In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are sharing a personal post from our Executive Director, Karine Fiore, for whom this is a deeply personal topic. Please take a look at her moving words and let them inspire you to speak up against injustice.
On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest, most infamous Nazi death camp where more than one million people were killed. The more than six million Jewish Holocaust victims include my great-grandparents, many great aunts and uncles, and countless cousins and extended family. Incredibly, my grandparents survived.
Seventy-six years later, we pause to remember the Holocaust and the world that enabled its atrocities. Despite extraordinary loss and suffering, my grandparents found the resilience to look forward, while teaching us to never forget. Recently, I have wondered what they would have made of the country that became their home. I miss them deeply, but am glad they did not have to hear the hateful and divisive rhetoric of recent years. It would have scared them.
My grandmother often reminded me of my obligation to remember. “If we forget,” she would say, “it could happen again.” Almost eight decades since the first transport of Jews arrived at Auschwitz, anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world. Horrifying stories continue to emerge of Uighur concentration camps in China. Black and Brown Americans are almost three times more likely to die of Covid than are white Americans. We have forgotten to remember.
On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, look forward. Speak up for injustice. Demand action from leaders, and hold them accountable with your vote. Help build a more united and just world for our children and grandchildren. But please, never forget.
[Image Caption: David and Anita Rubin, the author’s grandparents and Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors, pictured circa 1947-1948]