On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet army approached Auschwitz-Birkenau. They found the camp largely depleted of living prisoners, with many thousands having been recently forced on a death march in their new status as political hostages.
Survivors told their stories, and due to the infamy of Auschwitz, this liberation anniversary lives on as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The camp names Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor are less well known; between them they swallowed two million neshamot (souls) during Operation Reinhard. Survivors were few and their voices went largely unheard. As the generation that survived the Shoah ages and passes on, it is even more important for us to educate ourselves and the younger generations, l’dor v’dor, lest these stories’ echoes fade and survival become as unknown as the horrors of Maly Trostenets, or Janowska.
There are ample opportunities approaching for locals to attend various events that will keep the memory of the Shoah alive.
“Who Will Write Our History” (film screening)
Sunday, Jan. 27, 4 p.m.
Temple Beth Ami, 14330 Travilah Rd, Rockville, Maryland
Introduced by Warren Marcus, an educator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), this film screening will take people directly into the Warsaw Ghetto. A feature documentary with dramatizations, interviews, and archive writings, this movie tells the story of Oyneg Shabes — a literary resistance group that fought against the Nazis while trapped inside the Ghetto. This screening is part of a global event — 32 states and 30 countries will screen the movie as part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust” (book talk)
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Adas Israel Congregation, Wasserman Hall, 2850 Quebec Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
Author Amos N. Guiora will be at Adas Israel to discuss the role of moral and legal responsibility in interventions by bystanders in such events as the Holocaust and contemporary legal cases, where the necessary thing for implementation of horrific acts was “for good men to do nothing.” Exploring his personal history as the descendant of Holocaust survivors, Guiora will discuss the obligation of intervention and whether non-intervention is a crime.
“Sephardic Heritage in DC: Remembering Sephardic and Romaniote Narratives of the Holocaust and WWII” (lecture)
Thursday, Jan. 31, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Rayburn Building, The Gold Room (Room 2168), 45 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C.
“To Bear Witness: the Art of Testimony” (art exhibit)
Reception with the Artists: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Exhibit open through Feb. 21
Bender JCC, Goldman Art Gallery, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, Maryland
Attend the Art Gallery in the Bender JCC and you’ll find visual representations of the lives lived by survivors and children of survivors — here called Next Generation Survivors. On Jan. 23, a reception will be held where some of the 10 artists will be present to talk about their work. Miriam Morsel Nathan, a Silver Spring-based artist, is one of the Next Generation survivors exhibiting her work.
"14th Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides" (interfaith discussion open to the community)
Sunday, Jan. 27, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Islamic Society of the Washington Area, 2701 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring, Maryland
The Center for Pluralism, in conjunction with the World Muslim Congress, is hosting their “14th Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides.” It is important that young, strong Jewish voices be heard here regarding the Shoah and the many lessons we have communally learned about authoritarianism and scapegoating. Currently, there is no presenter listed to speak on behalf of Holocaust survivors or victims.
To register, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/holocaust-and-genocides-event-tickets-54157371155.
By Kol HaBirah Staff