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Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day – Why Did I Forget?

Published in ChicagoNow, January 27, 2017

Still trying to tame my email from eight days of non-connectivity in Cuba, I just noticed at 2:20 that today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. I glanced at this morning’s paper and don’t recall seeing it mentioned. My inbox was clogged with the never-ending pleas to sign petitions, give $3 (but please give more) to a cause, or check out the latest crazy tweet by POTUS.

If I hadn’t scrolled down an email from Tablet magazine to check out an article about crumbling Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe, I would never have known.

For ages, I’ve been reading about how to ensure that kids today, children my grandchildren’s ages, never forget. And yet, the explosion of TMI has made it possible for me to forget. I guess the real Yom HaShoah, the one I learned about in Sunday School, occurs at sundown on April 23 this year. Sirens will go off in Israel and people there will supposedly stop what they are doing and put down their electronics for a couple of minutes. Maybe my grandkids will hear about it then?

Today’s date was adopted by the UN and commemorates the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945. Instead of thinking about that, I have been busy deleting hundreds of emails. Even though today is not the “real” date, what’s wrong with remembering what happened twice a year?

I worry that, as the survivors of the Holocaust die, there will be no one to tell the story. Yes, there are museums in large cities and many schools have assemblies about it, but we are so distracted by so much information bombarding us that I wonder who will continue to visit the museums and when the assemblies will stop.

So, I’m dashing off this short blog post hoping that you see it in your email or Facebook feed. I was raised to believe the world would never forget the Holocaust. But now, I’m not so sure.


by Laurie Levy
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