The genocide known as the Holocaust occurred between 1933 and 1945.  It was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of 6 million Jewish people by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the Nazis) and their collaborators.

The following is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s description of Holocaust Remembrance Day:

The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. When the actual date of Yom Hashoah falls on a Friday, the state of Israel observes Yom Hashoah on the preceding Thursday. When it falls on a Sunday, Yom Hashoah is observed on the following Monday. In the United States, Days of Remembrance runs from the Sunday before Yom Hashoah through the following Sunday.

On a trip to Poland in January 2019, I visited one the the Holocaust’s principal killing fields.

The first gas chamber, Auschwitz I.
Auschwitz I crematorium.

The Birkenau facility (Auschwitz II) is 2.5 kilometers from Auschwitz I.  Auschwitz-Birkenau served concurrently as a labor camp and as a center for the rapid extermination of Jews and certain other “undesirables” including Poles, Roma and Soviet POWs.  Birkenau opened in 1942, and was most active as an extermination camp between March and July 1944.  The last mass murders occurred on October 30, 1944.

Join me and others in honoring the survivors and remembering the six million Jews who were murdered. It is also important to realize that the vast majority of the people who committed the Holocaust’s unthinkable atrocities were not monsters or psychopaths. They were ordinary humans who allowed themselves to fall under the spell of a demagogue.