January 27, 2016

Remembering and learning from the Holocaust

Author: Liza Frenette
Source: NYSUT Communications

It was in the cold winter of 1945, on January 27, when the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland was liberated by the Russian Army.

It signaled the end of the Holocaust horror of World War II, when 6 million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis, along with 5 million non-Jews.

Today, the anniversary is somberly remembered by the United Nations as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.


"The UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides. We invite you to share your reflections throughout the day on social media using #irememberby and #memory2action."

Education is advocated "to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again," according to the UN.

Lessons are available online at the American Federation of Teachers free site, "Share My Lesson":

There are many places to view historical artifacts from the Holocaust, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Families or classes wanting to visit should know that the museum distributes free timed passes for visits to the Permanent Exhibition during the months of March through August. They are available on the day of your visit or online in advance. Passes for March, April and May 2016 are now available online; passes for June, July and August 2016 are available online beginning March 1.

Andrew Beiter, a member of the Springville Teachers Association, believes the power of education is to expose injustice and repair the world. He is co-founder of the Educator Institute for Human Rights and founder of the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies of Buffalo.