Yom HaShoah – Commemoration of Heroic Resistance to Nazism and Remembrance of the Holocaust Victims

Every spring in Israel and all other countries with Jewish residence, people observe Yom HaShoah – Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.

The observance of Yom HaShoah Day is linked to a historical event – an uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto on April 19, 1943. A group of people then imprisoned in the ghetto decided to turn to arms against the Nazis. The uprising lasted a month and was brutally suppressed. However, the message of the armed ghetto resistance to Nazism spread to other Nazi-founded ghettos, concentration camps. After the Second World War, in 1948 in Warsaw, a monument to ghetto fighters was erected on the territory of the former ghetto. In a young state of Israel, in 1953, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, decided to observe the start date of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising annually and to call it Yom HaShoah, a day of heroic resistance to Nazism and Holocaust remembrance.

According to Judaism tradition, Yom HaShoah is always held on the 27th of Nisan, so the observance of this day changes every year. This year, Yom HaShoah fell in Israel on April 8.

This year, in commemoration of Yom HaShoah, a partner of the International Commission’s Secretariat, the European March of the Living Organization (EMOTL), invited young people, teachers, and other organizations’ representatives from various countries to take part in a virtual initiative to remember that it is possible to resist the aggression, the evil powers just like the Warsaw Ghetto prisoners did. The initiative was named: never means never (www.nevermeansnever.com). Many teachers and students from Tolerance Education Centers in Lithuania took part in this virtual initiative.

You are welcome to read an article by history teacher Arūnas Mikalauskas on the marking day of Yom HaShoah and the meaning of this day: Remembering the victims of the Holocaust