Today is Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day*) 2017. At Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, this year’s Yom HaShoah focused on six torchlighters. The folks at Yad Vashem define a torchlighter as:
Each year, six Holocaust survivors are chosen to light torches in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust. Their wartime experiences reflect the central theme chosen by Yad Vashem for Holocaust Remembrance Day. The torches are lit during the central memorial ceremony held at Yad Vashem on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
This year’s six torchlighters have provided video testimonies. You can see them all at the link, but I’ll post a couple below.
The US Holocaust Museum has also stated that the President will be speaking at their Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony at the Capitol tomorrow. The President was able to release a video statement of remembrance of Holocaust victims today that did not forget to mention Jews.
Today is also the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide. As the LA Times reports:
Turkey has long denied that a genocide took place, arguing that the killings can’t be separated from the historical context of global upheaval during World War I, and that many Turks also were killed. But most historians outside Turkey describe a state-organized campaign of ethnic cleansing that meets the definition of genocide.
Schiff and U.S. Rep. Dave Trott (R-Michigan) last month introduced a resolution asking Congress to formally recognize the genocide.
“Over 100 years ago, the Ottoman Empire undertook a brutal campaign of murder, rape, and displacement against the Armenian people that took the lives of 1.5 million men, women, and children in the first genocide of the 20th century,” Schiff said in a statement. “Genocide is not a historic relic — even today hundreds of thousands of religious minorities face existential threat from ISIS in Syria and Iraq. It is therefore all the more pressing that the Congress recognize the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide and stand against modern day genocide and crimes against humanity.”
Schiff has, for years, sought official recognition of the genocide from Congress.
The release of the movie The Promise, which focuses on the Armenian genocide is being released to coincide with the anniversary, which should keep this horrible, and often poorly remembered, if not forgotten, historical atrocity in the news. And irk the Turks.
Update at 9:33 PM EDT
Commenter Debbie provided this interesting link to an NPR report regarding the Armenian Genocide.
Recently Discovered Telegram Reveals Evidence For Armenian Genocide
I’ll leave you all with a video of Professor Norman Goda, The Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies, Department of History, University of Florida. I had the honor and privilege to arrange for Professor Goda to be the keynote speaker for USAWC’s 2014 Holocaust and Genocide Remembrance Month. The video below is based on his book: Hitler’s Shadow: NAZI War Criminals, US Intelligence, and the Cold War.
* I do not know why there is an International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January and Yom HaShoah in April. Though the latter is an official holiday in Israel.