Holocaust Memorial Day: an Underrated and Under-recognized Holiday

You’ve just reached your one millionth hit on your YouTube video. What is the video about?

It’s May 5, a typical Thursday. Your alarm rings. You sit up, check your phone, and spot a Facebook viral video on Holocaust Memorial Day. It’s not an ordinary day. Plugging in your headphones, you brace yourself and hit play.You see a black screen, hear the crunching sounds of boots on a dirt road, and chains hitting heels. The footsteps become louder and louder. The Nazi guard draws closer and commands “Härter arbeiten, du Schwein”. “You are not human, you are a pig.” A click is followed by a deafening gunshot and loud thud. A fragile body collapses into the massive hole dug by coerced fellow prisoners. Another one gone in Auschwitz, where lives have numbers but no value. A solemn prisoner resumes digging graves for the next ones. After the simulation, a flash of white words explain the purpose of recreating the Holocaust concentration camp experience.

Less publicized than National-Donut-Day, Holocaust Memorial Day lacks its deserved media attention. Six million deaths. A genocide of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and my own ancestors. Created by a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, my video would simulate a few horrific moments in a concentration camp to memorialize those lost. My grandparents’ survival stories have made me a vital member of the Jewish community. Through my Jewish youth group (BBYO) and my synagogue, I practice and promote Judaism so that my faith stays alive. Remembering the Holocaust, through teaching and social media, retells the story so that history doesn’t repeat itself.

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