January 27 is internationally recognized as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Between 1933 and 1945 approximately 6 million Jewish people in addition to 11 million others were killed by the Nazis. That number represents almost 2/3 of the Jews living in Europe at the time. Holocaust Remembrance Day is also known as Yom Hashoah and is observed on the 27th day of the month of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. The date was chosen in a special session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau (the largest concentration/death camp,) and the end of the Holocaust. The purpose of setting aside a day for remembrance is to also encourage education, condemn intolerance and violence, prevent further genocide, and preserve Holocaust sites such as labor, concentration, and death camps and prisons.
Holocaust Remembrance Day is frequently observed with ceremonies that may include lighting memorial candles, reciting prayers for the departed, survivor testimonies, music, exhibits, and talks from other persecuted groups. For more information about the Holocaust, check out these items at your local San Jose Public Library location: