I heard Irene's cries coming from the research carrel next to mine at the Holocaust Museum. "You had 70 family members who perished?" I asked her. "No," she said. "I had more, many more." I asked Irene to tell me her story. Instead, she told me about her mother.
Today we commemorate Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) to honour the memories of the over six million victims of the Nazi genocide of World War II, an unprecedented event in human history that saw a third of world Jewry wiped out.
We can be dismissive of these events as isolated cases but, to do that would undermine a key factor: Antisemitism is not a Jewish problem; it is a deadly virus that endangers humanity, like racism, sexism and homophobia.
Holocaust Remembrance Day calls us to condemn anti-Semitism in every form -- whether it's the disturbing rise of xenophobic and anti-Semitic parties in Europe or the uptick of violence against Jewish people anywhere in the world.
Education is the purpose; we have to learn, acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things that we humans have inflicted upon each other, and we have to understand that our safety hinges on the safety of all others around us.
We will not respond with politics and anti-Neo Nazi rhetoric; instead we will respond with a lesson from history that demonstrates the purest kinds of love and humanity during a time during which the world wondered what the future would hold if Hitler had succeeded.
Like many American millennials, an 8th grade field trip first brought me into contact with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Unlike most of my peers, however -- then and now -- visiting the Museum was not my first up-close and personal encounter with genocide.
No Place on Earth offers an enthralling portrait of survival during the Holocaust. Directed by the accomplished Janet Tobias, the moving documentary is unlike previous films that have tackled the same subject matter.
The pop sensation is in the news for writing in the guestbook at the Anne Frank museum that the young Jewish woman was a "great girl" and that she would be a "Belieber" if she were alive with him today. A question comes to mind in the present frenzy: Can anything be sacred?
How long this situation will last is anyone's guess. But the possibility that before long Israel may have a neighbor to the east who is not as peaceful as the current Jordanian government, must be seriously considered.
Now as then, atrocities occur all around us; now, as then, they're not real until they happen to be reported. Initially, we're upset, but it takes too much time and energy to sustain that -- we begin to tune out.
More than 100,000 Holocaust Survivors living today in the United States suffered the worst oppression and brutality in human history. Now, they are increasingly frail and debilitated, and many are living below the poverty line.