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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day - Educational Materials

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day - Educational Materials

Yad Vashem’s annual theme for 2012 focuses on Jewish solidarity during the Holocaust. During this period, Jewish solidarity was directly threatened and in many places severely weakened as a direct result of the extremely harsh Nazi policies. Community awareness, which had existed in various towns and cities throughout Europe for hundreds of years, was torn asunder. With the anti-Jewish edicts in Nazi germany, through the growing persecution throughout Europe, with ghettoization and through the deportations to the camps, the community suffered terrible and tragic blows. Social units were facing unimaginable hardships, as families were being torn apart, and hunger brought about a struggle to survive. Random killings and deportation split community units and friendships. Living in the ghettos and camps meant daily first-hand exposure to hunger, disease, tortuous work and physical and mental hardship.

And despite all this we find during this period instances of remarkable humanity, attempts to preserve some level of solidarity despite the extreme situation Jews were facing. We must remember that merely assisting someone with a piece of bread or a spot of warmth was no trivial matter – as the struggle for self-survival was difficult enough, and assistance often carried the penalty of death – and nevertheless we have documented cases of clandestine organization, spiritual resistance, and simple person-to-person acts of kindness. This webpage collects material touching on this important educational topic.


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