January 27 is the annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On that day, I read several articles and watched videos of interviews with survivors. As horrific as the stories are, I believe that it is important to reflect on the unspeakable events of our past.
I wanted to share some pictures from two memorials here in Budapest. The first is the Shoes on the Danube. This memorial was built in 2005 and it honors the victims of the Arrow Cross Militiamen shootings. Hungarian Jews were forced to stand at the edge of the river and they were shot into the Danube. This memorial depicts their shoes left on the edge.
Part of the Dohány Synagogue in Budapest (the largest synagogue in Europe), is a Holocaust memorial. It is a sculpture of a weeping willow tree. Each leaf has the name of a victim from the Holocaust. At least 400,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a lot of information on their website which is worth seeing. During the Holocaust, millions of people were murdered for their religion, race, political views, disabilities, sexuality, and countless other reasons. Hatred can easily grow in our hearts when we disguise it behind terms such as "different" and "other," and fuel it by fear, misunderstanding, and the thought that we are better than anyone else. We need to remember events like the Holocaust because they represent the worst part of ourselves. I encourage you to read more about the Holocaust and to visit some of the memorials around the world. Hopefully we can learn from the past and stop events like this from happening in the future.
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