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June 1, 2016

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2013

I don’t remember how old I was when I first learned about the Holocaust, but I know it’s always been a part of my life. My mom’s parents were Holocaust survivors, and even when I was a young child they spoke to me about their experiences before, during, and after World War II. I’m amazed that they were able—and willing—to talk to me, a rather curious and inquisitive child, about such a difficult and heavy topic before I was old enough to really understand. It must have been hard to know how much information to give, how much detail would be appropriate, how to be honest with me without traumatizing me. But even though it’s difficult to know how to talk about the Holocaust, my grandparents and others like them believed in the importance of talking about their past so that future generations would know what happened and remember.

Sometimes I struggle with the concept of remembrance. I find myself rebelling against the idea of reading a Holocaust story or watching a movie set in a concentration camp. Why remember bad things? What’s the point?

It would be easier to forget. To imagine that something like the Holocaust couldn’t happen again, or wouldn’t. But the truth is horrible things are happening all the time, all over the world. They are happening right now. And it’s essential that we force ourselves to acknowledge and recognize—and remember.

Through remembrance, we honor the memories of the millions of people who were killed, and we seek to ensure that such an atrocity is never repeated. Remembrance is hopeful. Through remembrance, we hope to create a more tolerant and peaceful world for the future.

Dana Shaked is the promotions manager for the teacher pages of the Book Club catalogs.


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April 8, 2013