Holocaust Remembrance

April 09, 1994

There are many private and public observances of Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Day of Remembrance and the Week of Remembrance April 10 to 17. Many are in churches, synagogues and private homes.

It is essential to preserve forever awareness of the planned destruction of a people, Hitler's war on the Jews of Europe in the 1930s and '40s, not just to marvel at its cruelty and atrocity, but to insure that it will never happen again. That is the point of education, so that those too young or remote to have any reason to know about the Holocaust on their own, will know, and will learn to recognize its beginnings when they occur.

The survivors and their contemporaries will be dying out. It will be up to younger and future generations to insure that the Holocaust is not replicated. If they don't, it will be.

One particularly fitting commemoration will be that of the Baltimore Jewish Council, for the whole community, which will begin at the War Memorial, Lexington and Gay Streets, at 2.15 p.m. tomorrow and conclude three short blocks south, at Baltimore's Holocaust Memorial. It will honor the work of Harvey M. Meyerhoff of Baltimore in helping to make remembrance perpetual.

Mr. Meyerhoff was chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum from 1987 until last year. He and his predecessor, the survivor-visionary Elie Wiesel, who thought it up, are the persons most responsible for creating the somber and powerful museum memorial. It has transformed the meaning of a visit to Washington for multitudes.

The purpose is to engage and enlarge our sensitivity to injustice, racism and the violation of basic human rights. The need for that is not limited to a particular people or generation; it is universal, and ever-present.

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