Opinion

Day of Remembrance honors victims of Holocaust

From out of the smoke of the fires and the blood of the murdered Warsaw ghetto, we imprisoned in the ghetto send you our heartful fraternal greetings. We know that you watch with pain and compassionate tears, with admiration and alarm, the outcome of this war, which we have been waging for many days with the cruel occupant. Let it be known that every threshold in the ghetto has been and will continue to be a fortress, that we may all perish in this struggle, but we will not surrender: that, like you, we breathe with a desire for revenge of the crimes of our common foe. A battle is being waged for your freedom as well as ours. For you and our human, civic, and national honor and dignity.

Appeal from the Jewish resistance fighters in the Warsaw ghetto, April 23, 1943.
In 1980, the Congress established the Days of Remembrance as our nations annual commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust and mandated the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the six million Jews as well as millions of others murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day will be observed on April 15 and has The Dignity of Difference, as its theme.
According to the Holocaust Memorial Day website, the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2007 encourages us to look at what we learned from the Holocaust about the consequences of exclusion based on peoples differences from us. It highlights the experiences of a variety of groups under the Nazis and explores the opportunities this history gives us to consider how we can create a society based on respect for differences.
It has been said that the Holocaust is not merely a story of destruction and loss; it is a story of an apathetic world and a few rare individuals of extraordinary courage. It is a story of the human spirit and the life that flourished before the Holocaust, struggled during its darkest hours and ultimately prevailed as survivors rebuilt their lives.
Take some time this week to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day a day that has been set aside for remembering the victims of the Holocaust and for reminding Americans of what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred and indifference reign.
As part of its observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Everett Community Colleges Northlight Gallery is showing Images from Poland, through April 27. Images from Poland is a series of photographs from Ilana Cone Kennedys travel to Poland with Holocaust survivor Thomas Blatt.
Blatt brought Cone Kennedy, education director for the Washington Holocaust Education Resource Center, and a group of 22 other educators to his hometown of Izbica, Poland, in 2005. He also traveled with the group to the Solibor extermination camp, where he and a group of other prisoners escaped after a camp revolt.
The group also toured other former Jewish cultural centers and death camps of Poland. The trip, which included EvCC humanities instructor Joyce Walker, was sponsored by the Holocaust Education Resource Center.
Cone Kennedys exhibit of 20 photographs is not exclusively focused on the Holocaust, but does include moving images of a country that lost a generation to genocide. The exhibit also includes photographs of concentration camps by photographer Rudy Brueggemann, who donated his work to the Holocaust Center.
The one thing I hope viewers take away from my photographs is that Poland is a very complex place. There are many layers to its history, Cone Kennedy said in a recent press release. Holocaust history is not part of the distant past. Memories of the Holocaust are alive in the people living there today.
Cone Kennedy will visit EvCC from 2:30 - 4 p.m., April 16, to speak about her work and join in the colleges ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.
EvCCs Northlight Gallery is in the Parks Student Union Building at Everett Community College, please call 425-388-9445 for more information.

Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all of the days of your life. And you shall make them known to you children, and to your childrens children.

Dedication in the United States Holocaust Memorials Hall of Remembrance.

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