HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Thursday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It’s a time to reflect and honor the more than six million Jews and many others killed.
The day is observed on Jan. 27 every year, the day in 1945 when the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp was liberated.
Even seven decades later, antisemitism and other forms of hate still exist. That’s why Jewish leaders say we must never forget so that an atrocity like the Holocaust never happens again.
“8819-B. They put in line and choose people to do horrible jobs,” Lt. Col. Shai Schul said.
Known only by numbers tattooed on arms, most of Schul’s family was killed during the Holocaust.
“This is an honor for me to stand here in the Israeli Defense Forces uniform together with the allies from all over the world and respect them and honor them,” said Schul, Israeli security assistant liason officer to the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command.
Standing side by side at a remebrance ceremony in Harrisburg, military members from every continent in the world were represented.
Rabbi Ron Muroff of Chisuk Emuna Congregation says remembering the Holocaust is not only a Jewish responsibility.
“Six million Jews were killed, only because they were Jewish and so we feel it in a visceral way, but millions more were killed because they were gay, because they were gypsies,” Muroff said.
Antisemitism is still in the spotlight. Earlier this month a man at the Capitol insurrection was pictured wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt.
“We can’t just dismiss it as a few crazy people,” Muroff said. “Right here in Pennsyvlania in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018, 11 Jews were killed because somebody decided that Jews needed to be destroyed.”
No matter your ideology, bigotry cannot be tolerated.
“It must be stomped out. We cannot afford to stereotype people. That’s step one of how all of these things started,” said Michael Casciaro, director, G4 Acquisition and Logistics, U.S. Army Security Assistance Command.
“Today is our time to make sure never again. Remember and never forget,” Schul said.