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January 27, 2011 / jmeuropeana

Holocaust remembrance day

The 27th of January is the ‘International Holocaust Remembrance Day’. I’ve struggled a bit whether I would blog about this. There is some interesting content in Europeana about the subject, but it is of course a very sensitive and difficult subject. Any coverage, or lack thereof, might offend and hurt some people. Obviously I do not want to do that. I think that this hesitance to talk about the subject is precisely the reason this day exists: to keep the memory alive, so that we can make sure that this part of history will not repeat itself.

Both the victims and the perpetrators of the holocaust were Europeans. As Europeans we have to be brave and look history in the face, try to understand what happened and how it happened. I am not going to do that analysis here, excellent books have been written about the subject. But here are some images from Europeana related to the holocaust, and in particular to the practice of holocaust remembrance.

The monument to the victims of the holocaust in Berlin:
Holocaust Mahnmal in Berlin Mitte

Here is a quite evocative video of how people experience that monument.

A French video of a group of third graders visiting the holocaust section of the Caen war museum:
[Le mémorial de Caen]..

A report on a holocaust survivors meeting in Israel:
Cérémonies holocauste Israël..

A hungarian documentary of the Roma victims of the holocaust can be found here.
The fate of the Roma in the Holocaust is also a part of the European Library virtual exhibition ‘A Roma Journey‘.

The word holocaustus has greek roots and literally means ‘total burning’ or ‘destruction’. It was used as a word meaning ‘burnt offering’, but now the meaning of the word has shifted to almost exlusively refer to the Shoah.
Here is an example of a medieaval ‘holocaustos’:
Bible historiale

I wish everyone who remembers holocaust victims among their relatives or friends the strength they need to remember the unimaginable.


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