Remembrance Day for the Holocaust and Heroism, known as Yom HaShoah, is a national day of remembrance for 6 millions Jews who perished during Holocaust, and it is today.
Since XVI century Poland was a paradisus Iudaeorum (Jewish paradise in Latin), creating home to one of the world’s largest and most vibrant Jewish communities. The lives of Poles were intertwined with the lives of Jews for centuries. In the West the most known movies talking about the Holocaust were “Schindler’s list” and “The Pianist”.
Out of 6 million Jews killed during Shoah, about half of them were Polish Jews. Form the other 5 million victims of Nazism, 3 millions were Poles. Growing up I remember a lot of stories being told about the atrocities of Stalin’s and Hitler’s men. Jews and Poles were on Hitler’s list to be eventually exterminated.
Shoah is the Hebrew word for “whirlwind”. It is the term used to describe the murder of six million Jewish people between 1938 and 1945.
Every year, since 1989, the Knesset in cooperation with “Yad Vashem” performs the ceremony of “Everyone has a Name” in which the names of all of the holocaust victims are read aloud.
Polish Anne Frank
Last year a diary of 14 year old Rutka was discovered. Her family was taken from the Jewish ghetto and murdered at Auschwitz. Only her father survived.
After the war he went to Israel and started new family. He died in 1986. One of his daughters, who is now 57, heard about Rutka, her older half-sister, only once. She named her own daughter, Rutka.
The last entry in her diary:
“I have a feeling that I’m writing for the last time. There is an aktion in my town. I’m not allowed to go out, and I’m going crazy, imprisoned in my house … I wish it would end already, this torment, this hell. I try to escape from these thoughts of the next day, but they keep haunting me like nagging flies. If only I could say, it’s over, you only need to die once … but I can’t because despite all these atrocities, I want to live and wait for the following day.”
Her name was read today in a ceremony for all to remember.