27 January 2010, Holocaust Memorial Day, marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This date was chosen as an appropriate day to remember the six million Jews, as well as many other people, who were sent to Nazi concentration and death camps during the Holocaust (Shoah).
The theme of this year’s day is The Legacy of Hope. It is an opportunity to listen to the voices from the Holocaust and the Nazi persecution and to make their hopes for a safer, inclusive society a reality, today and in the future.
One voice brought to our attention is that of Rabbi Hugo Gryn who was a young boy in the former Czechoslovakia when his family was deported and taken to a work camp. He said that you can only be safe and secure in a society that practices tolerance, cherishes harmony and celebrates difference. Rabbi Gryn survived the Holocaust but has since died leaving a legacy of hope for future generations to live by.
Archbishop Emeritus Kevin McDonald is Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Department for Dialogue and Unity:
“It is very important that Catholics develop and practice tolerance, learn to live in harmony and celebrate difference,” he said. “Without these values our society can easily turn to prejudice, hatred and racism.”
Today we can ask ourselves what we should be doing to build a safer, stronger society so that we remove the risk of ever laying the building blocks of genocide.
The Committee for Catholic Jewish Relations