Today, Jewish people around the world will unite to remember. We will recall the 6 million Jewish people that lost their lives during the Holocaust, along with the people that helped to save lives. In the United States, Yom HaShoah it is more commonly called Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Growing up, my parents made it a point to teach my brother and me about the events of the Holocaust. We heard stories about relatives that had survived. Members of our synagogue were honored for being the Kinder that were transported out of Germany and other Nazi territories during the war. When I read The Diary of Anne Frank in fifth grade, I made it a point to read anything and everything I could on the subject. I wanted to know all that I could on the topic.
I still remember the day that one of my Hebrew School teachers rolled up the sleeve on her shirt and showed us the numbers etched on her arm. She and her husband had both survived time in Concentration Camps. The pain in her eyes was still there, but she made it a point to go into Jewish education to keep our traditions alive.
While in high school, I worked with my 11th Grade American History teacher to have a field trip for our class to see Schindler’s List. The power of Steven Spielberg’s movie in black and white still haunts me to this day. When I was teaching Language Arts, I made it a point to incorporate Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars in my curriculum. Teaching the history in this fictional book was powerful. My students connected and learned so much from this amazing novel. Many went on to read other books about this time period. Teaching about tolerance and learning about other religions and cultures through literature is an important goal in my educational philosophy. My hope is that others would not have to worry about living in the fear of hatred like I had at times as a child.
Today, I had planned on sharing a review of a book that was written by my Aunt’s father about his time during the Holocaust and World War II. The book by Herman Rothman is called Hitler’s Will. I read the book several months ago and was in awe of this amazing man. I want to be sure to do this right and will leave a teaser that a review and interview will be coming in the future. I hope to learn more about Hermie to share with my family and friends. It is my goal that NHL and JSL meet my aunt’s mother and father one day because they truly are special people. Knowing all that I do from the book, I am even more honored to say that Herman Rothman signed my Ketubah on my wedding day.
On this day, I hope that you will take a moment to remember the six million Jewish lives that were lost during this dark time in history. We must not forget and have to continue to teach our children about this period to make sure that it stops happening again and again in different parts of the world. It is only through educating children and fellow people about tolerance that this vicious cycle of hatred will end.