — being murdered. Other victims — Jewish sympathizers, Romany gypsies, political dissidents, homosexuals and the mentally and physically disabled — pushed the total higher,” he said. “Come join us as we ‘Remember the Victims & Celebrate the Survivors’ and their families and the testimonies that their lives portray.”
On Facebook, search for Hilo Holocaust Remembrance Day, call Hilo Beit Yeshua at 640-9468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.