The Holocaust has long haunted mankind as an incomprehensible period of history. The horrific events of the time and the atrocities of the day are remembered every January 27 is the Holocaust Memorial Day. The world maker the day to remember those whose lives were lost to genocide. On this day Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest concentration camp, was liberated from the Nazis back in 1945. The Holocaust, also referred to as the Shoah, was a genocide during World War II in which Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators, systematically killed six million Jews, although some studies suggest that the true death toll could be as many as 20 million.
The Holocaust is exhaustively covered through the media, literature and cinema. Stephen Spielberg's 1993 epic Schindler's List is a perfect example, which was based on the book Schindler's List Ark by Thomas Keneally.
The day is commemorated in various parts of the world. In 1996, then German President Roman Herzog marked this day to commemorate the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. In 2005, the United Nations highlighted this as an international day of remembrance. Since then, people across the world gather and events are held to commemorate the victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
This year the National Holocaust Centre encouraged people to wear a white rose in memory of those who lost their lives. Each annual Holocaust Remembrance Day has a theme and the 2018 theme is ‘the power of words’.
However, the Holocaust Memorial Day isn’t just about remembering this unfortunate horror. It is about remembering all genocides that have taken place so far and swearing to end any form of racial violence. And if you thought atrocities like the Holocaust only happened in the distant past, you may be in for a surprise.
Somewhere between 800,000 and two million people were slaughtered in Rwanda over the course of 100 days in 1994. That makes an average of six people per minute! Nearly 500,000 women were raped as a deliberate attempt to give women HIV.
In Cambodia, up to three million people were killed between 1975 and 1979 during the regime led by Pol Pot. In the Bosnian war (1992-1995) 100,000 people were killed making it the largest European massacre since the Holocaust. The genocide in Darfur has claimed 400,000 lives so far since its inception in 2003.