What is Holocaust Memorial Day?

    Gates to Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp, a former Nazi extermination camp

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    January 27 is Holocaust Memorial Day. (Picture: Getty Images)

    Today – January 27 – is Holocaust Memorial Day, a day dedicated to the memory of those whose lives were lost to genocide. 

    It is sometimes mistaken for Yom Hashoah, a separate memorial day in May, where the Jewish community comes together to honour lost relatives and ancestors. 

    Holocaust Memorial Day has a slightly broader purpose, aiming to pay tribute to and honour the victims of all genocides throughout history. 

    With the significance of this day in mind, we’ve put together a reminder of why today is so important, and why Holocaust Memorial Day falls on 27 January every year.

    A hand holds a black and white photo of prisoners in Auschwitz

    Over one million people were killed at Auschwitz (Picture: Natalia FedosenkoTASS via Getty Images)

    What is Holocaust Memorial Day? 

    Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

    Over one million people were murdered in what was the largest Nazi concentration camp before it was liberated 76 years ago. 

    Today also calls on people to remember those lost in the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. According to the Holocaust Memorial Day website, today ‘encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide.’

    The website goes on to say that ‘the Holocaust threatened the fabric of civilisation, and genocide must still be resisted every day. Our world often feels fragile and vulnerable and we cannot be complacent. Even in the UK, prejudice and the language of hatred must be challenged by us all. 

    ‘HMD is for everyone. Each year across the UK, thousands of people come together to learn more about the past and take action to create a safer future. We know they learn more, empathise more and do more.’ 

    The website also features resources for anyone hoping to organise an event, including lesson plans, assemblies, videos and a map of nearby events.

    Auschwitz survivor Lily Ebert, 97, went viral online on Monday after recovering from Covid-19. Her great grandson, 17, took to Twitter to commemorate her go back to health, calling it ‘miraculous’.

    General view of the Holocaust memorial in Berlin

    The Holocaust memorial in Berlin, developed by United States designer Peter Eisenman. (Picture: AP Photo/Jockel Finck)

    How is Holocaust Memorial Day marked?

    Holocaust Memorial Day is being marked this year by an online event, that can be signed up with from anywhere.

    The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is running a digital event through their site from 7-8pm on January 27. If you wish to participate, you can sign up online prior to the day.

    People are likewise motivated to put a lit candle light at their window at 8pm to bear in mind the lives lost.

    Holocaust Memorial Day activities are likewise readily available on the site for kids who want to read more. Suggested concepts consist of art, online assemblies, and a photography competitors.

    How many individuals passed away in the Holocaust and in other genocides? 

    The real death counts of genocides are frequently difficult to figure out.

    It’s believed that 6 million Jewish individuals were eliminated by the Nazis, although some specialists have actually approximated the real death toll to be much greater. 

    According to Survivors Fund, an approximated 800,000 to one million individuals were butchered in the Rwandan genocide, which lasted 100 days from April 6 to July 16, 1994.

    Attendees carry flowers during the mass funeral to bury 81 coffins containing newly discoverd remains of 84,437 victims of the Rwandan 1994 genocide

    The Rwandan genocide lasted 100 days. (Picture: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP through Getty Images)

    The precise death toll for the Cambodian genocide is unidentified however scientists at the University of California approximate it varies in between 1.2 and 2.8 million individuals.

    The Bosnian war (1992-1995) declared an approximated 100,000 lives, while World Without Genocide state that 480,000 lives have actually been lost up until now in the Darfur genocide.

    The scaries of the Holocaust

    The scary of the death toll of Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ does not reduce with time.

    Between the years of 1939 and 1945, the Holocaust declared countless lives, with many taken in death camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau in Nazi-inhabited Poland.

    It is approximated that 11million individuals passed away in the Holocaust which about 1.1million of those were kids.

    About 6million of all individuals eliminated were Jewish and the staying 5million were comprised of Poles, gypsies, homosexuals, psychologically and handicapped individuals, trade unionists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Russians, priests and pastors, resistors and non-Jewish partners who declined to divorce.

    Of the 6million Jewish individuals, 3 million were likewise Polish.

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