The Holocaust is undeniably one of the worst events in human history, the effects of which are felt even today. In a mere four years, 6 million Jews were systematically slaughtered by the Nazi war machine. Since the scale of this tragedy became known, scholars and survivors have sought to preserve its legacy to inform future generations.
What Happened During the Holocaust
Horrifyingly, the Holocaust was just one phase in the genocidal ambitions of Adolf Hitler and his henchmen. From 1941-45, wherever Germany held power, Jews were stripped of their rights, isolated in ghettos and eventually sent to concentration camps, where they were worked to death or gassed on arrival. Before they died, some were the subjects of medical monstrosities, including the horrific Holocaust twin experiments of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death.” By the end of World War II, millions had perished under German persecution.
How the Holocaust Is Remembered
In the aftermath of Nazi atrocities, a shocked world struggled to cope with the scope of the catastrophe. Various governments, groups and individuals vowed that the Holocaust would never be forgotten. In America, Israel and elsewhere, museums were established to educate the public. Their archives contain records of the camps, mementos of the dead and testimonies of survivors. Former death camps became monuments to the terror of the Third Reich. A new Jewish holiday was even created to honor Holocaust victims.
What We Can Do
As the last Holocaust survivors reach the end of their lives, it’s up to us to keep their memories alive. Their collective suffering can still serve a purpose if society continues to support the work that they started. The institutions they created must remain as resources for understanding the Holocaust. Many Holocaust memorials are registered charities, meaning any money you donate may be deducted from your taxes. The circumstances surrounding history’s darkest chapter should be common knowledge, with Holocaust information included in all school curricula.
In memory of the murdered millions, the history of the Holocaust cannot be ignored. By holding the victims in our hearts, we can ensure a second Holocaust never occurs.