YOM HASHOAH is observed on the 27th day of the month of Nisan, which marks the day on the Jewish Calendar when Allied troops liberated the first Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany, in 1945.
Today, Yom HaShoah falls on the same date, April 11, 65 years later.
The days leading up to and following the liberation of Buchenwald have become among the most poignant and in some ways, horrifically “iconic” moments in history, moments made up of hundreds of incidents, including:
*The initial discovery (and documentation via movies taken by Allied soldiers) of 10s of thousands of starving prisoners and stacks of human bodies (In the days leading up to the liberation, the SS had run out of material to operate the crematoriums and began stacking bodies in huge piles.)
*The discovery of lamps in officers’ quarters with lampshades made of human skin
* General George Patton (who commanded the Allied forces liberating the camps) urinating into the Rhine River in emulation of William the Conqueror
*Edward R. Murrow reporting from Buchenwald the day after the liberation and calling out the US on not adopting policies that would have saved thousands of lives
Today, since the economic crisis, funding of support groups for Holocaust survivors has dwindled. What’s been less publicized has been the economic problems facing Holocaust survivors in the US, the majority of whom live in Brooklyn.
To learn more about how you can help, please read Erika Dreyfus’s article today on Shoah survivors in need.
Are you or is anyone you know a descendant of Holocaust survivors? Please let us know in the comments below, and if you know of any other good orgs in need of contribution.