June 24, 2024
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HHREC Plans Virtual Holocaust Remembrance Day Events

“Remember the days of old, understand the years of generation after generation” (Devarim 32:7).

One of the key values of Judaism is to remember the past, learn the lessons of the past and use these lessons to educate and inspire future generations to make positive change. Reflecting on the Holocaust we often summarize our response with the phrase “never again.” We never again want to see genocide permitted to occur as the world turns away.

To ensure these lessons are never forgotten, International Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed each year on January 27. It was on January 27, 1945, that Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Red Army. In 2005, United Nations Resolution 60/7 established this date as an International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

In order to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center, 4 West Red Oak Lane, White Plains, New York, will be presenting two virtual events.

The first event, “Last Letters: The Prison Correspondence 1944-45 Between Freya and Helmuth Von Moltke,” will be held on Monday, January 25, at 7:15 p.m. These letters will be brought to life by Johannes Von Moltke and Dorothea von Moltke, the grandchildren of Freya and Helmuth Moltke. In September 1944, in Berlin, Helmuth von Moltke was in prison awaiting trial and presumably execution for his opposition to the dictatorship. The Nazis were unaware that the prison chaplain was smuggling letters between Helmuth and his wife, Freya. The two wrote almost daily, sharing their fears, emotions and experiences until January 1945, when he was tried, found guilty and executed. This event is sponsored with Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester and the German International School New York.

The second virtual event, “Under Siege Again? Holocaust Distortion and the Rise of Hate Crimes Against Jews,” will be held on Wednesday, January 27, at 6:00 p.m. This Zoom event will be a conversation about how anti-Semitism at the international, national and regional levels fueled Holocaust distortion, as well as the challenges in prosecuting religiously based hate crimes locally. It will feature Michael Brovner, chief of the Queens County District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau in New York City, and Mark Weitzman, director of government affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. This event is co-sponsored by the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College; the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College; the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center in White Plains; the Holocaust Museum and Center for Tolerance and Education at Rockland Community College; and the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County.

HHREC was founded in 1990. It is a not-for-profit organization, serving Westchester, Fairfield and Putnam counties. Its mission is to “enhance the teaching and learning of the lessons of the Holocaust and the right of all people to be treated with dignity and respect.” It offers a speakers bureau, programs and events and a second- and third-generation group, called Generations Forward. It has also taken the initiative to develop education and teacher-training programs. The Garden of Remembrance provides a unique, quiet setting for study and reflection. For more information about HHREC, call 914-696-0738 or email [email protected]. 

By Susan R. Eisenstein

 

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