In observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I made a donation to our local Holocaust Museum. This museum was started by local 7th graders; survivors, liberators, and volunteers who live in Naples have made it a permanent thing.
For almost 10 years now I've brought my students to this museum during our Holocaust education unit. They see artifacts that can't be found anywhere else because they come from local survivors. They get to meet survivors and hear their stories. The museum also has a "classroom" where students learn about aspects of the Holocaust we may otherwise miss, like Jan Karski and his mission to inform the US about the Holocaust early on.
This year, their classroom lesson was about life after liberation. Students watched videos about liberation, displaced persons, and refugees, and then made connections to today's world and the crisis in Syria.
Holocaust education is paramount to raising thoughtful, engaged, motivated young citizens and activists. Consider doing more than remembering today. Consider making a donation, either to my museum - I'll leave the link here, or to another organization that is doing the important work of building a future where this truly cannot happen again.
In today's current climate, learning the lessons of the Holocaust is more dire than ever. Remembering in silence isn't enough. Speak up, educate, and do what you can to make a difference.