Today, all over the world, people of all faiths and cultures are observing Yom Hashoah, the annual Day of Remembrance for those who perished in the Holocaust. Yom is Hebrew for “Day” and Hashoah means “of Catasrophe” or “of Destruction.” At the United States Holocaust Museum people sign up to read aloud the names of those who were killed.
All families should pass on to the children an understanding of the Holocaust and the painful realization that our hopes that the sickening inhumanity of what transpired, the systemic effort to exterminate groups based on religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, would itself be enough to prevent future genocide, have not been realized. Good films to begin these discussions include Defiance, the story of a partisan and resistance movement led by three brothers; Conspiracy, a chilling depiction of the meeting of Nazi officers to plan the death camps, and Paper Clips, the story of a small-town school system whose meaningful curriculum transforms the lives of the teachers as well as the students. And don’t forget to watch the new version of The Diary of Anne Frank, premiering tonight on PBS.