Yom HaShoah commemorates the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust. At the same time, it marks the anniversary of the heroic Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943. Jews around the world hold memorials and vigils, often lighting six candles in honor of the six million Holocaust victims.
Israel's President Shimon Peres, speaking at Yad Vashem, stated, “The Jewish people are a small nation in number, but large in spirit. That spirit cannot be burned in the ovens. From the ashes of the Holocaust rose spiritual redemption and political rebirth. We rose and we built a state of our own. ...The history of the Holocaust is not just a lesson from the past, it is also a lesson for the future. That we will know how to defend ourselves against dangers and intercept them before time. That we can rely on ourselves. That we must maintain our moral legacy, which withstood even impossible situations. That we can maintain friendship with friends, and work with them to foster a better future, for every person, for every nation, for all nations. And to guard against humanity ever losing its humanity again.
We’ll ensure that every person will have the right to be different… different and equal. We will never despair."
Remembering the Six Million
In honor of Yom HaShoah, Hillels host events to remember the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. Some Hillels invite survivors to share their stories with younger generations on campus, while others host vigils and name-reading ceremonies, with coverage from a variety of media outlets. These events allow students to hear the innermost thoughts of Holocaust survivors. Reading names can also cause students to feel a personal connection to the victims.
The Jewish Voice & Herald covered URI Hillel’s plan to show the film “Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald.” Albany's CBS News reported on the University at Albany’s 24 hour vigil, commemoration activities led by Hillel and AEPi at Kent State University made the front page of the Kent Wired, and the Arizona public radio covered the 24 hour vigil at UA Hillel. West Virginia University’s school paper covered WVU Hillel’s “Unto Every Person There is a Name" event and Northern Illinois University’s newspaper the NIU Northern Star recorded a video of NIU’s Hillel and AEPi commemoration walk.