Remembering the Holocaust today and always

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is once again offering the public a range of opportunities to connect and learn more about the history and stories of the Holocaust.

 VISITORS TOUR the Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem. (photo credit: COURTESY YAD VASHEM)
VISITORS TOUR the Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem.
(photo credit: COURTESY YAD VASHEM)

Despite COVID-19 still looming among populations worldwide, the skies recently reopened, allowing us to gather together once more for the annual memorial ceremonies of Holocaust Remembrance Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day.

Observed the week after Passover, and this year it starts Wednesday evening, April 27 and continues through Thursday, April 28. Holocaust Remembrance Day provides an opportunity for Jews in Israel and around the world to pause and connect with the memory of the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered by the German Nazis and their collaborators during the Shoah. As we prepare to mark this solemn occasion, Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is once again offering the public a range of opportunities to connect and learn more about the history and stories of the Holocaust.

State Opening Ceremony Live from Yad Vashem

On Wednesday, 27 April, audiences worldwide will watch the Holocaust Remembrance Day opening ceremony taking place at Yad Vashem beginning at 8 p.m. The event will be broadcast live via Yad Vashem’s website, Facebook pages and YouTube channels complete with simultaneous translation into English, French, German, Russian and Spanish, as well as in Arabic. 

The ceremony will be attended by President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan, Yad Vashem Council chairman Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, notable Israeli dignitaries, the diplomatic corps in Israel, honored guests and Holocaust survivors. As in previous years, the heart-wrenching stories of the six torchlighters will be featured during the ceremony.

 THE OFFICIAL state opening ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day in Yad Vashem’s Warsaw Ghetto Square, Mount of Remembrance, Jerusalem. (credit: COURTESY YAD VASHEM) THE OFFICIAL state opening ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day in Yad Vashem’s Warsaw Ghetto Square, Mount of Remembrance, Jerusalem. (credit: COURTESY YAD VASHEM)
Special Activities on the Mount of Remembrance

The following day, April 28, after the traditional wreath-laying ceremony in the morning, the public is invited to participate in a range of activities around the Yad Vashem campus, including the reading of Holocaust victims’ names in the Hall of Remembrance and exclusive behind the scenes presentations by a range of Yad Vashem experts.

Commemoration Online

In addition to these important in-person events, Yad Vashem has created a special mini-site on its websites in a range of languages, featuring educational material and exhibitions geared towards enriching the public’s knowledge about the Holocaust and its continued relevance today.

This year, Yad Vashem has uploaded a new online exhibition related to the 2022 Holocaust Remembrance Day central theme, “Transports to Extinction – Deportation of the Jews during the Holocaust.” Using photographs and documents housed in the Yad Vashem Collections and Archives, “Deportations of Jews during the Holocaust – Stories of the Last Deportees, June 1944-April 1945” highlights personal stories of Holocaust victims and survivors who experienced the harrowing transportations to concentration and extermination camps in Eastern Europe.

“We owe it to the men, women and children who never had the opportunity to provide testimonies and tell the world of their experiences during the Shoah, to do so in the most accurate and comprehensive way using the different tools at our disposal,” remarked Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan. “Especially on Holocaust Remembrance Day, but also all year round, we must ensure that the world hears the voices of the six million.”

“Nearly 80 years later, we now find ourselves at a crossroads. As the last generation to be personally acquainted with Holocaust survivors, we have a great responsibility to ensure that what we have witnessed, what we have heard, and what we have learned is passed on to future generations.” Dayan continued, “The meaningful multigenerational activities and online materials offered by Yad Vashem will help ensure that the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust will always be remembered, and that the meanings of that darkest period in human history will be employed to secure a brighter future for our children.”

‘Generations Light the Way’

Yad Vashem, Tzohar, “Zikaron BaSalon” and “Our Six Million” (“Shem V’ner”) invite the public on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day to take part in the Generations Light the Way initiative by lighting six memorial candles in memory of the six million victims of the Shoah and reciting the traditional mourner’s prayer “El Ma’aleh Rahamim” and/or the poem “Nizkor – Let us Remember” by Holocaust survivor Abba Kovner.

Join together with family, friends and neighbors in this new tradition of remembrance and pass the memory on from generation to generation.

Yad Vashem Tours

For those interested in learning about the history of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem will be offering two English-language tours of the Holocaust History Museum on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 28. The first tour will take place in at 1:15 pm Israel time; the second tour will be offered virtually for the international audience and will take place at 7 pm EST. For more information, contact Yad Vashem at www.yadvashem.org.

Ongoing Campaigns

Yad Vashem continues to call on the public to fill out the Pages of Testimony to commemorate the names of Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Volunteers are available to help Holocaust survivors submit Pages of Testimony. Yad Vashem is also continuing its nationwide Gathering the Fragments campaign in an effort to rescue more Holocaust-related documents, artifacts, photographs and artworks, and interview, document and record video testimonies of survivors. 

For more information on all of these ongoing commemorative projects contact (02) 644-3888 and [email protected]